Social media-savvy musicians consistently encourage fans to get interactive
by remixing tracks or creating videos to accompany their favorite songs. But virtual band Gorillaz upped the ante last year with The Fall
, an album recorded entirely on the iPad. The latest apps now grant iPad owners even greater creative freedom by allowing them to compose and mix their own music from scratch.
Korg iElectribe Gorillaz Edition
: Gorillaz used 20 distinct apps
to record The Fall
, but they’re aiming to bring a more streamlined approach to iPad music-making with this beat-box app. Made exclusively for the iPad in collaboration with Korg
, the virtual synthesizer allows users to create and manipulate sounds for layering into electronic tracks. The app is not Korg’s first iPad venture: its original iElectribe app
made waves thanks to its impressive analog beat-box capabilities. However, this special version is distinctively band-branded and it uses Gorillaz-created sounds for sampling. Initially billed as a limited-edition offering, the app is nonetheless still available
in the iTunes store.
: Aspiring DJs will revel in this remix app, which lets users reinvent nearly 100 pre-existing tracks by adding effects, shuffling musical phrases, layering in newly recorded sounds, and sharing their best versions via Facebook and Twitter. Shapemix is not the first user-friendly mixing program—both David Bowie
and Bob Dylan
previously released apps (for iPhone and Facebook, respectively) that allowed fans to remix songs from their classic albums. However, Shapemix separates itself from the herd with an element of e-commerce, as mixers can listen to one another’s original tracks and purchase their favorites via iTunes at two bucks per song.
: What Shapemix does for sound sampling, Polychord does for songwriting. The app features virtual drums, bass, chords, and accompaniment, but is driven by chord progressions above all. When a user chooses a chord of their liking, drums and bass automatically follow, allowing for effortless composition of a melody. The program has been touted as ideal for beginners (though pros are making use of it
, too), and a recent update allows the program to be used as a MIDI controller
, giving musicians the ability to play it wirelessly during performances. Demos
abound on the web—so if you still can’t figure this one out, you’ll have nothing to blame it on but the bossa nova