A Lot to Catch Up On, Part 1: Android Apps and Music Production

So I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been incredibly lazy in writing. I have a lot of ideas to write about, and frankly, I don’t have them all organized super well.

First and foremost, I’d like to give a review of some totally awesome Android apps I’ve found in the market. I’m big on productivity and such, so you can bet how incredibly thrilled I was to discover when I got home that my phone was literally my new best friend, not because I would be talking to lots of people (I used to be really phone-phobic, but not so much after two years of calling people and talking to them in another language!), but because it would help me keep track of everything I wanted to!

Since I haven’t talked about music in forever and a day, I’m going to spend some time to introduce you to my favorite music apps in the market. There is an AWESOME potential here that is definitely untapped as of yet.

  • http://chordbot.com/ is the developer of the chordbot app. This thing is super handy, even in the free version! It basically is an automatic accompaniment that you can set to perform various chord progressions (and it’s got lots of options, mind you), and then pick a comping style to play them in, and then hear how they sound! This is great for songwriting, especially if you’re on the go and don’t have an instrument with you.
  • FingerPlayMIDI is another great app that can be found at <http://thesundancekid.net/blog/fingerplay-midi/>. This thing literally lets you turn your phone into a MIDI controller for use with various audio production workstations (DAWs) like ProTools, Ableton, Reaper, and a whole slew of others. I haven’t gotten much into using it, but the capability is there, and frankly, I’m excited to get it working well.
  • A similar app is called TouchDAW, can be found at  http://www.humatic.de/htools/touchdaw/. I know, I know, I’m throwing in tons of links and info, but this stuff is really cool! Honestly, who ever dreamed of the capabilities a phone would have ten years ago? I was stuck fascinated with my totally hardcore Gameboy Color and Pokemon. TouchDAW is similar to FingerPlay, but has a much more developed interface – which unfortunately, to get the best of it, you do have to pay. But it’s definitely worth it. In fact, it’s made me want to save up to get a tablet…just to use it as a dedicated MIDI controller and mixing board for my computer.
  • Also available is Wireless Mixer, which is exactly what it says it is: a handy app that lets you work on mixing projects wirelessly (apparently that isn’t a word…yet).
  • Heck, there’s even a free four track recorder you can download. You can literally write your music wherever you are! I haven’t got the pro version yet, but to be completely honest, the free version is all I’ve needed so far.
So there you have it: the results of my personal crusade for the best apps in the Android market for music production. Granted there are some bugs to work out in a few of them, and maybe advertisements and cripples in the software can be a pain, but stop and think about what this all implies: this is literally a revolution in the music production industry. Especially more so since the Android market is open for anyone to use, and most of the programming is done in Java, one of the easiest languages to learn.

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