5 Best Apps for Making Music for Indie Artists

The best apps for making music can help streamline and elevate your audio production process. However, the vast options can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the music scene.

Chances are you've heard of GarageBand. This app is among the best for beginners and indie artists because it offers easy music recording and various audio production features. However, you can explore other options like BandLab and Tape It. Each app has its merits, and of course, based on your needs, you might opt for one over the other.

So, what is the best app for making music that enhances productivity and production? Let's examine the top choices among musicians.

The Best Music-Making Apps – A Quick Overview

  1. For social music creation and collaboration – BandLab
  2. For high-quality virtual instruments - Korg Module
  3. For easy music recording for beginners – GarageBand
  4. For songwriting – Tape It
  5. For digital DJing – Traktor DJ

The Benefits of Apps for Music Creation

The best apps for making music can be a game-changer for your audio production process. This is especially true for indie artists because they offer a host of benefits, such as:

Sound Sequencing and Beat Making

Music apps allow effortless sequencing of drums, bass, and various instruments, sculpting mesmerizing beats and rhythms. With intuitive controls for tempo adjustment, pattern switching, and multi-touch fine-tuning, you can sculpt sonic landscapes with precision.

Rap and Vocal Editing

Many apps boast features tailored for enhancing rap vocals, ensuring syllables seamlessly sync with the beat. So, you can unleash your creativity by crafting and sharing your own rap verses and vocal performances.

Instrument Emulation and Customization

The best apps for making music offer many virtual instruments, from pianos to guitars and drums, empowering artists to compose and record with ease. With extensive sound libraries and customizable options, you can sculpt unique tones and textures, breathing life into your musical visions.

Music Collaboration

Collaboration-centric apps serve as hubs, connecting artists worldwide, fostering the exchange of ideas, and co-creating musical masterpieces. You can learn, grow, and collaborate through these platforms, transcending geographical boundaries to create something truly extraordinary.

Accessibility and Portability

The best apps for making music liberate artists, enabling them to craft high-quality music on the go, utilizing the power of their mobile devices. This unparalleled flexibility is a game-changer for indie artists, who thrive in environments where creativity knows no bounds.

Example of one of the best apps for making music

Best Apps for Making Music for Indie Artists

1.   BandLab - For Social Music Creation and Collaboration

BandLab is a beacon in social music platforms, empowering creators to craft music and share their artistic journey with fellow musicians and fans. This free, all-inclusive platform is one of the best apps for making music for music enthusiasts. And it boasts many features designed to fuel creativity, collaboration, and seamless sharing.


  • Device compatibility: Compatible with all major platforms, including Mac, iPhone/iPad, PC, Android, and more.
  • System requirements: Android 7.0 or later, iOS 14 or later, and accessible on web browsers via any computer with an internet connection.

Key Features

  • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): BandLab's powerful DAW allows users to create projects up to 15 minutes in length, effortlessly layering up to 16 audio and MIDI tracks to bring their musical visions to life.
  • MIDI editor: Dive into an extensive MIDI editor equipped with a vast library of pre-made loops and virtual instruments. The editor covers various sounds, from pianos to drums, empowering users to explore their creativity.
  • Collaboration tools: Collaboration lies at the heart of BandLab. It allows users to form bands, share their compositions, and collaborate seamlessly on projects with other users, fostering a dynamic and vibrant musical community.
  • Mastering: Use BandLab's built-in mastering tool to easily prepare your audio mixes for distribution, ensuring your creations sound polished and professional.
  • Cloud-Based: Enjoy the freedom of cloud-based storage with BandLab. It allows you to access your projects from anywhere and collaborate in real-time with others, transcending geographical barriers.


While BandLab is free, you can unlock additional benefits with the BandLab Membership for $149.5 per year.


  • Intuitive interface and extensive features, even on the free plan
  • Cloud-based platform accessible across mobile, desktop, and web interfaces
  • Facilitates real-time project collaboration and the formation of virtual "bands”
  • Has a thriving community of music enthusiasts


  • Maximum of 12 tracks and a 6-minute duration per project
  • Being cloud-based, BandLab doesn’t have an offline mode
  • Limited support for external VST plugins
  • Potential stability issues and lack of advanced features

2.   Korg Module - For High-Quality Virtual Instruments

Another one of the best apps for making music is Korg Module. Renowned for its intuitive interface, remarkable versatility, and unparalleled sound production prowess, it’s a beacon of innovation in mobile music creation.

This cutting-edge sound module app is tailored for iOS devices. And it’s meticulously crafted to deliver various top-tier sounds and instruments for music enthusiasts. Users are greeted with multiple virtual instruments within the app, ranging from majestic acoustic pianos to electrifying synths and everything in between.


