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Enjoy Making Music with These Awesome Apps

Enjoy Making Music with These Awesome Apps

We've all got creative impulses, and music is one of the most basic human activities around. Even if you're not a virtuoso musician, these apps will help you create sounds and songs right on your iPad or iPhone.

Music Recording and Composition for Everyone

Whether your a Novice or a Pro, GarageBand is an easy to use app that can provide the music recording and editing tools you need to express your creativity on iPad and iPhone.

GarageBand

Make some music or talk shows with GarageBand

GarageBand

Get instrumental

For anyone who wants to make some creative audio on-the-go

Apple's GarageBand is a great solution for anyone who is looking to make some music or even create their own podcast. GarageBand lets users record in audio from multiple sources, apply audio effects when necessary like loops, and much more. Even if you don't have any musical talent, GarageBand has tools that sound like the real thing and the app is smart enough to play them like a person when you need some filler. No matter who you are, it's easy to make some music with GarageBand.

Why we love it

GarageBand is easy to use and rather intuitive considering all of the tools that it offers. It is a great way to record audio on-the-go, so it's like having a portable recording studio.

Making Electronic Music

Make soundscapes with these fun, easy to use music creation apps.

Guitar Effects

If you're creating music on your iPhone or iPad, sometimes you just gotta make your guitar scream. These effects apps act just like the real deal.

AmpliTube Slash

Make your axe sound like GnR guitarist, Slash

AmpliTube Slash

AmpliTube Slash

When you need your guitar to sound like Guns n Roses' eccentric lead player, Slash, you could go buy the same pedals he's got, and the same amp and the same guitar. OR you can grab this great app from IK Multimedia, plug your axe into your iPad or iPhone, and just let it rip. You can build an entire rig with 6 stompbox effects, an amplifier head and cabinet modelers, and even a single-track recorder. What are you waiting for? Go shred!

AmpliTube

Find the perfect sound without spending a fortune

AmpliTube

If you want to create the perfect guitar sound, you'll need an array of stompboxes, an amp, a speaker cabinet, and a guitar. Why not skip everything but the guitar and get a whole bunch of the rest right from your iPhone or iPad? AmpliTube lets you build your own guitar or bass rig with up to 6 stompbox effects, an amp and speaker cabinet w/microphone options, and you can even drag and drop your stomps to sit before or after your amplifier, with 4 slots pre and 2 slots post. What more do you need?

Piano

Tickling the ivories is the concept here; these apps will have you playing the piano in a jiffy.

KORG Module

High-Quality Piano

KORG Module

For Studio and Live Performance

KORG Module comes with five sound modules - instrument categories : Electric Piano, Clav, Organ and Multi. Expansion sound libraries are available as in-app purchases. Great piano app for performing live or in the studio. You can connect your iOS compatible MIDI keyboard, adjust the Velocity Curve so that the pressure you apply on the keys captures the dynamics of your playing style and performance. Inter-App Audio compatibility allows to connect to other music production apps you own for further processing. You can take notes and view music scores and share your ideas on Soundcloud. If you own the music production app KORG Gadget you can choose from 5 separate instruments from KORG Module to work in a project. There's a free KORG Module Le app if you would like to try the app.

Why we love it

For the realistic piano sounds, great, easy to navigate App design, Full- range keyboard and the vast amount of Piano Instruments to choose from.

iLectric Piano for iPad

iLectric Piano for iPad

IK Multimedia

iLectric Piano for iPad

For musicians who want the funky sounds of electric piano along the way.

Launch iLectric Piano for iPad, choose a sampled electric piano sound, and you're off. Incredibly authentic electric piano sounds fill the air.

Synthesizers

When you need to create and/or play high-quality synthesizer sounds, these apps will get you exactly what you need.

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer
Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

Propellerhead Software AB

Thor for iPad puts the mighty Thor synthesizer at your fingertips.

“A truly must-have synth for iPad users of all skill levels” – Keyboard Magazine
"A Synth-Geek’s Dream Synth” - Synthtopia
“A game changing synthesizer for the iPad” - Dubspot
"Thor sounds just as good as its bigger sibling, and its ability to share patches makes it a fantastic tool for portable sound design.” - MusicRadar

Reason's legendary flagship synth delivers a thunderous sound, god-like sound sculpting capabilities and an innovative, lighting-fast keyboard designed for iPad. Thor is a synthesis playground, a flexible sonic workhorse, but above all, an expressive musical instrument for the iPad.

Thor highlights
• Play Reason's Thor Polysonic Synthesizer on the iPad.
• Load any of the 1000+ expertly crafted synth patches, or create your own from scratch.
• Create your sounds using a palette of multiple oscillator and filter types.
• Play Thor using an expressive touch interface keyboard with aftertouch and strumming.
• Collapse the keyboard to a key and scale of your choice, just like in Figure.
• Move your favourite patches from the iPad to your computer and use them with Thor in Reason

Thor sounds like no synthesizer you've ever heard before - and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilizes synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

On the iPad, Thor comes with a specially designed interface that's optimized for touch control and the iPad screen. Cleverly designed panels expand and fold at the touch of a button to hide or reveal oscillators, filters, envelopes and more.

