Best Apps For Making Music

Discover some of the best music making apps for songwriting and music production… 


Whether you’re a music producer, songwriter or top line lyricist, it can seem as if there are an almost unlimited number of inspiring music making apps available to help you unlock your musical creativity. 

From the sophistication of Logic Pro in achieving studio quality effects to laying down beats via FL Studio, in our digital world, technology surrounding music production is more affordable and powerful than ever.

Thanks to the latest innovative music making apps, you can turn your mobile phone into a drum machine for beat making or a device capable of creating great music alongside capturing song sketches or samples.

Here, we’ll delve into some of the common questions surrounding how you choose an app to suit your process, the pros and cons of free software and explore some of the best pieces of technology to help you create your music.

What equipment do I need for music production? 


A strong internet connection, some headphones and a device for your software are the essentials for your music creation process.

Of course, many music making apps can be accessed via a mobile or iPad tablet, giving creatives plenty of flexibility when it comes to where and when you make your tracks. 

If you’re an Android or Apple device user, you just need to bring a musical curiosity and openness to new ideas and beats. 

For finished tracks, you might want to take them to a professional studio for that final polish and audio master.

But before you get to this point, there is a huge range of music making apps available to propel you a significant distance on your musical journey. 

Should I use free music production software? 


In a word, yes.

Of course, you can invest money in getting premium software or plug-ins.

However, there is whole world of great free music production software available too and you never know what might aid and abet your process.

If you have a hard-working PC, access to a Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) or laptop, then using free music-making software or accessing a free app can be a great way of progressing your music from idea to song.

The only way to know what works for you is to experience with these free music making apps. So take advantage of these tools, experiment and see how you can use them to enhance your own music.   

Music Production Apps

From beat making software to the best ways of recording guitar, here are some of the best music production apps available…



GarageBand is one of the most popular music-making apps on the market and available for iOS device owners.

Intuitive and user-friendly, it not only makes making music easy but also opens up different creative avenues via free loops and instrument packs.

Live Loops is an interesting interface to help you create electronic music while the Alchemy synth, previously a stand-alone synth app, is now one of the best features on the app.

Other shared features include a beat maker called Drummer where there are a huge range of styles and patterns available to enhance your tracks.

Waveform Free 

Waveform Free used to be known as Tracktion’s best DAW. However, thanks to the company's method of updating through different versions, a previous iteration is now available to download for free.

This piece of software might not provide all the latest features, but it will be updated every time the main version of the DAW is refreshed.

You can use this to edit audio, refine song ideas and midi tracks. If this isn't enough for you, then you can invest in a pro version too with additional features.

Roland Zenbeats 


This music-making app orbits around classic Roland sounds, loops and creative tools.

The most recent updates have seen it enhanced with drum sampler and tones from the class beat making TR-808 and TR-909.

Not only does Zenbeats provide you with an array of sounds and loops but you can also invest in different instrumental packs as well as enjoy the cloud-based integration via Google Drive or OneDrive.

FL Studios

Beloved by UK grime and hip hop producers alongside the likes of Skrillex and Wundagirl, the FL Studio mobile app offers creatives myrid different ways into your music.

You can record and edit songs, produce music quickly as well as use sound effects and export audio files from other formats.

There are also other features such as a MIDI control and a step sequencer that make it an exciting piece of kit to use for both established and emerging music makers.

Ableton Note 


Ableton Note is an iOS app that allows creatives to use it as a way of capturing ideas when on the go.

According to Ableton, "Note is a place to start ideas, experiment with sounds, and find direction" rather than come up with finished ideas. At the beginning of the process, this can be an effective way of jumping off and embracing a new idea.

Note also uses all of the same instruments and devices as Ableton Live, and allows for use of effects such as Reverb, Delay and Chorus-Ensemble.

ICMP is a certified Ableton Training Centre.

Find out more about our relationship with Ableton and our other Industry Partners. 

Koala Sampler 

This genius app is billed as "the ultimate pocket sampler", a piece of software that can enable you to record anything with your phone microphone, then use the audio as the basis for beats to build a track.

If you want to experience a classic sample‑pad based approach to music production, then Koala Sampler is seen by many as a great place to begin.

The workflow is efficient, the interface simple to get to grips with while there are also other features you can invest in to enhance what it offers and how you can use it to make your music. 

How to choose what music apps are best for you

So how do you choose the best music making apps to help you from the array of free music making software out there?

Well, you need to initially honestly and frankly evaluate your own abilities. Music apps like Garageband or Wavefrom Free are easy to use and are a great way into production for beginners. However, if you are already experienced in utilising studio gear and technology, then you might want to look for more features and a more sophisticated level of complexity.

Analyse your own creative flow. Look at where you are and where you might be in six months time. Of course, opting for free software or apps is an inexpensive way of experimenting with your process.

Ultimately, you need to pick software that enhances your own ability. Listen to yourself and your music, then make a decision from there...

Future of music making apps 

As we've seen, technology moves at a rapid rate and there will always be new tools and toys for you to experiment with.

There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy different forms of musial experimentation beyond apps when you create music.

For example, the Roland50 studio website enables you to experiment with vintage drum machines and more plugins, software and effects are always appearing. The best thing to do is keep your mind open and get out there to try what you can find that best fits your needs...

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by ICMP staff writer
December 6, 2022
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