Nothing can replace the true feel of an instrument, but sometimes we find ourselves in a place where there aren’t any guitars, drums, synthesizers, or even a piano to play.
There are many best iPhone apps available which could be great for a musician that’s on-the-go. They can be used to compose, tune, play, and even keep your calendar so you’ll never be late to a gig or miss an audition. So which ones are better than the rest? Not all of these iPhone music apps are free, so are you willing to spend up to $20? Even the ones for 99 cents can add up when you keep downloading and not thinking of how many you’ve already bought.
We’ve found some best iPhone apps that would work well for those with a love for playing music.
1. PocketGuitar by Shinya Kasatani
The PocketGuitar app gives you the option to hear sounds from six different popular stringed instruments. Acoustic-electric guitar, classical guitar, electric guitar, muted guitar, ukulele and bass.
This version features bug fixes. Now you can release the strings when lifting your finger and options to save have been improved.
2. Drum Kit Lite by CrimsonJet, Inc.
Drum Kit Lite gives you the feeling of playing real drums. This is about as close as you’ll get with an iTune app. Good for beginners and experienced drummers alike.
- six piece kit (4 times, snare, bass, hi-hat, crash, ride, splash)
- visual feedback as you tap the drum head
- play multiple drums simultaneously
- add beats or fills as you play along with existing music.
3. Cleartune – Chromatic Tuner by bitcount
Cleartune is great for tuning your stringed instruments along with brass, woodwinds, tympani and other instrument that can sustain a tone.
the uniquie note wheel interfaces allows you to quickly find the desired pitch, pairing with a highly responsive fine-tuning meter for the perfect tune.
- Note wheel display
- Needle Damping option
- Precise to 1/100 semitone — check symbol used on itune store description
- Temperaments and notations are selectable and user defined
- Adjustable A4 calbration in 0.1Hz increments
- Choice of automatic or manual note selection
4. Thereminator by Yonac
Thereminator is great to record sci-fi or spacey type sounds.
- Optional note/ frequency and volume grids
- Touch-tracking lines
- Increased size of playing area
- Replaced triple-tapping/ two-finger tapping zoom feature with dedicated zoom in/ out buttons
- Improvements to user interface
5. Ellatron by omenie
Ellatron is a synthesizer inspired by the Mellotron.
- 27 voices
- 16 banks of programmable chord buttons
- Fat keys for improved playability
- Save/restore voice settings
6. Bebot – Robot Synth by Normalware
Bebot is a polyphonic musical synthesizer with a unique multitouch control method. You’ll find four synthesizer modes are available with analog-sounding filters, a delay/ looping effect and overdrive distortion. Bebot also gives you the opportunity to play along with your iPhone/ iPod touch music.
- An improved overdrive effect gives you pre-mixer mode for cleaner and more ersatile distortion effects
- Presets for loading and saving
- New chorus effect adds depth to your sounds
- Quick access to on-screen hotkeys giving you more control and better playability
7. Finger Beat by The Elionze Group
This is a cool app if you’re looking to create new rhythms. Finger Beat was inspired by retro synthesizers and samplers You are able to record external sounds using the built-in microphone or load existing ones from the library.
- Low latency pads
- x8 pads/channels with volume, balance mixer and mute functions
- x6 pattern blocks per kit
- x6 themed skins plus user photos option using iPhone camera or gallery
- 16bit 44Khz sampler using an internal microphone
- Ability to use microphone with external speaker source
8. Tempo by Frozen Ape
Tempo is the best-selling metronome on the app store. It provides accuracy and stability for only 99 cents!
