10 Music making apps for the iPhone and iPad: GarageBand, Korg and Figure

It’s not so long ago that music recording was just for people who could afford to hire a professional studio and engineer. To have the self belief that those hundreds of pounds per day weren’t being wasted came from many hours of tuition, rehearsal and performance (or in some cases just a massive ego. Artists with egos – what?).

It was difficult for budding musicians to develop, nurture their talent and grow as composers and songwriters with the stakes so high, and so the advent of the trusty four track tape recorder and, later, digital recording interfaces and affordable computer software have levelled the playing field for those of us seeking to express ourselves through sound.

Skip on 10 years from the announcement that intuitive multi-track recording application Garageband was to be a permanent fixture of the Mac Operating System and the bedroom musician is turning to the pocket home studio to get some of the best sounds around.

The following 10 apps showcase some of the very best in iOS mobile recording, from world class synths, drum machines and multi-track software to intuitive apps that will encourage a burst of musical creativity from beginners and seasoned professionals alike.

Image via Laura Kidd


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No piece on music apps would be complete without featuring Garageband. Introduced in 2004 and included as a standard application loaded on to all Mac computers since then, this easy to use multi-track recording software democratised home recording, making it possible for musicians to develop their work without having to waste all their money in plush recording studios.

The mobile version is likewise accessible and extremely powerful, with the ability to layer up to 16 tracks of sound (32 if you have the new A7 chip). You can plug instruments in via a connector kit and access classic guitar amps and effects pedals, create drum machine tracks, record vocals and other sounds via the built in microphone and even rehearse and record with friends over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Available from iTunes for free with £2.99 in-app purchase of instrument sounds.

Laura Kidd