Top iOS Apps

Alchemy Synth Mobile

Alchemy Synth Mobile Studio

Great synth app that allows you to create your own loops using up to 4 instruments. Control velocity and add filter sweep effects while playing the keyboard. Tweak parameters of each preset to make your own sounds. You can create drumbeats using overdub and quantise features and balance levels using the mixer. Includes sample songs that demonstrate the possibilities of the app and a link to an excellent Youtube demo/tutorial video. Also includes support for Audiobus. The Pro upgrade includes extra sounds and loops, pitchbend and allows you to save and export MIDI or audio.



Nice, simple synth app that was used by the Gorillaz on their album The Fall. It has a decent number of presets – 40 in total – includes modulation and pitch bend wheels and you can adjust the delay and distortion settings. There’s also a sampler included so you can create your own sounds from scratch.



Virtuoso Pinao 3

Virtuoso Piano 3

This keyboard app has the option of displaying a single or double keyboard. The double keyboard makes it possible to play notes with the left and right hands at the same time in different octaves. You can switch on two-player mode which flips one of the keyboards around, allowing two students to play on one iPad at the same time, opposite one another. It’s possible to adjust the size of the keys, allowing you to fit more keys on the screen (which will also be smaller in size). Includes just two sounds – grand piano and broken pub piano – and is one of the only keyboard apps I’ve seen that allows you to turn on (or off) labels that identify each note.

Core Synth HD

Core Synth HD

Nice little monophonic synth app that has keys that light up when pressed. You can edit the attack, delay, sustain and release in the volume envelope settings and it also includes a low pass filter module. There are two octaves and the app includes ads. Upgrade to the paid version for 7 octaves, ad removal and many extra features.



Barrel Tones

Barrel Tones

A drum kit plain and simple. Includes 3 backing tracks for you to jam along with. Useful for displaying on a data projector in order to show students the parts of a kit.






18 different sampled conga sounds that you can access by playing different regions of each conga on the screen. Includes a cowbell and drum stick sounds.







Used in the Northpoint Christian iPad Band’s Feliz Navidad video, this vibraslap takes advantage of the iPad’s built-in accelerometer: shake or tap the iPad to play. The creators of the app warn you to use the shake option with caution: “Please keep in mind to hold your device securely as we will not be responsible for lost or damaged hardware”.



Awesome Cowbell Free

Awesome Cowbell Free

I’m not sure about the “awesome” bit, but this app features three cowbells of varying sizes and each has two tones. You can record your cowbell performance and play it back as a loop. This app includes ads.






Nice-looking ukelele with a Hawaiian pattern. Play chords by pressing one of the chord buttons while you strum your finger along the strings. The chord buttons can be edited: tap the information button and then set up a chord sequence for a known song – using up to 12 chords – in the correct order. A library of user-created songs can be accessed to save you time programming your own songs. Includes ads.



Santoor HD

Play this ancient Indian instrument by touching your finger on a string, or sliding it horizontally along the string to add vibrato. You can play along with songs from your iTunes library and there’s an auto mode if you’d like to hear a demonstration. Includes a recording function that you can access by leaving an app rating in the iTunes store. Also includes ads.



Sansula Lite

Sansula Lite

A simple kalimba instrument app which you play by touching the darkened ends of each metal strip. You can listen to some audio samples and upgrade to the paid version for access to different scales/tuning.




Magic Zither

Magic Zither

Who doesn’t need a zither? Touch and slide your finger on the screen to create music. This app is rather beautiful to look at – it features a background of Chinese paintings which change while you play. You can play using the solo mode, or turn on song mode and be guided through a known song note-by-note.




Monster Chorus

Monster Chorus

The app to download when you need an octave of monsters on the moon. Play the monsters by tapping on each one. In addition to the octave of monsters, extra “surprise” monsters of varying pitches pop out of moon craters. You could use these for an ear-training activity with young students – listen to the surprise monster and then try to find his matching monster in the one-octave line-up. A sampler lets you can record your own sound and play it back. Includes an option to purchase songs that you can play along with. Turn off ads in the app’s settings area.

Vuvuzela Man

Vuvuzela Man

Novelty value only! Tap on the screen or blow into the iPad microphone (yes, really) to play your vuvuzela. Sliding your finger along the vuvuzela will play a B flat-A glissando and if you place 4 fingers on the screen, multiple vuvuzelas will play at once.

GarageBand iOS Tips

thumbpPlay patterns with ease

If you touch and hold two fingers on the bass drum, it will play a repeating patten (the first and third beat in the bar). Move your fingers apart slightly to play crotchets and further apart again to play quavers. It also works on the snare, but the repeating pattern is faster: crotchets, quavers and semiquavers.

Increase and decrease volume

When playing a repeating pattern with two fingers, slide your finger upwards to make the pattern louder or downwards to make the pattern softer.

