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    MOG for iPad

    by MOG

    Like any endeavor, if you want to do something, study those who've done it before you. If you want to be a writer, you need to read. If you want to make music, make sure you listen to a lot of it. There are many apps that provide music. Slacker and Pandora are some good free options. Personally, I use Mog, which I think is worth the $9.99/month asking price. It has a large library of over 15 million on-demand songs, and an excellent music discovery tool in its Mog Radio. It now also has a sleek-looking iPad app.

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  • $1.99

    Discovr - discover music

    by Filter Squad Pty Ltd

    This app gives you a visual way to discover artists who will inspire you. As described on Discovr's App Store page, "Enter an artist you like and you'll discover artists you love." You can read about bands, watch their videos, listen to their music and buy that music, all from within the app. Find your next favorite band and use Discovr to share them with a friend.

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  • $3.99

    Cleartune - Chromatic Tuner

    by Bitcount ltd.

    After you choose an intrument to learn, one of the first things you'll need to do is tune it. Cleartune provides a handy chromatic tuner, which allows you to quickly and accurately tune your instrument, using your iDevice's built-in microphone. The app is simply designed, yet performs well.

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  • $1.99

    Tempo - Metronome with Setlists

    by Frozen Ape Pte. Ltd.

    Another useful tool for musicians is a metronome, which helps you stay on rhythm. Tempo is a popular metronome with powerful features; it is marketed as being suitable for professional users. Some of these features include 35 different time signatures, including compound and complex meters; a wide selection of sound sets, including a voice count and cowbell; and advanced set list management.

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  • Free

    Songsterr Tabs & Chords

    by Guitar Tabs LLC

    Practice makes perfect, and this app includes the tablature for many popular songs. Most songs have tab for multiple instruments, not just guitar. There is audio playback, which you can slow down to half-speed, to learn difficult parts. The app is well-organized and allows you to easily search for your favorite songs and artists. It also features an offline mode that allows you access to previously-viewed songs, even when disconnected from the Internet. Finally, it is worth noting the legality of the app; the music creators get paid.

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  • $4.99

    GarageBand

    by Apple

    GarageBand is the poster child for iPad music creation apps, and for good reason. Musicians make music. GarageBand makes musicians. With its Smart Instruments, no other app is as adept at transforming a dilettante with dreams of greatness into a respectable music maker. GarageBand is also an excellent recording app for those with innate talent. The app also features the social ability to jam out with some friends in the new Jam Session feature.

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  • $4.99

    DM1 - The Drum Machine

    by Fingerlab

    The Smart Drums on GarageBand are decent, but DM1 - The Drum Machine is a more fully-functioned beat making mechanism. It's loaded with 64 electronic drum kits, and has a step sequencer, drum pads, mixer, FX trackpads, and a song composer as its main features. The app's design strikes a good balance between usability and sonic ability. Electronic musicians will have fun with this one.

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  • $24.99

    Animoog

    by Moog Music Inc.

    Electronic musicians will also appreciate Animoog, Moog Music's first professional polyphonic synthesizer for the iPad. Serious musicians will love this app. It's well-designed, sounds great and is packed with functionality. My only criticism is that many casual musicians may have little idea what the app is or what it does. There's some education necessary to unlock the app's full potential. The app is powerful, but not everyone will get it.

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  • $14.99

    Notion

    by NOTION Music, Inc.

    Notion is another powerful way of creating music. It is centered less around the virtual instruments model of GarageBand, and focused more on helping you create your own music score. At its heart, Notion is a notation editor and music playback tool, which allows you to directly input notes to virtual sheet music and hear how it sounds. The app contains some very nice features, including orchestral samples from The London Symphony Orchestra. Symphony Pro is a similar app that is also well-regarded. However, I thought Notion sounded a little better and had slightly better features overall.

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  • $4.99

    djay 1

    by algoriddim

    This app is a party. It's intuitive, fun, and makes you feel like a real DJ. I'll confess I had no idea what I was doing, as I tried to mix Pachabel's "Canon in D" with Taylor Swift's "Love Story." But I had a blast. This app is similar to GarageBand, in that it makes a difficult music skill accessible to beginners, while also offering useful tools for the more experienced.

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  • $9.99

    BeatMaker 2

    by INTUA

    This app is a mobile music workstation, which includes fantastic tools to help both amateurs and professionals make terrific music. Among the many tools available are a drum machine, keyboard sampler, multi-track sequencer and wave editor. This app is not as accessible to newcomers as an app like GarageBand, but it is far more powerful from a mixing standpoint. This app will likely appeal to more serious musicians.

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  • $14.99

    ReBirth for iPad

    by Propellerhead Software AB

    By emulating the Roland TB-303 Bass synth and the Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines, and then combining them with sophisticated FX units and pattern sequencers, Propellerhead Software's ReBirth can create some killer tracks for users to share with their friends. This is another app that will be intimidating to the uninitiated; the interface looks great, but those unfamiliar with music production may be confused by all the knobs and sliders. But for those into dance music and techno, this is a great app to have.