Apple iPad 1st Generation Music Apps

Apple iPad 1st Generation
Apple iPad 1st Generation

This past week I’ve been learning how to work with my new (used) Apple 1st generation iPad which I picked up for $100 bucks including the camera connection kit, adapter, and case. I saw it in the glass case over at the used music shop called Hard Off here in Nagano and thought that was to good deal not to pass up. The iPad is in excellent condition with practically no scratches. It came with the original box and so far it’s been a real joy to play with. I’ve passed on the iPads here in Japan because they are very expensive in my opinion. My wife recently bought an AU smart phone with Android and as a bonus gift she received a really cool AU Cube Wi-Fi access point that plugs right into our home network. The iPad 1st generation is the 3G Wi-Fi with 16GB version, so I was able to access the internet right away.

Naturally, now that I have an iPad I wondered what sort of music apps out there might be useful for the things I like to do. Right away I’ve enjoyed loading and reading PDF programming and service manuals for the various synths I play and work on. I also have enjoyed watching instructional movie and youtube videos with the iPad right next to my music gear. I have found the iPad to be a very convenient tool in the studio when I have questions about operation or programming. Out on the road, I’ve enjoy the iPad while my girls are in Ballet or their school activities. I can pull out the iPad and read up on the synths I have or even look them up in the used music shop should I require further information.

Currently I’m looking into what sort of additional cool music apps that can be loaded into the iPad. I’m primarily interested in Midi apps that allow me to export sequences and patterns that I create for later import into hardware sequencers. I’m also interested in controlling or programming synths possibly with the iPad as well. I’m not sure whether I’m up to using the iPad for recording music or as a playback sampler device yet as I prefer not to use computers on gigs or during performances, but that may eventually change. For now I’m extremely happy to be able to just read up on the synths when waiting out in the car or scrub through keyboard instruction videos as I play new material. The iPad is very portable and I look forward to learning more about it. If anyone has any tips or recommendations for iPad music applications, please leave a comment. Thanks!!

The following iPad app mobileRhythm mR-7070 looks pretty cool. It appears to have MIDI in, out and MIDI clock out. It is has midi export that would be awesome, but not sure.


7 thoughts on “Apple iPad 1st Generation Music Apps

    1. Silvio

      I also have a used iPad first gen exclusively for music apps. These are some cool music apps I would recommend: NanoStudio, GarageBand, Jasuto Pro, Moog Filtatron.
      In the synths category: NLog Pro, DXi, Moog Animoog, Korg iMS-20, Korg iElectribe, Sunrizer, Addictive Synth
      Touch intruments:Bebot, Gliss, Thumbjam, Korg iKaossilator
      For MIDI sequencing and control: Phaedra, TouchOSC, genome MIDI sequencer
      Generative: NodeBeat HD
      All of them are must-haves in my opinion.
      There are tons of free apps and noisemakers as well, from which I’m sure you will find something useful.

      Another absolutely recommended companion to your iPad is the Alesis IO Dock. It is also a must-have if you want to use the iPad seriously for MIDI and audio.

      One skill you will surely develop in a short time is to wait for apps to become free for a day or occasional price drops. You will learn about that following some good blogs such as, or

      Hope it helps. I’m sure you will have serious fun with your new iPad

  1. Rob S

    Nice site!

    I would recommend Music Studio. I bought it for my iPod Touch many years ago to be able to compose whole traveling. Then a year later when the first gen iPad came out I installed it there. It’s a great app!

    The import/export features work very smoothly and the sounds are great too.

    There is also a “Lite” verson you can try for free, so check it out!

  2. This is a great topic. Thanks for sharing your insights! I was using an iPad 4 until it recently stopped working and borrowed an iPad first gen from my Dad. Looking forward to getting back into mobile music production with the older iPad. Unfortunately my favourites like Korg Gadget don’t seem to have a version for iOS 5.

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