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Top iApps for music production

I made this 100 and + list while preparing my YouTube video about the top 40 apps for iPad Music production of 2019. It was really hard to limit to only 40 so I listed here the entire list of iapps for music production that I prefer. I separated them in categories : 

  • DAW
  • BEATMAKER
  • DRUM MACHINE
  • SYNTH
  • EFFECTS
  • UTILITIES

Hope you enjoy it!

DAW : Digital Work Station

In this category I put apps that can do the entire music production work. From the creation to the final mix. It doesn’t mean that you will do all the production steps in this one app. They often offer the option of supporting There are good chances that you will use deferent apps at different step of your production to suit your personnal style and habits.

#1 – Gadget from Korg

  • Great choice of synths and drum machines
  • Great sequencer
  • Works great with Gadget for MAC/Windows

#2 – Auria Pro from WaveMechanics Lab

  • Best alternative to ProTools for the iPad
  • Great for mixing and mastering
  • Supports AU format

#3 – ZenBeats from Roland

  • Simple and quick
  • Includes a powerful synth and great drum sounds
  • Supports AU format
  • Works great with ZenBeats for MAC/Windows

#4 – NanoStudio 2 from Blip Interactive

  • Simple and quick
  • Includes a powerful synth
  • Supports AU format
  • Works great with NanoStudio 2 for MAC/Windows

#5 – BeatMaker 3 from INTUA

  • Simple and quick
  • Includes a powerful synth
  • Supports AU format

#6 – Cubasis 2 from Steinberg

  • A mobile version of Cubase (the new Cubasis 3 came out late December 2019)
  • Works great with Cubase for MAC/Windows
  • Nice addons ( drum machine, WAVES plugins and +)
  • Supports AU format

#7 – GarageBand from Apple

  • The included DAW from Apple
  • Works great with Logic for MAC
  • Supports AU format

BEATMAKERS :

In this category you will find iapps that are offering a closed environment for creating songs. They are offering a limited amount of the sound generators that covers usually a drum machine and a couple of synths. 

#8 – iMS-20 from Korg

  • Recreation of the MS-20
  • Includes 1 MS-20 synth with its sequencer
  • Includes 7 MS-20 synths for drums and its sequencer

#9 – iPolySix from Korg

  • Recreation of the iPolySix
  • Includes 1 PolySix synth with its sequencer
  • Includes 7 PolySix synths for drums and its sequencer

#10 – Electribe Wave from Korg

  • Electribe style groove box
  • Includes sample based drums and wavetable synths

#11 – EGOIST from Sugar Bytes

  • Great sample slicer
  • Includes a drum, an acid synth and an effects sequencer

#12 – EFFECTRIX from Sugar Bytes

  • Effect sequencer 
  • Great to inject life in a loop sample

#13 – GROOVERIDER GR-16 from JimAudio

  • Groovebox in the style of the electribe
  • Great sounds, great synth engine

#14 – LOOPER L7 from Coda Labs and AudioKit

  • Audio Looper
  • Inspired by Boss LoopStations

#15 – BLEASS Groove Box from BLEASS

  • Minimal looking Groovebox 
  • Free and Pro version
  • Simple and quick
  • Multiple sounds (instruments on the same track)

#16 – BLOCKS WAVE from Ampify (Novation)

  • Great sample sequencer 
  • Free and Pro version
  • Simple and quick

#17 – REASON COMPACT from Reason Studio

  • Free and Pro version
  • Simple and quick
  • Great integration with REASON for MAC/Windows

#18 – XENON from ice Gear

  • Great sounds
  • Simple and quick

#19 – LAYR from Living Memory Software

  • Great sample sequencer 
  • Free and Pro version
  • Simple and quick

#20 – Noise from Rolly

  • Great sample sequencer 
  • Free and Pro version
  • Simple and quick

#21 – PURE ACID from JimAudio

  • Great TB acid sound
  • Great sequencer 
  • Good TR sounds

DRUM MACHINES :

This category is grouping together iapps dedicated to Drum Machines. It could using samples, a synth engine to create the drum sounds or a combination of the two. These apps also have a sequencer dedicated to drum. 

#22 – SeekBeats from Rodrigo Yanez

  • Great synth drum engine
  • Cool random sound generator
  • Performanced focus drum synth state snapshot. 

#23 – DM1 from FingerLab

  • Sampled drum sounds
  • Great Sequencer
  • Simple and quick to structure songs 

#24 – DM2 from Audionomy

  • Great synth drum sounds engine programmed in Pure Data
  • Great Sequencer
  • Simple and quick to structure songs 

#25 – Elastics Drums from MoMinstruments

  • Great Drum synth Engine
  • Complex sequencer
  • Great effects
  • Great presets

#26 – iElectribe from Korg

  • Recreation of the Electribe (red)
  • Great sequencer with motion record
  • Simple and quick

#27 – Fractal Bits from Alexander Zolotov

  • Fractal algorithm sound generator 
  • Great for noisy percussions
  • Does not have a sequencer. 

#28 – Ruismaker from Bram Bos

  • Great synth drum engine (TR-inspired)
  • Great sequencer
  • Separate memory management for drum kits and patterns

#29 – Ruismaker Noir from Bram Bos

  • Great synth drum VA engine 
  • Very analog sounding
  • Separate memory management for drum kits and patterns

#30 – Paterning 2 from Olympia Noise Co

  • Unique sequencer
  • Sparks new ideas

Synthesizers :

This is my biggest category! Of course I’m a synth guy. You can find in this list the synth I have on my iPad. They are covering a wide style of synthesis and design approach. Bottom line, they sound great!

VA-Virtual Analog Synthesizers

#31 – iMono/Poly from Korg

  • Great recreation of the classic Mono/Poly from Korg
  • AU compatible

#32 – Odyssei from Korg

  • Great recreation of the classic Odyssey from ARP
  • AU compatible

#33 – Model D from MOOG

  • Great recreation of the classic MiniMoog Model D from MOOG
  • AU compatible

#34 – iMini from Arturia

  • Great recreation of the classic MiniMoog Model D from MOOG
  • Compatible with TableTop

#35 – iSEM from Arturia

  • Great recreation of the classic SEM from Oberheim
  • Compatible with TableTop

#36 – DRC from Imaginando

  • Great Virtual analog sound
  • Minimal UI
  • Can easily transfer sounds from the iOS to android to desktop version

#37 – Cassini from Ice Gear

  • Complex and complete synth
  • Great arpeggiator

#38 – SynthOne from AudioKit

  • Great sound 
  • Great arpeggiator
  • Free!

#39 – Poison 202 from JimAudio

  • Sounds like a Roland JP-8000
  • Great with X-mod and Ring mod and sync sounds

#40 – Zeeon from BeepStreet

  • Great TB sound and cool overall analog round sound
  • Great arpeggiator/ Step Sequencer

#41 – Kauldron from Yonac

  • Inspired by MiniMoog from MOOG
  • Nice round sound
  • Great random “spawn” sound design feature

#42 – Thor from Reason Studio

  • Mobile version of Reason’s Thor synth
  • Great multi synthesis engine
  • Semi-modular

#43 – Phase 84 from Retronym

  • Phase distortion synthesis
  • Great step sequencer 

#44 – Shockwave from Numerical Audio

  • Phase distortion synthesis
  • Unique design 
  • Cool sound

    #45 – Cyclop from Sugar Bytes 

    • Digital synthesis
    • Massive modulation possibilities 

    #46 – Aparillo from Sugar Bytes 

    • Digital synthesis
    • Very cinematic sounding
    • Unique motion control design 

    #47 – SpaceCraft from 

    • Granular synthesis
    • Convert samples into cinematic landscapes

    #48 – Nave from Waldorf

    • WaveTable synthesis
    • Convert samples into WaveTable

    #49 – Scythe Synth from 

    • WaveTable synthesis
    • Convert samples into WaveTable

    #50 – Lagrange Synth from 

    • FM Physical Modeling and + synthesis
    • Very complete OSC section

    #51 – Pure Synth from Gospel Musician

    • Great ROMPLER
    • 4 layer digital synthesis engine (Roland JV Style)

    #52 – Digital D1 from AudioKit

    • Great ROMPLER/ VA / LA inspired synthesis
    • Great arpeggiator/Step Sequencer 

    #53 – Syntronik from IK Multimedia

    • Great ROMPLER
    • Samples from many great classics

    #54 – FM Player from AudioKit

    • Great ROMPLER of FM sounds
    • Great arpeggiator/Step Sequencer

    #55 – SampleTank from IK Multimedia

    • Great ROMPLER
    • Samples from many great classics 

    #56 – AniMoog from MOOG

    • Unique synthesis engine
    • Great motion control
    • Great sound

    #57 – Model 15 from MOOG

    • Modular VA synthesis engine
    • Great arpeggiator/step sequencer
    • Great sound

    #58 – RippleMaker from BramBos

    • Modular VA synthesis engine
    • Great arpeggiator/step sequencer
    • Great sound

    #59 – miRack from 

    • Modular synthesis
    • Great for starting in modular
    • Unlimited possibilities

     EFFECTS :

    In this category you can find iapps dedicated to effects. Most of them are Audio Unit compatible (AU) and some are standalone effect processor.

    #60 – FinalTouch from Positive Grid 

    • Dedicated to mastering
    • Standalone solution

    #61 – Grand Finale from KlevGrand 

    • Dedicated to mastering
    • Standalone solution

    #62 – AudioMasterPro from Future Moments 

    • Dedicated to mastering
    • Standalone solution

    #63 – Bleass Filter

    • Cool analog sounding filter
    • Au compatible

    #64 – Bleass SideKick

    • Great SideChain pumping compressor
    • Kick generator
    • Au compatible

    #65 – Bleass Reverb

    • Great reverb
    • Minimal UI
    • Au compatible

    #66 – BlackHole from Eventide

    • Great twisted reverb
    • Au compatible

    #67 – MangledVerb from Eventide

    • Great twisted reverb with distortion
    • Au compatible

    #68 – MicroPitch from Eventide

    • Great twisted pitch processor
    • Au compatible

    #69 – UltraTap from Eventide

    • Great 4 delays effect processor 
    • Au compatible

    #70 – Rotary from Eventide

    • Great rotary speaker effect (leslie)
    • Au compatible

    #71 – Qvox from Eventide

    • Great 4 pitchshifter processor
    • Au compatible

    #72 – Wider Touch from infected Mushroom and Polyverse

    • FREE Widener without phase cancellation plugin effects
    • Au compatible

    #73 – #79 – Pro Bundle from FabFilter

    • FabFilter Pro-R, Pro-Q 3, Pro-MB, Pro-C2, Pro-G, Pro-L2, Pro-DS
    • Au compatible

    #80 – Turnado from SugaBytes

    • Great audio mangler 
    • Multiple effects controlled in real time
    • Standalone

    #81 – WOW from SugaBytes

    • Great audio mangler 
    • Multiple effects controlled in real time
    • Standalone

    #82 – Filtatron from MOOG

    • MOOGERFOOGER 
    • Great analog sound
    • Standalone

    #83 – Replicant from Audio Damage

    • Great buffer an stutter effect
    • Standalone

    UTILITIES :

    This category is grouping together iapps that are great to have but do not directly fall into the music production activities.  

    #84 – Fugue Machine

    • Nice way to create interlaced melodies and riff
    • AU compatible

    #85 – OSCILAB

    • Creative way to invent riffs and melodies
    • Standalone solution

    #86 – SOUNDPRISM from Audinaka

    • Cool controller and simple synth
    • Standalone solution

    #87 – AUDIOBUS

    • Link audio apps between them

    #87 – AUDIOSHARE from Kymatica

    • Audio editor
    • File management

    #88 – TouchOSC from Hexler

    • An environment to create controls for OSC compatible apps
    • Load or create your own layout and control messages

    #89 – Lemur from Liine

    • An environment to create controls for any apps or MIDI hardware
    • Load or create your own layout and control messages

    #88 – Hey Metronome from AudioKit

    • Voice activated Metronome
    • Wide list of metronome sounds, even drum sounds.

    #89 – Auditor from Living Memory Soft

    • Audio Editor
    • Standalone solution

    #90 – AudioTools from Studio six Digital

    • The best iOS app dedicated to measuring audio 
    • Includes RTA, SPL and lots more
    • Great for room calibration

    #90 – AudioTools from Studio six Digital

    • The best iOS app dedicated to measuring audio 
    • Includes RTA, SPL and lots more
    • Great for room calibration

    #91 – KRK AudioTools

    • Free RTA 
    • Great for room calibration

    #92 – MIDIMUX from AppBC

    • Stream MIDI between the iPad and Mac using a USB cable 
    • Great for integrating the iPad into a desktop centric studio

    #93 – STUDIOMUX from AppBC

    • Stream audio and MIDI between the iPad and Mac using a USB cable 
    • Great for integrating the iPad into a desktop centric studio

    #94 – Touchable from AppBC

    • A great app that offers an interface to control Ableton Live
    • Great for integrating the iPad into a desktop centric studio

    #95 – SonarWorks Tru Fi from SonarWorks

    • Offers flat reference sound when using listed headphones
    • Great to double check your mix

    #96 – Sync Kontrol from Korg

    • Turns you iOS device into a Korg Volca CV master clock
    • Sync to Ableton Sync

    #97 – Tune T1 from AudioTools

    • Simple and very graphic tuner
    • Standalone solution

    #98 – AUM from Kymatica

    • Great to mix and combine multiple synth/ sources in real time
    • Great for live performance

    #99 – Recordea

    • Voice to MIDI converter
    • Easy to create a MIDI track for just singing it

    #100 – AutoChords

    • Chords progression app
    • Get ideas about new chords progression for your songs