Whether you’re a professional musician or budding artist, there is no shortage of options of IOS or Android apps to download. If you’re an artist trying to promote your music or a touring musician or DJ looking to enhance your sound, there are thousands of apps available to help craft the perfect tone. Here is the list of the top five must-have apps for musicians.
On the iPad, the obvious 800-pound gorilla is GarageBand. It does a fantastic job, considering it’s price, of recording audio (i.e. Your voice or an acoustic guitar), and it also records midi info to drive Apple’s plethora of software instruments. Piano, orchestral strings, Electric bass, drums – acoustic and electronic, are on demand – all with smart settings guaranteed to make you sound like an adept in no time. The app is very easy-to-use and fairly intuitive. As with all these apps do not show up at your session without spending some “learning curve” time – a sure recipe for disaster.
Another powerful all-in-one app is NanoStudio. A recording studio for iOS. It features virtual synths, sample trigger pads, a sequencer, a sample editor, a mixer and multiple effects all integrated into a single application. An easy to grasp workflow makes this a very powerful alternative to Garageband.
My next favorite app is iReal Pro. iReal Pro is a fake book/accompanist for your phone, tablet or computer that will supply and play the chord changes to almost any song on command. Traditionally fake books catered to the jazz crowd but due to iReal book’s massive online forum, Beatles songs, gypsy jazz songs, pop music, bluegrass, etc. are all available at no extra charge.
Every musician, especially guitar players and bassists, need an excellent tuner. The iPhone and iPad have mostly replaced the handheld dedicated guitar tuner. IK Multimedia makes the UltraTuner and once you get used to this app you’ll find it hard to go back to the dedicated tuners. It has a studio or stage mode that both work very well. It even ports to the Apple Watch! The market is rife with tuners and for very little money you’ll have your guitar to pitch-perfect in no time.
Tablets are ideal for replacing your folders full of frayed sheet music, and much less likely to blow away in the wind. While it’s not a dedicated music app, GoodReader makes a formidable librarian who is happy to store and display your PDF’d music charts using little fuss or space.
The ever-evolving world of music meets mobile will continue to grow and allow more musicians to collaborate on the go. Whether you have a home studio or you constantly on the road, any of these apps will make your music sound that much sweeter. Go make some tunes!