iOS / iPad New Music Production Apps: NanoStudio, Rockmate, Loopy HD, Tascam Recorder

Developments in iPad / iOS Music Applications

There’s been a lot happening in the world of iOS applications for music production recently. This week’s excursion into the world of iPad and iPhone apps finds developers getting deeper into the user experience with a refreshing update from NanoStudio, a free portable recorder from Tascam, a collaborative environment in Rockmate, a loop tool called Loopy, and of course…

Liine / Jazz Mutant Lemur

If you haven’t heard the news, Liine (makers of Griid) have ported a full-fledged version of Jazz Mutant‘s Lemur music control interface to the iPad. This is the customizable control surface has been used by Daft Punk, Björk, Modeselektor, and Richard Devine and is a highly sought-after piece of gear. While the original Lemur (hardware + software) cost a couple thousand dollars, the iOS version can be yours for $49.99 from the App Store. To get an understanding of what this interface can you for you, check out Dubspot instructor Evan Sutton’s breakdown on Lemur from earlier this week on our blog.

NanoStudio Update

Blip Interactive’s Nanostudio iPhone app has gained a loyal following by way of stunning sounds and fun to use interface. Most recently the company has updated the application to be universal for the iPad and packed a lot of new features into the app including new musical scales, extended sampling time, and many new mixer functions. If you haven’t tried NanoStudio, it’s worth checking out. A sequencer, in-app waveform editing, synths, an MPC-style drum machine, effects, mixer and automation are just a few of the goodies packed inside this DAW-like application. It’s not cheap at $14.99, but you get more than you’d expect from this application which has been refined many times to become the product it is. The interface is beautifully designed and uses intuitive multi-touch gestures with nice response. The effects and synths are solid and touches like sampling and automation make it more useful than a lot of apps on the market. Output options include wave files, zipped wave files, and Ogg format. But it’s worth mentioning that Blip offers a free downloadable desktop version of the app which allows even more options. Blip explains, “This is a free full version of NanoStudio for you to try out on your Mac or PC. It has exactly the same features as the iOS version but doesn’t have multitouch capability and is unlikely to fit in your pocket.”

Loopy HD

As the name would suggest, LoopyHD is a lot of fun to play with. In the above video you’ll catch Dub FX, master of the beat box, rocking the iPhone to a loopy rub a dub style. This app has won praise from users for a simple but clever interface that utilizes the iPhone or iPad microphone to capture sounds and create loops. The most recent update includes MIDI integration and it reportedly plays well with other iOS apps to get your sounds into other situations for tweaking.

TASCAM PCM Recorder Application

One to file under “freebies” this week is a great little app from Tascam, the godfathers of DIY recording devices. The PCM Recorder Application was created to support the Tascam iMz microphone and the iXZ mic/guitar interface. But the great news is that this free application works perfecly without any hardware and it makes a nice little recorder for samples on the go. The app sports features such as level faders, hi/low EQ, stereo limiting and a low cut filter. You can record mono or stereo files at CD-quality and files can be accessed through iTunes or uploaded to SoundCloud.


Fingerlab Rockmate

Fingerlab (creators of many fine music apps) want you to “compose, record and play songs with up to 4 Rock players on one single iPad.” This clever application allows multiple players on one surface for a mobile jam session. “Rockmate is easy to play with smart chords progressions, sounds great with separated guitar effects and in-house produced audio samples and is also fully customizable with multiple drums and keyboard styles.” While it seems like a bit of a novelty we were willing to take the plunge recently as the company is offering Rockmate for $.99 until December 21.

Michael Walsh is the Editor of Dubspot’s Blog, a producer of audio/visual art and a journalist living in Southern California. Read more of his work at