Best music making apps for musicians & bands

About music making apps

Musicians needed a full-fledged and equipped studios worth of analog tools at their disposal for song recording. It was much more complex to create a single with a clean sound in the studio. Musicians had to struggle a lot to create one creation until the dawn of the digital age. But, with the advancement of technology, today, the tech-savvy independent musician can bring an entire studio’s equipped with tools on their palm (on a mobile screen).


With tons of applications available for musicians, musicians are still facing major challenges in selecting the right suite of applications, whether mobile or desktop, for their musical needs. Types of apps you can use are can often get restricted by your smartphone’s operating system. Applications supporting iOS will not always be available for Android and vice versa.

A blueprint of types of apps for musicians

Let us take you through some of the best music making applications that supports iOS and android phones

1. GarageBand

GarageBand is remarkably versatile and flexible if you know how to use it for music creation. GarageBand is a proprietary program that can be downloaded free on iOS and caters to an extensive range of music creation for the curious novice who wants to play around with sound. It is an excellent tool for serious independent musicians. It does a lot of things at once and hence is indispensable for the low-budget mobile music studio for Mac users.

GarageBand is both a sound editor and MIDI instrument composer which offers a remarkable array of in-built sound editing features, including mixing options for notes and percussions, pedals, and amp knob presets. It also contains broad presets and features that can be expanded through the downloadable Jam Packs and are helpful music making apps for musicians.

If a person knows how to use it, it can become an amazing tool to create a professional-quality music project on AirDrop, allowing you to work on the same project on both iOS and OSX. GarageBand is one of the best apps for musicians and hardly a replacement for an audio engineer, allowing both amateur and seasoned musicians to create audio demos, song drafts, and various other music projects with or without a musical instrument.

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2. Hokusai Music Editor

Music creation applications allow you to explore and create music without any virtual instruments. Hokusai Music Editor on Apple is a no-frills basic editor application that allows you to record and edit multiple tracks single handedly. This app is an accurate claim to fame which come with noise reduction features. Hokusai comes with a host of in-built filters and special effects. Several music apps, tools and plugins are available as downloadable add-ons, including time-stretching, grain synthesis, reverb, and modulation.

Although the interface is not that intuitive, it takes some time to learn the app, it is praised for its efficiency. Hokusai Music Editor may come as rather limited to those who want a broad arrangement of tools at their disposal.

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3. Digital Metronomes

Even seasoned musicians need practice and homework before setting up their music and beats to the steady rhythm of a Metronome. Like many other equipment pieces, Metronomes come with easily downloadable digital counterparts on a mobile device.

The most important part to note in Metronome is consistency. A good metronome should be consistent while keeping a check on time or measuring beats per minute. Some of the free metronome apps do not perform well and that’s why the iOS, Tempo remains the undisputed Metronome of choice to create beautiful songs and music.

One of the best digital Metronomes and music making apps, Tempo offers a suite of options that allow you to create and store set lists of music by eliminating the hassles of music programming and everything all over again. This full program offers 35 different time signatures, including compound and complex meters, offering a range between 10 and 800 beats per minute. Besides saving your settings, it gives you leverage to pick up from the place you’ve left off. You can adjust the beats which allows you to increase or decrease the sound of the Metronome. Paid and complementary, both options are available, giving beginners and experienced options, both the categories of musicians.

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4. Audio Evolution Mobile Studio

Audio Evolution Mobile Studio offers a huge suite of studio tools for Android users if compared to GarageBand.

Besides multitrack recordings, the app boasts an impressive array of built-in effects like chorus, reverb, delay, tremolo, EQ, flanger, high pass, lowpass, and much more. Audio Evolution projects can also be synced to the cloud through Google Drive, allowing musicians and bandmates to collaborate for a single music project.

The imperative difference between the Audio Evolution Mobile and its iOS counterpart- GarageBand. It doesn’t give options of virtual instruments and USB recording features. One must import the pre-recorded music files to the editor first; then, the app can edit and export broad audio assortments in various formats. It can edit multiple tracks in a non-linear manner and make it a terrific alternative to traditional four-track editors, making it the best songwriting app.

Audio Evolution Mobile is a deal-breaker for Android users and is a cheaper option for musicians looking for music-making applications. For people who do are into composing, this app is an alternative and escape that does many of the same basic jobs when it comes to composition. Moreover, it is free to download, has additional effects, and is one of the editing tools available for in-app purchases.

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5. Song Writer’s Pad

Song Writer’s Pad brings digital-friendly sounds and is a boon for music composers at this digital age. It is available on Windows PCs, Apple and Android Devices. The app is easy-to-use music composing software that carefully organises its music in a convenient location. One of the best music recording app allows you to record snippets of your songs, which you can then carefully arrange as per your convenience later on.

Songwriter’s Pad also provides a host of benefits to lyricists, especially those who sometimes get stuck due to writer’s block. Songwriter’s Pad offers lyrical recommendations and ideas and rhyming words and phrases based on the song mood to complete your music. It also has a thesaurus that would allow you to carry your ideas throughout the song without sounding repetitive.

