Sometimes musicians can be slow to adapt to change. Many musicians are traditionalists who fought the slow encroachment of MIDI and other advancements, and there are still many that refuse to record digitally. Other musicians make a living being versatile and thrive on the latest tools for musicians. For those musicians that are up with the times and open minded to modern tools that can really make a difference on stage and in the studio, here are five of the best musician apps on iTunes.
1. Cleartune (chromatic tuner)
This app has the thumbs up from Roseanne Cash, and if a legend like her can put her stamp of approval on it, the rest of us can trust it. Tune to standard concert pitch, or half a step down, and use your iPhone’s microphone to do it. This app has all of the standard tuning functions like quarter, half notes, settings can be saved, and this little dynamo is said to be more accurate than pedal tuners. The latest edition of Cleartune is version 1.4.1 and can be had for a mere $3.99.
2. Metronome: Tempo
This program has been a bestseller since it was released and named note/newsworthy by Apple. 160,000 users swear by the application. A lot of the time, when the masses love something, musicians will shy away from it. That is not the case with this app. You can program virtual set lists for a set on-stage performance as well as practice and recording, and you can choose from over 30 different time signatures. The $1.99 price is a steal.
3. The Little Black Songbook
This is a great app for the performing musician. Every musician that has played outside of his or her basement has heard the dreaded screams of “play some Skynard!” or “Stairway to Heaven,” and now every request can be met with this compendium of classic rock hits. The chord charts pop up after a quick search, and new material is added all of the time. At the time of this article, The Beatles just added their songs to the database. There are different prices depending on the catalogue you buy, so search around and build your database.
4. Pro Keys
Pro Keys is a great mobile ideas application where you can compose and record on different keyboards. Great for conveying that melody you are writing to your band mates or for writing and performing in a cinch. It does not just stop with keyboards, though, as there are 14 different instruments and 6 drum kits. Top it off with the ability to record your vocal tracks and a full effects suite, and you have a winner here for $2.99.
5. Sonoma Wireworks Four Track
Though the price of $9.99 is a bit steep for an app, this one is well worth the price point. Sonoma offers four track recording on a touch screen, and is one of your best options for getting out those ideas on the tour bus, or working out that three-part harmony idea. You can pan, fade, and bounce tracks down, and when you get back to your computer, you can import it into your software to edit or further build. Sonoma works with your phone’s microphone or with an adapted external one.
About the author: Diane Johnson primarily writes about Rasmussen College and anything else that interests her. She enjoys shopping, running, and traveling.
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