Updated: Nov 9, 2020
With the rapid growth of the music technology sector, there are more options than ever to help you make music whenever and wherever you want! Whether in the car, on a plane, during a work break, or even from the comfort of your own bed, you can find the tools to literally make a song from start to finish. Here are 5 incredibly fun mobile apps for making music in the moment:
1. Garageband (Free!)
For those that are newer to the music production space, the GarageBand mobile app will give you everything you need to get started. You can access lots of different software instruments and samples, and really get yourself ready to grow into the full computer-based DAWs as well. And for more intermediate music-makers, you can actually import your GarageBand sessions directly into Logic afterward! So you have full freedom to create whenever inspiration strikes, and get all of your ideas in one place before mixing them down at your home or traditional studio setup.
2. Spire (Free!)
The Spire app is an awesome choice for an affordable and professional way to track and produce your musical ideas from anywhere. It has a great recording interface that allows you to control the mic level, gain input, set your metronome, and offers traditional editing capabilities that you’d expect when recording into your DAW. The mixer is super visual, with easy drag-and-drop capabilities, helping you to both see and hear what you’re doing to achieve the perfect audio mix for your track. And perhaps one of the coolest features is that the Spire app allows you to share directly to social media, the cloud, or export to AirDrop, text, or email. You will never lose a great song idea again with this handy app on your mobile device!
3. Figure (Free!)
If you’re looking to make music from your phone in an easy and fast way, look no further than the Figure app. Figure lets you create beats, synth and bass lines, and offers tons of instruments options for each. Developed by Reason (formerly Propellerhead), it’s as intuitive as its better-known parent company, and makes music production a cinch with simple tap and swipe audio creation tools. Figure is a lot of fun and keeps things simple and sounding great!
4. Music Maker Jam (Free!)
The Music Maker Jam app legitimately puts music creating and sharing in the palm of your hand! Especially perfect for hip-hop, trap, R&B, and pop artists, songwriters, and producers, this app easily lets you create loops, edit samples, and even add effects in real time. There are hundreds of genres to choose from with studio-quality sounds to work with, and you can even share your music with millions of other connected users from the Music Maker Jam community too. It’s free to download and trial with an option to upgrade/subscribe if you decide you want to do more within the app, which seems well worth it if this is what will help you take your mobile music creating game to the next level!
5. iMaschine 2 ($9.99)
This Native Instruments product is a great app for beatmakers on the go! It features a high-quality and user-friendly interface with 16 pads, a keyboard, and hundreds of professional-grade sounds. iMaschine 2 gets you started with 38 drum kits and 750 samples preloaded, with the option to purchase more from renowned sound designers. You can’t beat the beatmaking portability this app offers, along with the easy collaboration options too!
Christine Elise Occhino (@XtineElise) is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for the music business. In addition to being a vocalist herself, she is the Founder & CEO of Lock City Music Group, offering artist services, recording studios, and professional music education. She is also the proud Founder & Executive Director of Hope in Harmony, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses music to help and heal those in need. Christine is a member of the Grammy Recording Academy, the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers, and Berklee College of Music Alumni Association. She has experience speaking on many music industry panels, has been a contributing writer for music business publications for over a decade, and also currently hosts the music-based web series & podcast, Soundbytez. For more about Christine, visit XtineElise.com.