For musicians using an iPhone, there are many options (free and paid) in the App Store that will help you make music, record music and interact with music in many different ways. These are 5 of my favorite, and free, applications for musicians using an iPhone.
A simple, but effective, tuning application that can either tune with the internal microphone or through any input microphone (such as this one). It can provide reference pitches and tune almost any instrument where A 440Hz applies. Free, simple and effective…just like you’d want a tuner to be!
Black Label’s BPM Counter is a great counterpart to a software DAW solution. I say this because sometimes I am manipulating samples that end up not in the original tempo of the song. Sometimes, the tempos can be hard to figure out, especially if you are sequencing your drums. Launch this app, tap out your tempo, and instantly find out what tempo your song is in…brilliantly simple, and free!
Another simple tool that accomplishes great things in the right scenario. Sometimes, you are working in a song that you are not sure of the key but you know a few notes in the song. If you want to transpose that song, or improvise, or adapt the melody, you will need to know the key. Punch in a few notes in the song, and Key Finder will highlight potential notes that could be in key and ones that definitely could not be. It does not allow for flats and sharps to be changed within the key… but hey, it’s free, what can you really ask of them? It does it’s job well and has helped me out more than a few times.
Ever heard a song on the classic r&b hits station you wanted to sample? Don’t know the name of the song, or even the artist? Not a problem. Tap you screen a few times, and you’re tagging. After about 20 seconds, Shazam recognizes what song you are listening to and spits back track info and artist info as well as links to YouTube videos, lyrics, tour dates and a whole host of other things… even Facebook and Twitter links!
Much like Shazam, but this time…you can sing! Even hum! Seems to work just as well to punch in the lyrics, even with a few mistakes it gets it. I sang a great version of an Usher song and it got it right away… Some of us have even started drinking games based on this app! It’s truly a lot of fun but seems to have a lower overall success rate than Shazam so I recommend them both. Shazam for tagging and info, Midomi for humming and singing.
There are many choices out there, including some very similar apps. These are just some fun, free options that can help out in a bind or occupy some time on a boring day at the office.