Auria is a 48 track recording system for the iPad. Currently, it’s the most feature-laden iOS DAW we’ve reviewed. It houses an extensive catalog of effects and processors (ranging from Reverb to pitch correction) and also allows you to record up to 24 tracks simultaneously. AAF import and export lets you transfer complete sessions between popular DAWs like Pro Tools, Logic and more.
Another cool feature is the incorporation of 3rd party plugins from plugin gurus like PSPaudioware, Overloud, Fab Filter and Drumagog. These extra processors are available via app store purchase and range from $5 to $30.
The kicker for Auria is the hefty price tag. At $50, it’s easily considered a very expensive iOS DAW. If that doesn’t scare you away, then this app is definitely worth taking a look at. What we really like about Auria is that it’s clearly geared toward serious music makers looking to get professional use out of their iPad.
GarageBand for iOS 1.2 comes as a welcomed addition to the evolutionary chain of Apple’s music apps. Rightfully so, it’s packed with some cool new features. For starters, we now have a MIDI editor! It’s about time! It’s fair to say that MIDI editing should have been available since the apps conception, but Apple seemed to get it right this time in a good way.
Another cool feature is the ability to merge tracks together to consolidate and save space. You can bounce up to 8 tracks at a time if need be. You’ll also get some extra Smart Instruments and a much easier way of exporting and sharing your musical works with other people.
Jam Session takes sketching musical ideas to a whole new level. This allows up to 4 iOS devices running GarageBand 1.2, to sync to a central host, making it a great tool for bands.
If you don’t already own GarageBand, you’ll definitely want to get it now!
Music Studio 2 is a complete production suite for your iPad. One of things I like most about this app is its sound selection. The sounds are extremely versatile and Hip Hop friendly, which isn’t always a common occurrence in the iOS music making world.
Music Studio 2 expands what was already an extremely powerful production environment. Things like microphone recording, audio tracks, 127-track sequencer, and audio copy/paste functions only sweeten this deal. The app comes with 100 drum loops, 65 built-in instruments and the ability to purchase additional instruments in the app store.
Detailed editing allows you to tweak anything from individual tracks to individual MIDI notes. Transfer your files to your computer via iTunes.
Music Studio 2 offers support for CoreMIDI (in and out), Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer, Akai SynthStation 25, iRig, iRig Mic, iRig MIDI, Ampkit Link, Apogee Jam, Blue Mikey, Alesis IO Dock and iConnectMIDI.
This is a quality app for a serious music maker. It has all of the components of a Major DAW and is arguably one of the most well-rounded we’ve seen. Be sure to check out Music Studio 2!
Studio Mini XL is an 8 track recording studio for your iPad. It is the bigger brother of Studio Mini, which is virtually the same other than being a 4 track recorder with a slightly cheaper price tag. The XL version comes with a host of useful features like a ‘count in’ function for recording, the ability to import and export 16 bit / 44.1 kHz WAVE files, a drum loop section with 70+ drum loops spanning a wide range of musical genres, the ability to monitor your input levels while recording, latency compensation, audio sync, iTunes file sharing, WIFI sync and more. The app’s Notes section also allows you to input, organize, and keep track of lyric ideas, which is great when you get that sudden inspiration for an awesome idea.
bleep!Box is a music production suite for your iPad. It’s comes housed with a sequencer, a synthesizer, and a drum machine. It’s noted for its quality sounds, which is rare in the world of iOS. I would say that the sounds are more tailored to the modern electronic producer than say a Hip Hop producer, but Hip-Hop-heads looking to create some quirky tunes will enjoy this app.
touchAble was developed by AppBc and it turns your iPad into a controller for Ableton Live. This is a really cool app for any DJ or producer with an iPad and Ableton. You can mix, edit, and manipulate your Ableton arrangements on the fly. It comes with built-in FX, velocity sensitive drum pads and keyboards, automapping, transport and clip functions and much more. Other great components to this app are its Wi-Fi capabilities – allowing you to use this app anywhere within the realm of a Wi-Fi signal. This means you don’t have to be glued to your computer and that you can take advantage of the iPads ability to be a mobile device- although there is some latency involved.
As a happy Mac owner I have long resented Image-Line for not creating a Mac version of FL Studio, which is a great production suite to own if you have a PC. With that being considered, I am glad to see them step into the world of iOS and do so successfully.
Garageband for the iPad is a fun, mobile, musical tool. It doesn’t have the in-depth capabilities of a major desktop DAW, but is still very effective and cool within its own realm.
It is perhaps the most fun and easiest to use. A person with little if any musical talent could still have fun creating music with Apple’s Garageband for iPad and make some decent tunes too.