Useful Mobile Apps for Aspiring Musicians

Music is one of my effective stress-relievers, so sometimes I just strum away for some random jam or experiment on some new combinations of tunes. As much as I would like to compose with instruments alone or play a song only by hearing the tune, my musical background (or lack thereof) isn’t just enough to do such things. With this, I get some help from these music applications to get my fix.

Pano Tuner

This is by far, the most accurate guitar tuner that I’ve used for mobile phones. The tuner’s less sensitive, compared to the couple of other tuner apps that I used before, it can even gauge chords from a pre-recorded sound. As one of my bandmates suggested, this app can also be used to gauge your voice if you’re singing the right tune. Best of all, it’s for free!

Pano Tuner Main Screen (courtesy of panoapps.net)

GarageBand

The flagship music software of Apple made portable for the iOS devices. Get access touch instruments and recording tools and create some cool tracks like a pro. Types of instruments include keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. The app also includes an audio recorder and amplifier effects. It also boasts a feature called smart instruments, which will enable the user to create music by mixing chord combinations and play patters from different types of instruments, somewhat like Music Shake’s music editor. I’m most impressed with the virtual guitar as it can accurately simulate your strum in the touch device. You can even do multi-touch bend and sustain with it. Moreover, it provides more opportunities for collaboration and sharing. You can do some live recording with your other bandmates over Wi-Fi. You can share your works on-the-fly through facebook, soundcloud, youtube, or AirDrop for iOS. Your save data can also be synchronized for all of your devices through iCloud. The core application is free, but you need to buy an in-app purchase to unlock all the smart instruments. Though this can be used for iPhones and iPods, I think it’s dsign is more utilized for iPads. Heck, you can use multiple devices to create an entire music accompaniment of a song, especially if you connect the audio output to mixers or amplifiers. Don’t believe me? Watch this!

Walk Band (formerly Perfect Piano)

A company outside google made an Android user’s answer to GarageBand. You can even see the resemblance with the app’s user interface. This application evolved from a virtual piano to a multi-instrument learning tool.  The app has a corresponding feature for Keyboard, Guitar, Drum Pad, Bass, and Drum Machine (mixer), with the first four having subcategories for a more precise set of tunes (e.g. the keyboards has Rhodes, Bright, Organ, etc.).  The app also features multi-track recording and midi-device support, playing inputs from actual midi devices like midi keyboard. You just need a USB2GO cable for interfacing. One big edge that this app has over Garage Band is that you get all the features for free. For some reason, there’s a google play entry for a premium version, but it has the same description as the free version. I tried it with my SamSung Galaxy Note 8.0, and the features listed there are already available.  Just like Garage Band, you can do full band collaborations using your android devices. I like this one better since it shows multiple instruments in real-time play and not an edited collection of solo videos.

Ultimate-Guitar

From the website of the same name, the app not only features the chords and tabs of your favorite songs, it also includes powerful features such as metronome, tuner (though I prefer Pano Tuner), interactive tabs complete with loop and tempo control and track separations, plus chord and tab sharing. Long-time users of the site will feel right at home with the app as it emulates the user interface of the song entries, including the auto-scroll feature and chord chart tooltips. The app is not for free, but you’ll get a great deal with the functionality that you’ll get for 134.37 pesos (one-time purchase for all of your devices with similar mobile OS).

Chord Entry for a Song (courtesy of mobiles24.com)

There, I hope I piqued your interest to create some unique music of your own. It’s really fun to play with random tunes and come up with something you’ll love to listen to. Who knows, maybe it will pave your way to actually get more serious with learning music and start making some advanced compositions and collaborations. Until then, happy sound trip! (~^_^)~

 

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9 comments on “Useful Mobile Apps for Aspiring Musicians

  1. stump3d says:

    Wow, Felix, you can even create your own music for your games. You’re a one-man team. 🙂

  2. Great post! Makes me want to try some of those apps.

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