This is all about workflow. The Best iPhone Songwriting Apps for me could be a horrible experience for you. We each possess our own way of understanding and solving puzzles. Often times, a creative project or in my case a song, is like a puzzle but more than a puzzle. With a puzzle you have a picture of what the end game spells. With a story or song, you put it together much like pieces of a puzzle. But the biggest divide between these two concepts are this:

Unlike an actual jigsaw puzzle, you can put together a song in so many different ways and that puzzle can come together as a beautiful complete picture. It can also be a disaster but that's another conversation entirely. 

Does anybody out there record demos on your iPhone or Android? I've been using a lot of apps for this. Wondering what your favorites are for 1 take and multi track set ups. I'm including a list of my favorite apps for songwriting or just cultivating creative ideas and how it integrates with your everyday life.  

I'm looking for better workflow and also simple canned drum beats for playing along to. Isn't it good to have rhythm? I find that in order to write more aggressively, it helps to have some momentum behind you, keeping you on a faster track. When writing alone on my acoustic I tend to get slow and soulful. Then I'll amp it up with the full band. My thought is this: 

My results will differ if I start with an amped up vibe and go from there instead of adding it to a freshly written kumbaya campfire song after the fact. Really I'm just looking to mix it up. This is something I've always done throughout my career. 

I use voice memo that comes installed on an iPhone, mainly for quick song and lyric ideas but nothing I've used for multi tracking has been amazing. Maybe I just don't know the power in my hands?

I have these apps although not full versions of everything. I regularly use about 3 or 4 of these for songwriting or rehearsing.

  • Voice Memo - stock app. works well but very limited. playback is not great. 
  • Overdub - just downloaded. Cool old cassette deck interface. Trial version.
  • GarageBand - never liked using the desktop version of this. I use this app for music beds in video. Not good for actual musicians. 
  • Amplitude - this is ok. I like it for practicing songs and learning songs.  I don't use it for multi tracking. Use the iRig guitar interface for this. Anybody use this?
  • Figure - nope. 
  • Take - maybe. but there's a pay wall. I've spent a lot of money upgrading to an app that's promised to be good and nope. 
  • Trackd - just downloaded. You have to sign in with an email to use. This tells me it's more of a social app than a utility. 
  • Bossjock - radio dj type app, works well, limited but what it does is great. Uses both drop box and audio paste and more for audio export and imports. 
  • Audiobus - this lets you use audio apps with other audio apps, like a keyboard app into a recorder.
  • iRig Recorder - basically a field recorder in your phone. Stereo files with some basic EQ and Dynamics presets. I tend to go back to voice memos for this. 
  • Pitchchanger - Very simple app that takes your audio and changes the key to your choosing. Just barely usable. I use this to learn songs in different tunings than what I currently hold in hand. Use the Irig guitar interface for this. 
  • Beatmaker 2 - Downloaded but have not used much
  • Drummer - make drum loops, mostly just fun but could be used for electronic music or ideas
  • Recordium - A voice memo app but as you record or later on, you can highlight parts of your recording to reference later. tags notes and titles. Simple editing. I haven't used this much. My dad recommended it. 
  • Keezy - record sounds into the built in phone mic and play the sounds back by pressing panels. My 2 and a half year old likes playing this one. I've yet to use it for something meaningful but it could happen. 
  • Evernote - I use this as a catch all idea digital notebook. I love this app because you can take photos of your physical journals or songbooks and actually keyword search the photos to find long lost sections. Hard to believe it can read my handwriting (most of the time). Also you can record audio right into your notes. This is a nice simple feature but not what I would use to actually record ideas. Just import from one of the other audio apps.

I also have an obsession with photo and design apps but that's for another day. The app field is seemingly endless. This is a small corner of the world in comparison. There's always something better and there's always something that may not be better but just works for you and your workflow. Writing is part of my mode of discovery. My entrance to understanding the world we live in. Keep writing, keep creating, keep living, keep smiling. Or start today. Have a great weekend or week and comment here on the page with your favorite apps for audio. 


photo by Bryan Buchelt l Chicago, IL

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