Breaking through in the music industry can seem like a huge endeavor, but you can make it easier on yourself with these 12 essential apps for musicians, particularly those indie artists doing it all on their own.
We gathered insights by speaking with a few successful, self-made musicians to discover the best apps to help you get ahead. Embrace the world of modern technology to escalate your efforts with these integrative and collaborative apps for any player in the music industry – whether you’re a producer, artist, singer or tour manager.
Splice is the go-to “creative hub for the modern musician.” Splice is a desktop app that provides a cloud-based storage system to sync your projects between your computer and the Splice app.
The app allows you to easily save your sessions to the cloud, which makes working on multiple devices (and saving files) a lot easier. If anything ever happens to the files or your computer or devices, it will all be safely backed up through Splice.
Splice also lets users share projects with other artists for collabs and offers a library of different effects, sound bytes and plugins to make the most of any musical creation.
Tunedly is essentially an online music recording studio. The app connects up-and-coming songwriters, composers and producers to professional session musicians, session singers and audio engineers.
CEO & co-founder Chris Erhardt, a former self-made songwriter and music producer himself, said, “I created this platform due to the frustration I had when I was still actively hiring session musicians, but simply couldn’t find enough and diverse talent in my immediate surrounding.”
This app is the perfect way to connect talented musicians with other pursuing artists to create and collaborate on projects.
Fiverr is world’s largest freelance services marketplace for any type of entrepreneur, focusing on helping users build successful businesses at affordable costs.
Fiverr is a great app for musicians needing a quick, inexpensive service like mastering an unfinished track to quickly play live. There are endless options of services provided by freelancers, all for an affordable cost.
Spotify continues to lead the streaming industry with innovative tools and solutions. Unlike Apple Music and Google Play, which keep user data private, Spotify puts the power of data into artists’ hands with their recently launched Spotify Artist Insights. This new beta platform allows musicians to view their play counts by day/month, compare metrics with other artists, see which playlists our songs are listed on, and identify their listeners by cities and location to help with tour planning and audience reception metrics.
Travis Drews, of Austin electronic and funk outfit, NOISECHOIR, contends: “Spotify is actually an amazing app for DIY musicians. It’s half music platform, half social media platform, so it makes it so that if people like the music, the track succeeds. The algorithms that serve new music to Spotify users don’t discriminate between major label artists and indie guys.”
For fans as well, Spotify is a great tool for hearing great undiscovered music, like NOISECHOIR’s “Is You Feelin’ Me?”
If you are a self-made musician, you most likely have a SoundCloud. But you can also utilize SoundCloud Pulse to receive insights about your audience, fan interaction and more.
The artist side of SoundCloud is great for interacting with your listeners, allowing you to reply to comments on the go and get up-to-date stats on the performance of your tracks. The Pro account option allows you to get advanced stats including data on who your most engaged fans are, and the top countries and cities in which your fans reside.
Producer Tools is an Android app that takes care of the tedious parts of making music. The app dubs itself “a brainy studio assistant” who you can quickly ask “What frequency is A sharp?” or “What should I boost to make the kick drum bigger?”
Producer Tools helps musicians manage making chords, provides a frequency translator and offers a equalization guide for mixing, an essential for artists who like to sample and mix songs.
The Mixed In Key app is a DJ mixing software app that analyzes your music files, and helps you use Harmonic Mixing so musicians will sound seamless in every DJ set. The app offers features that measure things like exclusive Key Detection, the amount of “energy” in each track and cue tracking to help you maximize your sound quality.
Deniz Baykal, of up-and-coming Austin electronic duo, Blunt Force, says that Mixed in Key is a must because “we can organize our music by key and make our mixes as seamless as possible, every time.”
Many up-and-coming musicians take advantage of the Creator Studio from YouTube. You can use the Creator Studio to organize your channel, manage videos, interact with fans and track analytics on how your videos and channel are performing.
Djay Adx, a self-made hip hop artist from New Delhi, says the Creator Studio “helps a lot in managing my channel straight from my mobile and lets me handle the comments on my videos, gives me insights into my online visitors and various other options.”
The Creator Studio offers an easily integrated platform to handle any of your music distribution needs.
SongBook is a great app for musicians referencing their own music, music to sample and songs to cover. The app manages your song collections with lyrics and chords, and you can tap on any chord name to see its variants.
The app comes with a comprehensive, extensible chord library with a wide range of instruments, and comes with tons of great features like the ability to transpose songs, Bluetooth pedal support and more.
Self-made singer-songwriter Erin McAndrew had this to say on the app: “When I play cover gigs, I can pull up the chords and lyrics to any song I perform on my iPad and the app automatically scrolls the chords and lyrics as I play. It enables me to easily access dozens of songs instead of flipping through a binder. Plus, when I play songs people request, they tip; so SongBook has definitely more than made up for the low price in what I’ve earned with it.”
Gigtown is a music technology app that connects local musicians, venues and fans. The app allows local, self-made artists to sign up with an artist profile to start getting booked at different events.
The app is centered around supporting local music, and makes it easy to discover and book live music for any occasion, find shows happening around town and even tip the local artists you love. The gigs pay good money and are a great way for artists just starting out to get discovered.
Platinum Notes is the go-to source to improve your audio files and sound quality. The app uses studio filters to process audio files, making sure to improve pitch, volume and sound quality to be ready to be played anywhere.
The app is designed to work with music from many different sources like iTunes and Beatport, and other WAV files. This the best app for any musician wanting to perfect their sound and optimize every track they produce.
OffTop is a mobile studio where artists can record and share tracks directly from your phone. The app is designed to mimic the sound quality of a studio and can live monitor through headphones.
OffTop connects hip hop producers with rappers and singers. Producers can upload beats directly to the app to find new collaborators, hear freestyle or written tracks recorded over their beats and gain exposure for beat sales. And as a singer or rapper, you just pick a beat that you like and record right into the app. If you like what you recorded, you can share it over the social media component to a community of over 50,000 artists for feedback and recognition.