Posted November 19, 2011 by Stephan Earl in Round-Ups

iPad DAW App Comparison

iPad Mobile Digital Audio Workstation DAW App Comparison

Are you on the market for a good iPad Digital Audio Workstation?  Well you’re in luck!  There are plenty of good iPad DAWs on the market.  However not all iPad DAWs have the same level of functionality and one may be a better fit for your needs than the another.  The challenge is, the descriptions don’t always give you the full picture of what one DAW can do versus another.  Also if you’re searching on YouTube, many videos demonstrate songs created on these apps, but may not fuly show you which features were used to create the song.

Since there are increasingly more iPad mobile DAWs available and their feature sets may not be so clear, I’ve created a comparison chart below to give you an idea of their various capabilities. The DAWs mentioned below are not to be confused with the various loop-based music apps for the iPad such as Looptastic HD or the synth-based sequencer apps such as KORG iELECTRlBE. I specifically wanted to focus on music recording apps that allow you to create and record your own original music and not simply loop or remix existing recorded material.

Use the page arrows below or the “show entries” pull-down menu to see the complete listing.

BeatMaker 2 FL Studio Mobile HD GarageBand Music Studio iSequence
Price $19.99 $14.99 $4.99 $14.99 $14.99
Compatible iOS Device iPad / Universal iPad Only iPad Only iPad / Universal iPad Only
Version Compared 2.1.1 1.1 1.0.1 1.6.1 2.2
Built-in Instruments / Drum Presets 179 133 94 40 160
Built-in Loops Yes Yes Yes No No
In-App Instrument / Loop Purchase No No No Yes Yes
Create Custom Sampled Instruments Yes Yes No No Yes
Sample Loop Editor Yes Yes No No Yes
Built-in Touch Key-board / Drum Pads Yes Yes Yes Keyboard Only Yes
CoreMIDI / Line 6 Midi / Akai Synthstation CoreMIDI CoreMIDI CoreMIDI All None
Audio Built-in Mic Record Yes No Yes No Yes
Track Limit Unlimited 99 8 128 8
Time Signatures 2/4 – 19/4 2/4 – 7/4 4/4 2/4 – 7/4 4/4
Move / Copy / Paste / Transpose Sequences Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Piano Roll Editor Yes Yes No Yes No
Step Sequencer No Yes No No Yes
Volume / Mute / Solo per Track Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Individual Track FX Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Master FX 10 6 2 5 5
.MIDI and .WAV Import / Export Yes Yes Import: Audio
Export: Audio / GarageBand
Yes Yes
WiFi / Email Export WiFi WiFi Email WiFi / Email WiFi
AudioCopy / iOS Past-board Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Stephan Earl

Composing, recording and producing music in the home studio environment for over 25 years, musician and author Stephan Earl now enjoys sharing his home studio setup experience with other home studio recording musicians via HomeMusicProduction.com.