Mobile devices have changed the ways that people make, share, and listen to music. If you’re a real music buff, then you should check out these five iPhone apps to see how they can improve your life.

Concert Vault

Image via iTunes

Price: $3.99 per month after 14-day free trial

If you love live music, then you need a Concert Vault membership. The service has a huge library of live performances from luminaries like Charles Mingus, Buddy Guy, and Dolly Parton. The archives reach all the way back to the 1940s, so you can find performances from some of the earliest modern musicians.

Concert Vault also streams live music videos to give you the full concert experience. If you have a reliable smartphone and network, like the iPhone 6 Plus with T-Mobile service, you can easily stream full concerts no matter where you go.

Membership costs $3.99 per month, but you can save a little money by choosing one-year ($39.99) or two-year ($79.98) options.

Hokusai Audio Editor

Price: $9.99 in-app purchase for all features

There are plenty of music apps that will let you record and trim your own files. If you want to turn your iPhone into a full studio, though, you will need Hokusai Audio Editor. The app includes plenty of filters and effects, including:

  • Fade in/out

  • Reverse

  • Gain

  • White noise generator

  • Gain compressor

  • Fuzz box

This helps you record songs that you aren’t embarrassed to share with others. That’s definitely a good thing since Hokusai lets you export files to Dropbox, iCloud, and several other cloud storage providers.

TIDAL

Image via iTunes

Price: Up to $25.99 per month for app-in purchases

Nearly all online music services use compression formats that reduce the size of files. These formats are convenient, but many people, including Neil Young, believe that they sound inferior compared to lossless files.

TIDAL offers an alternative to audiophiles who do not want to compromise any aspect of music. The app lets you stream or download music so you can enjoy songs and albums in lossless formats. This is music the way recording artists want people to hear it.

Prices for TIDAL memberships range from $6.99 to $25.99 per month. That may sound a little expensive, but the service gives you access to a huge library that includes rock, hip-hop, jazz,  and other genres.

Beatwave

Price: $9.99 app-in purchase for all features

Music buffs who want to write their songs can use Beatwave to develop creative ideas without spending years learning how to play an instrument. Beatwave uses a grid that lets you tell the app when you want it to make certain sounds. By arranging several tracks, you can record and mix original compositions without connecting instruments.

After you make your songs, Beatwave will let you share them with the world through Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, and other services.

This is one of the best apps for people who want to start making their own music as quickly as possible. Thanks to its simple, uncluttered interface, you can start recording beats and instruments within minutes.

At $9.99, this is about as inexpensive as a self-contained studio app gets.

Korg iKaossilator

Image via iTunes

Price: $19.99

Korg has been building some of the music industry’s most intriguing electronic instruments since 1962. In 1999, the company released its Kaoss Pad, a MIDI controller that could also act as an effects processor and sampler. This changed the way that many musicians, including Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Brian Eno, and Russel Lissack of Bloc Party, create unique sounds in the studio and on stage.

The Kaoss Pad is a great instrument, but it costs several hundred dollars. That’s often too much money for amateur musicians who just want an easy way to make cool sounds. The Korg iKaossilator offers many of the Kaoss Pad’s best features less than a tenth of the price.

The iKaossilator uses 150 sounds that musicians can arrange in five-track sequence loops. This makes it easy for them to write electronic music without spending a lot of money on hardware.

What do you think are the most important smartphone apps for music buffs? Have you ever tried any of the apps listed here? Let your fellow audiophiles know what features you love most.

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