The best mobile DAWs, synths, effects, and utility apps for music production

Some may think that starting and finishing a polished track on a mobile device feels far-fetched.

However, in the last few years, mobile apps for making music have really come a long way. In a previous article, we shared five of our favorite iOS apps for making music. In today’s video, we go beyond our previous list, looking across both iOS and Android devices and exploring everything from powerful mobile DAWs to useful utility apps. We’ve also included the full list of apps below for you to check out.

Mobile DAWs

1. INTUA’s Beatmaker 3 ($26.99): INTUA’s DAW stands out for its diverse array of workflows, featuring everything from a classic timeline editor to MPC-style pads and a dedicated scene mode for live applications.

2. Steinberg’s Cubasis 3 ($49.99): Made by the developers who brought us Cubase, Cubasis 3 is a polished mobile DAW that boasts a comprehensive mixing console and quality native plugins.

3. Apple’s GarageBand (free): While it’s only for iOS, GarageBand is a great free option that has some nice software instruments that bring a unique performative aspect to digital music creation.

4. Image-Line’s FL Studio Mobile ($14.99): If you’re an FL Studio user, FL Studio Mobile is an obvious choice that reflects the intuitive workflow and powerful effects processing of its desktop counterpart.

Mobile synths and effects

1. Moog Music’s Animoog / Model D ($29.99 / free): The former is a great instrument for its versatile sound design capabilities, while the latter is a neat emulation of the historic MiniMoog Model D synthesizer.

2. KV331 Audio’s Synthmaster One ($3.99): With over 600 presets and flexible parameter knobs, Synthmaster One offers hours upon hours of fun for a low price.

3. FabFilter’s FabFilter Pro Bundle ($89.99): FabFilter bring the high standard for quality they’re known for to their mobile bundle, which can really take your mobile-based tracks to the next level.

Mobile utility apps

1. Splice Mobile app (free to download): With the Splice mobile app, you can browse millions of sounds and download them locally to your device, allowing you to make use of them across other mobile apps for music production.

2. Matthieu Routhier’s Suggester (free): This is a neat tool that assists in the construction of chord progressions – once you have something good going, you can export the MIDI file for external use.

3. Audiobus’ Audiobus 3 ($9.99): Last but not least, Audiobus 3 is a powerful utility app that lets you route your audio between your music apps, which astronomically expands your workflow and sound design options.

Do you have any favorite mobile music apps that we didn’t cover above? Let us know in the comments below.

Take your music further with the new plugins, fresh sounds, and more available in the Splice Creator plan:

July 26, 2020

Nick Chen Content Marketing @ Splice. Nick Chen is a producer, performer, and educator under the aliases "nickthechen" and "Enix."