How to... use apps to make music

Chantelle Fiddy scours the web to find the best apps to help you make and market your music.

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 17 Sep 2013
  • min read
In 2013, the power of your smartphone can never be underestimated.

For musicians, it can now act as a key tool when it comes to either writing your songs or promoting your music online.

Every week hundreds of new apps are made available, opening up an increasing amount of opportunities for those wanting to develop a career in the music industry.

But with such a deluge of platforms and services out there, which ones are useful for budding music industry professionals? While the opportunity to be run a label, create and release music direct to fans has never being easier thanks to apps, the biggest question remains where to start.

Here Chantelle Fiddy guides us through the best apps for new and more established artists…

New Artist? Try these essentials:  

GarageBand - The ultimate studio addition to the app store. This is a stalwart among apps, from conducting a string orchestra to recording music live with up to three friends, GarageBand has it covered for a mere £2.99.

SongPad - Available for zilch (or £2.99 if you’re looking to go pro), this app allows you to write and store lyrics as well as import beats and get down to business with inspirational tools.

Vio – A vocal app that uses pitch correction technology to create synth-like effects, you can also create loops of your voice, record and share. From £1.99.

SoundCloud – You’ve heard of the website, now get the app. The latest iOS version allows you to create sets and record your own sounds before sharing them with your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr.

Studio Pro? We’ve got you:

Xenon – Reportedly used by Gorillaz during their iPad album creation, Xenon boasts polyphonic hybrid and monophonic synths, a rhythm machine, sequencer and mixer for £1.99.

NanoStudio – A recording studio for iOS, OS X and Windows, think synths, sample trigger paths, a comprehensive sequencer, sample editor, mixer and multiple effects. 10/10 Excellent Award from MusicTech Magazine, it’s worth the £9.99.

Gliss – A virtual piano with hundreds or chords and scales, save sets, play an acoustic piano or a Rhodes, clav or FM effect. At only 69p, Ludovico Einaudi should watch out.

ReverbNation – Update your social networks, build a fanbase, manage your shows and all from a mobile phone device, for free.