If you’re looking for some fun distraction this holiday season then why not have a go at making some music, or at least mangling some sounds on your mobile device. Listed here are some of the best mobile apps for music making that have emerged in recent times – and fear not Android users for even you are catered for here!
With its huge range of features, Nanostudio from Blip Interactive has everything for the budding producer on the move. This iOS-based app allows you to easily build tracks with its four synths and drum machine/sampler, all of which can be easily played on your touchscreen using the app’s superb interface. The level of control on this app is amazing, every imaginable parameter can be easily edited and controlled – you can even easily move sound files from your PC or Mac via a wireless connection.
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There was a considerable burst of excitement when this app appeared a couple of months back – not surprising since its creators, namely Moog, are something of legend when it comes to analogue synthesisers. The Filtatron allows you to manipulate samples, including any you’ve recorded yourself by running them through a very accurate digital version of the Moog “ladder filter” which can be further manipulated with FX and an oscillator – or, to put it more simply, you can create some truly interesting and odd sounds with it and stay amused for hours.
So far Android, despite its popularity, has yet to produce much in the way of decent music production apps but music sequencer Uloops itself makes up for this in a big way. Not only does it offer a great range of synths, drum kits and FX it also, by virtue of its cloud based architecture, has a thriving community of producers and remixers – enough so to even have its own radio station.
Price: Free (Pro Version £5)
If you’ve got a Nintendo DS and fancy turning it into a synth then this could be for you. This wonderful piece of software turns your handheld gaming device into a dual screen music making tool complete with 4 analog synthesizer tracks and 8 dedicated drum tracks. You can also sync up to 8 units and perform as an ensemble – which I’m pretty sure would be a lot of fun and a good alternative to yet another game of Mario Kart.
Platform: Nintendo DS
Price: Around £25
Finally, something for those of you who are after something a little different – SoundPrism allows you to create lovely melodies, without any prior knowledge of music, by using its simple yet innovative touchscreen interface. Consisting of a set of rectangles arranged in a “harmonically useful” way the app feels almost instinctive to play, and due to this design its impossible to make it sound anything other than tunefully harmonious. The apps developers, Audanika have some great plans for it too – especially around using it as a controller for other digital instruments.