Making music on the go is made easy with these six useful mobile apps. Plus, they’re absolutely free!
Ampify Groovebox is a free iOS app that contains four instruments called the Drumbox, MiniMon, RetroBass and Poly-8. These cover your beats, bass and lead synth sounds to provide a very solid set of mostly dance-like sounds. You can easily put instances of them together and produce tunes and in-app purchases give you more (not essential) controls.
We talked about Cakewalk by BandLab being available as a free download earlier, but the company already has some form in DAW music-making with its flagship app and online DAW, BandLab. Both are free and allow you to make tunes with up to 12 tracks and include instruments, loops and effects. They also have a social element for sharing your results.
Garageband is Apple’s main music making app and is attempting to do for iOS music making what Logic did for desktop music making. It features a beat sequencer, up to 32 performance tracks, a Live Loops DJ feature and even a cut-down version of the Alchemy synth so is an essential app for mobile music making.
4. IK Multimedia
IK Multimedia was one of the first companies to come up with the amp sim concept and now its modelling technology is available for free for the iPad and iPhone. Sure, it’s designed so you can make in-app purchases to buy more guitar effects but you do get a fair few for free including seven stompboxes, three amps and cabs, two mics plus a free groove pack.
5. Music Maker Jam
Music Maker Jam is a freebie app which allows you to create music across a wide range of styles with a loop-based style and an 8-track mixer. It’s very easy to use and you get some nice real-time performance effects. You get ten free packs with 2,000 loops to start with and in-app purchases can up this to 500,000 loops (if you splash the cash).
6. N-Track Studio 9
N-Track Studio 9 is perhaps the most ’desktop-DAW’-like apps here. It allows you to record 11 audio and MIDI tracks and then share with the Songtree community. However, even though you can do complete tunes with the free version, you might want to upgrade via in-app purchases or subscription for extra features including unlimited tracks and bonus effects.