Open Mic: What Are Your Favorite Music Apps For iOS?

Open Mic: This video captures Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess demoing his favorite music apps for iOS, including: Magellan, Tachyon, Cassini, Nlog, Cylon Voice, Garage Band, Geo Synthesizer, DrumJam, NanoStudio, SynthX, VoiceSynth, BitWiz, SpaceWiz, Animoog, iDensity, iKaossilator, PixiTracker, TC-11, MorphWiz and SampleWiz.

What are your favorite music apps for iOS?

82 thoughts on “Open Mic: What Are Your Favorite Music Apps For iOS?

  1. NLog and beatmaker 2. And also a bit of eq 10 for sampling. Also argon has always beEn a fav even before I got an iPad.

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  2. I like animoog, looking forward to messing around w Magellan. I use ableton to send midi to the iPad, so my hands are free to tweak stuff in animoog. Record a long clip, then chop out the good bits and use them to build a track.

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  3. Lemur all the way! Even on an iPhone I find ways to use it and make most every track sound better. My favorite template at the moment is an iPhone bastardization of EsoWave: it brings some serious magic to mundane soft synth patches.

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  4. Animoog no doubt is at the top!
    Also usable Soundprizm, ThumbJam, Genome, Kapture Pad, TouchAble, Lemur
    uh I’d love to have my own app some day – concept is ready

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  5. Alchemy for amazing presets, GarageBand nano studio and beatmaker2 for general track making, no one mentioned the new awesome Magellan ? Extraslice is by far the best glitcher on iOS and I’ll say DRUMJAM as its imminent and will be the best drum app for any device, and of course it’s older brother thumb jam is ingenious. As far as overall favourite goes, I’ll vote for GarageBand as despite it’s simplicity , it’s a great tool for making trax..sample wiz is proving to be a great sampler too..and jasuto pro is so damned good for wierd sonic excursions..last but not least mixtikl is a very deep app too..we are actually spoiled brats really !

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  6. Alchemy for amazing presets, GarageBand nano studio and beatmaker2 for general track making, no one mentioned the new awesome Magellan ? Extraslice is by far the best glitcher on iOS and I’ll say DRUMJAM as its imminent and will be the best drum app for any device, and of course it’s older brother thumb jam is ingenious. As far as overall favourite goes, I’ll vote for GarageBand as despite it’s simplicity , it’s a great tool for making trax..sample wiz is proving to be a great sampler too..and jasuto pro is so damned good for wierd sonic excursions..last but not least mixtikl is a very deep app too..we are actually spoiled brats really !

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  7. Mugician, GeoSynth, Cantor by Rob Fielding… simply the best note/pitch controllers for the ipad, and since GeoSynth has MIDI out you can control any other MIDI IOS apps with it. I don’t understand why so many IOS apps still use a virtual keyboard instead of this.

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  8. funkbox, sunrizer, littlemidi, rhythm sudio and animoog.

    oh, and NESynth in an 8 bit kinda way….

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  9. The Monkey Islands I guess. Oh right, “music”.

    Probably the Animoog, but to be honest I don’t even like it all that much. The multi-page UI is a bit too slow to work with and it doesn’t really impress with its sound either. All in all, the Ipad is great for surfing the web on the go, but otherwise I’m starting to get pretty sick of it.

    Looking forward to the Microsoft tablet and getting all my regular software to go with it.

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  10. Thank god synth head didn’t ask us what our favourite android music apps are lol! That nexus tablet is so YUK! Tried it and some music apps, just not the same thing

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  11. I use Beatmaker 2 as a mobile daw. For synths, Sunrizer is definitely my favorite followed by Animoog, Nlog, Magellan, Cassini and ims20. I’m sill waiting for the Sunrizer update though- there are a couple of annoying bugs in the current version. I also use Thumbjam a lot, on it’s own and using a little noisemaker as a pitch-to-midi source. I use Filtatron with little noisemakers like a Stylophone for some interesting results. I like dm1 for drums and little midi machine for sequencing. I just got Werkbench but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.

    For Midi control, i really like using Orphion and Geosynth to control laptop VST’s and hardware. Also very fun to with Thumbjam!

