OF 2010

By J. Michael Dolan

In the beginning there were NO smart phone applications for musicians, other than multi-use utilities and toys. Now there are hundreds of apps devoted to the musician and music fan. From recording your session to confirming a gig, the smart phone has become an invaluable career tool for anyone in the music biz. Therefore, here are my top picks for the coolest iPhone and Android apps of 2010. Also, be sure to let me know what other great apps you’ve discovered and shoot me out an e-mail.

 The following apps are available at either the iPhone or Android apps stores.

For iPhone:
Musicians Friend Stupid Deal Of The Day (Free): Owned by Guitar Center, get MF’s popular daily deal delivered to your phone every day. I check this one often. (

QuickVoice Pro ($2.99): My all-time favorite app that I use every day. Not only do I record biz ideas, blog ideas, to-do lists and seminar notes, it also allows me to e-mail those recorded notes to myself in a text format. Very Cool! (

Carvin Impedance Calculator (Free): This app will calculate the total impedance of multiple speakers in both series and parallel connections. If you play bass, guitar, set up sound systems or install speakers in the mobile audio industry, this app will make calculating impedance easy. (

Drum Kit ($1.99): The graphics are extremely cool and it’s a fun app for drummers and non-drummers alike.

Air Display ($9.99): My friend, producer David Kershenbaum, recommended this one. Ever wish you had an extra display for your computer? There’s an app for that! With Air Display, you can use your iPad as a wireless display for your Mac OS X or Windows computer.

Easy Beats Pro Drum Machine ($4.99): I’m a drummer and this app was built to be an easy way to create great sounding beats. You'll be surprised how powerful this tool can be for creating new beat patterns. You can use either the inbuilt samples or sounds you have imported yourself.

Tweak (Free): iLive Tweak is designed to provide basic mobile control of Allen & Heath’s iLive digital mixing range.

Guitar Tool Kit ($9.99) My friend Daveed recommended this one. Pro, essential guitar utilities for 6 & 12 string players, including an amazingly accurate tuner, a library of over 500k chords and a metronome. Also includes alternative tunings.

iBone ($2.99): Another app use to show off my iPhone. Real trombone sounds that you can touch or blow to make a sound. Slide your finger to change pitch and raise and lower the bell to change volume. If you’re a horn player it’s great, if not it’s just plain fun.

SunVox ($4.99): SunVox is a small, fast and powerful music sequencer with modular synthesizers. It is a tool for those people who want to compose music anywhere.

iSequence ($4.99):  This is a complete mobile music production environment designed to play and compose real music. Thanks to intuitive, single screen sequencer and 110 built-in instruments you can easily create, edit and mix your compositions.

Pocket Amp ($2.99): Best guitar amp effects for practicing with your iTunes music. PocketAmp gives you access to your entire iPod library and offers the ability to fast forward, rewind and pause. The app is simple and effective and the presets included are easy to dial in most basic sounds.

Pro Loop ($5.99): This is a powerful and flexible loop instrument for professional musicians. Use it as a live electronic instrument by itself or as an addition to your other gear, or just play around with it and explore the possibilities.

MusicBiz (Free): Misleading title—this app has nothing to do with the business. However, it’s a useful app for all musicians and gear geeks currently on tour. This app instantly finds music stores near your current location. With over 4,000 music shops listed in the U.S. and around the world.

For Android:

G-strings: (Free) A chromatic tuner application measuring sound pitch and intensity—and even has a Hz display. This bad boy will help you tune several musical instruments (violin, viola, violoncello, bass, guitar, piano, wind instruments). (

RTA Analyzer: (Free) Perfect tool for any audio engineer. Use this app to measure the frequency response of your audio equipment, identify tones and noises (ex: finding feedback frequencies). Handy tool for ringing out monitors.

Gig Bag: ($4.99): A gig calendar, tracker and income/expense log. Built for any DIY touring musician. If only it synced with Gmail! (

FourTracks: (Free Lite Version/$6.95 for pro) A very simple 4-track recording program, allowing you to mute, adjust volume and zoom a simple 4-track mix. Ideal for musicians that are on tour/bored in mom's basement. (

BPM Counter: (Free) Simple and efficient BPM counter and calculator. Displays the BPM as well as the tempo marking: Largo, Larghetto, Adagio, Andante, Moderato, Allegro, Presto, etc. (

For iPhone and Android:
VocalEase: ($7.99 Android/$9.99 iPhone) With stellar reviews, this portable vocal warmup studio for singers/public speakers was designed by Arnold McCuller (Phil Collins, Beck and James Taylor)
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© 2011 Kerner Klassics Books.

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