Remember back in the Nokia days when we were reduced to tinny ringtone versions of our favorite pop songs? Or maybe I’m just showing my age here… Those days are long past us now, with even the most basic phone models coming with top audio recorders. From your iPhone, these days you can edit your favorite songs to create ringtones (that actually sound like the original), create your own ringtones through musical composition apps, start building your first track to get your music career started, or maybe you’re a budding podcaster looking for a professional production sound.
There’s a whole host of apps offering audio-editing tools for your iOS devices these days, but I’ve condensed it down to the four best here. Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s a great app out there for you!
1. Ferrite Recording Studio
For podcasters, this is really the best app on the market at the moment. Ferrite Recording Studio lets you create audio recordings in-app, has an audiometer and it lets you adjust microphone gain while you’re recording. If you’re looking for a better quality recording than your phone or device can offer, this app also works with iOS-compatible microphones. During recordings, you can place bookmarks where each new take begins and then browse them later in the multi-track editor. While Ferrite Recording Studio comes with a set of effects already, you can also import audio from external sources to use in the editing process.
Great for recording and adding voiceovers with the background noise elimination function, this is really made for the podcast and voiceover editing. The app also includes a neat interface function, with a clear customizable toolbar along the bottom of the screen. And you can export your audio file in any of the usual formats: AAC, WAV, MP3, FLAC, among others. Best of all – this app is free of purchase! That, coupled with rave reviews – you can’t really go wrong. While some special features require an in-app purchase, the options with the free version are extensive, and a great way to trial the app before committing to spending on it.
2. Hokusai Audio Editor
Looking for an app to help you build and edit your own music? Hokusai Audio Editor has everything you need. It’s been around for a number of years now and has undergone a lot of improvement and expansion. It’s designed to work perfectly on iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Its features include multi-track audio editing, meaning you can edit multiple tracks side-by-side, and even mix them together. Some of the editing options available include fade in/out, reverse time, and normalizing volume levels.
When you’re satisfied with the results and want to share them with your friends, fans, and even record companies, you can export the file to Wave or MP4 format. You can even upload it to the cloud, send it to another device, or transfer it to your computer by cable. If you’re looking for even more editing features, you can upgrade in-app. This will give you access to presets, grain synthesis, time-stretching, echo, reverb, distortion, to name just a few. This app has been lauded for its ease of use, and how intuitive the usual touch screen tricks enable you to interact with the editing process. Great for those looking for a hands-on feel, with a bundle of features to boot.
The true OG in terms of iOS audio editing and music composition! This free app has long been a mainstay of Apple products, and with good reason. Probably the best iOS app for music composition across a number of touch instruments. Recent upgrades mean GarageBand now has much to offer budding DJs – with new features Live Loops and Remix FX. While the app comes with a number of Touch Instruments such as keyboard, guitars, and drums, you can also use the new Sound Library to download more instruments for no extra charge.
With professional mixing editing effects, this would be great for anyone wanting to try their hand at DJing. And with the integrated notebook, you can keep a note of your thoughts and ideas in your songs. And with the ability to upload straight to Facebook or Youtube (provided you also have iMovie), what’s to stop you from sharing your creative genius with the world?! Additionally, you can upload your compositions to the cloud, meaning you can access it across all your devices. And any composition you create can also be used as a custom ringtone or alert for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
4. Auria Pro – Music Production
For the audio editor looking for something professional-grade, look no further. Auria Pro is a highly advanced audio editing tool for the iPad. There has been considerable hype around this app, from industry professionals such as David Kahne (producer and engineer for Paul McCartney and Regina Spektor, to name just a couple), Computer Music Magazine, and Recording Magazine. The first Digital Audio Workstation to be built for iPad, the interface is something to behold – with the mass of dials and buttons, it resembles the kind of tech you find in professional recording studios. Unsurprisingly, there is a considerable price tag on this app, but if the aforementioned apps just wouldn’t cut it for you, surely this will.
The app comes with a free downloadable 4GB sample library, unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, real-time audio warping, a piano roll editor, and comprehensive MIDI processing functions. For importing and exporting audio files, the app allows you to transfer complete sessions to other DAWs such as Logic, Pro Tools, Nuendo, and others. And when it comes to sharing your edited files, Auria Pro includes DropBox Audiobus, SoundCloud, and Audio Copy/Paste support. The list just goes on. Honestly, if the Auria Pro doesn’t have an audio editing feature you’re looking for, I expect no other app would. This is truly the ‘Holy Grail’ of audio editing apps at the moment.
5. Lexis Audio Editor
Lexis Audio Editor is an iOS audio editor app that has a lot of features to let you easily edit any voice or music files on your Apple device. It allows you to cut, copy, and paste parts of your audio files easily to create amazing audio outputs. Additional basic features such as the functions to delete, insert silence, trim, fade-in, and fade-out makes it much easier doing basic operations on any of your audio files. You can also normalize or reduce the noise in your audio files using Lexis.
If you want to record the audio into an existing audio file and combine them both, there is also a function for that. You can simply start recording after the timeline of the current audio file. You may also mix it with the newly added file. The 10 available band equalizers will make the audio file outputs the best of quality compared to any other audio editing tools on your iPhone or iPad. The built-in compressor will make sure that the output audio is compressed to a minimal size to save some space. The application supports almost all the popular audio formats including mp3 (-320kb/s), wav (16 Bit PCM), m4a, aac, FLAC, WMA, etc., and even video import: mp4, 3gp, 3g2.