Android/iOS Beat Making App Roundup
Post date:Fri, 12/04/2020 - 08:14
Going DAWless can be great for creativity and there are now many portable synths on the market that make doing so a lot easier. Phones and tablets have also steadily been getting more powerful and at this point, there are plenty of great app options available for portable music-making. A good beat can make or break a track, so let's take a look at some of the beat making options that are available for Android or iOS devices. These can be great for experimenting with ideas while taking a break from your home studio or want a change of scenery to boost your creativity.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Ruismaker Noir is the work of Bram Bos, a Dutch developer who is no stranger to drum machine apps. However, Ruismaker Noir offers something a little different by operating as a drum synth as well as a monophonic synth. It is this hybrid approach that gives Ruismaker Noir its unique sound, which despite its monophonic synthesis engine, allows for a blend of sounds. The Noir sequencer is seamlessly integrated into the plugin and all parameters are available for real-time manipulation, which makes this app a lot of fun to play around with.
Beat Machine - Audio Sequencer
Price: $0.99 - $7.99 per in-app item
Compatibility: Requires Android 4.4 and up
Beat Machine is a good option for beginners as it features auto-generation of patterns for many different music genres. It's still a powerful little app but was designed to make music sequencing easy to understand. Beat Machine has default samples to get you started, but you can also import your own and then export full-length songs into lossless WAV files. In addition, it supports recording options, such as audio output or microphones.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later.
With 640 instruments and 40 kits, including classic drum machines, electronic kits, and acoustic kits, there's no lack of variety when using Arturia iSpark. Drum patterns can be played in real-time while making changes on the fly while the layout is performance-oriented for added convenience. The included 64-step sequencer is very flexible and opens up a lot of possibilities for creative freedom. Besides, it allows you to share projects, kits, and instruments between this app and the desktop version of Spark 2, so you can seamlessly switch between the two.
DMach - Drum Machine
Compatibility: Requires Android 4.2 and up
If you are an Android user in search of a drum machine that isn't expensive or overly complicated, then you can't go wrong with DMach by Simon Norberg. It is a drum machine with 6 channels, a 16 step sequencer, and real-time sound synthesis. Even better, the source code for DMach is available on Github.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
BeatMaker 3 is not the cheapest option, but it does provide users with what amounts to a full-fledged production studio. It features 128 banks of 128 pads and comes with full AUv3 and IAA support. It also has a classic timeline based pattern and song editor along with a flexible "Scene Mode" that is perfect for remixing and live performances. BeatMaker is probably overkill for anyone simply looking for a drum machine, but for those performing live shows, it can be really useful.
EasyBeats 3 Drum Machine
Compatibility: Requires iOS 10.3 or later.
EasyBeats 3 Drum Machine is, as the name suggests, a quick and easy way to create great beats. It was designed to be fast and simple to use and features built-in samples as well as the ability to import your own sounds. The pattern editor sequencer is designed for drag and drop use, and the app has support for AudioBus, WiST, and full quality WAV export.
Let us know in the comments or on the forum if mobile beat making apps have ever helped you out or if you prefer to stick to your home studio for all things music-related. The compact nature of many modern synths means that mobile apps are not as convenient or impressive as they used to be, but they still have their uses.