Best iPad music apps

Having that slightly larger screen on the iPad grants a lot more space to play with the tablet's music making capabilities. There is room there for extra sliders, bigger buttons and larger instruments. The result is a selection of iPad music apps that really do the most with the extra screen size available. 

Some of these apps are so complex that you could quite easily produce an entire song using only them. Whilst Pocket-lint is yet to try and turn out its own record using just a tablet, it would most definitely be a tech first.

MadPad HD

MadPad HD is, at its heart, an audio sequencer; a device to loop sounds in order to create percussive or musical clips. However, it does so with miniature video clips recorded from, basically, anything. You can record 12 individual small clips of unique sounds, store them on your iPad (or in the cloud) and then play them back by tapping on each thumbnail. A basic looping function is included, plus you can record a larger sequence. You can also change the pitch and volume of each clip, effectively turning a person speaking into a Smurf or Barry White, or making a mundane noise, such as traffic, much more interesting. 

And, if you're completely out of inspiration, you can download entire sets of clips from Smule and other users. Similarly, you can upload your own for others to use, and share them through Facebook, Twitter or via email. As this is predominantly a video application, you will really need an iPad 2 to get the most from but you can still use it on a first generation iPad, too - you just won't be able to record your own video clips. Read more

iTunesLink 

Price: £1.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Vevo

If you like music videos, then Vevo is where it is all at and is pretty much an essential app for your collection. Land on the homepage and there is a carousel of several featured artists and videos. It’s bold, it looks sharp and there is no messing around. Hit the one you want and the video streams, it’s as simple as that.

It’s clean, simple, direct to the point and easy to use. The selection of videos seems to cover the most popular current artists, so if you have specific tastes you might be disappointed. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

Sonos Controller

This handy app acts as a free wireless music controller for your Sonos system. Download the app, install it, press a button on any one of your Sonos ZonePlayers and away you go. It really is that easy. IT enables you to manage your library remotely, and stream music to every room - you can either play different songs in each room or sync all your ZonePlayers to play the same song. Volume can be controlled via the hardware buttons on most Android phones.

And voice search can be performed from within the app. Plus, it also features the ability to press back on your phone rather than having to press a dedicated icon on screen. In practice, the volume buttons work a treat making changing volume on the fly really easy, and the voice search saves you having to tap away at a tiny keyboard. This one's also available for iPhone and iPad. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

 

Guitar World Lick of the Day

This clever app offers a list of available licks for you to choose from, which you download within the app. You're then presented with a tutorial video from one of Guitar World's award-winning instructors or celeb axe-wielders like Zakk Wylde and Joe Satriani. You'll also get written performance notes explaining how to play the lick, along with scrolling musical notation. You can choose between a standard music stave or guitar tab, and there's also a virtual fretboard displayed beneath the music (which can be inverted for the lefties among you).

There's also a handy practice mode where you can alter the settings to control various features like music notation tempo, looping and a metronome. The app is free but if you want to get the full benefit then you'll need to shell out for a subscription that will guarantee you one new guitar lick per day. You can purchase a one-, three- or six-month subscription, priced at £1.19, £2.99 and £5.99 respectively. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

GarageBand on iPad

 This is the most fully functioning music app out there giving you what the majority of individual apps offer, but only better and in one package. You get to play piano, guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and if you’ve got the right dongle, even record your own guitar playing as well. Broken down into a number of different areas or instrument groups, the idea is that you can play your favourite instruments, lay down a track, and then edit and manage them into a song before exporting said track into iTunes or your desktop and then share it with your friends.

The whole experience is incredibly easy, and depending on your musical skill rather than computer skills you can create a track in minutes rather than hours. The interface is very much like GarageBand on the Mac and you can add more instruments, loops, delete tracks, expand and shrink, and basically anything else you need to create that next Number One. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 5/5

 

SoundHound

You've probably heard of Shazam. We mean, who hasn't? Shazam is a brilliant app and has rightly been massively successful in the app world. But what if there was an app that could do all of what Shazam could, but with added extras? Ah, but there is. SoundHound is like Shazam, but turned up to 11. It's Shazam's bigger, better looking nemesis, that not only recognises music that you play to it, it can also tag tunes that you sing and hum to it. And if you're too shy to sing or hum, you can even just speak the lyrics into it, or type them in if you're feeling shy.

From your tagged songs you are able to view related videos of the song via YouTube, buy the song from iTunes, share it with your buddies via email, text, Facebook or Twitter, and even get the full lyrics displayed. You can also view the song artist's biography and get recommendations of similar artists. If you're wondering whether the humming function actually works, then wonder no more. It does.As well as tagging your own songs, you are also able to have a look at what other people are tagging using the 'What's Hot' feature and you can also use SoundHound as a mini-karaoke system by displaying the lyrics to songs playing in your iPod app. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £4.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio is very similar to Spotify, which is a good thing as there is currently no dedicated Spotify app on the iPad. The service is ad-powered, but for $4 per month you can get better quality audio and an ad-free setup. Pandora can be used to select single tracks or will play entire mixes, similar to Spotify radio. There is also a desktop application which comes with custom skins, those paying the $4 get access to that as well. 

As of now, Pandora isn't available in the UK, which is a shame as its service has a pretty diverse track selection. Those seeking something similar could try Last.fm's paid for service. One of the real highlights of the app, as you can see in the photo above, is the information you get on each artist, making it much easier to browse and find new music. 

iTunes: Link

Price: Free (subs req for ad free)

Rating: 4/5

 

Shazam

Shazam started out as a bit of a gimmick, something cool that early iPhone owners would use to show off the capability of an app to their mates. Since then it has grown, blossomed if you will, into a fully fledged music application, replete with track previews, tagging and global popular track lists.

The core Shazam experience is about using the app to find out what a song is that is playing around you. A prime example would be say, if you went to a restaurant and heard a track but didn't know what it was, Shazam would tell you by letting the app 'listen' listen to it. Clever stuff really.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

SoundCloud

SoundCloud is a startup that has been steamrolling towards success from day one. On the internet, it is a huge community for DJs, producers and musicians to post their musical creations online. Its bespoke player and ease of use has led to a very quick community of music lovers crop up, many posting home made sets and mash ups. 

In app form, SoundCloud behaves very similarly. You can comment and like different tracks the people have posted and engage in the community in just the same way. The best bit however is being able to record straight from the app, allowing you to pop music straight up onto your profile from your tablet. 

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

Djay

The iPad's screen is big enough to fit a fully fledged mixing setup onto it, which is where Djay comes in. Drawing on your entire iTunes library, it allows you to put together and record professional quality mixes with nothing but your tablet. It also uses some rather clever beat matching technology, for the beginner who struggles with putting together a mix. 

Djay is essentially a full mixer priced in at £6.99. You get a lot of features that would only be available in the most expensive of mixers, with things like custom effects and customisable cue points coming as standard. A bit of extra investment and you can also grab a split output, so you can mix through headphones. 

iTunes: Link

Price: £6.99

Rating: 4/5

- Best iPad 2 apps



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