Intua’s Beatmaker 2 is an incredibly powerful and extensive sequencer and multitracking tool that rivals today’s PC recording software. It comes bundled with slick drum tones, a hot mess of synthesizers, and even an audio-in recording function to track vocals, guitars, etc. To top that off, it has nine very malleable effects (my personal favorite being the bit crusher), and mp3s from the iTunes library can be uploaded, edited, stretched, pitch shifted, reversed, and sampled. Whether writing loops or songs, this is the app for all orthodox sequencing needs.
iTabla Pandit is an interactive dictionary of classic tabla rhythms mixed with rich harmonic beds, intended to be both teacher and accompanying musician. Weighing in as the priciest app to make the list, the hefty investment stands its ground with superb tabla tones, independent mixing of each drum, 33 different taals (most of which are odd time rhythms), complete control of tempo and pitch, and it also has an adjustable tanpura and shruti for that extra trippy drone tone. Note, however, that this is not a sequencer and all the rhythms are fixed.
The folks over at Moog are all about tone and its tactile manipulations. Their app, Animoog, is no exception, as it’s a great sounding synth with a fantastic instrument library. Additionally, it comes bundled with impressively thorough effects parameters and a sleek futuristic mad-scientist look to it. The best part, however, is how it plays – hold down a note on the keyboard while moving your finger up and down to experience a new mod-wheel control feature. Words don’t really do it justice but basically one finger plays the note and controls the tone simultaneously. Now if only all hardware keyboards came with this feature.