A list of iPad music composition apps that will help you unleash your creativity.
Composing music doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Whereas you might have had to spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on equipment and software in the past, this list of iPad apps lets you create music away from your computer, and for a fraction of the cost. Whether you’re an amateur taking your first steps into the world of music, or a seasoned pro, this list provides you with a range of resources you can use for work and play.
Composer – $7.99
Composer is one of the few composition apps available for the iPad that allows you to make music using a classical score. While it doesn’t exactly have shining reviews, it might be worth a try if you’re looking for a more traditional music composition app that doesn’t involve loops or synths. Using composer, you can create score-based music, then share the notation sheet and sound file via email. Using the full version of the app, you can create tracks with different tempos and time signatures, and add lyrics to songs.
Korg iElectribe – $19.99
The Korg iElectribe app is the iPad version of the Korg Electribe-R synthesizer. It doesn’t fall at the cheap end of the pricing scale, but provides all the features of an analogue synth in digital iPad-friendly form. The app’s interface is the same as that of a vintage analogue synthesizer, and the app has the same sound and sequencing capabilities as the Korg, including four synth and four percussion voices. With the ability to set a tempo of your choice, and eight available effects, you can create your own music with up to 64 sequencing steps per part. Share your tracks by registering for a SoundCloud account and exporting them directly from the app.
Looptastic HD – $14.99
With Looptastic HD, you can create your own remixes and electronic music. With a drag-and-drop interface, you can create tracks using the app’s simple interface, before using a DJ-style mixer to create remixes, and adding effects. The app comes with over 900 pre-programmed loops covering all major dance styles, including Trance, HipHop, Dubstep and Drum ‘n’ Bass. Once you’ve finished a track, you can export the file as a CD-ready audio file, or share it using a SoundCloud account.
miniSynth PRO – $9.99
Originally an iPhone app, miniSynth PRO has been transformed especially for the iPad. Like Korg iElectribe, the app provides users with a digital analogue synthesizer. With miniSynth PRO, however, you can switch between polyphonic and monophonic synthesizers. With a multitude of technical features that will serve both amateurs and professionals, you can export the finished product to iTunes.
Symphony Pro – $14.99
Symphony Pro is a music notation app that lets you create traditional score notation. With 114 instruments, including a drum kit, and a score that supports notation features like trills, arpeggios, and dynamics, you can create a professional-looking score straight from your iPad. The app’s user manual explains how to use the the array of features, and its replay feature allows you to hear your creation and make adjustments to your score as necessary. Print your score using AirPrint, share it by exporting the track to iTunes, or send the score via email.
Master Piano – $9.99
Master Piano is a multi-purpose app that improves your keyboard-playing skills through your iPad, while also letting you compose and record your own music. The app has a customizable 88-key interface that lets you change the size and layout of the keys so they are easier to play. The multi-touch support enables you to play chords and single notes, and you can use the built-in metronome to stay in time. As well as over 250 pre-loaded songs that you can learn to play, you can also create your own piano tracks, and insert features like tempo and dynamics.
iComposer – $8.99
iComposer is a simple music notation tool that enables you to create scores in a similar way to Composer and Symphony Pro. iComposer doesn’t have as many features as apps like Symphony Pro, however it does allow you to transcribe a score simply by humming into your iPad. Using iComposer, you can create a multi-track score and use different notation features such as clefs, time signatures, slurs and beams. If you finish your score, or want to work on it using different software, you can export your work from iComposer in musicXML format via email to use with desktop notation software.