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Best Mobile Apps for Making Music

There are always a ton of reasons not to do something. There’s not enough time in the day to learn, it will be too expensive, and you probably won’t like it or won’t be any good at it. This is the thought process of the masses who look back on their life and think about what would’ve, could’ve, should’ve happened if they had only given it a try.

But as a creative person who loves music, don’t you owe it yourself to at least give yourself a shot? Do you think about building a lifestyle that revolves around making music, only to put it on the back burner because of the above reasons? We’re not going to lie: Making it in the music business will take a lot of time, hard work, and dedication.

Money, however, shouldn’t be one of those reasons. Recording Connection offers several programs including our audio engineering course and our electronic music production course that cost just a fraction of traditional four-year universities or trade schools and take less than a year to complete. Maybe that still seems like an awfully big commitment. But wouldn’t you like to know for sure? Well, give it a try, for free!

6 Best Free or Cheap Mobile Music Making Apps

1. Figure

2. Ninja Jamm

3. Garage Band

4. Loopimal

5. DM1- The Drum Machine

6. Steinberg’s Cubasis

The ability to create music has never been easier. As smartphones become more advanced, you can start producing beats at home, the coffee shop, or even while taking the bus to school or your job. The number of free or inexpensive music-making apps continues to grow, including a few standard digital audio workstations (DAW) that are pared down to give beginners a little taste of what’s possible.

The ability to get your ideas recorded quickly from almost anywhere on earth means you can be more productive and really give your music-making dreams a chance. With the following free or inexpensive list of apps, available for iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, you can be making your own beats in a matter of minutes.

1. Figure

(iOS / Free)
This beat-making app is easy to use, simple to learn, and fun to master. Figure was designed for those new to the music production game as well as those that want to create on the fly. Jimmy Fallon is a fan, featuring the free music app on several episodes and working on songs with his guests. It’s a straightforward, clean, and intuitive app that fosters creativity, although you may need something a little more powerful for advanced beat making.

2. Ninja Jamm

(Android or iOS / Free or In-App Purchases)
An offshoot of the Ninja Tune music label, Ninja Jamm allows you to create your own remixes of existing songs from label artists such as Amon Tobin or Coldcut, the label’s founder. You can also purchase groups of beats or sample “packs” of sound elements to download, dissect, and reimagine to create your own songs.

3. Garage Band

(iOS / 3.99)
The Godfather of inexpensive DAWs now has a mobile version for those on the move. The original Garage Band was so popular because it was easy to lay out music ideas and fun to use. Those same features are carried over to the mobile app. It’s an excellent tool to up your technical skills if you are somewhat lacking in that department. With a variety of instruments (drum pads, piano, guitars, etc.) at your disposal, Garage Band is an excellent introduction to music production.

4. Loopimal

(iOS / 2.49)
Bright, fun, and very easy to use, Loopimal is designed to get kids excited about making their own music. With educational overtones, the app uses visual drag and drop principles to turn shapes into sounds that kids can place on a timeline. As fun as it is simple, Loopimal is an excellent introduction to a real-time music maker for young ones.

5. DM1- The Drum Machine

(iOS / 4.99)
From developer Fingerlab comes this highly intuitive, very inventive touchscreen music-making software. If you like to get your ideas down as soon as they come to you, DM1 is designed like a digital sketchbook for making quick notes that can be refined when you have more time. Songwriters can communicate their thoughts or specific song elements in detail. If you’re constantly struck by inspiration, this is the app for you.

6. Steinberg’s Cubasis

(iOS/ $30)
Another digital audio workstation that’s stood the test of time, Cubasis is one digital audio workstation that’s popular among producers from all sides of the industry. With unlimited audio/MIDI control tracks, 24 assignable ins and outs, and a professional sound, this is one of the beefier music-making apps on the market. This means it’s also the most expensive app on this list. However, if you’re serious about making music, this is relatively inexpensive software that’s built to grow with you.

Ableton and Pro Tools also offer free versions and Logic also carries a less expensive option. And while they may offer more features, the ability to save or transfer music is limited. The interfaces may also be a little complicated for those just starting out.

But once you’ve mastered any of the apps we discussed above, consider looking into these pared-down versions of what professional music producers, hip hop artists, live DJs, and other beatmakers use around the world. Then, once you’ve proven to yourself that music is an intrinsic part of your life and that a career in it is the only way to go, reach out! We’re here and want to hear about all of your goals and plans.

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