Music beat-making apps have changed the entire dynamic of creating music. They’ve enabled experienced and newbie producers to make beats on the go.
It’s now convenient to curate their creative thoughts whenever and wherever it strikes. All they need to do is get their phones, launch an app and get to work.
Talking of apps, here are the 10 best beat-making apps for iPhone and iPad.
1. Retro piano
For a tool that only takes up 70MB of your iPhone’s storage space, it’s surprising how it produces unique and high-quality sounds. The Retro piano app is an open-source Audiokit project run by volunteers who provide free codes and apps for children.
To save space, the app features 500MB of great samples compressed into 50MB. Their overriding theme is a retro vintage instrument featuring a sampled piano. Also included are presets from DAFingaz.
The controls include a mixer, master volume, vinyl noise level, warble depth and speed release, tone, reverb, bit crush, tremolo, and tuning. They’re intuitive and easy to use. So, provided you’re enthusiastic and put in the effort, it wouldn’t take long to master the app and produce your signature lo-fi and nostalgic sounds.
Additional features include:
- Use of an external Midi keyboard.
- Bluetooth midi.
- All the effects and levels are Midi mappable.
The free version is available for a limited time before you start being charged $2.99 for continued use. You must have iOS 12.0 or later or iPadOS 12.0 or later to run the app on your device.
2. Model D
True to its tagline, the Minimoog Model D is a classic analog synthesizer. The app is its complete transmutation. Hence, it combines the classic sound production ability with efficient and inspiring sound creation tools.
It features the following tools and abilities:
- Over 160 presets.
- Playing chords with up to four-note polyphony.
- Time looping recorder with unlimited overdubbing capacity.
- Easy to use arpeggiator for creating rhythmic patterns.
- A stereo ping pong delay module with synchronizable tempo.
- A Bender, which offers a wide-range stereo time modulation effect module.
- Supports AUv3 audio unit extensions that allow multiple instances of the app to be used simultaneously with other compatible iPhone apps.
- Easy MIDI cc mapping.
- Seamless backing of presets to iCloud.
Also, it supports:
- MIDI program change.
- Sharing over Airdrop, mail, and other iOS apps.
- All 64-bit iOS devices.
- Ableton link.
- Note-per-channel MIDI controllers.
- 7 and 14-bit MIDI.
The Minimoog model D has always been involved in creating historical and futuristic sounds. Now, the Model D app is but a continuation of the brand’s legendary status.
The only downsides include a lack of in-app sequencing and stacked sounds clipping in the looper.
The Garageband beats app for music production is extremely popular. Thanks partly to its free availability, but mainly for its custom music-making features and tools. It turns your iPhone into a full-featured recording studio.
The intuitive user interface enables users to produce quality sounds by simply touching guitars, keyboards, and other tools. You don’t have to be a pro to create an interesting tune.
The app’s sound library has various free-to-download and use instruments, loops, and sound packs from the leading producers in the world. You can use them to fine-tune your sound, explore your creativity, experiment with vocals, and learn different tweaks to music production.
You can record your sessions and store a maximum of 32 tracks to share with friends and family.
Some of the best features of this app are:
- A full multi-touch keyboard.
- Live loops cell or group of cells.
- Remix FX for playing dj-style effects.
- Virtual amps and stompboxes for recreating guitar or bass rigs.
- Multi-take recording for recording multiple times over a song.
- Professional mixing effects like Bitcrusher, Overdrive, and Visual EQ.
- An integrated notepad for adding comments or lyric ideas to your song.
This app requires iOS 15.0 or later and 1.7 GB of space. Additionally, you’ll need third-party audio unit extensions and apps to use this application effectively and iMovie—to export/upload to Facebook and Youtube.
Another best app to make beats on an iPhone is Zenbeats. Its simple, intuitive, and the aesthetically pleasing interface makes it enjoyable to create good sounds. You end up with every producer’s dream instrument when you add the 14,000 plus presets, diverse and progressive instruments, old and new music tones, and an advanced editing function.
The app also has a powerful ZC1 synthesizer, Deep MIDI, great audio power, and a rich library of custom sounds, loops, and other creative tools. The controls are easy to use regardless of your music production experience, from the volume, filter, and panning, to sharing options across platforms and devices.
You can start with the free version before upgrading to the full Zenbeats experience. Ensure your device has iOS 11.0 or later or iPadOS 11.00 or later.
Some of the best features and tools of this app include:
- Cloud support.
- Ableton link.
- Auv3 compatibility.
- MPE compatibility.
- Customizable color schemes.
- Bluetooth Midi
Next on the list is one of the best music-making apps for iPad only. iSpark is an all-in-one beat-making solution that allows you to explore your creativity fully. It features a wide range of drum kits and music instruments designed to mirror reputable drum machines and sound designs.
It combines great rhythm, unique innovation, and a user-friendly interface. You can use it to play different drum patterns in real time and make changes to your sound. And, thanks to the extended range of sonic parameters and a flexible 64-bit sequencer, you can enjoy unlimited creative freedom and effectiveness.
