iOS / iPad New Music Apps: Animoog, NodeBeat, iKaossilator, SoundCloud, GarageBand

In an effort to help you navigate the congested app landscape we have collected our favorite news concerning the iPhone, iPad and iOS so you can get the most out of your mobile creation moments. This month Moog Music impresses us with a new synthesizer application, Korg ports their infamous Kasossilator to the iOS platform, SoundCloud updates their app for the iPad market, NodeBeat offers a clever new approach to creation, and GarageBand comes to the iPhone with new updates.


The most exciting iOS news in recent months comes from Moog Music who recently released their Animoog iPad app to rave reviews. This clever piece of software combines some classic Moog sounds with some new, more digital sounding sounds and a very user-friendly interface that feels less like software and more like a proper instrument. This feeling is achieved with creative use of the iPad’s touchscreen that allows multi-touch gestures, knob movements, an x/y pad and a unique keyboard interface. While the application does have extensive MIDI support (more on that subject over at CDM), we are quite impressed with the play-ability of Animoog right off the shelf. Moog explains the app as follows: “Animoog is the first professional synthesizer designed for the iPad. Powered by Moog’s new Anisotropic Synthesis Engine, Animoog captures the vast sonic vocabulary of Moog synthesizers and applies it to the moderntouch surface paradigm, enabling any user to quickly sculpt incredibly fluid and dynamic sounds that live, breathe, and evolve as you play them.” If you’ve been lusting after the company’s legendary hardware but intimidated by the price of such gear we have great news for you. Moog has released Animoog at an introductory price of 99 cents until November 18, 2011 (at which point the software will go for approximately $30.)

Animoog by moogmusicinc

In addition, Moog has released a free set of “unsettling and bone-chilling’ sounds” for the Amimoog as a promotion for the Halloween season. “The add-on to Animoog includes presets that span the range from sci-fi to horror, and, in some cases, look like their names. Users can watch for the Zombie Hand, run from the Cyclops, escape the Evil Portal, and avoid the Scythe of the Grim Reaper.” Head over to Moog Music’s website and provide your email address to get this free download.


Never too far behind on anything iOS related, Korg has also released a new synth app for the iOS platform – the iKaossilator. It was only a matter of time before the company ported the ever popular Kaossilator synth into the (quite appropriate) iOS format. The Kaossilator became widely popular for its intuitive X-Y Touchpad that provides expressive musical control for the synth. This interface appears in Korg’s iMS-20 application but the iKaossilator provides a much simpler and therefore user friendly experience for synthesis. iKaossilator uses the same X-Y interface made famous by Korg’s Kaoss Line and comes with 150 built-in sounds for a broad range of dance music styles. The built-in loop sequencer lets you layer up to five musical parts. To create a track, assign a loop such as synth, bass, chords, sound effects, or drums to each part. In addition to its track-making capabilities, this loop sequencer is designed for live performance. The Mix Play feature makes it easy to switch seamlessly to another loop or extract a specific part from another loop while the playback continues. If you haven’t tried the original hardware synth (which sells for approximately $120) you can get your hands on a faithful re-creation of the experience for an introductory price of $9.99.


Fans of Reactable, Konkreet Performer and generative music may find the next app on our list enticing. NodeBeat is a visual,  experimental, node-based audio sequencer and generative music application for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. By combining music and playful exploration, NodeBeat allows anyone to create a variety of rhythmic sequences and ambient melodies with an intuitive interface. And as put it, you can “Make Music Like Björk on a Budget.” The interface is reminiscent of Reactable Mobile with an easy-to-learn interface that lets you control generators, nodes and notes by dragging objects onto your screen and allowing them to interact. The end result is much easier to experience than to explain and we found the interface very easy to use. Although generative music isn’t usually our first method of creation this app provided many starting points and ideas to our creative workflow. Some features included in NodeBeat: Adjustable Node Physics, Drag & Drop Nodes, Pitch Shift Audio, Adjust Tempo (bpm) & Note Beat, Sculpt Sounds, Sculpt Waveforms, Drum & Octave (pitched) Generators, Stereo Panning, and AudioCopy to other applications. NodeBeat HD is currently on sale in the App Store for $1.99

Soundcloud HD

SoundCloud has become the standard platform for music related social media and the company has continued to stay current with their application offerings. Although it’s a long time coming SoundCloud has finally released a HD version of their mobile application to run native on the iPad. The company addressed public demand on the site as follows: “There’s one particular iOS app you all have been asking and patiently waiting for. Everyday, we read your tweets, comments and messages asking us when we’ll be releasing an official iPad app. They say that ‘good things happen to those who wait’ so today, we’re super excited to tell you to it has finally arrived: SoundCloud for iPad. It’s gorgeous. The iPad is a revolutionary device that has changed the way we interact with content of all types. Our amazing iOS and design teams have created a fantastic app to reflect this, enabling you to interact with the sounds shared with you in a very intuitive way.”

Garage Band

Apple’s GarageBand often gets overlooked in these roundups but it really shouldn’t. The application is easy to use, stable, fun and useful. While it’s been available for the iPad for some time now, Apple recently released GarageBand for iPhone and iPod touch users. As expected, the interface is well-designed and the app is worth checking out for the $4.99 price tag. In addition, here are some new features in GarageBand 1.1 for iOS: Create custom chords for Smart Instruments, support for 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures, reset song key without transposing original recordings, transpose songs in semitones or full octaves, additional quantization options, new audio export quality settings for AAC and AIFF, prpeggiator available in Smart Keyboard, adjustable velocity settings, and improved audio import options. “GarageBand on iPad has been a big hit and we think customers will love using it on their iPhone or iPod touch,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

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Dubspot blog editor Michael Walsh is a  journalist, DJ, music producer, and Dubspot instructor. He believes in open-source ideas and advancing the evolution of music by sharing ideas that push technology in new directions. As a catalyst for of electronic music’s growth, Michael was co-founder of the Ritual Recordings house imprint, helped develop numerous club nights and events, and has curated music for corporate events with clients such as Nokia, Puma, and Betsy Johnson. Michael has been a professional DJ for over two decades and produces house and techno music under a number of aliases.

  • November K.
  • 11/4/2011

after seeing these vids and then playing a friends phone im not sure why i was ignoring apple, i just assumed it was like a social agreement like how everyone thinks HD tv ‘looks’ better or more ‘real’ and in reality its as we believe it to be… but after seeing the potential with the touch screen in the diversity it will give to a set im gettin an ipod touch overnighted as we speak im glad i caught that moog special on time i dunno what id do without you guys my most grateful of thanks DUBSPOT

  • Michael Walsh
  • 11/4/2011

Thanks! And yes – the Apple “iOS” is pretty spectacular. I was also stubborn about getting an iphone.. (I was rocking a blackberry up until recently – I like the keys) but I had to pick up an iPhone due to the sick music apps that are available.

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