If you are looking for a digital audio workstation (DAW) software to use for your iPad, but you are on a budget, there are some products in the apps store that you can try. These apps offer a blank sheet that you can use to start putting together your samples, loops, and recordings prior to mixing and exporting.
The app is free to try and is a good place to begin music production. It is designed specifically for iPad use. It may take time to download almost 650MB worth of data, but you will definitely get the barebones you need to start your projects. The app comes with 12 devices – from keyboards to effects, and a lot more available for purchase in-app.
Retronyms Tabletop works just like desktop software in handling inputs and outputs as it allows you to make complex trigger and effect chains. This app is ideal for you if you want a complete package or if you have tabletop-compatible apps. Although there’s no AudioBus currently present, it supports AudioPaste and AudioCopy for moving samples from one app to another.
Created by Sonoma Wire Works, Studio Track is a basic multi-track recorder for iPads. Expect AudioCopy and AudioPaste functions in the app as Studio Track comes from the same team that developed these features, but AudioBus is disappointingly absent. The product supports as many as 8 tracks with various effects and features for each like solo, mute, and reverb.
On the surface, the app may look pretty basic, but it comes with some customizable effects, re-sampling (bouncing), recording from an external input, neat UI, and accurate meters for mixing. At $10, it won’t cost a lot; however if you intend to have good control over 8 or more tracks, you may want to work with a more appropriate DAW software.
Because of its comparatively cheap price ($4.99), the Garage Band is probably one of the first DAW software that people grab when repurposing their iPad into a virtual recording studio or orchestra. Although it is limited to only 8 tracks, there is a track merging tool that you can use to free up some much-needed space.
While there may be some things lacking such as serious effects control, limited mixer functions, and complex sample trimming, it doesn’t mean that this app is not a professional tool. Altogether, Garage Band is still a better deal than a lot of other apps in its class as it can outshine them in terms of a DAW’s main functions.
With MultiTrack DAAW, you get 24 simultaneous tracks for $9.99. It also comes with an in-app purchase option that will give you 16 more tracks for $7.99. All in all, you can work with 40 tracks – each having its own equalizer and compressor, and capable of recording from the built-in mic, USB devices, and headsets.
The app has built a loyal following because of its straightforwardness. With no generators or instruments, the DAW software is designed to put together the melodies, grooves, and samples that you have created in other apps. It supports AudioBus and AudioCopy, as well as offers functional overdubbing, monitoring and fine control features over sample arrangement and rimming.