Music, audio and video
We’re all for making music properly, but sometimes you just want to make a noise with a minimum of effort. With Remixlive, you select a genre and then tap away at pads to trigger loops. Everything’s always in tune, and you can record your electronic masterpiece as you go.
Want more control? Try the mini mixing desk, with its knobs and sliders, or the FX section with a pad for slathering your tune in delay or a filter. Got some cash burning a hole in your pocket? Then splash out on additional sample packs, effects, and features.
Music Maker JAM
Sitting somewhere between music-creator and loop remixer, Music Maker JAM is a great way to get started if you fancy making a noise. Choose a style (there are over a dozen freebies, and hundreds more available via IAP), assign loops to tracks, and even record yourself yelling over the top, like a repressed diva trapped in a bin.
But that’s not all – Music Maker JAM enables you to live mix, create song sections to switch between, and also adjust the key of the loop across any of its beats. You’re still ultimately fiddling with other people’s loops, but it feels like you’re making your own songs.
These days, people are just as likely to pick up a tiny plastic guitar as a real one. Yousician takes advantage of the gamification of music, essentially spinning Guitar Hero 90 degrees and having a proper guitar be your controller. You therefore work your way through timing-based exercises that have you strum chords and pick notes at precisely the right moments.
The free version limits how long you can play each day, but it’s a smart, fun way to pick up the basics and also to stop your inner Johnny Cash from getting rusty. And should you prefer tinkling ivories, there are lessons for mastering the piano, too.
The only problem with modern smartphones having superb video-cameras built-in is you end up with loads of videos you never do anything with. Quik gives you a helping hand, largely by being a video editor where you don’t have to do any of that time-consuming editing stuff.
Pick some videos and a theme, and Quik spits out an energetic, great-looking short. If you’re not thrilled by the results, tweak cuts, filters and fonts to suit. Or if you decide even selecting videos is a bit too much work, wait for Quik to serve up its weekly ‘highlights’ video.
FxGuru: Movie FX Director
This slightly gimmicky special effects app is nonetheless very clever, verging on useful. It comes with a batch of free effects (the kind of things you'd see in a disaster movie) with additional packs as in-app purchases.
You point your phone or tablet at a scene (say, your office, the street or your garden), and then the app records a short video clip with a destructive missile attack or perhaps a hovering UFO superimposed over the live action. Motion tracking allows you to pan as you film, too.