Playground from HLO S.A.
Originally debuted at the NAMM Winter Show in Anaheim California, the iOS app, Playground gives you “music at your fingertips” and could possibly be one of the most addictive (and free) music making apps. This app is another fun way to discover musical expression without stepping foot inside a studio.
Programmer and developer, Herrmutt Lobby is also behind the organic midi controller builder app, Beatsurfing. Playground was named Best of App Store in 2016 and downloaded over 500,000 times. With a few swipes and taps on musical shapes, Playground’s smart algorithms help “guide” users down a melodious path, creating beats and endless remixes in minutes. You can create, remix and then share your masterpiece on any social platform app that is already installed on your phone.
Seaboard Block Keyboard from ROLI
At a cool $300, the Seaboard Block Keyboard is a “super powered” portable and wireless controller that offers a more adorable way to make music within the BLOCKS system. This lightweight keyboard also has a 24 keywave and two-octave playing surface with impressive qualities like 5D touch technology for an ultra-responsive experience, and 200+ free sounds from strings to synths.
One of the nicest features of this keyboard is the software bundle that comes along with it. There are four music programs available, perfect for any level producer: NOISE, Equator Player, MaxMSP and the BLOCKS Dashboard. The Seaboard Block Keyboard can also be connected to other Blocks, including Lightpad, Live, Loop or Touch Blocks.
Groovebox from Amplify
Groovebox – the latest innovation from Amplify (formerly known as Blocs) is a free mobile music production app for an iOS iPhone or iPad. Designed in partnership with Novation, Groovebox gives the user beat-making synths and drum machine options all through a touchscreen. The basic sound packs have plenty of options, but you can also expand your library with more sounds and instruments available as in-app purchases.
Originally made to inspire ideas and musical creativity, Groovebox awesomely enough has features that even the most professional producer can use, including an iPad mixer, note sequencer, and key and scale modes. You can easily send your work to Ableton Live or easily export your sounds to a laptop to take your production to the next level.
Crusher Wireless Headphones from Skullcandy
While you can’t actually create or produce music with these new arrivals to the Skullcandy collection, you can listen to your new, original tunes on them. The Crusher Wireless Headphones come in under $150 and have won over professionals and music fans alike.
Big bass lovers will be even more impressed by these Bluetooth® enabled headphones, as they deliver dual-channel haptic bass that lets you customize the bass levels and feel the vibrations of deep lows. Pretty cool! The rechargeable headphones can give you up to 40 hours of battery life and are comfortable too, with memory foam ear pads that work as noise isolators. The Crusher headphones have our vote as one of the best bass frequency performers in this price range.
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