Six Cool Music-Making Apps That Turn Your Phone Into An Instrument
Six-Cool Music-Making Apps
Turn your phone into an instrument with these apps
by David Merline, Web2Carz Managing Editor
You can do many things with a cell phone these days—play games, send texts, check email, surf the web, and, rumor has it, talk to people far away who have a similar device. But among the coolest apps for your smartphone are the various music making apps. And not the virtual studio apps, although those are cool too; we’re talking about the apps that turn your smartphone or tablet into a virtual instrument. Here are some of our faves.
Pocket Shaker (Free)
Let’s start off simply. You don’t have to know how to read music, or even have much musical ability to be able to make noise on a shaker, and this app lets you shake your phone to the beat. You can even turn your phone into a castanet, a cowbell, a conga, a guiro, or just about any other percussion instrument you can think of.
If you’re a drummer, or just a Keith Moon wannabe, you can make tons of noise with the uDrummer app. You can choose from an array of acoustic or electronic drum kits, so you can either practice your paradiddles or rock out like a spaz. There’s also a free version if you want to rock out like a cheapskate.
Pocket Guitar ($0.99)
Turn your phone into a kick-ass axe with this virtual guitar app. It lets you press strings and strum, just like on a real guitar, not like one of those silly Rock Band button-pressers. Choose between electric, acoustic, electric bass, or ukulele.
Speaking of ukuleles, the Futulele app lets you combine your iPhone and your iPad to create a new instrument. The iPad becomes the body and the iPhone is the neck of the Futulele, but even though you can strum the “strings” like on a real uke, you don’t need to know how to finger chords, you just tap the phone to change chords. Kind of a cop out if you ask us. But at least it looks ridiculous.
The Animoog app is put out by Moog, the company founded by synth pioneer Bob Moog, so you know it’s good. It’s possibly the best virtual synth on the market, but it's costly, at least for an app. It’s $10.00 for the iPhone and $30.00 for the iPad, but it’s well worth the price, considering you can perfectly recreate the solo from “Lucky Man” by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
If electronic music is more your speed, Figure is the app for you. Created by Propellerhead (the company behind Reason, one of the first and best virtual studios), Figure is a simple yet powerful app that lets you create loops, play virtual synths, program beats, and use many filters and effects. It’s everything you need to create your own dance floor hit. Glo-sticks sold separately.