Composing, creating and sharing music on the iPad is one of the things you can do to make it an invaluable tool. If you like learning how music works, creating music or simply just creating sounds, you will find this guide very useful. Read on….
The iPad’s multitouch interface and portability make it a great tool for making music. Already, the app store boasts hundreds of ways to help you explore and create music – as an amateur or a pro.
There are music creation apps as well as some advanced applications that help you learn more about music in general. The music apps that are the most fun are the synths and drum machines. These are amazing considering the amount of technology which goes into these – and yet they fit into a nice, small application. While most of these apps cost a bit more, it is worth it considering what they are achieving and it is definitely worth it when you check out the price of the real thing!
The last part of this guide will cover some ways you can output the sounds you have made on your iPad so everyone can enjoy listening to them.
And at the end of this article is a video of a DJ who shows you how she is making use of the iPad in the most amazing ways. So without further ado, lets get you on your way to fame and fortune!
Composing Music Apps
For the iPad there are just a few apps that actually allow you to “compose” music. None of these got the highest of ratings and I suspect we will see a lot more of these in the future, however there is one you might want to know about.
Music Composer is a virtual piano app that allows score editing and automatic generation of sound files with music notation sheets.
There is also a light version of composer that is $3.99. Both of these did not get the highest of ratings. Users claim it does not recognize sharps or flats. Perhaps an update will correct this. As with any app, however, you have to be the judge yourself.
Top Rated Synth Music Apps
Korg iElectribe ($9.99)
The Korg iElectribe was one of the first virtual analog beatbox apps made for the iPad. It is a top-rated music making app and I have to say, it is addicting even to someone that is not familiar with all of its features.
Check out this app for hours of music creation fun.
miniSynth Pro ($9.99)
This app is a favorite synth app for all kinds of music lovers. This was originally a top rated iPhone app that was ported over to the iPad and made better! It is a fully-featured, professional-grade virtual analog synthesizer. It is designed as an FM / Subtractive hybrid synth.
If you want to get into the technical side of making synth music, this app is definitely worth a look.
The SunVox app is boasted as one of the most powerful music creation tools for the iPad. It is a small and fast multi-platform pattern based sequencer (tracker) with modular synthesizers. It is definitely for the pro musician as the interface is not as intuitive as the others mentioned above.
Ellatron HD ($5.99)
Ellatron is a mellotron-inspired synthesizer. Mellotrons are explained more here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellotron)
Top Rated Drum Machine and Loop Apps
bleep!BOX is a combination synth and drum machine. There are no samples as everything is generated in realtime so you can make any sound and tweak it any way you want to. This app is for the pro musician and DJ. It has live performance modes and allows you to record songs or patterns to .wav format.
Here is a youtube video showing an overview on the iPhone version:
GrooveMaker Hip-Hop ($9.99)
GrooveMaker is more than just a drum machine, it is a professional app for creating non-stop electronic, dance and hip-hop tracks in realtime. DJ’s will love this as there are also over 300 high quality loops included. Best of all, you can remix any of the loops included on the 8 available tracks.
Check out this app if you are a music pro that wants to create some amazing things with your iPad and share it with others.
Looptastic HD ($14.99)
Looptastic allows you to create your own non-stop remixes and electronic compositions with a DJ-style mixer and add effects with Touch Pad control. You can record all your moves and the export them as a CD-ready audio file or to a SoundCloud account.
For making loop-based music Looptastic is definitely a top-notch app that will keep you busy for hours (or days)!
Touch OSC ($4.99)
Touch OSC lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network. You can remote control and receive feedback from software and hardware that implements the OSC protocol.
Here is demo of this app being used. Pretty darn impressive:
Writing And Learning Music
Here are some great iPad apps for writing and learning music. These are helpful if you are a novice or a pro. Once you get these down, you can get some of the pro apps above and become famous (well, if you do, remember us here at iPaddaily).
This is an easy to use music and ear training app for your iPad. There are lessons for learning intervals, chords, scales, pitch, tempo and key signatures. This is the perfect tool for music theory students at every level.
Pianist Pro ($9.99)
This is the original iPhone piano recreated for the iPad. This digital piano has realistic graphics and an amazing sound.
Nota HD ($7.99)
Nota covers the basics of music notation with a 4 octave piano that displays the notes on a staff, a full screen landscape mode piano for practicing and an interactive notes quiz. It is for both beginners and advanced users. This is not a music trainer as much as it is a way to see your notes and learn while playing.
Etude ~ sheet music on steroids ($4.99)
Etude is for anyone that wants to see and hear how hundreds of songs should be played. You can see the music and learn the music in a variety of ways. Etude has an in-app store where you can get sheet music, hear it, and even see where to place your fingers on the keyboard.
Speakers For iPad
So, you have your music creating and writing apps but the sound coming from your iPad is pretty limited. You will definitely want a pair of good speakers so you can hear those great sounds you are creating.
There are literally hundreds of solutions here and everyone has their own preference. Suffice it to say, the speakers I use are perfect for my needs and are a top recommendation. I use the Bose Companion 2 multimedia speakers.
Well that’s it for our iPad music writing and music creation guide. How have you used the iPad for your musical talents? We close this guide with a great video showing how a DJ uses two iPads + Equipment to create amazing art: