Best Music Production Apps For iPad

11 Best Music Production Apps For iPad [& iPhone] 2022

Last Updated on January 4, 2022

Maybe you want to be able to make music on the go.

Or maybe you want to sketch out musical ideas as they come to you (capture your ideas before you lose them – good plan!).

Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that the iPad is a convenient, portable device you can take anywhere and make music with, without the need of large, expensive studio gear.

For full on professional music production, we still recommend a desktop computer, or at least a laptop, but that isn’t to say there isn’t some great mobile recording technology, and as you’re surely aware, a lot of electronic music production is done “inside the box” these days.

In this guide, we look at the best music production apps for iPad. Many of them work on iPhone as well.

Blocs Wave by Amplify Music

Blocs Wave by Amplify Music

The highly rated Blocs Wave was created by Amplify Music, and it’s a free music production app with in-app purchases (freemium).

This is an easy-to-use app that promises to have you up and running and making music in mere minutes.

You can take advantage of the built-in Amplify sounds or even import your own, putting the art of beat making right at your fingertips. You can even record your own sounds!

Combining different sounds allows you to test your skills at a variety of musical styles and genres, and you can even tweak them using touchable waveforms.

Amplify Music worked with producers from around the globe in providing an exclusive collection of sounds spanning different styles and genres. Smart!

Blocs Wave gives you access to a looper studio, six sound packs with almost 300 loops (updated weekly), sections, tweakable waveforms, the ability to sync with other apps, export to Ableton Live, and connect your projects to Launchpad for iOS.

Pro features include the ability to slice and rearrange sounds, 48 loop pads with real-time stretching, import, and EQ (basically, if you want to do any kind of importing, you will need to upgrade to Pro).

If Blocs Wave interests you, you might also want to check out Amplify Sound’s other apps, Groovebox, and Launchpad as well, as they are quite complementary.

Download: App Store

GarageBand by Apple

GarageBand by Apple

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that one of the best and most popular beginner-friendly music production apps for the iOS is already on your device (and if not, it can be downloaded entirely for free).

Plus, it’s easy to take for granted that this is an iOS exclusive. There are no GarageBand alternatives for Windows that are exactly like GarageBand, even if they are competent in their own way.

If you’ve already graduated from layering samples and loops and have taken your music production and beat making to the next level, there may be other apps that would serve you better. But overall, GarageBand is still quite capable, especially with recent updates.

Now, you might still be asking yourself how it works for the iPad.

And what it does is turn your device into a fully-fledged recording studio with a library of touch instruments. You can still record real instruments like guitar and bass too.

The iPad (and iPhone) app supports up to 32 tracks, and you can even use the Sound Library to download more free instruments, sound packs, and loops (created by some of the leading music producers from all over the world).

Live Loops lets you make music like a DJ. The multi-touch keyboard lets you play a variety of musical instruments. And there are just so many other features that make this a cool and fun music production app.

If you’re planning to make music on the iPad, GarageBand is still a solid choice.

Download: App Store

Minimoog Model D Synthesizer by Moog Music Inc.

Minimoog Model D Synthesizer by Moog Music Inc.

If you’ve been in music production exploring synths for any length of time, the legendary Minimoog hardly needs an introduction.

The Minimoog offers a powerful, versatile, huge sound, perfectly suited to bass lines, lead lines, and just about everything in between (depending on the desired result).

The Moog was always a favorite with one of my bandmates, and I must admit, it perfectly complemented a variety of musical styles.

Imagine having the Model D in your pocket or your backpack. Well, that’s basically the idea with this app. Once installed on your iOS devices, it’s the even more portable version of the world’s first portable synth.

Even purists will be happy to know the sounds coming through this app were based on the original analog circuit designs. The good people at Moog Music Inc. call it a “transmutation” of the Model D.

And having listened to it myself, I’ve got to say it sounds awesome.

The app comes with over 160 presets, but of course you can still control the sounds using the famous controls, including the oscillators, modifiers, and mixer.

The app comes with certain advantages the original hardware synth didn’t come with as well – four-note polyphony, arpeggiator, real-time looping recorder (with unlimited overdubbing), ping pong delay (with tempo sync), and the Bender wide-range stereo time modulation.

You also get selectable enveloper shapes and triggering behavior, MIDI CC mapping, and the ability to share presets and recordings with your friends.

The Model D set the standard for all keyboards that followed, and to this day, it’s still one of the most inspiring instruments available.

Fun to play with, and endless exploration at your fingertips, the Minimoog Model D Synthesizer app is available for $14.99.

Moog Music Inc. also has a few other music related apps that are worth checking out on the App Store.

Download: App Store

iSpark by Arturia

iSpark by Arturia

Arturia calls iSpark “mobile beat artillery.” It puts beat making right at your fingertips with a large selection of drum kits based on legendary drum machines.

With iSpark, you can play patterns in real time and change your sound as you go. Its layout makes it easy to tweak on the fly. It even comes with a 64-step sequencer.

iSpark utilizes what Arturia calls “TAE technology,” combining a modular engine, physical modeling, and multi-layered samples. It also comes with various sound effects and synth textures for those who want to add some nice atmospheric layers to their beats.

iSpark is compatible with Spark 2, as well as the SparkLE controller, for those who want to be able to control the app via dedicated hardware (it could make the process of making beats easier).

Included in this app are 640 instruments, 40 kits (classic drum machines, electronic kits, acoustic kits), shuffle and shift modes (to add some humanness to the grooves), choke groups, and song mode with 16 segments, master effects (repeat, tape, reverse, strobe, pan, mix, bit crusher, filter, and roller).

You also get a 16-track mixer with effects like multiband compressor, multiband EQ, bit crusher, chorus, reverb, plate reverb, delay, distortion, phaser, flanger, space pan, limiter, and sub generator.

Additionally, it comes with real-time automation on all parameters, AudioBus and Inter-App Audio compatibility, Ableton Link integration, Korg Wist integration, and you can even share projects, kits, and instruments between iSpark and Spark 2 (for desktop).

Overall, iSpark is attractive, intuitive, and powerful. A great tool for making beats, even if this is all you have.

iSpark is available on the App Store for $19.99.

Download: App Store

Roland Zenbeats by Roland Corporation

Roland Zenbeats by Roland Corporation

Roland is a major player in the music space, and when they come out with a music creation app like Zenbeats, they have our full attention.

Overall, Zenbeats is quite promising. As with some of the other apps mentioned in this guide, you can get it for free, but you can bet that they’re going to get you hooked and come at you with in-app purchase opportunities too.

Roland promises to make the process of creating music easy with Zenbeats, which allows you to make your own beats, take lessons, and even sample your own sounds. Plus, Zenbeats is compatible with most platforms and devices.

Roland’s ZC1 synthesizer is available as a free instrument in Zenbeats, and it comes with 60 presets and a touch-based interface. Zenbeats also connects to VERSELAB to enhance the production process.

Additionally, Zenbeats integrates with cloud-based storage like Google Drive and OneDrive, which means you can pick up your project right where you left off, regardless of what device you’re building it out on.

With a slick design and built-in controllers, instruments, and effects, Zenbeats is powerful, versatile, and wants desperately to be your one-stop-shop for music creation (since it’s compatible with a variety of devices and platorms). It seems innocuous enough, but it is kind of asking for your commitment upfront.

The downside? Well, Zenbeats Ultimate can cost quite a bit of money. Some users found it crashed a lot. And apparently, it’s still a little lacking in terms of mixing and mastering tools. If Roland continues to support it and develop it, though, our guess is that it will make strides in this area.

Download: App Store

Propellerhead Figure – Make Music & Beats by Reason Studios AB

Propellerhead Figure – Make Music & Beats by Reason Studios AB

If you’ve been in the beat making or electronic music world for any amount of time, surely, you’ve heard of Reason.

From the same developer comes this app, the App Store Hall of Fame Inductee and Editor’s Choice / App of the Week (in many countries), Propellerhead Figure (or just Figure, as the case might be).

Figure promises to be an app with which you can make great sounding music (beats) in just seconds.

With an intuitive and easy to use interface, Figure is perfect for beginners, but with enough features to keep you hooked for hours at a time.

Sliding your finger across the play pad lets you record and tweak drumbeats, melodies, and bass lines.

Figure lets you play in a variety of keys and modes, transform chords into melodies (arpeggiator), swing, pump, save, browse, and load song files, and change loop length (one, two, four, and eight bars). It also comes with Reason’s Thor synthesizer, Reason’s Kong drum machine, and more.

To get a better sense of how the apps works, check out some videos on YouTube, or simply try it out for yourself. It has a unique and fun interface, and once you get used to it, you can do quite a bit with it. Works with both iPad and iPhone.

Download: App Store

KORG iKaossilator by KORG INC.

As with Roland, KORG is a bit of a known brand in the music business. And their iKaossilator app is colorful and unique, instantly evoking images of a dance club or disco in your mind. That association, of course, seems like an intentional design choice too.

The highly rated iPhone app is controlled via a unique but intuitive X-Y pad. This gives you expressive control over what you’re creating.

What you get, in effect, is a palm sized KAOSSILATOR synth, and that’s quite exciting all on its own.

The iKaossilator lets you play sounds by stroking, tapping, or rubbing the screen (accompanied by colorful onscreen effects). You get 150 built-in sounds, scale / key settings, loop sequencer, real-time loop control (DJ style performances), audio export, SoundCloud connectivity (for sharing your beats), WIST capability (for wireless sync with other music apps), audio loop import, operation with Kaossilator 2, and other great features.

Most users loved the interface and had a lot of fun with it. Some wish they had a little more control over the notes being played, though, and depending on what you’re trying to achieve, that lack of precision might not serve you.

Is it worth the asking price? We’ll leave that to you to decide, but it seems like most users were quite happy with their purchase.

Download: App Store

AmpKit – Guitar Amps & Pedals by Agile Partners

AmpKit – Guitar Amps & Pedals by Agile Partners

As the name would suggest, Agile Partners’ AmpKit app is sure to appeal most to guitarists.

If you’ve ever wanted to turn your iOS device into a guitar amp and effects studio, this might just be the app you’ve been looking for. All you need is a Peavey AmpKit LiNK HD dongle to connect your guitar or bass.

With an easy-to-use interface and powerful features (two-stage amp modeling, convolution cabs, positional mics), and 114 amp channels, cabinets, pedals (up to 32 pedals per setup), and mics, you can achieve all types of clean and dirty tones. It even comes with 156 presets.

AmpKit gives you the ability to share your recordings using copy and paste functions, SoundCloud, or email.

Even more, you get a beautiful interface, legendary bass amps, and a great deal more.

Although not the most realistic sounding rig, you can achieve some great tones using AmpKit, and there is quite a bit of variety. What it does well, it does well!

The only downside seems to be that customer support for the app is a little lacking. So, we’d be a little careful with in-app purchases.

Download: App Store

iMPC Pro 2 by Akai Professional

iMPC Pro 2 by Akai Professional

Akai Professional has done a lot of things right. Not the least of which is their MPC Beats DAW, a great beat making application available entirely for free.

And here we have iMPC Pro 2, a song creation tool developed especially with the iPad in mind.

iMPC Pro 2 gives you access to audio tracking and production tools, not surprisingly, utilizing their infamous MPC workflow.

It lets you record up to 64 tracks (four pad banks with 16 pads) and it comes with built-in sampling features (five ways to record samples), sound library, and effects. All 64 tracks come with an automatable, dedicated mixer channel with gain fader, three-band EQ, pan, and four effects sends.

The master channel comes with a master fader, as well as in-line compressor threshold and gain.

iMPC Pro 2 gives you access to 1,400+ sounds (via Richard Devine), with drumbeats, basses, synths, leads, and more.

As with Beats, you can unleash the full power of the app by taking advantage of iMPC expansion packs.

This is a great app and most users had a positive experience with it. The one thing that’s a little puzzling is the price, but based on the product description, we think it’s because of the five included sound packs (valued at $35, incidentally).

Download: App Store

iMaschine 2 by NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH

iMaschine 2 by NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH

Most of what you need to know about the iMaschine app, you can tell just by looking at the image. This is a simple, colorful, beat making tool you can take with you wherever you go.

iMaschine 2 lets you sample and record using Step Mode, Arranger, and the Smart Play keyboard. And it comes with a large sound library covering practically every style of music.

Step Mode is where you lay down your beats, the Arranger lets you turn your loops and scenes into fully developed tracks, and the Smart Play keyboard is where you can add chords, melodies, and bass lines that are always in key (a great beginner friendly feature).

The overall sentiment of this app is that while it’s good, it could use some improvements.

But if you like what Native Instruments has to offer, and you’re interested in making beats wherever you go, you might give this one a go.

Download: App Store

Music Maker JAM by JAM just add music GmbH

Music Maker JAM by JAM just add music GMbH

Music Maker JAM is a simple beat and loops mixer.

It comes with access to free and premium loops inside their store, effects and harmony features, and various sharing capabilities. You can even add vocals to your tracks!

You get more than 300 mix packs and 100+ loop libraries, and you can share your tracks directly to SoundCloud, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. You can also join the Music Maker JAM community to connect with other creators.

Overall, Music Maker JAM has got a nice interface. We feel like the backgrounds are a little distracting, but aside from that, the way the app has been set up allows for a fast and easy workflow.

Download: App Store

Top Music Production Apps For iPad, Final Thoughts

Ultimately, find the iPhone and iPad app that works best for you. It doesn’t matter much what other people think. You need to go and try a few apps and take advantage of the one or the few that help you realize your creative ideas.

For music producers, engineers, and composers who take their work seriously, it is recommended that you find an app that’s compatible with your DAW so you can move projects over to your primary workstation.

If you’re just out to have fun, then find the app that seems the most fun to you and give it a whirl!

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