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Best Musician Apps For iPad 2: Music Is Magic pt.1

Written by Kres Harrington. Posted in Apps for iOS, Ipad, Software and Apps

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on August 04, 2011 with No Comments

No one would have ever guessed that two generations ago the way our grandparents made music would be condensed into a piece of fruit, figuratviely of course, an Apple. The iPad 2 is still the tablet to get according to consumers on the street and in the boardrooms. Did you see our coverage of the latest statistics of the iPad 2 out-doing Android by a long shot? Well from the boardroom to bandroom, the iTunes store offers any and every type of music application to become a better song maker or musician. I’ve put together a collection of applications for musicians looking to turn their iPad 2 into a stage. Here are the Best Musician Apps for the iPad 2. So let’s get started. In part 1 of our series, we’ve decided to focus on the acoustic, electric and a little bit more.

The first app on the list has a telling title:


A group of guys together inside your iPad 2 struggling to make it big in the music industry, ‘GarageBand’ turns your fingers into the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Hendrix or even Dr. Dre by turning your iPad into a  full-featured recording studio using a collection of Touch Instruments. Play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses on your iPad, and the sound is no different than the real thing. Wanna be Jimi Hendrix or maybe your’e the next great musician to be discovered, just plug an electric guitar into your iPad and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Using the built-in microphone you can record, or capture any performance then email songs right from your iPad (AAC), export your song and add it to the iTunes library on your Mac or PC, or send a project to your Mac and open it in GarageBand to continue refining your song.

Play your iPad just like the real musical instrument. The Multi-Touch keyboard allows you to perform on many instruments at once. The percussion doesn’t stop with the piano, tap out beats from the seat of acoustic and electronic drum kits. Sing along to any track using the built-in microphone, and apply sound effects, please no auto-tune :).
For musicians creative control is always key, with app you can arrange and mix your song with up to eight tracks using Touch Instruments, audio recordings, and loops. It truly is a studio at your finger tips. Doing all of the productions duties is no problem with this app. Trim and place musical regions exactly where you want them to play and use the Mixer to fine-tune each track’s volume – solo or mute any track, or adjust pan, reverb, and echo just like the professionals, an added bonus are the over 250 professionally prerecorded loops as a backing band to your song.
Check out this awesome hands on video:

Download Here for $4.99 from iTunes

Baby Decks DJ

House party DJ’s listen up, this app is a nice substitute for all of the heavy equipment you used to pack in the back of your car before parties. Those nice turntables can be left at home with Baby Decks, the world’s first dual scratch turntable for the iPad. It’s two turntables with everything you need to bring any party to life, it’s fully portable including access to your iPod Library, transformer bars, track uploads, pitch control, and a cross fader. Check out what you can do with this app, watch the finished product of a Youtube DJ:


 Download Here for $24.99 from iTunes

In July, we told you about some new DJ hardware to go with your iPad, the iDJ Live accessory  is made to go with the iDJ app.

iDJ Live DJ

Download iDJ app from iTunes for $19.99

The next three apps are from the same developer, Agile Partners, and they focus on the guitar quite well, so fittingly the first app is the Guitar World Lick of the Day:

Guitar World Lick of the Day

Guitar World Lick of the Day is for all guitar players who want to always get better and improve their guitar playing skills and broaden their musical horizons. Guitar players of all skill levels can learn cool licks from Guitar World’s award-winning instructors and amazing celebrities such as Zakk Wylde, Joe Satriani, Gus G., and Phil Collen in a variety of styles. For those who don’t know, a lick is “a stock pattern or phrase” consisting of a short series of notes that is used in solos and melodic lines. Not only will you receive several free licks right away, you’ll receive additional free licks periodically. Once you’re finished with the free licks you can subscribe for one, three, or six months of a new lick everyday. This app has been hot in the ratings from musicians and Apple staffers. Learn many different styles like rock, metal, blues, country,  and jazz. Practice makes perfect and you can practice all you need with settings that control music notation tempo, looping, audio synthesis, a metronome and more. See where your fingers should be with the visual fretboard that shows finger positions synchronized with the scrolling music notation, Good news left-handed guitar players you can invert the fretboard.

