Best Apps for Musicians

A decade ago, it was almost impossible to create a full music album without going to an expensive studio. However, times have changed and people are moving with the new trend. Even just a couple years ago, a bulky desktop system or laptop computer was necessary to get the full experience of digital music recording.

Right now, you can produce music with your own smartphone from the comfort of your home or on the go thanks to the development some incredible music production apps. These mobile apps come with a variety of effects and tools to help you produce your own music. So if you are looking to be music producer, songwriter or singer, the following are some of the best music production apps to kick off or expand your music career.

1. Garage band

Garage band has revolutionized the music industry since its creation in 2010 and that is why it ranks among the top music production apps. Unfortunately, this app has not been made available for android users. iPhone users cherish this app because of the many features it brings. Garage band allows users to create a number of tracks whether composed of vocals or instruments. You get to use their virtual drums, piano, sampler, amps and apply multiple effects to your music. Another advantage you get from this app is the ability to transfer your songs to your laptop. The presence of a desktop version is beneficial as it allows you to formulate your idea wherever you are with your smartphone and then move it to your laptop for further editing. Garage band can be used by beginner producers as well as professionals.

2. FL studio

FL studio is an all inclusive music production app available for iOS, Android and Windows. So for android users this is a perfect alternative to Garageband, perhaps even better if you are an intermediate or advanced producer. Commonly referred to as Fruity Loops, this app gives users some pretty advanced features and tools. The samples and synthesizers are top notch. Although the smartphone app lacks some features available on the desktop version, the ones available are more than enough to make it a top music production app. The app’s mixer provides 16 effects with some of the usual being delay, compression, filter and modulation. FL Studio mobile also provides accurate beat programming through the presence of an advanced step sequencer. Some other great features of the app are advanced mixer routing, mixer scaling, magnetic windows and a scalable vectorial interface. One thing you should know is that not all these features are free so you may have to cough up a little bit of cash to be able to use them. All in all, FL Studio is a joy to have and a great pick for hip-hop producers and DJs.

3. Caustic 3

Although Caustic 3 provides a range of features, it makes the list mostly because of how simple it is to use. Many of these music production apps can be quite complicated and therefore takes time to master for someone who is just starting out. However, Caustic 3 breaks this cycle through providing an easy to use interface. It is actually simple to learn your way around even if you have never used the app before. Aside from this, you get some really cool features. It has tons of synthesizers and samplers that you can play around with. The synth types available for you include; the virtual analog synth, drawbar organ, 3-operator FM synth, B-Bit synth, 303-style bass monosynth, multi sample PCM synth, multi-harmonic PRD synth, modular synth, karplus-strong synth, B channel drum computer and the B-band vocoder. In addition to these, the app has up to 16 effect types. You can get a demo app for Caustic 3, however you will not be allowed to save, export or import with the demo version. For that you will have to pay to get the unlock key.

Stagelight 4

Openlabs announced the updated version of their music making app called Stagelight in 2018, terming it as their best release yet and we cannot agree more. One great thing they did was making it available for iOS as well. Moreover, they introduced their new SampleVerse sampling instrument. This is a sort of synthesizer/sampler fusion or hybrid, equipped with some incredible features such as built-in saturation filters, phrase arpeggiator, automatic pitch detection and correction. The new version also comes equipped with a MIDI PolyPhonic Expression (MPE). This allows users to be able to manage the parameters of their notes in a separate manner through their touchscreen. Through the MPE you will be able to play an expressive music instrument which is amazing. You can also download this app on multiple devices making it very convenient for musicians on the move. You can get the free version just to get the feel before deciding to make a purchase.

4. Music Maker Jam

Music Maker Jam is available on iOS, Android and Windows. The app has an 8-channel mixer and a variety of music styles you can apply. It allows you to combine tons of loops and include your own vocals. Their 8 channel mixer allows you to add the perfect mix to your recorded vocals. Other great features that Music Maker Jam has included are the ability to adjust the structure of your song, harmonies, tempo and the ability to add some wonderful effects. The app also has a large music community where you can be able to share some of your music productions with other users all around the world.

5. n-Track Studio

n-Track Studio is a great mixing and multitrack recording app. It is available for Android and iOS users and also has a desktop version. You can record using the built-in mic and edit the song. The app also allows users to record MIDI tracks and then use the piano roll window to edit the tracks. The effects that come with this app will include compression, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser and tube amp. This allows you to better edit your songs and create your beats. Some additional features worth mentioning include; the built-in metronome and chromatic tuner, inter-app audio, EQ and spectrum analyzer equipped with 3D visualization.

6. Steinberg Cubasis

Many music producers use Steinberg Cubasis to create music. It is a well-known app with stunning features and hence cannot be left out. With this app you get high quality resolution, a mixer equipped with MIDI, FX and built-in audio loops, limitless audio or MIDI tracks and many more. You can get the app for your iPhone or iPad. However, it does not come cheap. Steinberg Cubasis is rated among the most expensive digital audio workstation apps out there but for the features it brings, the price it quite fair.

7. Propellerhead Figure

This app has an unusual name but it is quite amazing. If you know this app then you probably know a popular digital audio workstation by the name Reason. Propellerhead is the mind behind its creation. The user interface of this app is quite easy to use and hence allows you to get work done faster. The app allows users to tweak the sounds and place them in a rhythm. Propellerhead Figure is available on iOS and it is free. That alone gives you more reason to go for it.

8. Moog Filtration

Moog is known as hardware synth legends or you could even call them synth pioneers. With this app you will be able to experience their magnificent Moog filter in a virtual way. The app has an input mic and sampler that allows you to input sound and then use some of its features like delay, modulation and overdrive to structure the sound however you want. Moog filtration allows you to record your samples to a limit of 10MB and has an audio quality of around 16-bit, 44.1 kHz. Moog filtration is available for iOS users and is relatively cheap.

9. WaveMachine Labs Auria Pro

The WaveMachine Labs Auria Pro is simply outstanding. Almost everything you can do on this app through your smartphone can also be done on a laptop. That makes it quite a flexible app. You’ll be able to create high quality audio through the built-in mic at a sample rate range of as high as 96kHz. The app is equipped with a range of effects such as convolution, chorus, algorithmic reverbs, EQ and compressor models among others. Furthermore, it has incredible Fabfilter synths. This app is great and powerful but expensive. The price alone makes a number of people shy away from purchasing it. It is also important to point out that this app is mainly for intermediate or advanced music producers. The app is available for iPhone and iPad users.

Conclusion

To get the most out of a music production app, you first need to be aware of what you are looking for in one. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself before going for the app include:

  • What are the features it comes with?
  • Is it available for iOS, android or both?
  • What is the price?

The music making apps mentioned above are some of the best on the market and they were selected on the basis of these three factors. So whether you are using an Android or an iPhone you still can find one that suits you. All you have to do is evaluate their price and features.

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