Do you want to compose some music, but don’t really know where and how to start? Here is a small selection of free and paid iPad apps that will help you to increase your musical creativity. Even the Gorillaz have produced a complete album only by using iPad and iPhone music apps, so now it’s your turn!

#5: GarageBand

GarageBand is defacto the music application everyone has on its Mac. When Apple launched the iPad version, the similarity to the Mac’s version was very high, and I must say the realization is pretty good. The number of virtual instruments is very high and the instruments and loops are classified like in the Mac version. You can improvise a drumbeat while tapping onto the screen and depending where you are tapping, the sound is changing (try it on the percussion, you will notice that even if you are tapping on the same instrument, the sound changes depending on the position where you have tapped).

Numbers of effects will help you in tuning and finding the correct sound. The loop library is also filled with bunches of samples and if you have bought the GarageBand sound banks you can import them into the app in order to extend the number of samples.


  • Well realized interface design, it’s a pleasure to play with these virtual instruments.
  • Even if you are not inspired the “Smart Instruments” will help you to quickly find new chords and produce new arrangements.


  • Missing editing options for instruments: after you have recorded a pattern you cannot change the value of the note and the bars like in the Mac version of Garage Band.


#4: Fruity Loops – FL Studio HD

This is good drum machine to quickly generate beats but also to create whole samples. The app comes with a bunch of samples and instruments, which gives you good possibilities to create something original. The 16 step drum machine will give you full control on your beat and I’m pretty sure you will create very soon a nice dance track!


  • A good synth and drum machine
  • Very easy to use


  • Mainly aimed for electronic music, but classical instruments such as strings are also included in the sample package

#3: SoundPrism

If you like these kinds of apps generating random or harmonious tones, this app is for you. SoundPrism is composed in three parts and by pressing on the right part you can generate organ and synth tones played on several chords.




  • A very original instrument, especially if you want to create and use the samples for your own creation.
  • Multi-touch is also supported, so you can play


  • Free version limited to 4 “instruments” but this is not a big problem if you are just looking for producing nice sounding tones out of your iPad

#2: djay

This app realized by the German software company algoriddim is a real must have if you want to impress your friends (especially girls 😉 ) because it’s a virtual turntable. Let me first say that djay won the Apple Designer Prize this year and it really deserves its title. Once you have selected your two tracks from your iTunes library you can start to mix and put the fire on the dance floor. djay also contains an automix function so that you can leave the app alone and it will make the mix and the transition automatically. Loop and EQ functions and of course cue points setting are also included. You can even record your mix.


  • Everything is smooth and accurate. The response time while scratching discs (… sorry MP3s 😉 ) is accurate, there are not lags.
  • The interface is really beautiful; you can even touch and move the playing head!
  • Multi-touch support is nice: you can scratch and change the EQ


  • An effect button would have been nice, but come on this is really a detail 🙂

#1: Korg iMS-20

Let’s finish this “must-have” tour by the most impressive app of all. Impressive by the fact that it’s a reproduction of an existing synthesizer the famous Korg MS-20 used by famous electro artists such as Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, William Orbit and of course 😉 the Gorillaz. So first of all let me say this is an all-in-one app, meaning you have a drum machine, a synth, the keyboard and the KAOS Pad. There is a small training time before understanding how everything works, but with some deduction and tries you will certainly found out (without the manual) how to generate your first electro track.

The app is well done, allowing users also to wire virtual cables and so to produce even more astonishing sounds! This is sooo impressive and the numbers of configuration and features parameters are almost unlimited. You can also load your own samples and instruments.

If you are looking for the best app to create your next electro track or astonishing beats, this app is for you.


  • A professional app that has a huge (unlimited) potential


  • The app is expensive (about 25 Euros)