The app is divided into three main screens: Keyboard, Knobs and Routing.

Keyboard mode features:
• Piano keyboard with transpose and range control
• Modulation and pitch bend controls
• Assist function lets you select key and scale to highlight chord notes or to collapse the keyboard to only show the chord notes of the selected scale.
• Strum function lets you play arpeggios by holding a chord while strumming across the strum control.
• Two assignable knobs and buttons acts like performance controls
• Settings for polyphony and portamento

Knobs mode features:
• Access to all of Thor's synthesis features
• Three oscillator slots for Thor's six oscillator types: Analog, Wavetable, FM Pair, PhaseMod, Multi Osc and Noise
• Three filter slots for for Thor's four filter types: Low Pass Ladder, State Variable, Comb and Formant
• Three envelopes
• Dual LFOs
• Delay and Chorus
• The Knobs screen is divided into panels that expand and collapse at the touch of a button
• Miniature keyboard to audition your sounds as you are working on them

Routing features
• Comprehensive but easy to use routing matrix lets you create complex modulation and signal flow setups
• Step sequencer with 16-steps and six channels: Note, Velocity, Gate length, Step duration, Curve 1, Curve 2

General App features:
• Patch compatible with Thor in Reason on your computer
• Move patches to and from your iPad using iTunes
• Sound bank with more than 1000 Thor patches from leading artists & sound designers (Kill the Noise, Richard Devine, Chris Petti and many more)
• Gorgeous retina display interface
• MIDI in - play Thor from an external MIDI source or from another app on the same iPad
• Audiobus compatible - stream audio from Thor to another audio app on the same iPad
• Audio in background option lets Thor keep playing in the background when working with other apps.

Note: We recommend using Thor for iPad with iPad 4 or later.

more info
Model 15
Model 15

Model 15

Moog Music Inc.

The Moog Model 15 App is the first Moog modular synthesizer and synthesis educational tool created exclusively for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Each facet of the Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer has been meticulously recreated in this application to ensure the power and transcendent sound quality of each module remains intact. The character, harmonic complexity and mystique of the Moog Model 15’s modules, from the legendary Moog 921–series oscillators and 904A Low Pass Filter, to the coveted 907 Fixed Filter Bank have been painstakingly preserved.

In order to develop the most immersive and expressive modular interface possible, the Model 15 App has been designed utilizing Apple’s new Metal advanced graphics engine. This ensures that all zooming, panning and modular patching throughout the application feels completely natural, something that would have been impossible otherwise.

The Model 15 App features both monophonic and 4-voice polyphonic operation is easily commanded via 4 seamlessly integrated controllers. Simple swipes and taps provide instant access to a traditional Moog keyboard, 1150 ribbon controller, 8-step sequencing arpeggiator and the award-winning Animoog keyboard with 22 built-in scales and polyphonic modulation capabilities.

Also included are extended features which expand the capabilities of the app beyond the traditional offerings of the hardware Moog Model 15. These include total MIDI integration, assignment for external control, use as a MIDI controller, dedicated Audio Bridge and MIDI Bridge modules, looping recorder module with overdubbing, a master ping-pong delay module and a new extension cabinet that includes additional amplifiers and voltage-controlled reversible attenuators that can be used for effects like ring-modulation.

Because the Model 15 App utilizes Apple’s Metal technology, only 64-bit devices are supported. Compatible devices include iPhone 5s or newer, iPod touch 6 or newer, iPad Air or newer, and the iPad Pro.

The Model 15 App requires iOS version 9.3 or later to work.


Additional Features
• Ships with over 160 unique presets
• Recreates the sound of a hardware Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer
• Easily share presets and recordings with anyone
• Tutorial patches to assist all experience levels
• Intuitive patching and cable coloring
• Support for landscape and portrait modes
• Voltage-controlled stereo ping-pong delay
• Expressive sequencing arpeggiator
• Moog 1150 Ribbon controller
• Real-time looping recorder with overdub and immediate sharing
• Up to two controllers on-screen (iPad only)
• Optional left-handed UI operation

Supports
• AUv3 Audio Unit Extensions
• 3D Touch and Apple Pencil integration for after pressure
• Note-per-channel MIDI controllers
• Ableton Link
• Inter-App Audio and Audiobus
• MIDI Bridge and Audio Bridge
• 7 and 14-Bit MIDI
• MIDI Program Change
• Bluetooth LE MIDI controllers
• Typing keyboards for shortcuts and musical typing
• AudioCopy, AudioPaste and AudioShare

more info
Poison-202 Vintage Synthesizer
Poison-202 Vintage Synthesizer

Poison-202 Vintage Synthesizer

Dmitrij Pavlov

What reviewers and users say:

