One of these magical gizmos has found its way into my life and now I'm wondering what else it can do besides check email and play Angry Birds. Have found a few interesting apps out there for creating semi-random soundscapes and textures (Curtis, Thicket) as well as some apps that provide a real function (Korg iElectribe, AC-7). But as always, I'm curious to know what my fellow sound folks are doing with this amazing piece of tech.

Tim Prebble has a similar post on his blog, which brought even more interesting ideas to light.

UPDATE: Recently read a post about Touchable, an iPad controller for Abelton Live. I've not used Live for sound design before…anyone out there endorse it?


It's been a while since we've had an answer to this thread, and I'm sure plenty of worthy and creative apps have hit the market since. So, again I ask, who's using what? My latest favorite is Animoog.

  • My friend uses an I-Pad during his DJ Set.
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 1:17
  • A pal that I work with created traxPad, and he uses two iPads and a mixer for his DJ sets - pretty slick, works quite well! Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 18:14
  • I'm enjoying Curtis but I really want to start a petition for a Kaoss pad app. it's a no brainer!
    – dpb
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 22:57
  • Wouldn't it be great with a foley recording app for iPad? Like an 8-track small DAW with some editing capabilities. Or is there? I mean that would totally rock my world! I do lots of foley recording "in the field" Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 21:22
  • hey @dpb, you've probably seen this by now, but: korg.com/ikaossilator Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 18:54

15 Answers 15


While I don't have an iPad yet, this is a topic that I've been culling info about for a little while. Besides what you've already mentioned here's a few more:

  • Moog's Filtatron - It doesn't say it's iPad compatible, but there's youtube vids that show it working.
  • iMS-20 - Played with this for a bit on a friend's iPad. It's incredibly deep and sounds great.
  • Reactable Mobile - I'll second @Nikos' recommendation of Reactable Mobile. It's fun, it makes noise, it's a little quirky. They just came out with an update that apparently addressed a whole slew of bugs, but I haven't touched it since.
  • TouchOSC - Allows control and feedback from OSC software/hardware (in this vein there's templates out there that may help workflow, or at least push you in new directions)
  • V-Control & V-Control Pro - Neyrinck announced these two Pro Tools controllers just before AES. Haven't heard any reviews yet.
  • ProRemote - FarOutLabs has a whole array of DAW controllers depending on your budget and needs.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Hope that helps! If I think of any more I'll update the post.


  • ReBirth for iPad - Propellerhead's "Micro Composer" from the late '90s is now available native for iPad.
  • MagicFiddle - Smule (devlopers of Ocarina, LeafTrombone & MagicPiano) made an iPad exclusive "string" instrument. The playing of which sounds a little out of tune, but I can't tell if that's the sample or the player. Has potential to make some great pad textures.
  • Pianist Pro - Turns your iPad into an external MIDI controller (plus on-the-go piano, arpeggiator, drum machine...)
  • Space for iPad - The Strange Agency (developers of Curtis) ported their Sound Scope synth over to the iPad, looks incredible.
  • Also check out the iPad Camera Connection Kit. Through it's USB connection you can apparently connect USB audio devices. Don't know if that's useful to you, but it's pretty cool.
  • @Steve, great stuff - thanks for the links. Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 23:54

ok. you got to get this one http://www.reactable.com/ not so "sound designing" but can be used for this too! its a must! i love it

  • @Nikos, I have heard about this but didn't know it was available for iPad. Very cool! Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 23:28
  • @Nikos YES! Props to those guys for porting this! If I ever end up getting an iPad this will be the first thing I download!
    – C3Sound
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 5:59

I use Rebirth, Curtis, Beatwave, RjDj, and Theremin on iOS devices, but usually not for sound design. If Reaktor or PD ran on it, that'd be cooler, IMO, for sound design. But all those apps are quite fun and well designed.

For sound design I tend to like carrying a virtual guitar tuner with me; if I record something chromatic/tonal in the field, I can make notes as to what pitch it's closest to.

  • Nice tip with the tuner @NoiseJockey! Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 19:48
  • @NoiseJockey, how do you load your own samples with Curtis? Can I record using the iPad mic? Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 18:38
  • Connect the iPad, open iTunes, go to the Apps tab, scroll down and select Curtis, and drag WAV files into the appropriate box. Same way one adds PDFs to reader apps and the like! Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 23:40
  • @NoiseJockey - There's a modular for the iOS called Jasuto that you should check out. It's pretty wicked. Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 19:40

One of the more "fun" and interesting apps I've tried is called "Sound Warp"... Kind of like a Korg Kaos Pad but different. Lots of interesting stuff when you put voice samples through it. No iPad native version yet, but it is compatible...

