Making Beats on Your iPhone 101

The iPhone has seen many sizes of the same shape over its lifespan. Starting at what now seems minute compared to today’s models, the first iPhone had a screen that was 4.53 by 2.4 inches, while today’s iPhone 6 Plus is a whopping 6.02 by 3.06 inches.

Size clearly matters to Apple and to Apple’s customer base, but why? Some would argue that the increase in size has been to promote video streaming and picture quality, which is all very true. And with increased innovation in graphics and visual processing, iPhone is an aesthetic marvel that meets its potential to be much more than just a phone in many ways.

Music production and creation has been an aspect of the iPhone that Apple has advertised. Touch-responsive pianos, drum sets, guitars, alongside many other instruments can be found in the app store.

With the growing size of the iPhone’s screen, in conjunction with the increase in processing power, the capability to produce music on an iPhone through various music software programs is growing to be more expansive.

Here is a list of programs that can be used to sequence music on your iPhone and iPad.

Image-Line FL Studio Mobile HD $19.99

Derived from FL Studio’s computer based application, this version of FL comes full of features that allow the user to culminate ideas on the go. This program offers a wide variety of instruments, synthesizers, drum kits and loops. Audio recording and editing are available, as well as extra features such as MIDI out for triggering an external midi interface. It is also compatible with other sequencing applications and can use their sounds. Sounds that are sequenced in the iPhone app can also be exported to the computer for further development.


Propellerhead Figure $0.99

Propellerhead software, the company behind the music-sequencing program, Reason, has made an iPhone app called Figure, which allows on-the-go step sequencing. Using an intuitive interface, Propellerhead has simplified the mobile music-programming interface to something that is easy to pick up and play around with. This program consists of modulating three different elements: bass, drums and lead. It is also compatible with Audiobus, an application that allows you to export your sounds to other applications, and Soundcloud, for immediate publishing of your projects.


Korg iPolysix $29.99

Korg, a Japanese electronic instrument powerhouse, is known for its assortment of keyboards, guitar pedals and recording equipment. iPolysix is Korg’s attempt at digitizing a 80’s retro hardware synthesizer, and similar to the experience of playing around with a hardware synth, this app is full of experimental sounds for your creative pleasure. Alongside a Polystep sequencer, drum machine, and mixer, this application will serve its users hours of fun on the go.


Propellerhead ReBirth $14.99

Bringing back one of Propellerhead’s first desktop applications, ReBirth is a combination of some of Roland’s most notable drum machines, the TR-808 and TR-909 (responsible for essentially every bass sound you’ve ever heard in Rap and Hip-Hop) and the TB-303 (a bass synthesizer and sequencer), this application gives the user complete control over a fusion of sounds that make for the perfect analog beatbox. Currently an iPad app, it is expected to be ported to iPhone soon.


Native Instruments iMaschine $5.99

Native Instruments is a driving force in the audio production and DJing sphere. With an assortment of hardware and software mediums in their repertoire, software synths, samplers and computer based DJing interfaces; Native Instruments has taken their step sequencing capabilities to the iOS market. iMaschine is a consolidation of the actual hardware groove station for your mobile pleasure. Consisting of 16 drum pads and a keyboard, this app is the perfect sketchpad for producing ideas on the go. They can also be exported to the computer for integration with the Maschine software.

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