Home Recording Academy: Best Music Recording App for Mobile Devices

Today’s recording equipment is more portable than it has ever been. Got a laptop and an audio interface? Grab a microphone and you’ve got a mobile studio. But if even that’s not portable enough for you, you can get even more mobile by recording on your smartphone or tablet.

Since we like exploring different types of DAW recording software here on the Sage Audio blog, we thought we’d expand the concept a bit and look at what recording software is available for mobile devices.

GarageBand for iOSGuitar on the iPad

If you are using an iPad, iPhone or iPod for recording, GarageBand for iOS may be the way to go. The app functions fairly similarly to the Mac OS version of GarageBand, and even if you haven’t used that software, the iOS version is intuitive enough to pick up quickly.

In addition to providing a recording platform, the service comes with a ton of virtual instruments, so you don’t need anything more than your phone or tablet. You can store the songs you make easily in iCloud, and can even have real time, recordable jam sessions with up to three friends via WiFi or Bluetooth.

If you prefer to work with real instruments, Behringer just introduced a new iSTUDIO docking station for iPad that allows you to connect instruments, microphones, MIDI instruments and even turntables to a convenient package that wraps around your iPad.

Audio Evolution Mobile

While there are other multitrack recording apps available for iOS, GarageBand has all of the features most mobile recorders will need. The Android market, however, is more wide open.

Audio Evolution Mobile is the Android app most comparable to GarageBand, and offers many of the same multitrack recording features. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t include virtual instruments or USB recording.

But, you can record and export in almost any file format, and the app has plenty of effects available, including EQ, reverb, delay, tremolo, flanger and even highpass and lowpass features.

PocketBand Pro

If you need virtual instruments on your Android, you may want to go with PocketBand Pro, which comes with synth instruments, drums, samples, analog modulators and more. The app allows up to 32 loops per song and up to 16 channels. You can apply effects to tracks and also export to mp3.

Like GarageBand, you can save work to the cloud to work across multiple devices. Impressively, you can also import files to the app from multiple services, including your music library, SD card or even Dropbox, which is great for sampling.

J4T for Android

For dead simple, straightforward recording, the J4T is a good very basic four-track recorder. The app is just for recording, so no virtual instruments are included, though it does include a handy loop function.

Another great feature is that even though it only has four tracks, you can mix those four down to one to free up additional tracks (though this may cause latency issues) – just like your cassette four track. It also has a few affects you can add to tracks such as distortion and delay, though there is no reverb yet available.