Tired of conventional MIDI controllers? Looking for more abstract ways to create music? Beatsurfing just might be the app you’re looking for. It allows you to build your own customized MIDI controller directly within your iPad. You have complete control over what goes where and how much space that particular object occupies. Shapes like circles, lines, polygons and more can be drawn in and assigned to trigger various sets of sounds. In depth control of Object Behavior allows groups of sounds to react in very specific manners within relation to each other.
You can link BeatSurfing to any MIDI compatible device, whether it be software or hardware, giving you lots of flexibility. It works great with Logic Pro and we’re sure it works well with other DAW’s. It’s also worth mentioning that the app responds to touch very well.
There’s a bit of a learning curve involved with Beatsurfing, but those who stick with it are highly rewarded for their efforts. This is a really neat app that we’d encourage any iPad music maker to check out.
The iDJ Pro is an iPad based DJ controller. Its dual platter setup allows you to insert your iPad into the center of the unit for direct access to its touch screen layout. With your iPad locked in, you can pull up a DJ app and use it to interact with the controller.
Algoriddim’s djay app is set up specifically for this purpose and seems to work well with the iDJ Pro. However, it is worth noting that there are other DJ apps you can use as well.
We wouldn’t consider the iDJ Pro an overwhelmingly feature-laden controller, but for iOS it makes some serious strides toward that outcome. The Airplay features have a lot of potential as they allow you to maximize the wireless capabilities of your iPad for the benefit your set.
iDJ Pro is certainly a step in the right direction for DJ’s looking to make serious use of their iPad. If you fit that bill then we recommend you check it out.
Many musicians are familiar with Amplitube. It has earned a reputation for being one of the best guitar amp and effects emulators available on the market today. With that being said, IK Multimedia is back at it again. They’ve teamed up with legendary guitarist Slash (Guns ‘n’ Roses) to bring you an excellent addition to the Amplitube family.
Available for $9.99, Amplitube Slash comes with 6 stomp boxes, 2 amplifiers, and 30 presets that are modeled after Slash’s signature sound. Preset management is easy to navigate through, and the sound quality is excellent for iOS standards.
It only comes stocked with a single track recorder, but if you’re familiar with IK’s approach to iOS, you know they always get you with a few add-ons. A four track recorder with mastering effects is available via app store purchase.
With flexible import/export options and audio copy/paste features, this is an excellent app for guitarists on the go. Be sure to check it out!
Arctic Keys is a virtual analog synthesizer for iPad. With a dual-oscillating subtractive synthesis engine, most users will be fairly familiar with its parameters for sculpting sounds.
The user interface is inviting and friendly, laying almost everything out in the open. You don’t have to sift through endless pages in search of hidden menus, which is a considerable problem for many iOS music apps.
It also has a sequencer and although it’s rather clunky, it does have some nice features to it.
Overall, the synth sounds pretty good. The presets are decent and can easily be tweaked to suit your needs. The only problem with the presets is that the volume levels are sometimes inconsistent, which can be rather annoying.
For $5, this is a cool app with some nice features. It’s a few steps away from running with the ‘big boys’, but it’s still a nice app worth checking out.
Rhythm Pad is a drum machine app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It comes in a conventional drum machine layout with a series of drum pads and a preset library of drum kits. The kits range from acoustic to more abstract kits like Trip Hop and Chemical.
Notable features include: realistic hi-hat expression, position sensitive pads (sound louder when struck in the center), independent volume control for each pad, looping control and adjustable time signature settings.
There are two versions of Rhythm pad available – a free version with advertisements and another version for $2.99 without the advertisements.
This is a cool app worth checking out. Our only gripe is that it’s missing the ability to record and export work, but hopefully an update will bring those vital necessities.
vjay is an app that allows you to creatively bring together audio and video clips to create an authentic media experience. You can create your own music videos, mash up different songs, and more.
It comes with a wealth of features like the ability to loop, cue, and slice audio and video; real time effects; customized video transitions; Video scratch; Auto Gain; Auto Sync, and Beat Matching.
While vjay is a feature-laden, innovative app for the iPad, it also has some kinks that need to be worked out. Most notable, is the fact is doesn’t handle 1080HD.
With that being said, this is still a revolutionary app for the iPad. Algoriddim has clearly put a lot of time into creating it, so we’re confident that updates will bring many welcomed additions and improvements.
It’s on sale for $9.99, but we’re not sure how long the sale will last.
inHarmony is an app focused on simplifying music composition by taking much of the guesswork out of musical theory. It’s designed to be a MIDI keyboard that allows you to work with your DAW. Once your MID setup is complete, you can choose from any diatonic scale and the app will appropriate the chords in that scale for you. You can then trigger these chords by touch – selecting from 2, 3, and 4 note chords.
It could easily be considered an educational tool as well. People less adept to music theory will start to learn scales and common chord progressions that go well together.
Not every music producer is a keyboard virtuoso either. With inHarmony you can trigger an entire chord with one touch, which makes playing complex chord progressions much easier as well.
The MIDI setup takes a bit of work, but for $2 this is a cool app that many music producers could benefit from.
Newzik HD (formally known as SyncSing HD) is a mobile song and notation book. It gives you the ability to store lyrics, chord progressions, various files and more. You can organize comprehensive playlists and the app’s synch-able capabilities are a major plus for bands with multiple iPads. With one iPad set as a master and other iPads synced to it, everybody can stay on the same page. This makes it great for learning new material.
Other notable features include: synchronized scrolling of scores, karaoke mode, and being able to change pages by the tap of your foot (in case you don’t have hands available).
We’ve heard of a few instability issues, but did we mention the app is free?
If you’re looking for a way to organize a database of songs, with intricate details about those songs, then take a look at Newzik HD for iPad.