- Landscape or Portrait orientations
- 17 Different time signatures,including compound and complex meters
- 6 rhythm patterns for simple meters and 3 for compound
- Customizable accents to create complex rhythms
- Tap tempo function
- Tempo ranges from 20-250
- Setlist for storing presets
9. BeatMaker by Intua
- 16 sample-based trigger pads, with multi-touch support (up to 5 pads at once)
- Low latency playback and sample-accurate audio engine
- Live pattern recording and arranging
- Audio recording from microphone or headset (iPhone and iPod Touch 2nd gen only)
- Step sequencer with different resolutions for easy and precise pattern creation
- Change the volume, pan, groove and pitch of each steps to compose rich melodies and beats
- Multi track song sequencer: manage easily your patterns into complete songs
- Create unlimited number of patterns of different sizes (one to four bar)
- Export your songs to Audio file (WAV) and MIDI score and share them with your friends
- Original sound library provided with multiple genres: BreakBeat, Drum & Bass, Dub, Electronica, Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Rock
10. Randgrid Synthesizer and Drum Machine by Retrolink HB
This app provides a real synthesizer and drum machine. The latest version 1.0.5 released on July 18th, has improved many imperfections from the past. It’s been tested on 3.0 and now works like a charm. Rangrid synthesizer and drum machine has a great user interface making it easy to create some really cool techno beats. You can even find some video tutorials on their website http://randgrid.com/.
- 2x dual oscillator subtractive synthesizers
- 14x sampled drums
- Distortion and stereo delay effects
- Solo/ mute groups
- Multiple patterns
- File manager
- Pattern randomizer
- Parameter locks
11. GigBaby Free! by ioMetics, LLC
GigBaby Free is a great app for songwriting. The free version allows you to up to four setlists while the paid version has up to 42. The track to track synchronization issues have been resolved in this latest version. The recording device could use a little improvement, but considering you can have something so complex in your pocket, it’s not too bad.
- Record and layer multiple audio tracks
- Monitor and mix tracks
- Metronome includes a feature to set tempo by feel
- Adjust tempo with calibrated slider bar
- Volume adjustment for beat pattern
- Manage multiple songs with setlist
12. iSequence by BeepStreet
The iSequence is designed to compose and play music in a production environment. Though there is always room for improvements, it’s a great app for those inspiring DJs.
- 55 professional instruments such as synths, drum kits, leads, pads, basses, classical instruments
- Full featured mixer and effect bus
- Pattern sequencer covers 4 tracks, 3 octaves and up to 99 patterns
- Easy pattern editing
- Low latency audio engine
- Save and load compositions
13. Stay In Tune – Chromatic tuner by Sonzea
Stay in Tune is a great app for the musican. While many of us tune by ear when composing or playing, you can see precise readings and add to built in notes.
- Fine tuning for instruments
- Large easy to read display
14. Piano Sharp by Rambax
Music composition has been made easier with Piano Sharp. The latest version has improved the user interface and fixed known bugs. You now have the ability to play all or selected tracks of imported MIDI files.
- Record songs in MIDI format
- Pre-record up to three parts of song separately
- Adjustable velocity and tempo
- 5 octaves of high quality sampled piano sounds
- Export recorded songs
- Scroll keyboard
- Adjustable keyboard size
- Demo songs included in application
15. Guitar: Play and Share by Frontier Design Group
Guitar is an acoustic guitar app which allows you to learn and play songs. The latest version includes export recording to audio track, backtracking tracks, some bug fixes and AirPlay filter improvements
- 4 acoustic guitar sounds including 12-string
- Adjustable tuning to match recordings
- Reverb effect
- Slide finger between buttons for fast chord transitions
- Shortcuts for fast song editing
- Play along recordings
16. Noise.io Pro Synth by Amidio, Inc.
One of the most powerful synth apps available. The great user interface was created with maximum usability.
- Hybrid FM/ subtractive sound synthesis
- Innovative FM slider matrix
- ESFM sound engine
- 15 Waveforms
- 4 operators with ADSR
- 120 factory presets
- Custom sequencer
17. Ocarina by Smule
Practice makes perfect and you too can play beautiful music with the Ocarina iPhone and iPod touch app. In the most recent update, Smule developers have included a touch mode which allows iPod touch users to play strictly with their hands. iPhone users blow into the mic, then press the holes to change the pitch.
So whether you are a musician or simply an enthusiast of music, you can enhance your performance (or just have some fun) with any of these musical best iPhone apps.