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  12. Using Sunrizer, iElectribe, bassline, beatmaker2, and samplewiz the most right now, but DeeJay and iMS20 are very inspiring as well.

    Also use Animoog, but haven’t really enjoyed it yet… don’t like the way presets are saved and auditioned. Also still wrapping my head around it’s possibilities… really wanted to love it, but the UI is a little cumbersome to me…

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  13. BeatMaker 2, Alchemy, NanoStudio, GarageBand, Animoog, Sunrizer, Magellan, ThumbJam, Soundprism, Stochastik, djay, and Filtatron. The iPad is my favorite piece of equipment in my studio. So many awesome apps for music that are almost as good and rival desktop soft synths, and even some pieces of hardware. BeatMaker 2 gets me similar results to an MPC, and in a mix iPad synth apps sound in place.

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  14. Animoog
    ikaossialator
    TC-11
    TNR-i
    Genome
    iMS-20
    In no particular order…. Those are my favorite iPad apps for music.

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  15. DM1 for drum sequencing
    Sunrizer for virtual analog
    Grain Science for granular
    Addictive Synth for additive
    TC-11 for the weird and wonderful
    and Mixtikl for generative music

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  16. CS grain
    DM1
    TC 11
    Noisemusik
    Animoog
    CP 1919
    Glitchbreaks
    Waveshaper
    Jasuto
    Microtones
    Extraslice
    The Droner

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  17. The person who mentioned triqtraq is a fool, that shit don’t even record and has poor samples, Sunrizer is ok but it’s UI is ugly now

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    1. i have to disagree, triqytrak is awesome. export would be nice, but do you know what a mixer is? they’re these amazing little things that you connect your iOS device to and record straight into your DAW with. also, importing samples into trqtrak is pretty easy, but if you need it there are lots of tutorials that can help

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      1. Bullshit! The developer just needs to add Sonoma and that’s it!, many use apps to generate material for other apps, why hook idevice up to a laptop? What can take just a few seconds ends up taking minutes! Lol, what if a person has the idevice but no laptop but wants to share with the world what he made? He can’t get the sound off the app
        There is no excuse for an app like triqtraq not having export
        Btw I have three mixers, a MacBook and iPad but you know what? I don’t want to bounce a sound from one device to a laptop then back again and I really should not have to you know? It’s just not my preferred method

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        1. Well when you put it that way, I can see now how you’re more or less being denied your basic civil rights. Lol, all I can say mr tough talker is that if you’re not utilizing a proper DAW anyway, you’re probably just making music for fun as a hobby and not too worried about making commercially viable tracks. Which is great, more power to you. But if you’re trying to publish your music in any way, it’s pretty hard to escape the fact that something like Ableton or Logic are far more powerful tools for getting that “industry standard” sound than anything currently available on iOS (though that’s changing by the day). There’s a few novelty releases from the Gorillaz and such that claim to be all iOS, but I bet even those are getting the PT treatment at some point. I’d love for you to prove me wrong and name check some of your iPad-only creations currently available on iTunes…but you won’t 🙂

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  18. TC-11 kills! i don’t think any other app takes advantage of the iOS interface nearly as well. a sound designers dream and it’s only a small subtractive synth but, with so much control over so many parameters it sounds like much more.

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    1. Thats for phone
      Ipad –
      Loopesque
      Ims20
      Figure
      Sunrizer
      Little midi machine – runs my dark energy
      Soundprism
      Rhythm studio
      Sunvox
      Thumbjam
      Stochastik
      S4 composer
      Ielectribe

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  19. Sunrizer at #1, too early to tell for Magellan, Sketch Synth FX as a recorder, MIDI Studio as a keyboard, Sketch Synth 3D as a sequencer

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  20. I get tired real fast with the tiny UI in the app realm. Do you all have tiny fingers??

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  21. Mine of course (I won’t shill, though)! Some apps that I’m digging right now are Cassini and Magellan, bs16i is a workhorse, and Genome is luring me towards sequencing on my iPad. I have yet to find a DAW that I’m comfortable with. VCVCBC is a great songwriting tool (a bit rough around the edges, but worth checking out if you write songs with chords and lyrics). Animoog is great, but I find that it’s often “too much,” with the default patches having more of a “listen to all the things I can do” feel than “this is a tone that works in a song” feel.

