Smartphones do some incredible things—with music-making apps they quickly become capable music production tools.
Music-making apps can turn a built-in microphone into a makeshift tape machine or a turn touch screen into a software instrument all while benefiting from interconnectivity for collaboration and beyond!
It’s no surprise that todays producers regularly use music production apps. There’s even a handful of hit songs that were originally written on smartphones.
In this article were going through the best of the best. Whether you need help with productivity, learning, collaboration or basic utilities—we’ve got you covered.
Here’s the ten best music-making apps for iOS and Android.
Theory guides, production tips, new free plugins, gear guides and more—delivered weekly
Keep up with the LANDR Blog.
If you’re an iOS user, the undisputed best app for music making is GarageBand for iOS.
A lot of design resources have gone into making this app and you can tell by how user-friendly, intuitive and functional the app is.
Whether you want to produce multitrack recordings with your phone mic, write electronic music with virtual synthesizers or mix a track together—you can do pretty much anything with Garageband.
You can even connect external interfaces that accept proper microphone inputs for more advanced recording on-the-go.
There’s lots to discover with GarageBand iOS, so definitely grab this one, especially because it’s free!
So many music-making apps focus on music production, but very few focus on musical collaboration.
The brand new LANDR app is changing that by making collaboration so much easier.
If you have work-in-progress tracks, work with a collaborator or hire professionals to work with you (like mix engineers, producers or musicians) definitely consider using LANDR as your central communication platform—especially because it’s free!
You can annotate a track’s waveform with time-stamped comments, making it easy to comment your thoughts and suggestions at specific moments in a track.
This is the only cloud storage app out there that’s designed specifically for musical collaboration, and it serves as a great space to store your demos to share with anyone.
3. Ableton Note
Ableton’s brand-new app Note made some waves when it was first launched in late 2022.
The app is focused on music making, especially for electronic, trap and hip-hop music producers.
It’s got all the trappings of typical Ableton interface design boiled down to an app format.
Tapping in a looped beat, looping a melody, and sampling your environment are a few ways Note inspires its users to write tracks.
Best of all, it features interconnectivity with Ableton Live—so you can take your sketches to the DAW and finish them with the rest of Ableton’s music production suite.
Right now, Note is only available on iOS, but at its price of $6.99 this is easily one of the best, most advanced music production apps out there right now.
Android users might want to pay special attention to this one if a mobile DAW is something you’re looking for.
FL Studio is a well-loved DAW that’s especially popular in trap and hip-hop circles. Its mobile DAW offering is equally as excellent and makes a great option for on-the-go music making.
The app can do it all, whether you’re looking to multi-track, produce with software instruments, mix or record with an interface and microphone
Korg’s Electribe is a legendary synth that’s been a staple in modern electronic music production for years.
Now, the Electribe has been boiled down to a highly capable app format.
iElectribe makes for an excellent synth as app-based synths go—you get a ton of functionality to make interesting sounds.
It’s especially great for testing and learning the Electribe before shelling out to buy one.
As a standalone synth app that packs a punch, iElectribe is about as good as it gets.
If you like quickly drafting ideas in your bedroom or studio with the voice memo app, this music-making app might be a better option that’s completely free.
Spire takes the technique of multi-track recording and makes it easy to do on your phone. It’s basically like having a 4-track tape machine in your pocket (except you get more than four tracks).
It’s a user-friendly way of recording and overdubbing is great for writing demos and sketching out ideas.
It can even recognize what instrument you’re playing and change its recording settings to better suit your sound.
If you want to upgrade the quality of your recording you can even buy its connected blue-tooth microphone that directly interfaces with the app and your phone.
7. Beatmaker 3
Out of all the beat-making apps on the market today, Beatmaker 3 is among the best.
From the ground up, the app was built for tablet and phone-based production—meaning it’s not ported over from desktop-style software.
That makes a highly intuitive app that’s entirely designed for mobile and tablet production.
While it’s certainly geared towards electronic and hip-hop production, it comes with a lot of mixing, arranging and recording functionality as well.
A great option if you’re really serious about mobile beat making.
Cubasis is definitely the most advanced, feature-packed mobile DAW app there is. It’s truly a DAW in an app and comes with all the features you could need to professionally record music.
That also means is a bit heavy to learn and the user interface is quite detailed—you’re definitely better off using Cubasis with a large iPad and a connected audio interface to capture recorded sound.
But if you need to have some way of moving your DAW around with you while recording in a professional setting, it doesn’t get much better than Cubasis.
9. Fender Tune
Here’s a shout-out for all the guitarists out there looking for a solid app to improve their playing.
Fender Tune has a great tuner but it’s got a lot more than just that.
It comes with fingering charts for every possible chord on the guitar neck, a variety of drummer grooves to play along with, a metronome and scale charts.
You can also set it to help you tune to alternate tunings.
It’s a great all-in-one tool to help with everything guitar.
Similar to the Electribe, here’s another recreation of a legendary piece of music production hardware, the iMPC.
If you like the classic workflow of the MPC, or if you’re interested in trying it out without shelling out for an expensive piece of hardware, this could be a great option.
iMPC comes with a ton of great samples and a pretty intuitive interface for both making pad-based beats.
Make music anywhere
It’s mind-bending that you can write an entire song anywhere you are.
Sometimes creativity strikes like lightning, you never know where or when it’ll hit—and it comes and goes fast.
These music-making apps make it easy to capture those lightning-in-a-bottle moments with ease.
Gear guides, tips, tutorials, inspiration and more—delivered weekly.
Keep up with the LANDR Blog.