The main features of the app include:
- Acoustic and electronic kits.
- Shuffle and shift modes that humanize grooves.
- 640 instruments / 40 kits.
- Multi-layered samples.
- Choke groups for muting instruments.
- Song mode that features 16 segments. It’s an easy drag-and-drop feature.
- Performance master effects like repeat, reverse, tape, strobe, mix, pan, bit crusher, roller, and 8-mode filter.
- 16-track mixer with the following effects: bit crusher, multiband compressor, chorus, multiband EQ, reverb, delay, distortion, destroyer, plate reverb, phaser, space pan, flanger, limiter, sub-generator.
- Real-time automation on all parameters.
- Ableton link integration.
- Compatible with SparKLe controller.
- Seamless compatibility with the Spark environment. So, you can easily transfer projects, patterns, kits, and instruments between iSpak and Spark 2.
The app costs 19.99, and you need iPadOS 8.0 or later to run it.
6. Blocs Wave
Blocs wave is one of the best beat-making apps that allow you to conceptualize your music ideas, record them and tweak different areas to produce an amazing sound.
It features beautiful waveforms for adjusting different sounds, a huge and diverse sound library, a slice mode for chopping up sounds to make them unique, and a 3-band EQ for boosting bass and mixing the sounds
Advance features include:
- Ableton link support.
- Seamless integration with Audiobus, Audio copy, Audio Share, and hardware input.
- Real-time stretching for changing tempo while you play.
- Real-time recording for building live recorded loops.
The app only runs on iOS and iPadOS 13.0 or later.
Fun, intuitive, and highly effective are what the Figure app is—and more. It’s a great go-to mobile studio while on the move, thanks to its wide range of musical instruments and features. Here are some of the most essential features:
- Arpeggiator for transforming chords into melody lines.
- Swing for tightening or loosening your beats.
- Easy X-Y automation for adding effects to your song.
- Pump for adding club sounds.
- Reason’s Thor synthesizer with bass and lead synth sounds.
- Reason’s Kong Drum Machine with huge drum sounds.
- Compatible with Audiobus.
- Set the length of the loop.
- Save, browse, and load your song files.
- Background audio.
- A variety of keys and modes.
Figure app can only run on iOS and iPadOS 11.0 or later. If you are looking at simple and intuitive beat-making apps for iPhone, this one suits the bill.
8. iMaschine 2
iMaschine 2 is one of the best beat-making apps on iPhone, for a good reason. It features a variety of drum kits, beats of iTunes, audio efforts, and a complete track of vocals that you can play around with to produce amazing and unique sounds on the move.
Its user-friendly interface is a major convenience for both newbies and skilled producers. There’re many customizable tools that you tweak to your preference to personalize the entire music-making process.
Essential tools and features to look out for include:
- Step mode allows you to create beats fast.
- Arranger for structuring your track.
- 19 projects, 38 drum kits and more than 750 samples.
- 3D touch.
- Color coding for easy visual organization of projects.
- Smart play keyboard.
- Arpeggiator for adding dynamic movement to your music.
To use iMaschine 2, your iPhone must have iOS 12.0 or higher.
9. Koala Sampler
Koalar Sampler is a simple, intuitive, and productive beat-making app for iPhones and iPad. It’s enjoyable to use and provides some of the best beat-making features among the apps on this list. Check them out below:
- Records a maximum of 64 samples with your mic.
- It uses 16 superb built-in fx to transform your voice and any other sound.
- Ableton lives set support.
- High-resolution sequencer.
- Keyboard mode allows you to play chromatically or one of 9 scales.
- 6 choke groups.
- Tone adjustment on every sample.
- Compatible with AudioBus 3.0 and Inter-App Audio.
- MIDI controllable.
- 8 built-in microphone FX.
- 16 built-in DJ FX.
- Resample output into a new sample.
The SAMURAI in-app purchase comes with even more great features like piano roll editor, Timestretch, and Auto-chop.
10. Drum pad machine
The final best app to make beats on an iPhone is the Drum pad machine. An easy-to-use application that features unique audio samples and various instruments and FX. Add its top-quality sequencing and a mobile studio that fits your pocket.
It only takes a few clicks and taps to make beats, compose tracks, and mix the tracks to produce a unique sound. If you’re still new to beat making, you can use the Beat School to freely try the lessons for different sound packs and improve your craft.
The app is free to download but offers in-app purchases for the pro and premium options. Also, you need iOS or iPadOS 11.0 or later to run the app on your device.
That wraps up our list of the best beats app for music production for iPhones and iPad. Read our breakdown of each of these apps and pick the one you like to kickstart your beat-making. Fortunately, most of them have easy-to-use interfaces, so it shouldn’t take long to master the features. Also, the free apps will help you get beats on your iPhone.
Alex is an IT technician who shares his experiences with Apple devices occasionally. He has a collection of Apple devices (from iPhone 4) and has recently started trying out Android.
IG: @I M_Alex