  • Device compatibility: Works seamlessly with various iOS devices, offering optimal performance on the latest iPhone models.
  • System requirements: Specific polyphony limitations must be considered depending on the device. Additionally, the app requires a minimum of 1.2 GB of available space on your device.

Key Features

  • Virtual instruments: Dive into a world of sonic possibilities with Korg Module's extensive collection of virtual instruments, from acoustic pianos to synths.
  • Multi-track recording: Seamlessly craft multi-layered compositions using various instrument sounds, all within the app's intuitive interface.
  • Expansion sound library: Elevate your sonic palette with access to expansion sound libraries, enriching your compositions with new textures and tones.
  • AUv3 support: Customize your sound to perfection with Audio Unit Version 3 (AUv3) plugin support, which opens the door to endless sonic experimentation.
  • Setlist function: Organize your sounds and presets effortlessly into set lists, ensuring smooth transitions and easy access during live performances.
  • MIDI player and audio recording: The built-in MIDI player and audio recording capabilities allow you to easily capture your musical ideas and refine your compositions.
  • Layer/split function and MIDI CC# learn: Unlock new dimensions of creativity with the ability to layer multiple sounds, split the keyboard, and assign MIDI control change messages for real-time manipulation.


Korg Module offers a free standard version and a $39.99 Pro version, catering to users with varying needs and budgets.


  • Unparalleled sonic fidelity with Korg Module's vast selection of virtual instruments and sounds
  • Offers a myriad of features to accommodate diverse musical styles and preferences
  • User-friendly interface and intuitive design, allowing you to focus on what matters most: creating music
  • Equips you with the tools to shine on stage and in the studio


  • While the Pro version offers an extensive feature set, the $39.99 price tag may pose a barrier for some users
  • The standard version includes only one initial program, which may restrict users seeking immediate access to a diverse range of sounds.
  • While expansion sound libraries are available, additional purchases may be necessary.

3.   GarageBand - For Easy Music Recording for Beginners

GarageBand is one of the best apps for making music because it’s beginner-friendly. Since its creation in 2004, GarageBand has swiftly captured users' hearts. It ships with basic Mac OS installations and has earned a reputation as a go-to choice for aspiring musicians.

Drawing inspiration from Apple's renowned audio production powerhouse, Logic Pro, GarageBand is designed with simplicity in mind. Plus, because of its streamlined interface and a curated selection of controls, music recording is accessible to all.

But GarageBand's reach extends beyond desktops. With companion apps tailored for iOS devices, the power to create music knows no bounds—whether you're in the studio or on the move.


  • Device compatibility: GarageBand is available on iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.
  • System requirements: For macOS, GarageBand needs an Intel dual-core processor and 1GB RAM, which is ideal for maximizing performance, particularly with the "Magic GarageBand" function. While older PowerPC G5 and G4 Macs can run GarageBand, track playback may be limited. On iOS, GarageBand syncs seamlessly with iOS 17 or newer.

Key Features

  • Intuitive interface: GarageBand boasts a user-friendly interface, perfect for newcomers to music production software.
  • Virtual instruments: Dive into a world of musical creativity with GarageBand's extensive array of virtual instruments, from keyboards to guitars and drums, eliminating the need for physical counterparts.
  • Audio recording and editing: Harness the app's robust tools for audio recording and editing, including multi-track recording, various audio effects, and precise waveform editing capabilities.
  • MIDI support: GarageBand seamlessly integrates MIDI input and output, empowering users to connect external MIDI controllers and craft intricate compositions using MIDI data.
  • Pre-recorded loops: Explore a vast library of pre-recorded loops spanning various genres, offering users a convenient way to infuse professional-grade sounds into their creations.
  • Mixing and mastering: Elevate your tracks to new heights with GarageBand's mixing and mastering features. These features allow for fine-tuning, level adjustments, effects incorporation, and creating polished final mixes.


GarageBand is free for both macOS and iOS devices, offering many creative possibilities without any financial barrier.


  • Availability on iOS devices makes it a highly portable and accessible option for music creation on-the-go
  • Cost-effective solution for indie artists and beginners
  • Workflow is similar to Apple's professional-grade DAW, Logic Pro, offering a smooth transition for enhancing your music production skills


  • May lack some of the more advanced features found in professional-grade DAWs
  • Limited third-party plugin support
  • Learning curve for complex tasks like advanced editing, mixing, and mastering
Musician using the best apps for making music

4.   Tape It – For Songwriting

Crafted by musicians for musicians, Tape It is one of the best apps for making music, specifically for songwriting. Designed with simplicity and functionality, this tool empowers you to organize and share your musical creations effortlessly.

Boasting over 20 free features and fortified with EU-encrypted cloud technology, Tape It ensures seamless collaboration and synchronization across all your devices.


