- The iOS App Store is full of music-making apps.
- Which ones should you check out?
- Here are 10 of the best beat making apps for turning your iPhone or iPad into a serious production tool.
10 Best Apple Music Making Apps
Earlier in 2020, we saw an unexpected rise of people staying indoors for absolutely no discernible reason whatsoever and everything was perfectly fine in the world. If you’re a music producer, maybe you’ve spent some of this time perfecting your craft, finishing off your ideas or trying out new mix techniques.
Luckily, technology nowadays means music-making on the go (or…not on the go) is not only convenient but also has great results! Portable devices are so named for their convenience but are also powerful music tools capable of making any sound you want.
So if you aren’t able to get to your studio or don’t have any recording gear at home, or maybe you’re just looking to pass some of the time quickly, we’ve compiled 10 of the best music making apps for iPhone and iPad in 2020.
(If you’re an Android user then check out our top 10 Android beat making apps.)
Perfect for beginner and intermediate Logic users, or anyone looking for a DAW that can be used on the go.
GarageBand is arguably one of the best apps for music-making. If you’re a Mac user then GarageBand will most likely be familiar to you with its huge selection of software instruments and samples.
One of the great things about GarageBand is your sessions can actually be imported into Logic. This means if you’re stuck away from your studio but still have the creative juices flowing, you can start your tracks ready for a mixdown later on!
It really is more of a DAW than an app and is loads of fun too!
Garageband is currently available for free on the iOS App Store.
A simple to use but great-sounding music app!
Figure is a really cool and intuitive iPhone app that lets you create beats, bass lines and synth jams on the go.
Developed by audio giants Reason (formerly Propellerhead) the app allows you one track for drums, bass and synth and offers a selection of instruments for each. Making music is easy, just tap and swipe to create your audio.
Rather than cramming in hundreds of presets, effects and other options, Reason have created a great app that is fun to use, sounds great and will keep you busy for hours. No need to get bogged down in instructions!
Figure is currently available free of charge on the iOS App Store.
3. Music Maker JAM
Suited for music makers leaning towards Hip Hop, Trap, RnB and Pop who want to share their music with the world.
JAM is a global music making community who want to make it easy to create, share and make music.
Their music maker app allows you to create loops, edit samples and add effects in real time. You can choose your style from hundreds of genres and even remix other (as JAM put it) “hot artist’s” tracks.
You need to subscribe for some content, which seems fair enough, but a trial version is available for you to check out before buying.
Music Maker JAM is currently free of charge on the iOS App Store.
4. iMPC 2
Best suited for MPC enthusiasts or anyone wanting to try their hand at MPCs on a budget!
The legendary Akai MPC series of samplers were revolutionary in the 90s and continue to attract praise today. Those not wanting to commit financially to the real thing are in luck thanks to the Akai iMPC app!
This software version is the second incarnation of the iMPC series and comes with its own sample packs to use, although more can be downloaded for free. You can also record with the device’s mic and line-in.
Akai have really embraced the iPhone crossover here as well with a unique 3D Perform control which allows the user to control the MPC’s parameters via the phone’s motion controls.
The iMPC 2 is really one of the best music making apps for iPhone and iPad. It’s currently available on the iOS App Store for just $4.99.
Perfect for producers looking for an easy to use, fun and intuitive app to make music on the go.
‘Make Your Beat With One Finger’ is the tagline of the Korg iKaossilator. This super fun hardware unit is brought to iPhone and iPad and is really simple to use and easy to create music with.
Based on the Korg Kaossilator, the iKaossilator allows you to create your own beats and synth lines based around bars and timings chosen by the user. The great thing about this app is you literally do only need one finger to get going! Sounds are created by rubbing, tapping and moving your finger across the screen in the same way as the original Kaossilator.
With 150 diverse, in-built sounds (and some cool visuals to accompany them) the iKaossilator is great fun for beginners and pros alike. For this reason, it’s one of the best music making apps for anyone regardless of musical ability. It really is pure sonic exploration with a musical feel.
iKaossilator is currently available for $9.99 on the iOS App Store.
Suited for guitarists who want an easy way to jam and record at home without investing in a DAW.
Finding a great amp simulator can be hit and miss even when you’re using a full recording setup with your favorite DAW.
AmpKit however is a great app for guitarists out there who might not have access to a DAW or just want to jam at home on their headphones. With 30 guitar amps and 30 pedals (based on real models) AmpKit packs a lot into one app.
You will of course need an adapter to hook your guitar up to your device, but for a small investment you’ll be able to record on the go and upload your sessions to Dropbox. This is great for sending your riff and song ideas to your band ahead of rehearsals.
Suited for those who want to write their own sheet music or tabs, as well as songwriters wanting to collaborate or share their songs with band members.
Flat is a unique music scoring app that allows you to create, listen, edit, share and print your tabs or sheet music.
As a cloud-based app, Flat allows you to collaborate with others who can also access your music and add edits and changes themselves. Included are several instruments, such as piano, guitar and bass, and you can even begin writing with touch pad drums.
Flat is currently available free of charge on the App Store.
8. iMaschine 2
Perfect for beatmakers who want access to pro sounds, and anyone who wants to collaborate with others easily.
iMaschine 2 from Native Instruments is an intuitive and easy to use beat and song making app. With 16 pads, a keyboard, and hundreds of sounds, iMaschine 2 is a great option for music makers who want access to pro sounds but need portability.
The app is priced at $9.99 but you’ll also be able to purchase drum sounds, samples and more from renowned sound designers. To get you going, iMaschine 2 comes with 38 drums kits and 750 samples.
Download iMaschine 2 on the iOS App Store.
A dream to use for DJs, or anyone looking to dip their toe into the world of remixing.
djay is a cool app that lets you create remixes of your favorite tracks with ease!
The app will allow you to isolate elements such as vocals or instrumentals from songs in your library and you can even remix elements of two separate songs together. djay gives you a really intuitive DJ experience on your phone but also comes with its own exclusive content library which features hundreds of original samples.
You can perform live, but djay also has an ‘automix’ mode that will automatically mix for you.
djay is available currently on the iOS App Store free of charge.
10. Auria Pro
For those who want a traditional DAW experience but on mobile.
We’ve talked a lot about portability and music-making on the go, but there are producers out there who will want the closest thing they can get to a traditional desktop DAW in their phone.
Auria Pro looks very similar to a traditional piece of recording software and comes with a built-in sampler, synthesizer, MIDI support and is even compatible with certain plug-ins such as Drumagog.
Auria Pro is currently only available on iPad and is a little on the pricey side at $49.99, but to quote Grammy award-winning producer David Kahne:
“This is the first mobile mixing (AND recording AND post production) app that I’ve ever used that is truly professional. Just wow!”
Download Auria Pro on iOS App Store for iPad.
There are always new and exciting apps coming out for music production. Some of these have only been made in the last couple of years! As usual, when it comes to music, there’s no need to choose just one thing.
You can arm yourself with all the tools in this article and make really powerful productions on your iPhone and iPad at home or on the go.