Tips for pizz

When playing pizz chords on the Smart Strings, it’s all about the release. The chord sounds on the release of your finger, not on the tap. Touching different sections of the chord strip allows you to play different inversions of the same chord.

All about arco

Stroke your finger up and down the chord strip in the Smart Strings to play sustained chords. Stroking faster will result in a louder chord and stroking slower will give a softer chord.

Re-voice a chord

You can alter the voicings of chords in the Smart Strings by tapping on the instrument icons at the top of the screen to remove them from the chord.

Track view to instrument

When in Track View, you can double-tap on instrument icon to go quickly to Instrument View.

Instant Playback

When in Track View you can double-tap in the ruler at the top of the screen to move the playhead to that position and start playback all in one go.

Customise and save keyboard sounds

A number of the keyboard instruments allow you to customise their playback sound. You can add reverb, change the attack, add delay and so on. Once you’ve made some changes you can save your settings: tap the instrument icon in the middle of the screen, tap Save and give your custom instrument a name. Tap Done and your new instrument will appear in the Custom tab.

Edit guitar chords

When using the Smart Guitar (or any of the other melodic Smart instruments), you can edit the chords that are available. Even if the ones you need are already present, you may want to edit the order in which they appear so that it’s easier for students to play. To edit chords, tap the Song Settings button (looks like a spanner) and then tap Edit Chords. Tap one of the chord strips on the instrument and then edit the chord by swiping the chord wheels above. You can choose the chord, its quality and an alternate bass note.

GarageBand iOS


View In iTunes

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Music
  • Updated: Oct 22, 2013
  • Version: 2.0
  • Size: 610 MB
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
  • Seller: Apple Inc.
  • © 2011-2013 Apple Inc.


GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play a piano, organ, guitar, and drums. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Enjoy Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug an electric guitar into your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch and play through classic amps and stompbox effects.* Use a Touch Instrument, a built-in microphone, or a guitar and instantly record a performance. GarageBand now takes song creation to the next level with support for up to 32 tracks.** Get even more sounds for GarageBand with a one-time in-app purchase or record popular third-party music apps using Inter-App Audio in iOS 7. And share your song using email, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, or AirDrop for iOS.

Play your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch like a musical instrument
• Play musical instruments on the innovative Multi-Touch keyboard
• Tap out beats with an acoustic and electronic drum kit
• Record your voice using the built-in microphone and apply fun sound effects
• Recreate legendary guitar rigs with 9 amps and 10 stompbox effects*
• Use the Sampler to create an instrument from sounds you record, then play them on a keyboard*
• Record compatible third-party music apps right into GarageBand using Inter-App Audio in iOS 7

Sound like a virtuoso with Smart Instruments
• Conduct an entire string orchestra with just one finger using Smart Strings*
• Tap chords to instantly create keyboard grooves with the Smart Keyboard*
• Strum chords on an acoustic and electric Smart Guitar, trigger fingerpicking patterns for popular chords, or switch to Notes view to try your hand at the real thing
• Groove with a variety of Smart Basses using upright, electric, and synth sounds*
• Drag drum instruments onto a grid to create your own beats with Smart Drums*

Start a Jam Session with your friends
• Use your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to play or record live over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with up to three of your friends
• Tempo, key, time signature, and chords automatically sync to the bandleader
• Jam with any Touch Instrument or live instruments like electric guitar or voice
• The bandleader automatically collects everyone’s recordings so they can be mixed as a song and shared

Create a song anywhere you go
• Arrange and mix your song with up to 32 tracks** using Touch Instruments, audio recordings, and loops
• Use the Note Editor to adjust or fine-tune any Touch Instrument recording
• Trim and place musical regions exactly where you want them to play
• Use the Mixer to fine-tune each track’s volume —solo or mute any track or adjust pan, reverb, and echo
• Choose from over 250 professionally prerecorded loops as a backing band to your song

Share your songs
• Keep your GarageBand songs up to date across all your iOS devices with iCloud
• Create custom ringtones and alerts for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
• Share your songs directly to Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud
• Email songs right from GarageBand
• Export your song and add it to the iTunes library on your Mac or PC
• Share GarageBand projects directly between iOS devices using Airdrop for iOS

* Requires one-time in-app purchase for the complete collection of GarageBand instruments and sounds.
** 32 tracks available on iOS devices with the A7 chip. 16 tracks available on iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad (4th generation), iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation).

What’s New in Version 2.0

• All-new streamlined design
• Create a song with up to 32 tracks* using Touch Instruments, audio recordings, and loops
• Record compatible Third-Party music apps using Inter-App Audio in iOS 7
• Drag and drop audio recordings to create Sampler instruments
• Support for AirDrop in iOS 7
• 64-bit support

* Requires devices with the A7 chip.16 tracks available on iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad (4th generation), iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation)



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