iOS Music App Roundup: Music Production, MIDI Control, Ableton Link, Effects, and Recording

In this iOS Music App Roundup, we investigate new iOS technology from Ableton and Korg along with some innovative new iPad music apps for music production, effects processing, and live recording.

Ableton Link

As part of Ableton’s 9.5 update the company has create a new technology called Link that works to keep software and devices in sync over a network. Link will soon be available to Live users as a free update, and to the wider music-making community as a built-in feature of a growing number of iOS apps.

Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn explains,”here’s the surprise: you don’t need Ableton to use Link. It can soon be built into iOS apps, too (as well as Windows and OS X desktop, for starters). An SDK is coming soon, and already some apps have been announced as launch partners, including Akai, KORG (Gadget), Elastic Drums, and Loopy. Developers can add support for free.” Read more at Create Digital Music.

In the above video, developer Oliver Greschke of Elastic Drums demonstrates Link in use with three instances of his Elastic Drums application.

Read more about Ableton Link at Ableton’s website.


Korg microKEY and microKEY Air

Korg has recently developed one of the most streamlined iOS MIDI control options we’ve seen with the new microKEY and microKEY AIR Series of keyboards. The microKEY can be powered by an iPad or iPhone and offers a pedal input for sustain (micoKEY25 offers a sustain button). There’s also a new 49-key version for the two-handed player. To accommodate simpler and quicker setups, or to simply unwire your rig, the microKEY Air series features Apple’s Wireless Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) standard, which provides long battery life and extremely low latency. The microKey Air can run wirelessly for about 30 hours on a pair of AA batteries and also offers standard USB connections.

Learn more about these two keyboards at the Korg website.


Pioneer RMX-1000

Originally launched in 2012, the hardware RMX-1000 is a popular effector that can be used in the studio and for DJ performances. The RMX-1000 app emulates the hardware to deliver touchscreen control of Scene FX, Isolate FX, X-PAD FX and Release FX.


  • X-PAD FX: Trigger pre-assigned samples in time with the BPM and use the X-PAD to repeat samples at different speeds.
  • SCENE FX: Build up and break down tracks by combining ten types of FX.
  • RELEASE FX?Elegantly exit complex FX combinations and return to the original track using Back Spin, Vinyl Brake and Echo.
  • ISOLATE FX?Alter the rhythm and timbre of the music by adjusting the Hi/Mid/Low frequencies, and add three types of FX.
  • The parameters of many of the FX can be customized
  • Create unique sounds and experiment with your own style.
  • Supports Audiobus (bought separately) and Inter-App Audio to become a full-blown music production tool

 RMX-1000 is available for $9.99 on the App Store.



FieldScraper is an “advanced field recorder, combined with sound warp engine” that seems to be a great way to grab found sounds from your environment. The main purpose of this app is to shorten the way from recording samples to create spectacular soundscapes and in addition to use this app as glitch loop based effect in the real-time.

The FieldScaper consists of two main parts. The first part is the field recorder with special options for different ways of record environmental sound from microphone or record other sound sources. The second part is the scaper sound engine that with using dynamic presets can easily transform the most ordinary samples into something absolutely different. These parts connect with each other into one whole but you can use recorder or scaper separately.

The scaper sound engine contains three sample-based oscillators each with filters, delay, distortion and spatial mixer. The most of parameters can be assigned on individual low-frequency oscillators. With using the “Main effect” fader you can control several these parameters in different ranges. These features give you the ability to create continuously changing, breaking and glitching sound forms and loop-based effects from ordinary samples of synths, guitars, voices or everyday sounds of the environment.

FieldScaper supports complete MIDI control for all faders, knobs and many buttons. You can change the parameters of oscillators, filters, delays and mixer by using any external MIDI controller or MIDI apps like sequencers. With the MIDI controllers this app becomes very comfortable to use at live performance.

FieldScaper is available for $8.99 on the App Store.


touchAble 3.1

The touchAble team behind the popular iOS controller app is celebrating their 5th anniversary with the release of touchAble 3.1. The latest update offers a vast array of new and improved features.

What’s New:

  • 42 new templates for all Ableton Live’s Instruments and Effects.
  • Now provides a new iPad/iPhone “Link Mode”. Users can combine two or more iPads/iPhones to one big control surface.
  • Devices in Racks is now supported. A simple tap opens a rack and unveils the chains, a second one will gives access to every Device contained in the selected chain.
  • Features a completely recoded Server, which insures perfect communication between the computer running Ableton Live and the connected iOS devices.

touchAble 3.1 is available for $24.99 on the App Store.


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