  • @Sonsey - I looove this app.I use it all the time! Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 19:41

For some sound weirdness, check out RjDj. If you know your way with PureData, you can even make your own interactive soundscapes including touch data, live microphone input, samples and synthesis.

I use the iPad for Sound Design almost daily, but just as a control surface for Max/MSP using Fantastick or just a VNC remote control app (Jaadu VNC aka iTeleport).


Jasuto Pro is incredible for designing sounds and CP1919 is a pretty cool granular synth app SunVox is also great fun for creating sounds and patterns.

  • @benn_engine another vote for Jasuto Pro here. Quite good. Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 20:54

Here are some of my personal favourites :

gliss Load up your own samples and use the tilt mechanism to get interesting sounds

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Makes use of single vowel vocalisations which can bounce around or behave differently

Bloom HD Great for ambient stuff or musical soundscapes

Have fun! :D


I don't have an iPad but this app "Sample Wiz" looks pretty interesting.

  • Confirmed. Unbelievably powerful and a joy to use. Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 8:24

Another great App is TC-11, I'm enjoying a lot this one:



Loads of great stuff available, from sonic toys to controllers. Stuff I use quite a bit:

  • Alchemy mobile (controller and synth/sampler)

  • Lemur (controller)

  • Konkreet Performer (controller)

  • CSGrain (granular sampler instrument)

  • Tabletop (complete modular "studio", ala Reason)

  • Beatmaker 2 (another studio type thing)

  • Mixtikl (generative music environment)

  • Brian Eno's generative apps (Bloom, Trope, Air)

  • Yamaha Tenori-on (sequenced synth thing)

  • Donut (from the makers of Space and Curtis)

  • RJDJ (realtime audio processing and all sorts of weirdness)

  • Moog Filtatron (only have this on my iPhone though)

I probably have some others, but those are my biggies.


I recently bought an iPad for doing some sound/control research and used the original post as my starting point for apps to look at. However, as you pointed out there are now new apps on the market. These are the ones I've used so far that have not already been mentioned:

Animoog - great sounding and offers interesting control

Cubasis - cut down version of full DAW is a excellent sketchpad and compatible with Cubase

Korg iPolysix - continues the great work by Korg

Loopy HD - interesting sample control

NodeBeat HD - similar concept to Bloom, but I prefer the output (my kids also love this one)

MorphWiz - Jordan's latest offering really pushes touchscreen control

I have also found the following utilities really useful and help turn the ipad into a usable sound platform:

Audiobus - how did you work before this utility was available?

MIDIBridge - define your own Virtual MIDI networks

MIDI Monitor - useful for debugging

C74 - Max external that allows control data to be sent from device back to Max

Control (OSC + MIDI) - similar to TouchOSC

Fantastick - create your own control graphical interfaces

Same as @Jay, I'm interested to hear of any other apps that I may have missed.


Grain Science is a great granular synth-job as well. 2 grain osc, lots of modulation mapping, x/y pads, multieffects, etc. I really like the sounds coming from that...


Great stuff in this thread, I'm certainly going to check out some of these apps. I have the Reactable and Tenori-On apps, as well as SoundyThingy. I have TouchOSC that I intend to use with a QLab system, though I haven't implemented it yet.

I'm still learning Reactable and Tenori-On, but I'm pretty certain they'll both get used on the next show I design.

  • Update: also using Sample Wiz pretty frequently. Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 23:33

Olle, there is! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/multitrack-daw/id329322101?mt=8


following the advice of someone on this board I got Reaktor cranking inside ProTools.... Ended up buying it... incredibly powerful way of getting ipad control of FX inside Tools.

I use Osculator to interface between TouchOSC on my iPad, and Reaktor. Osculator can also do all sorts of very handy things like key-combo's, triggering applescripts etc etc..

too much fun

For those of you who have templates for shows and are often recalling marker selections for amb \ fx within ProTools, you can make a custom TouchOSC page to call all those selections up by way of a key combo thats triggered by a single press on your iPad..



calls up marker location 400.

"AMB Bar"


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