  • Device compatibility: It is accessible on iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPod Touch, requiring iOS 15.0 or later for optimal functionality. Additionally, it extends its reach to Mac computers operating macOS 12.0 or later, albeit exclusively on Macs equipped with the Apple M1 chip or later iterations.
  • System requirements: None.

Key Features

  • Multi-track recording: With Tape It, delve into multi-track recording, layering instruments, vocals, and various audio elements to bring your musical sketches and demos to life.
  • Automatic instrument detection: By harnessing AI technology's power, Tape It automatically identifies recorded instruments and annotates waveforms for swift organization and navigation.
  • Markers and notes: This is the best app for making music. You can navigate your recordings by adding markers and notes. This facilitates quick identification of specific sections or provides additional context to your musical ideas.
  • Photo integration: Enrich your recordings with visual context by attaching photos, such as amplifier settings or equipment configurations, which will aid in recreating the desired sound effortlessly.
  • Stereo HD recording: Elevate your audio recordings with Tape It's Stereo HD recording capability, leveraging the advanced microphones in newer iOS devices to capture studio-quality stereo audio.


Tape It is available as a free download on the iOS App Store and offers many powerful features. However, a premium subscription option for those seeking enhanced capabilities is available for $20 per year. This unlocks features like Stereo HD recording to take your musical journey to new heights.


  • Utilizes AI for automatic instrument detection and noise reduction
  • Enables multi-track recording for layering instruments and vocals
  • Offers collaboration tools
  • Provides cloud sync and backup
  • Supports stereo HD recording


  • The free version has limitations
  • Premium features require a subscription
  • Doesn't support importing recordings

5.   Traktor DJ - For Digital Djing

Native Instruments' Traktor DJ is another one of the best apps for making music. It represents the mobile rendition of Native Instruments' renowned Traktor DJ software. Tailored for the modern musician, it’s available on iPad, iPhone, and various iOS devices.

At its heart, Traktor DJ is a powerhouse, offering a suite of indispensable tools and functionalities meticulously crafted for the digital DJing experience.


  • Device compatibility: Whether you're on an iPad, Mac, or Windows device, Traktor DJ delivers a consistent and immersive experience across all platforms.
  • System requirements: macOS 10.15 or later with Intel Core i5 or Apple M1/M2, 4 GB RAM, Windows 10 or 11 with Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 1 GB free disk space, internet connection, and OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card.

Key Features

  • Seamless interface design: Traktor DJ boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface featuring customizable layouts like "Jogwheel" and "Classic," catering to DJs of all skill levels.
  • Dynamic dual-deck layout: Experience unparalleled mixing capabilities with Traktor DJ's dual-deck layout, adorned with expansive waveform displays. These displays empower users to blend and transition visually between tracks with precision and style.
  • Comprehensive DJ controls: Dive into the heart of the mix with Traktor DJ's arsenal of essential DJ controls. From play/cue buttons to tempo faders, pitch bend, looping, and hot cues, every tool you need to craft the perfect mix is at your fingertips.
  • Seamless mixing with integrated mixer: Traktor DJ features an integrated mixer equipped with a 3-band EQ, gain control, volume faders, and crossfader. Seamlessly blend tracks, fine-tuning every aspect of your mix for a flawless performance.
  • Soundcloud Go+ integration: Elevate your mix with access to SoundCloud Go+, seamlessly integrated into Traktor DJ 2. Dive into a vast music library curated to fuel your creativity and inspire your next masterpiece.


Traktor DJ is free to download and use.


  • Boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface, ensuring a smooth learning curve for beginners
  • Integration with SoundCloud Go+ streaming service, offering access to a vast music library for seamless mixing
  • Cross-platform compatibility across iPad, Mac, and Windows devices, ensuring versatility and convenience
  • Free to download and use, making it accessible to all aspiring DJs


  • Limited feature set compared to industry-standard software like Traktor Pro, potentially limiting advanced DJs seeking more comprehensive tools
  • May not be suitable for handling complex mixing tasks or advanced DJ techniques, which could pose challenges for experienced professionals
  • Potential stability issues suggesting the need for optimization and improvements in performance

The Bottom Line

In today's world, audio creation isn't confined to the walls of a studio. With the emergence of mobile technology, music production can happen anytime, anywhere.

You have various options at your disposal, from BandLab to Tape It. However, the best app for making music will come down to your needs and preferences.

For example, if your musical style leans towards acoustic guitar, a DJ-centric app might not be the ideal choice. Therefore, take the time to evaluate each app's capabilities to determine which aligns best with your creative vision.

Partnering with a reputable music distributor is crucial once you've crafted a polished track ready for the world to hear. Enter Sugo Music Group, an industry titan boasting over thirty years of experience. From distribution to publishing, they offer comprehensive solutions to propel your music career forward with confidence.

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