It seems like the days of hibernation in cold, dim-lit studios and bending over equipment while growing a beard in the process are over. You can now pack some of the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive music production and DJ hardware together with the latest and greatest in software on your iPhone or iPad. So whether you’re an upcoming musician or an established producer you can work from anywhere thanks to the innovation of the smart phone. So we took the liberty of putting together a list of iOS apps that would make your musical workflow more portable and on the fly.
Novation Launchpad (Free)
The Novation 8x8 pad remix station is now available as an app. Though it doesn’t offer ultimate control or the original layout, it’s great for arranging beats on the go and keeping your creative process fresh in your free time. It features several free sample packs and multiple others through in-app purchases to tinker away at some snippets in your spare time.
Traktor DJ ($1.99 for iPhone / $9.99 for iPad)
Traktor has been the industry standard software since the rise of the laptop DJ, the mobile app is equally genius. You can use it during set changeovers or even for an entire gig. The interface is stunning and complete with all the FX and features you’d find on the software.
The renowned AKAI workstation has received its virtual counterpart. It contains 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs and 80 sequences. So if you’re an AKAI user or would like to become one, this app is a good place to start.
The beloved Mac software is great for beginners getting into music production, the app features a variety of instruments and samples to immerse into the world of sound production. You can choose from an array of virtual drums, guitars and synthesizers. You record your work and even use it as an amp or a guitar effects pedal.
With Hardware used by anyone from Hot Chip to Daft Punk, the Lemur app helps bring its MIDI/OSC interface to your device complete with the widget-creating Canvas feature, sequencer and live control for your performances.
iMaschine 2 ($9.99)
The iMaschine 2 app allows you to make and arrange music like you normally would using their signature 16 colourful pads. It mimics the physical Maschine instrument layout we’re used to. You can turn recorded snippets into full tracks and assign them to one pad and use them to build entire compositions on the fly.
FL Studio ($14.99)
The renowned Fruity Loops workstation can now be installed on your iOS device. Complete with its own variety of synthesizers, sequencers, samples, and virtual instruments to choose from. It’s hardly a step down from the computer software - only reshaped and modified for portability.
Animoog ($2.99 for iPhone / $14.99 for iPad)
If you’re a Moog nerd, you’ll love this app. The company calls it “the first professional polyphonic synth iPad.” It features polyphonic pitch shifting, delay module, a timbre page, and Moog’s new anisotropic synth engine. The app is packed with features and is very practical, but is aimed more for the experienced Moog user. You can however find manuals for the app online.
KORG Gadget ($39.99)
The iconic KORG synthesizer brand brought 20 of their finest synths to touch interfaces with the Gadget app. It can also connect to several instruments from the brand for seamless syncing and workflow. It can be used as a stand alone production software and is also available in a lite version.