Best music apps: Top 20 to download now

Looking for the best music apps for your Apple iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone? Move over iTunes - T3 has uncovered the best music apps on the market

Whether you're a wannabe DJ, a big shot beat maker or simply trying to hone your musical talents, you are likely to find an app to fuel your creativity when devoid of your home-bound kit. Helping to make your music sound all that sweeter, here's our pick of the best music-making apps to load onto your iPhone, iPad or Android device... pronto!

 

AmpliTube
With so many dance music apps on the iPhone, rockers might feel a bit left out. But with great apps like AmpliTube available there's no need to worry. Hook your guitar up through IK Multimedia's iRig connector and your iPhone becomes a fully featured effects unit and amp simulator. The sounds are great and with a variety of downloadable add-ons available you can keep experimenting until you perfect your sound.
Platform: iPhone
Price: £11.99 (also free demo and £1.79 LE version)

 

BassLine
The trusty Roland TB-303 is a house music legend for a very good reason: it sounds great. Unfortunately this means that second-hand prices are sky-high for the humble bass synth. At just £2.99, BassLine does a very convincing impression of the 303 with a host of new and updated features to bring it right up to date. Four wave shapes plus effects like overdrive and tape delay make things even more flexible, but the pick of the bunch is the accelerometer-driven filter option which uses movement to shape the sound. Shake it, baby!
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: £2.99

 

BeBot
This simple app might not seem look like your average synth but the cartoonish graphics hide a serious music-making tool. Drag your finger across the screen and the animated robot "sings" a range of sounds. Dive into the menus and you'll find tons of options to play with. Adjustable echo, overdrive and chorus effects can be added to any sound, while the Scale setting menu allows you to add autotune for more precise intonation. Most importantly, BeBot has that classic iPhone fun factor in spades. Great stuff at a great price.
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: £1.19

 

bleep!Box
bleep!BOX has become a real favourite since its release last year. Great synth and drum sounds plus a simple programming style make this an outstanding all-round loop creation package. bleep!BOX can be played live or programmed in advance to create more complex song arrangements. The iPad version is a must-have for owners of the bigger device, with the less cluttered interface really opening up the power of the software. bleep!BOX is one of the most well thought-out, complete music apps available.
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: £5.99

 

Chordmaster
Guitarists, say goodbye to your dog-eared chord book. Select a root note, dial in your chosen intervals and Chordmaster instantly displays the fingering diagram. With the ability to choose from left and right handed diagrams for over 7000 chords, quickly switch between different positions on the neck and play the strings to hear how each chord sounds, Chordmaster is an excellent tool. Sadly there are no augmented chords, but otherwise this well-priced app can't be faulted.
Platform: iPhone
Price: £1.19 (also free LE version)

 

Ethereal Dialpad
This cool abstract synth allows you to pick from a variety of modes and draw patterns on the screen to play sounds. You don't need a musical bone in your body to get good results. Synth options include pitch quantisation for perfect tuning plus basic delay and flanger effects. Plugins allow you to expand the app with features such as gravitational sensor control. Fun for everyone, regardless of musical talent.
Platform: Android
Price: Free

 

Etherophone
It's an unwritten rule of smartphones that every touchscreen needs a theremin app. There's just something about the ghostly synthesizer that lends itself perfectly to the hands-on approach (slightly ironic given that the real theremin is as hands-off as you can get!). Etherophone is our pick of the theremins available for Android. Adjustable sound settings, basic amplitude envelope options and cool sliders for adjusting the harmonic content of the sound make this unassuming free app a must-have.
Platform: Android
Price: Free

 

FunkBox
Proving that relatively basic apps can still be winners, FunkBox is a simple drum machine with intuitive programming. Where it really shines is in its sound sources: samples from seven classic drum machines including the legendary Roland TR606, 808 and 909, MachineDrum SPS-1 and Maestro Rhythm King MRK-2. It'd be nice if you could choose individual drums from each machine and we'd also like to see more than 8 samples from each, but overall FunkBox is easy to use and sounds great.
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: £1.79

 

GrooveMaker
Groovemaker is already a big hit on the iPhone and now it's available for iPad we love it even more. Layer together samples and loops and mix them together to create full songs. Everything takes place in real time so there's no interruption to the groove even if you change the tempo or add new loops. The free demo versions allow you to check out how it works, but if you decide to buy the app you can take your pick from a number of versions with ready-made house, drum n bass, trance and hip hop sample packs.
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: From £2.39 (iPhone) or £2.99 (iPad) plus free demos

 

iTick
You can take your pick from hundreds of metronomes in the iTunes Store, but this neat little free app is one of our old favourites. To get started, simply pick one of the six time signatures then choose from the classic Italian tempo markings (andante, moderato, etc) or dial in anything from 40-250 bpm. With a range of downbeat and upbeat sounds and adjustable volume, iTick might be basic but it does the job perfectly.
Platform: iPhone
Price: Free

 

 

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