Producing quality music tracks was once a matter of learning complex theory and spending a significant amount of capital on the right equipment. Today, almost anyone can make music affordably and relatively simply. With the release of devices like the iPad, budding music makers have a variety of apps they can use to produce their own music. Here are five of the best apps for producing your own tracks.
1. GarageBand ($4.99)
GarageBand turns your iPad into alternative instruments, such as the keyboard, the drums, and various string instruments. It allows you to add in your own vocals and convert the results into a ringtone for only $4.99. It doesn’t have anything more than basic music editing capabilities, but it is easy to export a track into a dedicated music editor. Whilst the choice of instruments limits music makers to certain types of music, it’s a very good replication of the real thing.
2. Impaktor ($2.99)
One of the most innovative musical apps in the App Store, Impaktor is a fully-fledged drum synth. Using iOS multi-touch technology, Impaktor uses tapping on surfaces in order to register kicks, snares and hi-hats.
Using your devices microphone the app allows you to play on whatever surface your iPad or iPhone is currently sitting on. This is a universal app, which means one price to pay to make complex loops and patterns on all of your devices.
3. SunVox ($5.99)
SunVox is a $5.99 professional music-making app allowing the composition of music, any time, any place. Immediately, the user is confronted by a complicated looking interface offering sequencers and synthesis tools. The output is of a high quality and it works with the iPad, Mac, and Android devices. Whilst it’s ideal for the professional, novices may find it painful while getting acquainted with some of the complicated colour coded buttons on the main interface.
4. Addictive Synth ($3.99)
Addictive Synth offer exactly what you would expect from a synth app; however, with its simplistic design and GUI a novice user can really pick up and play with this app. There are still the normal knobs to twist and buttons to push, but it wouldn’t be much of a synth app if there weren’t. Addictive Synth comes with a few very strong features not least a powerfu larpeggiator and a spectral noise generator.
One of the great features of the app is the stock sounds with which to create your captivating melodies and bass grooves. Overall it’s a great app with a great friendly user interface.
5. AKAI iMPC ($4.99)
This retro throwback to the iconic Akai MPC range is a music geek’s dream. It’s really great to see the new retro designs for iOS apps. This iPad-only app is the closest you’ll get tuning a real-life MPC without spending hundreds of pounds.
While the app is an impressive replica of the Akai MPC range it quite difficult to do complex samples mainly due to the iPad’s size (it would be a good idea to secure your iPad down before use), however the nostalgic value you get with this app makes up for it. The sampling interface is really nice and clear just like the legendary MPC workflow. This is one of the best apps in the store for sheer entertainment value.
Overall, these five apps offer something different for the music maker. Some choose to focus on just a few types of instrument or music, whereas others offer a comprehensive studio. Deciding on the right app is a matter of determining one’s own personal requirements.
Mark works as a music sample producer at Dance Midi Samples. After producing many music sample packs, Mark now shares his years of experience with others through guides and tutorials while offering free midi samples for the next generation of producers.