It does have a few drawbacks, though. You need to install a software license twice on the same system, if you are a beginner, which can be problematic when users encounter errors in their operating system. In addition, some versions of the program are known for their bugs. Several other songwriting apps are free.

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6. Animoog

Perhaps synths are more your thing. Animoog is responsible for the famous Moog synthesizers that provide iPad and Android users a simulated Moog synthesizer that delivers the same functionality as their real-life counterparts.

Its synth app allows users to generate a host of otherworldly sounds brought to life through an animated interface. Fans of the Moog synthesizers and all retro things would appreciate the interface that the displays it comes with, which looks like something of 1970s.

Animoog does not sound like the real thing. Its devotion to its tangible counterpart isn’t very intuitive as far as electronic instruments are concerned. To make the most of the Animoog app, you would need to be familiar with how Moog synthesizers work.

A real Moog synthesizer can sell for thousands of dollars, and hence, it makes the Animoog app is a relatively affordable alternative to the real thing.

Moog Music, Inc. provides a few more options styled for their famous synths, including the MiniMoog (an iOS based App). A retro music fan may want to relive the experience of having the first portable synthesizer keyboard.

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7. DM1

Touch screens don’t always lend themselves well to virtual keyboards and guitars; the lack of instant feedback means you encounter missed notes and generally feel awkward. On the other hand, they make excellent platforms for virtual drums.

Fingerlab’s DM1—the Drum Machine is yet another Apple-exclusive is one of the best music production apps for the iPad. Although it lacks the same sensitivity to real drums, the app boasts of a staggering 154 electronic kits, 42 classic vintage kits, and 112 in-house kits edited at Fingerlab professional studio. It also features a sleek, intuitive ergonomic design that is easy to eyes and very easy to learn. It hosts an assortment of other features that are notable to song producers. You get to discover different beats you’ve created from a song.

DM1works well as a sandbox for beginners. It is an automatic quantize function on its drum pad function, where novice drummers need not worry about hitting the right beats. It is so easy that any novice in his leisure time can compose the beats of own.

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8. forScore

Another Apple exclusive, forScore app allows composers to go completely digital. ForScore helps the original iOS sheet music reader and let composers see and systematically organize their music sheet in easy-to-use format. It gives an option to Bookmarking and metadata to label your composition for easy searches. ForScore also features an annotation mode that let you draw and type in several layers of annotations and keep them on top of the scores.

The app also features an annotation mode. This option lets you draw and type in several layers of annotations on top of the scores. This function can be done by keyboard, through the Apple pencil, or by hand.

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9. YouSician

Learning the ropes of music is a challenge for beginners. Sometimes, you may not have enough money for a formal music training from a teacher or learn music. YouSician allows you to learn directly from a real instrument you’ve your hands on whether electric or acoustic.

It is good for both first-time learners and self-taught/ experienced musicians. The award-winning music tutor YouSician can also provide an affordable alternative to conventional music lessons. One can find it on iOS and Android both. YouSician app listens to your performance through the tablet or phone’s microphone and gives you real time feedback. It gives guitarists, singers, pianists, and ukulele and bass players lessons and offers 1500 lessons and exercises for practice. Known for beginner’s guide, YouSician can be downloaded free of cost and allow you to take advanced programs are beginner friendly.

YouSician is free to download. But it has in-app purchase options that allow you to take on more advanced music lessons as you build your skills. In its full repertoire of lessons, explore, learn and make and record the best creation.

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10. PerfectEar

One of the most important skills that a musician should learn is the ability to play by ear. If he/she gets a knack of how to sharpen aural skills, it will be easy to learn new songs faster and open doors for improvisation.

PerfectEar offers a unique learning solution for learners who are still getting acquainted with music theory and playing by ear. It is an intuitive app that provides learners with a quick introduction to the basics of music theory. PerfectEar helps you get acquainted with chord progressions and it is an excellent tool for memorization. It is highly recommended by music teachers and is available on both iOS and Android.

Not just that there are a few free apps for songwriting available online which gives you the Nity gritty of songwriting and guides you for improvisation. With the online tuitions and music class you get a knack of writing songs that are technically sound. These modules also give you access to the best music producing apps making which are helpful during stage performances.

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Types of apps for musicians for various purposes

The above listed applications can be useful for various purposes for musicians and can be categorized into following –

Take a look at the table specifying music categories, features and application availability –

  • Drum Machine & Synth Emulators
  • Songwriting & Recording Tools
  • Music recording and production
  • Musicians on Tour App

Wrap up

Each of these tools has its own function and features. While every musician might not need all of them, they can choose it depending on their genres of music, whether creation or production. It is imperative to have the best music making apps to create beautiful music.

The more tools you have at your disposal to streamline your musical journey and process involved in same, the better the output will be.

Go digital, make it happen like a pro.

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