Once upon a time (e.g. the halcyon days of 2006) crafting classic tracks required instruments, studio time and a modicum of talent. Now all it takes is a smartphone or digital music player, a little spare change and ten minutes of free time while waiting for the Greyhound. Following are three top music-making apps which can turn you from reject to rock star overnight.
djay (Algoriddim, $20) – A portable iPad turntable simulator that lets you mash and remix iTunes songs using a multi-touch interface, scratching over tracks or recording unique spins for use in dynamic digital mixtapes. Armchair DJs can queue up automatic playlist mixes with professional-sounding effects, or use mixer, tempo and equalizer controls to get the party started right, and quickly.
NanoStudio (Blip Interactive, $15) – Sample, sequence and master your own toe-tapping ditties with this virtual recording studio for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Letting aspiring composers lay down synth tracks, record samples using a microphone and edit in distortion and reverb, it’s a full-fledged home production suite to go.
Etherophone (Peter Eastman, Free) – Best experienced under the influence, it’s an interactive theremin for Android smartphones that lets you create the perfect psychedelic soundtrack for all your transcendental late-night exploits. It's simplistic, but you’ll be amazed at the vistas its touch-sensitive controls can open after a couple tokes.