It’s inevitable. Reaching the end of the year and looking back on what it brought us. For iOS musicians it was another good year. A year that our devices became more capable for serious music production and our apps following suit, powered by technologies such as Audiobus. We already have a lot of exciting things to look forward to in 2014, but let’s take a look at our favourite music apps on the iPhone and iPad.

Audiobus enabled many developers to start working on effect apps and we saw the list growing and growing in 2013, from lightweight single effects to full FX and mastering suites. Here are our favourite iOS FX apps of this year (in no particular order).

Master FX / Audio Mastering for iPad

audiomasteringmasterfx - audio masteringIgor Vasiliev, creator of a top MIDI sequencer app, launched two great effect apps in 2013, called Audio Mastering and Master FX, both for iPad. We believe these apps should be bundled together as they both provide a wide range of tools for respectively mastering and processing your sounds into a finished production, ready for iTunes. The design might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the audio handling is top-notch.

Master FX on the App Store
Audio Mastering on the App Store

Sugar Bytes Turnado

turnadoAlso having launched a MIDI sequencer for iPad, Sugar Bytes launched their awesome Turnado multi-effect tool for iPad in late April. Already a popular VST, the iPad version allows you to use the same distortions, delays, reverbs and filters, but with flexible XY touch controls. If you love to mangle your sounds, this is the plugin for you.

Sugar Bytes Turnado on the App Store

Swoopster for iPad

swoopsterNow that we’re on the subject of XY-pad performance effects, a recent addition to the App Store is the fuzzy Swoopster for iPad, a Fuzz / Flanger effect. Check out this recent Momupro video of Swoopster effecting DM-1’s drums. This is a perfect example of a friendly-priced effect doing a single thing, but doing it well.

Swoopster for iPad on the App Store

BIAS – Amps!

biasWe can’t leave out the guitarists when talking about effects of course. Positive Grid released BIAS, a guitar amp simulator that seems to make hardware amps a thing of the past. BIAS had an impressive launch, both marketing- and impact-wise. You can shape your own sounds with the custom amp creator and share your creations through the recently added ToneCloud section. BIAS supports a wide range of interfaces and integrates well with Inter App Audio and AudioBus. A must-have for guitarists.

BIAS on the App Store

That rounds up our favourite iOS FX for 2013.

What was your favourite effect app?

  • Chris Catalano

    I like all the ones you mentioned, but for sheer cool, efficiency, and value, the AUFX stuff is pretty phenomenal…igor Vasiliev is great, and Holderness media, well, how do you top Echo Pad? Simple answer: not easily. Swoopster is a swank Fuzz modulator, but I think not nearly as deep as Echo Pad which is Gold Standard time machine insanity…

    Of note: Virsyn Reverb was the very best sounding reverb put out for iOS, and that is saying a lot as they were all good…

    I love what Sugarbytes is doing, just not yet on my go to list…maybe the complexity and dazzle is more epic than the audio result is to my ears…they need to make parameters, buttons, etc. more tactile and visible to fit more into the Pad context…Thesys, Wow2, Turnado are all beautiful app experiences in the works…I see them as amazing works in progress…for creativity and ambition, they win no contest. I just want to use them more, though, and in their current state, I only go there when I want mangled sonic mayhem…and that isn’t always the most musical solution.

    Fantastic year for iOS FX no matter how you slice it…