Best iOS Music Plugins in 2023: Top 3 Picks

9 - 16 minute read

iOS music plugins have revolutionized the world of music production, allowing musicians to create professional-grade tracks directly on their iPhones and iPads. The convenience and portability of iOS devices have made them a popular choice for music production on the go.

What are the best iOS music plugins of 2023? My top 3 picks of the best iOS music plugins of 2023 are Cherry Audio’s DCO-106, FabFilter Saturn 2, and the soon-to-release Orb Synth X.

This article will provide an in-depth review of the top 3 iOS music plugins of 2023. In addition, it will offer tips and tricks to enhance iOS music production, as well as answer some commonly asked questions such as “Is iPad Pro worth for music production?” and “How can I make my iOS music better?.”

Ready to know the best features of these iOS plugins? Continue to read below!

man sits while listening to music
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Is iPad Pro Worth For Music Production?

The iPad Pro is worth considering for music production due to its large screen size and processing power. With the right accessories, such as a MIDI controller and an audio interface, the iPad Pro can function as a complete music production studio.

The ability to use the Apple Pencil also allows for precise control and manipulation of virtual instruments and effects. Overall, the iPad Pro can offer a versatile and portable solution for music production, making it a worthwhile investment for musicians.

Using an iOS device for music production has several advantages over traditional methods. One of the primary advantages is the portability of iOS devices. Musicians can now create music on the go, whether on a plane, in a park, or anywhere else they find inspiration.

Additionally, iOS devices offer a touch interface that allows for a more intuitive and creative approach to music production.

Another advantage of using an iOS device for music production is the wide variety of music plugins available in the App Store. These plugins can provide virtual instruments, effects, and processing tools that can rival those found in professional music production software. Many of these plugins are also designed specifically for touch interfaces, making them easier to use on iOS devices.

In addition to the iPad Pro, other iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad mini can also be used for music production. These devices may not offer the same processing power as the iPad Pro, but they still provide a convenient and portable option for creating music.

dj plays a piano using an iPad with iOS music plugins
Photo by Christian Spies on Unsplash

How Do I Set Up Music Production on my iPad?

To set up a music production on your iPad; first, you’ll need an iOS device with enough storage space to store your music files and plugins. You’ll also need an audio interface, which allows you to connect your iOS device to other audio equipment such as microphones and speakers. Additionally, a MIDI controller can be used to input musical notes and control virtual instruments.

Once you have the necessary equipment, the next step is to download music production software and plugins from the App Store. There are many options available, including GarageBand, Cubasis, and Auria Pro. These apps provide a variety of virtual instruments, effects, and processing tools that can be used to create and mix music.

To set up music production on your iOS device, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your audio interface and MIDI controller to your iOS device using the appropriate cables.
  2. Open your music production app and create a new project.
  3. Select the virtual instruments and effects you want to use in your project.
  4. Record and input your musical notes using your MIDI controller.
  5. Use your audio interface to record live audio, such as vocals or instruments.
  6. Mix and edit your tracks using the app’s processing tools.

By following these steps, you can set up music production on your iPad or any iOS device and start creating your own music.

For those who are new to music production, setting up music production on an iPad or iPhone may seem daunting. However, with the right equipment and software, it can be a simple and enjoyable process.

synthesizer for iOS music plugins
Photo by Alexey Ruban on Unsplash

Top 3 iOS Music Plugins 2023

Music production has become more accessible than ever with iOS devices, and one of the main reasons for this is the availability of high-quality music plugins. Here are the top 3 iOS music plugins of 2023:

Orb Synth X: Orb Synth X is a highly advanced synthesizer plugin that has been designed with a focus on sound quality and flexibility. It comes with an improved sound engine that has an enhanced wavetable, adsr, lfo, filter, and modulation quality.

One of the main features of this synthesizer is that you can import your own wavetables and automate various aspects of the synth, which gives you more control over your sound. The redesigned GUI is also intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy to access all of the features that you need.

The plugin also comes with two new filter types, three added modulation sources, and over 100 presets and wavetables.

Cherry Audio’s DCO-106: Cherry Audio’s DCO-106 is a software recreation of classic Roland Juno synthesizers. It features a combination of elements from different models of the Juno and offers a simple, intuitive layout for easy sound design.

The plugin includes additional features such as delay and reverb, as well as a tempo sync function. The inclusion of both delay and reverb effects built-in is a game-changer, allowing for even more creative possibilities without the need for external effects processors. The plugin also includes an easy-to-use interface that makes sound design a breeze.

FabFilter Saturn 2: FabFilter Saturn 2 is a highly versatile distortion and saturation plugin that can add subtle, clean, and warm tube or tape saturation to the wildest multiband guitar amp effects.

The plugin comes with 28 different distortion styles, from subtle tube saturation to heavy guitar amps and bit crushing, and multiband processing up to 6 bands, with optional linear phase processing. The plugin also features an adjustable slope for the crossovers, per-band drive, mix, feedback, dynamics, tone, and level controls, and live modulation visualization for targets and sources.

FabFilter Saturn 2 also includes endless modulation options with all the 16-step XLFOs, XY controllers/sliders, envelope generators, envelope followers, and MIDI sources you will ever need.

All of these plugins offer unique features and capabilities, making them stand out from the rest. Orb Synth X is perfect for those looking for more control over their sound, while Cherry Audio’s DCO-106 is great for those who want a simple and intuitive layout.

On the other hand, FabFilter Saturn 2 is ideal for those who want a highly versatile distortion and saturation plugin. Overall, each plugin has its own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and preferences.

iPods with an iPhone image for iOS music plugins
Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

How Can I Make My iOS Music Better?

Here are some tips to help enhance your iOS music production:

  1. Take advantage of multi-touch gestures: One of the biggest advantages of using an iOS device for music production is the touch interface. Use multi-touch gestures to control parameters and add a more expressive performance to your music.
  2. Use automation: Many iOS music plugins allow for automation of parameters, which can add movement and interest to your tracks. Experiment with automation to bring your music to life.
  3. Explore third-party plugins: While the top 3 iOS music plugins listed above are great options, there are many other high-quality plugins available. Explore the App Store and other sources for new and interesting plugins to expand your sound.
  4. Get a quality audio interface: To ensure the best sound quality, invest in a quality audio interface that is compatible with your iOS device. This will provide better audio input and output options and reduce latency.
  5. Use headphones or external speakers: While iOS devices have built-in speakers, they are not ideal for accurate monitoring of your music. Use headphones or external speakers to hear your music in the highest quality possible.
  6. Keep your device updated: Regularly updating your iOS device and apps can ensure the best performance and compatibility with the latest features.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of your iOS music production and create high-quality music that stands out.

Final Thoughts

By selecting the right plugins, such as Orb Synth X, Cherry Audio’s DCO-106, and FabFilter Saturn 2, you can access a range of advanced features and capabilities that can help you create unique and high-quality music using your iOS device.

Additionally, following the best practices such as using headphones, optimizing your device’s settings, and utilizing external storage can significantly improve the overall quality of your music.

With the help of this article’s tips and techniques, you can achieve professional-quality music on your iPhone or iPad, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced producer. By staying up to date with the latest technology and techniques, you can continue to refine your skills and produce music that is both unique and captivating.

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