The TabMuse Top iOS Music Apps of 2017

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, our thoughts turn towards some of our favorite iOS music apps of 2017. Maybe some are on sale for Black Friday? Purchasing a new iPad played a key role in reinvigorating my interest in a market that flagged in the wake of incompatibility issues due to updated iOS versions.

SynthScaper Image-1

SynthScaper’s Spatial Mixer in action. Screenshot by author.

Also, I really got into synth-related hardware at the expense of all else over the last few years. Church of Hed’s 2016 release, Brandenburg Heights, with nary a soft synth (desktop or tablet) on the album, nicely illustrates that fact. On the other hand, my two projects currently in the oven welcomed a variety of iOS and desktop synths back into the fold.

Without any further blathering, these iOS synths especially inspired my work in 2017.

SynthScaper inspires Droning Ambience

Musicians searching for a top notch drone synth app for iOS need look no further than SynthScaper. Igor Vasiliev also makes regular updates to the app, adding to its versatility and functionality. I love this app, and it makes an appearance on at least one of the tracks on the next Church of Hed album.

Simply click on this link to read the full TabMuse review.

Zeeon raises the Bar for iOS Synth Apps

Zeeon continues to garner buzz as one of the top 2017 iOS synths. It leverages high-end mathematical models to accurately simulate the unique behavior of an analog synth. Capable of biting lead sounds as well as deep pads, Zeeon belongs in your iOS synth app collection.

You know you want to read our full review of this top notch synth!

Hit the No Coast with Ripplemaker

The differences between West Coast and East Coast synthesis continue to cause discussions and arguments throughout the synthesizer community. Make Noise’s semi-modular 0-Coast nicely bridges both schools of thought. I use it extensively on my current musical projects.

Ruismaker’s Bram Bos created a great iOS synth app inspired by the 0-Coast, known as Ripplemaker. All of Bram’s apps are known for their great sound and state of the art user interfaces. Like any good modular synthesizer – virtual or hardware – Ripplemaker definitely rewards experimentation.

I hope to review his new Odessa suite in the future. In the meantime, check out our review of Ripplemaker.

A Shout Out to the Moog Model 15

When the Moog Model 15 iOS app hit the iTunes App Store last year, it made me sad, knowing this powerful synth wouldn’t run on my ancient iPad 2. My first purchase after buying a new iPad, I never ended up reviewing it, preferring to focus on fresh releases for TabMuse’s iOS content. Nonetheless, the app simply stuns, providing a near perfect simulation of Moog’s class modular synth. It deserves special mention on this “Best of 2017” list.

Stay tuned for an upcoming TabMuse Best of 2017 list covering desktop plugins – synths and effects.


  1. No mention of BeatMaker 3? It’s the only iOS DAW that allows realtime recording of AU parameters.

    • I just started getting into BM3 in the last month and feel it is Intua’s best version yet. I’ve noted on here that I am trying to focus on apps that support AU moving forward when I cover iOS stuff, and I’ve been using BM3 to test them out. Since ProTools is my main DAW, I tend to use the iPad as a beatmaking tool in addition to its virtual synths. Thanks for the reply!

  2. If LayR was added to the list I’d agree on all points, all of the above is spot on. As LayR introduced a completely, and to me mind blowing, new way of doing iOS synths I can understand some has problems wrapping their heads around the incredible possibilities it adds.


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