Check out the video, it’s a two for one special, featuring this app and the one below:

Download from iTunes for free

 Tab Toolkit

TabToolkit also featured in the video above is an Apple Design Awards 2010 winner for the iPad! TabToolkit is an incredibly powerful guitar tablature and music notation viewer, now with multi-track playback. A must have application if you value learning and practicing music. TabToolkit lets you listen to and control the audio for all tracks individually with its audio synthesis engine. Control playback tempo, a metronome, and a tab upload and download manager are all possibilities with this app for guitarists and musicians of all skill levels. This app is left better explained by the developers themselves, enjoy the video:

Download from iTunes for $9.99


If you play the guitar this app is also for you, according to iTunes it has ‘Essential guitar utilities, including an amazingly accurate tuner and a library of over 500,000 chords, all on your iPad. One of the highest rated applications in the App Store’. It has a full chord library giving you direct support for 6- and 12-string guitar, 4-, 5- and 6-string bass, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele with standard and alternate tuning for each instrument. No more wondering if you’re playing the right chord because this has Chord finder, simply touch the notes on the fretboard that make up a chord, and GuitarToolkit tells you what that chord is. This massive chord library (over 500,000 chords) has a highly accurate chromatic tuner and is precisely accurate thanks to a metronome with a visible flash option. Plus a tempo tap pad, 13 sound effects and 12 time signatures, oh yeah this app also supports the lefty’s out there.

Download from iTunes for $9.99

What goes well with a guitar, naturally something to boost your sound. Below are a couple of amps and some hardware you’ll need to complete your musical masterpiece.


The amp applications from iTunes are truly magic in a box, with AmpliTube you have a mobile guitar and bass multi-effect processor and mobile recording studio. You can play, practice and record anytime, anywhere with world-class guitar and bass ultra-realistic tones and effects, plus full multi-track recording capabilities. You have an entire guitar and bass rig at your fingertips. You get 4 stompbox effects running into an amplifier head with effects, plus cabinet and a microphone. Choose from 11 built-in stompbox effects (delay, fuzz, overdrive, wah, envelope filter, chorus, flanger, phaser, octave, noise filter + distortion once registered), 5 amps (clean, crunch, lead, metal, bass) with full controls, 5 speaker cabinets and 2 microphones (dynamic and condenser). Plus you can expand with 5 additional effects – compressor, reverb, parametric EQ, graphic EQ and limiter – suitable for other instruments and vocals – as well as add the entire suite of 5 amps and 5 effects of AmpliTube Fender™ plus 5 effects from VocaLive (Choir, Morph, Pitch Fix, Doubler and De-Esser) available through an in-app purchase. AmpliTube has an enhanced preset system for easily and efficiently managing your sounds. Play along with songs or backing tracks by importing them directly from your iPod library in your device or from your computer. AmpliTube also helps with learning/practice thanks to the SpeedTrainer feature which allows you to slow down or speed up the tempo of audio material without affecting pitch. A digital chromatic tuner and metronome are also included, designed specifically for the AmpliTube is needed hardware: iRig.


Simply plug the iRig interface into your mobile device, plug your instrument into the appropriate input jack, plug in your headphones, amp or powered speakers, one you’ve downloaded AmpliTube you can rock. If you’re still missing the sound you want, remember just add amps and effects as you need them — you can expand your rig with up to 11 stomps, 5 amps, 5 cabinets and 2 microphones in the AmpliTube iRig app custom shop. Two videos below, the first is a AmpliTube iRig walk through, second is how to record your own song:

Download from iTunes for free

Download from iTunes for $19.99

iShred LIVE

This app is best of all free and its had great reviews in the iTunes store. ‘I am a guitar player and this is my dream! Great great product! ‘ – Paul Smoke ★★★★★. Get the effects of the pros and also the tools for your guitar by just plugging in and rocking into the wee hours of the night. On the free side you get the HK-2000 digital delay, the Q-36 Space Modulator/Flanger, and Buzz Kill, a noise gate and filter. This app also has some in-app purchase additions like Hot Fuzz (super fuzz pedal), Sybil (dual chorus), Trembler (variable waveform tremolo), Adrenaline (adjustable treble booster) and Compressor (compressor pedal). You can use iShred LIVE with a headset that includes a microphone, but it is rock-optimized for use with the new GuitarConnect interface cable from Griffin Technology (see below). More effects, amps, and features are coming in future updates!

Griffin Technology GuitarConnect Cable

GuitarConnect Cable plugs you into iShred LIVE’s eight-effect pedal board with digital tuner, metronome, and a playalong practice player that allows you to play along with your favorite songs, or practice tricky sections. Use with your headphones to rock wherever you are, whenever you want.

Griffin StompBox

 It’s a 4 button foot controller that allow you to switch effects through through your device. It can be programmed to the desired effect and with a 1/4″ jack it can also be plug into headphones and other instruments.

Enjoy the videos featuring these combinations:

Download from iTunes for free

Purchase Griffin StompBox from Apple Store for $99.95

Music is ever changing and there are a lot more apps to cover, stay tuned for parts two and three where the focus will be on the piano, production and percussion (the drums). Stay tuned for updates to the Music is Magic series, we are always looking for the best apps to improve your sound and quality. Be sure to book mark and share. See you soon :).