"This is a very solid virtual synth that, sonically, punches well above its asking price" - musicappblog

"Man this sounds good, full of rich goodness from the days of analog yore" - thesoundtestroom

"I've not beed this 'exited' about a synth app in a very, very long time" - Samuel Lindeman, experienced iOS musician

"Amazing, from vintage to most modern. This synth sounds great. It is going to be top of the list for apps I use at live shows" - App Store review

"This is the best $10 I've spent in a long time. I'm actually excited over what I will be able to do with Poison 202!" - App Store review

"This is the best synth. Better than any soft synth or even hardware" - App Store review

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Poison-202 is a professional Vintage Midi Synthesizer. Made by musicians for musicians, it is inspired by famous classic hardware synthesizers of 80's and 90's and has all the main sound creation blocks you can imagine: oscillators, cutoff Filters, ADSR-envelopes, ring, cross modulation, LFOs, sync, super-saw oscillator and more! Unlike many other software synthesizers at the market, which can reproduce only limited family of sounds, Poison-202 is designed to be able to reproduce almost any classic synthesizer timbre! Check out the Presets Demo video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egQN1MRTjKs

The library of 420 built-in factory presets includes famous patches that can be heard in the compositions of such electronic and rave scene music performers as The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Azzido Da Bass, Darude, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and many others!

You can play it with your fingers on iPhone / iPad, or you can plug-in your favorite USB MIDI keyboard into your device using Apple's Lightning to USB Camera Adapter and turn Poison-202 into a real synthesizer module!

Features:

• Audio Unit Extension (AUv3) support
• Audiobus support
• Inter-App Audio support
• Virtual Midi support
• can work either as standalone synth app, or as plug-in inside Cubasis, Garage Band, AUM, ModStep and other hosts
• 2 oscillators, 5 waveforms: Saw, Pulse (with adjustable Pulse Width), Sine, Triangle and Super-Saw
• one Super Saw oscillator generates 7 individual saw oscillators at the same time, with adjustable Mix and Detune parameters, reproducing famous classic analog strings and hoover sounds
• additional sub oscillator + noise generator
• 2 TVF (time variant filter) modules with Cutoff, Resonance, Keyboard tracking and ADSR envelope, 12 dB/octave
• 2 TVA (time variant amplifier) modules with ADSR envelope
• It is possible to pair two 12 dB filters to get one 24 dB/oct filter
• Pitch envelope (Attack/Decay) for each oscillator
• Ring, Sync, PW, XFM oscillator modulation
• 2 LFO modulation sources with Frequency and Fade-In parameters
• LFO's and Delay tempo sync
• LFO cross-modulation
• 6 waveforms of LFO: Triangle, Sine, Saw, Square, Trapezoid and Random (S&H)
• 4 LFO modulation destinations: Pitch, Filter, Amplifier and PWM
• 3-band EQ for each patch
• Digital realtime effects: Distortion, Bit-Crusher, Chorus, Flanger, Delay, Panning Delay and Reverb with adjustable parameters
• Master brickwall Limiter (can be switched on/off)
• Two signal flow connection structures: Parallel and Series
• Portamento, Solo playing mode with Legato switch
• Pitch Wheel with adjustable pitch bend range
• Modulation Wheel with assignable controls
• Arpeggiator with 6 modes and 12 rhythm patterns with tempo and swing feel control
• Scale play mode when playing onscreen keyboard with over 40 different scales to select from
• Voice polyphony up to 24 (device dependent)
• Up to 300 user presets to store
• Import/Export user preset banks via iTunes File Sharing
• Scalable and movable onscreen keyboard with key velocity control and Hold button
• Show Oscillogram feature
• Midi Learn feature
• Arabic quarter-tone microtuning option

Minimum requirements:
• iPhone 4S and up
• iPad 2 and up

Poison-202 support page:
https://www.jimaudio.pro

more info
iVCS3
iVCS3

iVCS3

apeSoft

iVCS3
Official EMS VCS3 emulator

The VCS3 was created in 1969 by Peter Zinovieff's EMS company. The electronics were largely designed by David Cockerell and the machine's distinctive visual appearance was the work of electronic composer Tristram Cary. The VCS3 was more or less the first portable commercially available synthesizer—portable in the sense that the VCS 3 was housed entirely in a small, wooden case.
The VCS3 was quite popular among progressive rock bands and was used on recordings by The Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michel Jarre, Hawkwind, Brian Eno (with Roxy Music), King Crimson, The Who, Gong, and Pink Floyd, among many others. Well-known examples of its use are on The Who track "Won't Get Fooled Again" (as an external sound processor, in this case with Pete Townshend running the signal of a Lowrey Organ through the VCS3's filter and low frequency oscillators) on Who's Next. Pink Floyd's "On the Run" (from The Dark Side of the Moon) made use of its oscillators, filter and noise generator, as well as the sequencer. Their song Welcome to the Machine also used the VCS3. The bassy throb at the beginning of the recording formed the foundation of the song, with the other parts being recorded in response. The VCS3 was also a staple at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, and was a regular (and most frightening) sound generator for the Dr Who TV series. Many fo the monsters and atmoshere;s created for the show came directly from the VCS3.

