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Best iPad Apps For Music Production


Creating music on an iPad has come a long way in recent years. Not only do you now have access to Pianoteq instruments on iOS, you can also arrange entire songs and compositions within a DAW on the iPad itself. In this article we’ll take a look at the best iPad music production apps available for you to start writing.

Best iPad Music Production Apps

Paid Options

Loopy Pro – $29.99


Launched at the end of 2021, this app boasts highly rated reviews and an incredible array of features. Put simply, Loopy Pro does it all. Not only does it have its own DAW sequencer and looping functionality, it supports AUv3 to host other instruments and can act as a routing device. This means it can effectively be used instead of AUM in certain situations (more on AUM below). Loopy Pro also has a sampler and the developer promises even more great features to come in the future.

There’s a free 7 day trial, so you can get a feel for the app and make an informed decision before purchasing. Also make sure to check out the communities here loopypro.com/communities where you can discuss and share tips with other users.

AUM – Audio Mixer – $20.99



Audiobus – $9.99


AUM and Audiobus are the de facto standards in audio and midi routing on iOS. AUM allows you to connect just about anything to anything else, including hardware, MIDI, audio and effects. You will also find mix buses and a MIDI matrix for even greater control. Without it, using some of the other best iPad music production apps might become extraordinarily frustrating, if not simply impossible to use. So if you hit a roadblock when trying to create complex connections or routings, we suggest you look to AUM as the solution.

Also worth mentioning is Audiobus, though not with quite the same feature set. Audiobus is especially useful when using apps which are not AUv3, allowing you to still connect them to each other.

Cubasis – $49.99 regular price (on sale right now for $29.99)


Cubasis 3, developed by Steinberg, is a comprehensive DAW that provides a professional music production environment with features like MIDI editing, virtual instruments, and audio recording. If you are a Cubase user already, then Cubasis 3 could be a great complement to your workflow, as well as fun for creating tracks on the go. You can export to Cubase, of course!

Cubasis has unlimited audio and MIDI tracks as well as very precise editing of both audio and MIDI. You’ll also find sidechain support as well as pitch and time stretching capability. This is truly a solid, professional DAW on iOS.

Ableton Note – $5.99


Ableton Note is a relative newcomer with fairly frequent updates. The first immediate advantage is that you can export what you create to Ableton Live to continue working on it there. However, it does have a lot of limitations and isn’t a fully fledged DAW – yet. With updates occurring so often, this is an app to keep an eye on for the future. The basic functions such as sampling and beat making are exciting and fun to use and when further features are released this could become a go-to app.

Auria / Auria Pro – $24.99 / $49.99


Winner of a number of awards and highly rated, this app is a full production suite. Notable features include unlimited audio tracks (make sure your iPad is powerful enough for your needs), as well as the ability to import video and sync to that. The app also support exporting and importing AAF files, which means you can continue working on the project in various other DAWs on your main setup. Make sure to verify if your DAW supports AAF – as far as we know, Ableton Live does not.

Some user reports for the Pro version indicate that there are bugs which haven’t been fixed for a long time, so make sure to check out recent reviews to be sure.

Korg Gadget 2 – $39.99


Users rave about this app, both in terms of how fun and intuitive it is, plus how good the sounds are. The base app comes with a selection of ‘Gadgets’, which are essentially modules like synthesizers or drum machines. There is the option to purchase more Gadgets from within the app.

One important note is that Korg Gadget 2 is missing AUv3 support, so you won’t be able to load in other virtual instruments you have on your iPad. There are ways to get around this using AUM. Some of Korg’s standalone Gadgets do support AUv3, so you can at least load those into other apps should you choose to purchase them. But Korg Gadget is in a way a closed system on the iPad in terms of production. You can export your projects e.g. to Ableton Live format, which is very useful.

If you’re interested in picking up Gadget 2, look out for 50% off or similar deals on the App Store. They’re rumored to occur fairly frequently!

Drambo – $19.99


The reviews for Drambo are phenomenal, averaging 4.9/5 on the App Store at the time of writing. While not quite a full DAW, Drambo does have a sequencer and can be used to create complete productions. Where Drambo really excels is in allowing you to experiment and create your own instruments or sounds. Using a modular design, you can quickly and easily build chains of devices into instruments and effects, and with Drambo’s AUv3 support you can then place Drambo in another host and play your new instruments there. Drambo’s capabilities go deep, and it’s worth watching some videos to get a sense of what’s possible. A very exciting music production iOS app without a doubt.

Special Mention – Atom – Piano Roll 2 – $19.99


It wouldn’t be doing justice to review the best iPad music production apps without touching on Atom. This nifty little app is an excellent companion to many iOS DAWs (check compatibility at the link above). In fact, you’ll need another app to act as host to use it at all. It is a MIDI editor, leagues ahead of the MIDI editors within most of the DAW applications, which can save you a lot of frustration and time. E.g. imagine typing in one hi hat hit over and over versus simply pasting in a MIDI clip with all the hits where you want them. Atom is an AUv3 app so will slot in nicely with hosts.

Additional apps worth checking out: FL Studio Mobile ($14.99) and Beatmaker 3 ($26.99).

New Developments with iOS Apps for Instruments


In just the last few days, Pianoteq by Modartt has been released for iOS! https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pianoteq-8/id1642344241. What’s more, generally if you’ve purchased a license already for desktop, you’ll be able to use your purchase on iOS for free. This could turn out to be a real game changer when it comes to recording and playing piano on an iPad.


If you’re a fan of SWAM instruments by Audio Modeling, then their partnership with moForte and Wizdom Music might interest you. Between these three companies, SWAM technology and instruments are now available on iOS within the GeoShred app. It’s pretty fun to be able to play a SWAM violin on your iPad while riding the train! Just note that pressure sensitivity is currently available only on later model iPhones. On iPad you can still get good control by using on screen X/Y etc. Check it out here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/geoshred/id1064769019

Be aware that unlike with Pianoteq, there currently is no crossgrade or cross availability of licenses. However, GeoSWAM instruments are priced lower than SWAM standalone.

Free Options



An old staple of iOS and MacOS, this is a great option to get started. GarageBand features up to 32 tracks, a clear and user friendly interface and a range of soundpacks for you to play and write with. You can also record your own sounds directly. If you happen to be a Logic Pro user on MacOS, you can even add new tracks to your desktop projects from your iPad. Pretty neat.



Another completely free, full music production solution is BandLab. Very highly rated on the App Store, BandLab has a 16-track DAW as well as a built-in pitch corrector. You will also find a huge range of virtual MIDI instruments (330!) and 180 effects to experiment with. A generous additional feature is unlimited cloud storage. There is also a social side to BandLab, and if you wish to participate you can remix other producers’ songs as well as sharing your own. The main limitation to this app in our view is the maximum track count of 16.


Music production on an iPad has reached the point where you can truly make professional tracks on the go. New advances and technology are constantly popping up, so it’ll only continue to improve from here. The selection of apps can be overwhelming, so if in doubt, try out a free or low cost one and see if it gels with your writing style. You can always move on to the next if not. Feel free to join in the discussion on the best iPad music production apps here: https://musiclibraryreport.com/forums/topic/ios-music-apps/. Happy writing!

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