Many musicians tend to spend a lot of time on the go. Whether it’s on their daily commute, in hotel rooms, on trains, planes, buses or even touring worldwide, there will be lots of times where access to their studios, hardware or software is unavailable. Luckily, in this case, it’s 2021 and the era of the smartphone/tablet is well and truly upon us. As technology has advanced over the years there are a number of new methods in which creatives can get their ideas down on the move in the form of apps. People have recorded entire tracks just using apps like the ones below – notably mentioning Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. track ‘Pride‘ was created using just a guitar and iPhone.
If you’re into programming beats, tweaking filters and generally exploring the world of electronic soundscapes we offer a number of courses in London, Los Angeles and Online in Music Production & Sound Engineering. Plus, we’re currently offering 25% off selected London, Online and LA courses until 31st May with the codes: LONDON25, ONLINE25 and LA25.
So, follow on below and check out our list of 7 Essential Free Apps for Making Music on The Go. They’re perfect for making quick loops, recording samples or just laying down elements and jamming over when you’re bored.
It goes without saying that GarageBand is an incredible app considering it’s free to download. The app comes with a well-stocked professional sound library as well as featuring the ability to record your own sounds on the go. It includes 32 track performance, a beat sequencer, a live loop DJ feature and more so it’s perfect for building beats wherever you are.
Novation’s Groovebox is an app which caters to both the beginner and more advanced music producer. It’s looping ability enables you to create quick tracks on the fly whilst the MIDI-based note input feature allows you to get creative whilst doing so. Groovebox doesn’t stop there, it’s also compatible with other apps via Ableton Link, Audiobus or Inter-App Audio.
Propellerhead’s Figure allows you to quickly lay down beats, synth, and bass with just a few simple swipes. The app also includes the option to collaborate with friends using Ableton link so when you’re finished tweaking rhythms and tempos you can build beats together.
The award-winning Bandlab will transform your phone or tablet into a studio with it’s 120 professionally created instruments, connect your own instruments feature, amplifier simulation, pocket recording, and more. The free software also allows you to access your tracks on desktop so once you’ve laid down your on-the-move ideas you can revisit them on a larger scale.
If you’re stuck for chord ideas, Suggester is a handy app which will help you develop existing progressions as well as create brand new ones. To use the app all you need to do is simply tap a chord to see how it sounds and build a sequence which can be played in succession. Suggester features an extensive number of scale types and chromatic harmony devices which will ensure you can create some interesting sounds.
The Chainsmokers endorsed Beat Maker Go is the “ultimate drum pad controller“. It’s packed with 32 different pads and over 90 sound packs so there is lots to play around with and get inspired by. The app regularly has artist sound packs available which include stems from some of their biggest hits. In addition to all this, the beat-making app doubles up as a game app with unlockable challenges and interactive learning modes.
The n-Track Studio DAW 9 app works using either the devices built-in mic or an external sound card to record sounds and layer them with melodies using the app’s internal keyboard and instruments. The free version includes up to 11 tracks with the in-app purchases option turning this to virtually unlimited along with a number of bonus effects.
Although this post is focussed on the great apps you can make music with for free, there are a number of affordable creative apps which are worth every penny. Below find our honourable mentions which can be downloaded from the App Store.
If you’re new to music production and enjoyed using any of the apps mentioned above, why not take our Intro to Music Production course? You’ll be able to use many of the tools demonstrated above on a deeper level with the help of our professionally trained tutors. If you’re on the more advanced side of the spectrum we offer a number of different courses in Music Production & Sound Engineering, DJing, Radio Broadcasting, Music Industry and more.
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