For as long as I can remember, I have loved music. When I was a child, I would beat on pots and pans until my mother was ready to pull her hair out. As I got older I joined the band and learned to play the trumpet and saxophone. As a teen I leaned to play the keyboard and piano with professional lessons. Upon college, the electric guitar took dominance as well as the bass guitar. Being now past the college years, my taste have turned more to the acoustic. All this is stated to make a point. A musician is always about the music. Yet, one cannot always have a guitar in hand (as nice as that would be). Being that we live in the modern technological world, one has to embrace the technologies available to musicians. One of the best resources is in the form of apps. Some of the best apps for musicians are here presented.
From the name one is quickly to assume that this app is keyboard based. This is partly true. Where the app does feature the capabilities to use a digital keyboard, the app also allows the user a large assortment of instruments in which to choose from. This is a fine asset for those which want to capture the sounds of multiple classical instruments. More still, this app allows the control of pitch and tone. The sound can be manipulated up to a point (as this is an app after all).
Once the sound has been captured use this app to capture your voice or the voice of a singer. It really appears to be an all in all app. However, one should consider that this is not a multi-track editor and so there are limits as to the capabilities to create complex compositions. Also, keep in mind that due to the selections and features of the app, those who have limited data space could experience problems.
A tuner app
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of tuner apps available. From apps that are specific to the instrument that is being played such as the most popular acoustic guitar app to the more general tuner such as cleartune, a tuner is an essential tool for any musician. Unlike battery powered tuners which have a way of being misplaced and cumbersome, a tuner app is readily available and easy to find. What is greater still about this type of app is the precision. Where battery powered apps tend to tune askew as the battery life fails, a digital app stays with the tuning precision for which it was designed.
Like any tuner, the app will pick up on the noise of the area around you if not placed accordingly. For example if the phone is placed on a table in a crowded room as opposed to beside the instrument the tuning could be off. However, this is not an app defect but just a common error that can occur with any tuner.
The amount of music that requires additional music such as sound loops, stock music, drum beats, etc. has grown in popularity. Where it would be great to have all of these things at hand all the time, one would have to be an exceptional musician to be able to create all of these sounds from original instruments with original tracks. BeatMaker 2 allows the user to make both novice and professional style tracks. This of course is accomplished by mixing sound loops with beats from the sound library. Keep in mind that in order to add one’s own music composition, the music would need to be exported and then edited in a professional program.
These apps are a great starting point for any musician. Other apps which one should look into would be rhythm trackers, s noise reducers (this is generally for film but has a great effect for those that want to record his or her own lyrics), and music publishers. A final app that I believe is a must for any musician is GarageBand. This is a shortened and somewhat limited version of the software program that has the same name. One is encouraged to try this app as well as the software and see if it will benefit your artistic style.
Apart from the apps to help with one’s musical ability, there are an array of apps that will allow you to edit and publish one’s music online. These apps need to be approached with caution.
NOTE: IF DOWNLOADING AN APP THAT PUBLISHES YOUR MUSIC ENSURE THAT THE MAKERS OF THE APP DO NOT GET LICENCING PERMISSIONS FROM YOU TO USE YOUR MUSIC.
We are musicians, but we live in a modern world. Practice the real instruments whenever possible and use the apps when your life demands you to be apart. Remember that apps are a tool to help you. It is up to you the musician to ensure that your artistic vision comes true.