10 Essential iPad Apps for Beat Makers

As the iPad continues to evolve, so do its apps. And this is a good thing for iPad producers and musicians in particular. Hollin Jones highlights 10 excellent apps for iPad designed for making beats.  

1 - ReBirth for iPad - $14.99

ReBirth for iPad

Propellerhead's classic beat sequencer is back and perfectly suited to the iPad interface. Recreating the Roland TB-303 bass synth, TR-808 and 909 drum machines and featuring multiple effects as well as a killer retro interface, it can even be skinned to customize it. You’ll be making electronic beats in no time.   

2- Beatmaker 2 - $9.99

Beatmaker 2

This is actually a full mobile DAW that lets you create different instruments, connect them to effects and import your own sounds. Its drum machine has 128 trigger pads, a chop lab to slice up loops, fine control over each pad’s behaviour and copy and paste between pads. The app has loads of other features too that are well worth a look.  

3 - Figure - Free 


Another one from the Props, this time a futuristic beat making tool. Figure features sections for drums, bass and lead synth and lets you input patterns by drawing into its gorgeous interface using grids, circles and bars. It’s not much like conventional composition but the results are great.  

4 - iMaschine - $4.99 


Native Instruments is as good at mobile apps as desktop ones, and iMaschine is a fantastic groove sketchpad. It comes with a bunch of samples, you can load or record and edit your own or use optional expansion packs. There are keyboard and bass instruments as well as beats, and projects can be exported to your desktop version of Maschine. 

5 - DM1 - $4.99


DM1 models a vintage style drum machine and comes with 99 electronic kits. There’s a step sequencer, drum pads with automatic quantize, a mixer to quickly submix your kit, FX trackpads to mash up your beats and a song composer function to chain your patterns into a finished song. 

6 - iMPC Pro - $12.99 

iMPC Pro

An amazingly advanced iOS beat making tool, iMPC Pro brings powerful programming and editing right to your iPad. With 64-track sequencing, onboard sampling and editing, flux mode for morphing beats and over 1400 samples supplied, it’s desktop-level performance in a mobile app. Check the website for its incredible feature list.  

7 - iElectribe - $19.99 


Korg’s venerable app is still great fun to use, with an analog synth engine, 4 synth percussion and 4 PCM synth parts as well as master effects, 64 preset patterns and Valve Force Tube Modelling to give a nice warm crunch to your beats. Bounce your beats out to audio or share to Soundcloud once you’re done.  

8 - FL Studio Mobile HD - $14.99

FL Studio Mobile HD

This is also a full mobile DAW, but as well as drum pads and a load of samples it has 133 instruments, drum kits and sliced beats to play with, plus an onboard shop for adding new content. Full audio recording is supported and you can export a project back to FL Studio on your PC to work on it further. 

9 - ElasticDrums - $11.99

Elastic Drums

This app has 6 synth channels with 10 different percussion engines and 12 parameters for each one. As well as automating each parameter you can automate effects, record audio and use Audiobus and Inter-App Audio to send signal to other apps inside your iPad. 

10 - technoBox 2 - $7.99


This virtual techno studio for iPad uses a TB-303 emulation engine and a drum module with 808 or 909 sounds as well as a randomizer for the synth module. Program techno parts and tweak synth parts to your heart’s content. It also runs on older hardware so it’s a good one if your iPad is getting a little long in the tooth.

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More


Korg Gadget is number 1 in my opinion a lil expensive but worth every dime. Nave, Animoog, Tabletop, Music Studio & iM1 are all worthy as well but it really depends on genre & workflow. Essentially doesn't matter what you use as long as it sounds good but Gadget is definitely my go to above all.

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