Android for music making

Seeing the “Your iOS Arsenal” thread made me wonder…
Is Android still an overall poor choice for music software? Haven’t dipped my toe in for a few years - I know before latency and poor software was seriously hindering any kind of serious use.

Are there interesting apps now? Have the issues with the hardware side been improved at all with the newer OS versions?

1 Like

Disclaimer: I have no idea what apps are available for Android.

Even if latency is resolved nowadays (I don’t know), I doubt that Android will ever be able to catch up. iOS had powerful Audio APIs from the beginning. These APIs were not only for single apps, but also for interconnection between apps. Also USB audio and MIDI support. Additionally, iOS users are more likely to buy commercial apps for more then a dollar.

All this created a huge ecosystem of great audio apps on iOS.

Yes, its a poor choice. Technically you can write music just with the sunvox or caustic, but ios is so much fun in terms of what’s available and all kinds of different creative workflows.

Just don’t buy old apps that aren’t auv3 and / or had zero updates for a long time - there’s plenty of abandonware. I’ve wasted a lot of money without clearly understanding the implications of connectivity.


I must admit that it hasn’t even occurred to me to build apps for Android - my next app is going to be cross platform (iOS, Windows, Mac probably Linux) but of all the things people have asked for (& if you make apps people aren’t shy about asking :wink: ) Android support isn’t one of them.


Thx Fedor - it’s less about it being a choice, and more that artists who have low income (and in fact that would make an interesting point of discussion for a larger thread) often don’t have the luxury of picking up iOS devices, or ones that are sufficiently new enough to run updated apps etc.

I used SunVox a long while back, around the same time as i was having fun running PD patches on my android phone (something I plan to get back into) - I don’t know Caustic though. Will have a look.

I get thats its not the best platform - that was def implied in my initial post - I was just wondering what there was amongst the options that was worthwhile. (i wasn’t trying to kickstart a iOS / Android debate etc, i’m well aware of the great hardware and software options iOS provides!)

1 Like

Don’t go there, mate. Android’s no good for music production.

On the note of cost, you’re right that even Apple’s budget options are a joke to the idea of selling tech on a budget. There’s nothing budget about their cheapest options.

However, a second hand iPad will get you really far. As long as you’re going for a 64-bit device, and don’t need to run a silly amount of applications at once, you’ll be fine. iOS is a really great device for both ordinary stuff such as VA synths and whatnot, and crazy out there ideas like samplr (which is just plain awesome).

I’m looking at ideas of repurposing existing hardware. Great that everyone in thread is telling me to give up and go to iOS - i don’t want to move to iOS though and don’t want to purchase a new device. Just looking to live within my means and repurpose the things i do have.

Getting that my best bet is likely via PD so will go down that road again i think.



I’ve been a loyal Android user since the G1/HTC Dream, but I haven’t really poked around too much at music/audio apps in a long time. I understand the audio latency issues were fixed several versions ago, but I’ve just never been attracted to the idea of using a phone to make music. (I used to have Korg DS-10 for the Nintendo DS, and I have this handheld Raspberry Pi-based computer that has Sunvox… but I only noodled with them a little and got tired of it, going back to my desktop.)

In the noodling department, I think the Korg Kaossilator app is pretty fun. I’ve also used my phone for opportunistic casual field recordings.


Yeah the paradigm of music making on phone isn’t great, for sure. I have a couple of old handsets that I removed everything except touchOSC and Lemur, so they’re essentially just hand held touch controllers in my brain now. Also have the slightly odd to use Tuna touch knobs that stick to a screen - again as a single purpose controller there’s some mileage.

Got a Nexus 7 tablet though that I used to run oscillator bank patches on in PD and had fond memories of…

1 Like

I understand that, but new standard iPad can be had for 300-something usd. I bought mine for 249 during black friday. Its very doable.

Regarding android - I also remember loving Jasuto synth, and Grainstorm.

There’s also a new modular app Hexen -

Lots of people doing it though it seems. Early on my apps didn’t support phone layout because I couldn’t imagine people using them on a phone - had a flood of “Can you make it work on the phone” requests! (so now they all do - the new one is completely scalable too which is nice)

1 Like

this thread is taking a slightly odd turn. Great that iOS is so popular here…
$300 USD is cheap in the eye of the beholder, I guess? But also for some people, absolutely not. I’d personally say that for me for an economic and also general non-consumption reasons, I’d rather see what I can do with what I have already have rather than spending at a time of general and personal large economic uncertainty.


Its doable in the most parts of the world if you want it.

Well, then those modular synths I’ve listed are probably worth looking into. Oh, and there’s also DRC synth and FRMS from Imaginando. Both are free to install and try on Android.

ha ha - a conversation. On the internet. Staying on topic? seems a bit unlikely :wink:

Totally agree with your stance though and limitation can be a real spur for creativity and PD is great - I used it for years (still some of my externals kicking around in one of the libraries too). One thing I keep meaning to look at (and this is still money) is Raspberry pi with a touch screen. It’s a real shame the DAC on the rPi is so crap otherwise it would be even more useful

1 Like

Its doable in the most parts of the world if you want it.

a $300 dollar tablet, for making sound? I’m pretty surprised at that very sweeping statement. I guess we can each agree that we don’t know the circumstances of the other and leave it at that.

I have a Pi Model A that has sat in a plastic housing and never been used more than to power it on, actually, that’s definitely another one for the “work within limitations” pile!

1 Like

Hexen was new to me, will have a look, cheers

Grainstorm is very cool. I will check out some of these others. I don’t find myself using the phone for music much but there are a handfull of synth apps I’ve pulled out in the past. Synprez FM is a nice DX7 style synth.


I like, and use, FL mobile. Good for messing about on the train (those were the days) before sticking patterns into fl studio.

Kaossilator was free for a while and enjoyable.

FakeSID was surprisingly nice also.

Chordbot is super handy for generating midi progressions to send to a daw.

Sunvox developer has also made PIXITRACKER which has 8bit and 1bit versions. Superintuitive and sound great.


Also just decided to investigate the app store.

Beatonal (pretty much a beefed up copy of that propellerhead iPhone app from a few years ago) and Loopify look interesting so dow loading them both at the moment.