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  22. For “make whole tracks in me”:

    NanoStudio (love its synth and overall workflow), iMS-20 (yeah yeah), BeatMaker 2 (thouph i prefer NanoStudio, i spent time jamming in BM).

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  23. For “sound design”:

    Jasuto Pro (it’s like eurorack modular in your pocket! one of the greatest app ever!), TC-11 (very deep synth engine + AWESOME use of touch display’s and gyroscope’s possibilities to control anything!!!), SampleWiz (pretty useful)

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  24. For “groove”:

    Bleep!Box (very-very good groovebox-synth with flexible synth engine and some live perfomance things), GlitchBreaks (dblueglitchME lol), JR Hexatone (very complex drum machine u know), Molten,Stochastic, iElectribe (hello ER1MKII !!!) and TweakyBeat (little awesomeness)

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  25. For “real instruments”:

    ThumbJam!

    For “perfomance”:

    BeBot/MorphWiz, GeoSynth (i hate keyboards lol), TC-11 , NanoLoop, RicePad
    (i rly love RicePad for live improvisation and it’s more FUN than BeatMaker).
    Also WerkBench now

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  26. “Other”:

    Curtis (strange synthesis from strange agency), CP 1919, iGendyn, Monnix (nice noise synth), Radarhead 19, RISCy . TOPLAPapp and now SpaceWiz (several voices either melodic or drum-like and different effects and sequencing\control. )

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  27. Nice to see Sunrizer getting so much love! Does anyone else have a few bugs with switching banks? I’ve been waiting for the update to fix it for a while now.

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    1. Every now and then, Sunrizer loses the option to switch Preset banks when I’m trying to save a patch.

      I haven’t going a workaround other than restarting. Still a great synth though.

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      1. That’s what I’ve been doing too. I need to just organize all of the sounds I made into one bank instead of having them spread around as they are now!

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  28. iMS-20, iElectribe, Animoog, Filtatron, Bebot, Werkbench, CP1919, Phaedra, Electronic Piano Synthesizer, Figure, 76, Sunrizer, Molten.

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  29. Animoog
    Glitchbreaks
    DM1
    NodeBeat
    Grain Science
    iTabla Pro
    Loopy
    Filtatron
    many more
    All on iPhone
    Building MIDI controller to dock iPhone into for live stage!
    So Stoked

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  30. Well, obviously anything with polyphonic aftertouch: Animoog, SynthX, Magellan, Morphwiz, etc.. Extra credit if the app supports real unisons (SynthX really sold me on the value of true unisons.)

    Favorite DAWs/audio recorders: GarageBand, Multitrack DAW, studio.HD, Apple
    Workhorse Synths: NLog Pro (your analog friend, shares patches with AU/VST version), Sunrizer (supersaw!), DXi (4op FM), Addictive Synth (6 oscillators make everything great), iSyn Poly (decent backup VA)
    Up-and-coming stars: Magellan, Cassini
    Racks o’ Gear: Nanostudio, GarageBand, Rhythm Studio, Xenon
    Awesome virtual hardware: iMS-20, iElectribe, iKaossilator, Tenori-On, (maybe Fairlight too 😀 )
    Unjustly maligned favorites: SynthStation, ReBirth
    Neglected drum machines: Molten, DM1, GarageBand, FunkBox, ReBirth

    Yeah, I never expected the iPad to become such a favorite musical gadget, but it is – I even record other instruments (P’08, guitar, etc.) into it because it’s convenient and fun.

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    1. make that “Apple Voice Memos app” – I use that all the time to record things that are in my head!

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  31. Bitwiz – live coding that you don’t have to know programming to use.
    Sunvox – incredible modular studio.
    Jasuto pro- uniquing sounding modular playground, could be a classic if not for many bugs.
    TNR-i – advance mode and MIDI out!

    I like TC-11, but it until it can work with samples and fm I can’t love it.

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