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

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

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Published on August 05, 2011 with No Comments

Music, the international language, is everywhere. Being in tune, giving the audience goosebumps, and leaving an impression are all commonplace for musicians. We’ve already started our music coverage giving you the best musician apps for the iPad 2 with Music is Magic pt. 1 and continuing our series on music, as promised, part two of our series focuses on percussion: the piano and the drums. No matter if you’re a beginner, know the bascis or one step away from Carnegie Hall the following applications not only teach many different levels, but they also fine tune your timing to help create the perfect melody or sound. In this article, Music is Magic part 2,  you’ll find three of the top piano applications and also three ‘banging’ drum applications to turn your iPad 2 into the instrument that will last forever.

Up first, sound like a Pro with Pianist Pro:

Pianist Pro

Musicians at every level have been crazy about Pianist Pro. This app has done well with the iPad, the Pianist Pro was the number one music app for the iPad at release and has remained high in the charts ever since. This app has much more to offer than your actual piano, it features full MIDI import and export capability, allowing you to record song ideas while on the road and export them via MIDI to your Digital Audio Workstation back at the studio. You can also use Pianist Pro as a great master MIDI keyboard, either with USB, the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer interface, or via Wi-Fi. Drive your soft or hard synths wirelessly from the sofa, or from another room. Pianist Pro can even be used as a MIDI sound source, driven by an external hardware keyboard. Just by holding down a few keys, you can create perfectly timed runs with a built-in arpeggiator, complex patterns of notes and chords can be programmed into the arpeggiator and played back live. This app also has a drum machine with a choice of drum kits to suit a range of musical styles. Check it out:

Download from iTunes for $4.99

Pro Keys

Get this cheap while you can, for only $2.99 you use Pro Keys to ‘play, sing, record – track by track’ like it says in the pic above. As soon as more features are added to this, the price will go up :(. Pro Keys is a multi-instrumental polyphonic keyboard equipped with sounds of legendary synthesizers. A few features are 20 presets created by a professional studio producer, 14 instruments and 6 drum kits, an independent loop player and recorder with WI-FI file sharing. Pro Keys also has an Midi input, split keyboard option (supports Midi Mobilizer and Core MIDI). Another noteworthy feature is the vocal recorder, a perfect tool for song writers, beatboxers or just for fun.

This app is a crowd favorite:

Download from iTunes for $2.99

If singing is your thing consider picking up the microphone you need to complete your studio:

iRig Mic

Another piece of hardware from IK Multimedia, iRig Mic is the first handheld microphone for the iPad designed to meet any and all of your musical needs. Now you can make professional audio and vocal recordings anywhere. Perfect for singers, vocalists and songwriters on the move, but it also records speeches, instruments, performances or other sound sources in the studio, on stage or in the field. Key features include real time monitoring with its dual mini-jack connector design, and a three-level gain switch you can turn all the way up or down adapting to any condition you might face.

iRig Mic also comes with VocaLive free, IK’s new real time effects processor suite for the singer and vocalist, and AmpliTube free for guitar players and songwriters and finally iRig Recorder free, an IK app for quick audio recording and processing.


This app has been seen on TV already, it was featured on Apple’s iPad TV commercial, Gizmodo, CNet, TUAW and Smoking Apples. At a fairly low cost Nota is for musicians at any level. For beginners, Nota’s tools covers the basics of music notation with a 4 octave piano that displays the notes on a staff, which is a cool tool to improve your music reading ability, included is a full screen landscape mode piano for practicing and an interactive notes quiz to test your knowledge of notes. For advanced users, the scales browser has a comprehensive list of common and exotic scales, so now you can play tunes you’ve heard from great pianists. Nota shows the scale, plays it and displays the notes, intervals and half-steps. The chords browser makes it easy to find a chord and play it on any key or invert it. Now you can set the notation to strict or simplified and also set the root to sharp or flat. You can also consult the Circle of Fifths in the Reference section which has the most comprehensive reference of music notation on the iPad. It comes with needed piano tools to not only teach you but also test you. Featuring a piano chord and scale browser, a piano and staff note locator, a note quiz and a reference library with over 100 symbols. Of course the video as well so you can see what’s all about:

Download from iTunes for $2.99

Moving from the piano bench to the drummers seat. A drum roll please…these apps will assure that your next audition will be flawless.

Drum Meister Grand

This app is another ‘Hollywood’ application because it has appeared in TV commercials. Realistic sound with your finger tips is what this app provides to users. Some highlighted features are 4 different drum kit sounds (rock, jazz, dance, electronic), 10 basic drum components with 12 different sounds played simultaneously, 8 extra components (4 brushed, side-stick, 2 extra cymbals, and a cowbell).  This app also gives you an element of control you only get from applications. Users can edit (Add / Remove / Resize) components, record and save your own beats, control velocity and much more. You don’ have to be a pro to use this app, check out this video:

Download from iTunes for $1.99

 DrumTrack HD

This app is much more that just a drum set, DrumTrackHD is prepared with FX (audio effects), track automation, sample patterns, signature modification, reverse samples and many more features. With 15 drum kits you can easily make fantastic rhythms, or import user samples, create multi-sample tracks or add/subtract/replace different tracks for the ultimate customization. When you play back and fine tune your song, you are able to include audio Fx, swing and much more. Once you are done, export your patterns or songs into General MIDI or WAV Format (Ipcm, aac or Ima4) and transfer files through iTunes. This app enables you to upload them on SoundCloud plus copy them by using AudioCopy protocol (FourTrack) or Intua (Beat Maker) public pasteboard methods. So you can create then save your creation with DrumTrack. It has two different editions; pattern and song. With pattern edition you get 16 tracks based on a Drum Kit, adjustable length and signatures for each pattern such as 3/4, 4/4, 4/8 & more plus you can edit every step’s velocity, pitch, start/end offset, pan plus reverse samples. In other words you can manipualte to sound to exactly what you want. In the song edition you get tools to help you create a hit single. Simply drag and drop UI for song creation, then render to a disk for transferring files to and from your iPad with the use of iTunes or submit songs and patterns to Soundcloud to share with friends. An added bonus are the real-time audio effects. As you can see from the video this app has a lot of production features:

Download from iTunes for $9.99

ELECTROBEATS by David Guetta

House anyone? Heard of David Guetta? Of course you have and ElectroBeats is his brain child. It’s a very intuitive beat making application for Electro House music. Create the next club sensation with sixteen pads and five different modes; Pad, Pitch, Velocity, Erase, Mute/Solo. You also get a an exclusive and electro house oriented sound library, with hundreds of sounds including Bass Drum, Snare, Clap, Rimshot, Cymbal, Hi-Hat, Open Hi-Hats, Acoustic Percussion, Electronic Percussion, FX, Bass, Chords, Leads, Instruments, and much more. Another cool feature, you can dynamically change the quantize/repeat resolution while recording, the key to building beats fast. Sharing your beats is easy and simple thanks to iTunes, you can also bounce songs in Wav format or even export them using sequencers like Logic, Live, ProTools or Cubase. No one better than David Guetta to demo his application, enjoy this video:

Download from iTunes for $9.99

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 :).