Technology has certainly made things easier for people across every industry, and the same is true for musicians. Today there are hundreds if not thousands of apps designed for aspiring artists and we’ve handpicked a small selection of our favourites to help you on your way.
At WeJam we love to experiment with the latest gadgets and music technology so had a lot of fun putting this list together. If there’s another app you’ve come across that you think we should know about then please let us know!
Without further ado, here are ten of the handiest apps for bands and musicians available today.
Cleartune is a chromatic tuner app available for both iOS and Android devices that does what it says on the tin – with the Cleartune app, you can easily tune-up. The note wheel interface is designed to allow you to easily find the ideal pitch for a wide variety of different instruments.There’s lots of room for customisation with the Cleartune app and it boasts advanced features such as custom temperament. The app is well suited to those who play the guitar (both electronic and acoustic), bass, piano, woodwinds, brass, strings and anything else that needs tuning. Unlike some of the apps we’re looking at, Cleartune does come with a price but at £3.99 it’s certainly a wise investment.
Available for both iOS and Android devices, Topline is a free app designed by musicians, for musicians. It comes from the famous Abbey Road Studios and is ideal for songwriters to ensure they never forget an idea.
Topline can be your pocket music recording studio as well. It is designed to easily allow you to import files of any kind such as instrumentals or vocal tracks. You can also use Topline to mix files, convert them to different formats, add reverb and other audio features, plus much more. You can even share completed works over WhatsApp.
Decibel X:dB Sound Level Meter
It might not have the catchiest of names, but this is a handy one for the musician’s toolkit. Decibel X is a noise meter app and you don’t really see many of them around. The app is only compatible with iOS devices and it essentially turns your device into a high-quality sound meter. With this app, you can measure sound pressure levels all around you.
This might seem like a small thing but having the ability to accurately measure sound can be incredibly beneficial when you’re in a band. You can find out exactly how quiet or loud a place is, and the app fully supports dBA and dBC. The app is free to download and can function on iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch. Certain features will require in-app purchases though.
iMPC Pro 2
Although this app might seem a little costly at £23.99, don’t let the price put you off. iMPC Pro 2 is a very feature-packed app that musicians will find incredibly beneficial. So what does iMCP Pro 2 offer? It is essentially a song creation tool and it utilises the already popular MPC workflow to create an in-depth and powerful platform you can use to create your latest breakout hit!
Features include beatmakers, an audio integration unit, multiple music sound kits, Flux Link, and much more. The IMPC Pro 2 app also comes with 5 additional sound packs as well. Be aware though, you will need an iPad to use this app.
Music Memos is Apple’s new flagship music app for band members. You can find it proudly displayed on their website and in the App Store. Music Memos is a free app that is designed to be any musician's new best friend. The app’s function is actually quite simple and is designed to allow you to easily capture new ideas.
With just the press of a button, you can capture voice notes or musical ideas in uncompressed audio. Whether it’s a melody, new lyrics or an instrumental, Music Memos is a great way to capture high-quality audio quickly. There are also built-in loops so you can hear your lyrics accompanied by sound. Music Memos is also designed to work alongside the Garage Band app.
Priced at £2.99 Hum is a dedicated lyric-writing app that is perfect for keeping track of notes and recording on the road. With Hum, you can easily keep things organised in one tidy app and it also syncs up with Dropbox to help ensure nothing gets lost. Hum is perfect for storing your audio recordings and notes, but it has plenty of other features.
You can also share ideas through iMessage or email, and even import audio files through other apps. Hum also features a built-in tuner as well which you can use to help give your vocals a warm-up before a performance. Easy to use and packed with features, Hum is an impressive iOS-exclusive app ideal for bands.
Every band knows the importance of a good setlist but putting one together isn’t easy. With Setlist Helper you now have a way to easily organise songs and lyrics. The app is designed to link with its website so you can easily sync all your important information across directly into the app.
Don’t struggle to put a setlist together, let this handy app do it all for you. It supports numerous different formats and includes a lyrics search function as well. Setlist Helper is free on iOS and Android, but some features require in-app purchases.
Band Mule is what we like to call an “all-inclusive band app” and it offers a wide range of features. Whether you’re on the road or at home if you want a way to quickly share ideas with bandmates then Band Mule is the app for you.
Band Mule is designed to be a private way to communicate with band members and you can easily share messages, schedules, setlists, and more. Every band needs a proper way to communicate and collaborate with one another and Band Mule is the ideal way to do just that. Band Mule is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and it’s free. However, some features are locked behind in-app purchases so do keep that in mind.
Out of all the apps mentioned in this handy guide, GarageBand might be a name you are already familiar with. This iOS-exclusive app is a popular music-making tool and is essentially a tablet or phone-ready music studio.
The app features a variety of touch instruments including keyboards, drums, guitars, and more. You can also edit vocals easily and use your device's microphone to record sound directly. Very user-friendly, GarageBand is a great entry-level music creation app.
We’ll finish off our top 10 list with a more unusual choice, the Road Trip app. Now, this app might not be the most music-focused one on the list, but it does a very important job and we’re sure every band will find it invaluable.
The Road Trip app is designed to help you keep track of expenses while you’re on the road – perfect when you set off on your first tour! You can also use the Road Trip app to help you plan the most efficient route and can even compare costs with it. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices and costs £6.99.
Bonus: Spotify for Artists
If your band is already on the road to success, then maybe it’s time you downloaded Spotify for Artists. For those of you with music uploaded to the popular streaming site, it features a variety of tools to help you better understand your audience and you can easily manage your artist profile from your phone.
Available on both iOS and Android, you’ll be able to see your listening figures, celebrate milestones, put together playlists, and more.
What about a WeJam app?
At WeJam we’re all about bringing people together in real life to enjoy making music in the same physical location. Whilst we’ve thought a lot about creating an app, we would much rather focus on providing the authentic experience that comes from being in a real music studio playing on proper instruments.
Technology is super important and can massively improve the way we learn and play, but it’s also fun to turn our phones off every now and then and jam!
So if you’re looking to experiment with new music-making tools, why not give WeJam a try instead? Whatever your musical ability it’s a great way to socialise with friends and experience being in a rock band. To learn more about the WeJam experience head over to our homepage to find out more.
This article is part of a longer feature titled Be a Real-Life Guitar Hero. How and Why to Start a Band! which you can check out here.