Description

The VCS3 has three oscillators (in reality, the first 2 oscillators are normal oscillators and the 3rd an LFO or Low Frequency Oscillator), a noise generator, two input amplifiers, a ring modulator, a 18dB/octave (pre-1974) or 24dB/octave (after 1974) voltage controlled low pass filter (VCF), a trapezoid envelope generator, joy-stick controller, voltage controlled spring reverb unit and 2 stereo output amplifiers. Unlike most modular synthesizer systems which use cables to link components together, the VCS3 uses a distinctive patch board matrix into which pins are inserted in order to connect its components together.
Keyboards controller

DK1 keyboard controller

Although the VCS3 is often used for generating sound effects due to lack of built-in keyboard, there were external keyboard controllers for melodic play. The DK1 in 1969 was an early velocity sensitive monophonic keyboard for VCS3 with an extra VCO and VCA. Later it was extended for duophonic play, as DK2, in 1972. Also in 1972, Synthi AKS was released, and its digital sequencer with a touch-sensitive flat keyboard, KS sequencer, and its mechanical keyboard version, DKS, were also released.

(See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCS3)

more info
WaveGenerator
WaveGenerator

WaveGenerator

Wolfgang Palm

PPG WaveGenerator is the latest development from the inventor of wavetable synthesis, Wolfgang Palm. It is a next generation synthesizer, building on the heritage of the PPG Wave keyboards.

The PPG WaveGenerator comes with a multitude of wavetables. The sound material contains the typical sounds from the original PPG wave models, as well as many new sounds generated by versatile analysis tools and also hand edited waves.

This app enables the user, to create his own wavetables in a playful way, and to hear the result immediately. Also you can construct the waves by adding harmonics very precise.

Another way is to transform a picture into a wavetable. You can load photos from your album or even shoot a picture with the camera.

The waves are collected in a grid of 256 fields, to which the 3 oscillators of the synthesizer have arbitrary and independent access.

In a 3D display you get a visual impression on how the sound evolves. You can turn around the 3D object and zoom in and out,

The Parameters of the synthesizer are divided into modules, which allows easy, yet powerful editing.

It contains 3 oscillators with independent control of pitch and waveform. Each oscillator has its own glide, which gives a very dynamic sound.

With a sophisticated routing system, the diverse modulation sources can be connected to all important control points.

The keyboard is configurable totally freely, so you can setup all well-known musical scales, but also all imaginable custom scales that best fit into your music.

PPG WaveGenerator benefits all advantages of the iPad, like X/Y control after the key on event, or two finder gestures for spectrum control. After a key is hit, the tone may be modified and modulated in various ways, just by moving your finger.

A comfortable browser lets you sort the sound programs; you can categorize and rate them. Also complete custom sound banks may be created.

All significant parameters are controllable via MIDI.

There is a built in context specific help for all pages and modules.

Key Features:

• Creation of your own waves and wavetables.
• Playful sound creation simply by drawing or picking harmonics
• 3D page, visualization of the wavetables, transformation from photos into wavetables.
• 256 waves assembled within a wave grid
• 3 Audio Oscillators 
• 3 Noise generators, for audio and modulations
• Classic 24 dB Lowpass Filter, combined with an overdrive simulation.
• Dual amplifier, for versatile control of 2 audio signals as well as panning.
• 13 Envelopes, for independent control of pitch, waveform, filter, noise, gain and panning.
• 4 LFOs 
• Versatile Arpeggiator
• Delay/Reverb effect
• Audio engine with 2 synthesis modes, and variable wave blending quality.
• Directly accessible context help inside the app
• Use a camera, to shoot a picture and then transform it into a sound!
• Using state of the art technologies, but still the versatile and efficient synthesis system.
• Build your own keyboard, with the keys you prefer for your music.
▪ Audio Unit Extension (AU) with 2 pages.
▪ Inter-app audio (IAA) support - audio and MIDI.
▪ Audiobus 2 support.
▪ Export audio to AudioShare.
▪ 30 min audio recording and Audio copy.
• Audio Copy to the pasteboard
• File Sharing via iTunes

more info

Drum machines

Why hire a drummer when you can just plug in your iPad? These apps will get you tapping your toes and shaking your groove thing in no time.