I love using great hardware controllers like the OhmRGB, Block, and 25SL MKII, but there are definitely some advantages to using the iPad for music creation. The iPad can really be anything you want it to be. Being as it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of amazing iPad apps out there for music creation, I usually end up downloading a lot of them, but after a little while, only a few remain on my iPad’s home screen. Here I’ve listed my top 5 favorite iPad Apps for music creation.
Works with all major DAWs as a control surface via WiFi. Easy to set up & get working. Versions for iPad & iPhone. Great for Ableton Live and now has built-in support for Logic Pro. The best part is you can easily create your own custom interfaces with the free layout editor application. There’s also the free TouchOSC Bridge utility to easily control any MIDI-capable application on your computer. Amazing work by the talented developer @ hexler.net. In my opinion, this is truly the gold-standard for controlling music apps & audio plugins on your computer via iPad. (TIP – setup a local wifi network on your Mac before connecting your iPad for minimal latency).Download TouchOSC for iPad & iPhone at the App Store.
Sometimes I just want to play something and not spend hours getting lost in setting up controls. Not that setting up controls is that difficult nowadays since developers have made it relatively easy for everyone. For me, control setup is left-brain whereas creating music is right-brain, and most times I get lost in the middle. If you’re looking to just play, check out Animoog by Moog Music, if you haven’t already. Animoog sounds amazing and the interface is killer. It’s a nice to just record the audio direct from the iPad & avoid recording MIDI. Imposing limitation can be a good aesthetic, especially for actually finishing things!Download Animoog for iPad & iPhone at the App Store.
A great app for easily creating melodies and chords. It comes with some built-in sounds, but it works best as a MIDI controller via WiFi for other synths and plugins. Usually I use Ableton Live’s native Scale MIDI plugin for stuff like this, but there’s something a bit more gratifying about using Polychord‘s beautifully designed interface on the iPad. The “strum” feature is pretty cool as well.Download Polychord for iPad at the App Store.
Another great tool for creating chords & melodies. SoundPrism Pro is similar to Polychord, in the fact that it contains some built-in sounds and acts as a MIDI controller over WiFi, but it’s unique, colorful interface has proven to make me play things that I would not play otherwise, and have fun doing it. It’s available for iPhone as well, and there’s also an option to purchase additional sounds within the app. (The free version does not act as a MIDI controller, playing built-in sounds only).Download SoundPrism Pro for iPad & iPhone at the App Store.
Garageband is great for creating musical sketches. While it can be used to create complete tracks, usually I just use it as a starting point for ideas and import projects into Garageband or Logic Pro for tweaking and arranging. Did I say the interface is awesome?Download Garageband for iPad & iPhone at the App Store.
What are your favorite music creation apps for iPad? Let me know in the comments!