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Self-publication has stormed every industry as of late, and the music industry is no exception. In an era of ever-advancing technology, it has become easier to create, promote and even distribute your own comics, books, movies–music. If you have a desire to get your music noticed, there has never been an easier time than the technological age we live in. Just having a cell phone is enough to tip the scales to your favor. There are many mobile apps, ranging from simple recording programs to advanced sequencers that allow you to overlay multiple tracks with a swipe of your finger.

Right in your back pocket you have the power to record and produce your sound. I feel the issue with the lack of self-publication in the music industry comes down to two things: knowledge and confidence. People either have no idea that you can actually do it and be successful at it if you truly put in the time, or they think, “I couldn’t possibly get noticed because you have to know somebody in the industry to get anywhere.” What you need to remember is- You Are The Brand. In our social media dominated era you no longer have to hope to be discovered by some talent scout that may or may not attend your first big gig. You can take your EP, or show recording and upload directly to the web. You can gain a following by putting your recordings up on pages such as Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, or Soundcloud and begin to gain a following that way. It does require effort. You can’t just upload a single video and expect to be noticed and get a million hits in the first ten minutes. Using these types of platforms serves as a springboard for you developing a fan base. The more you put into the effort, the more you will get in return.

The wonders of mobile technology continue to advance, and, as such, have lead to some very interesting ways to record and edit music. Many of the programs I have researched are available through the iPhone or the iPad. However, they are also useable through tablets and android devices. This is just a handful of the types of programs available to assist you in music recording and production, but they do cover several of the areas you need to address when considering self-publication. You need to record, but also, edit. Find what best works for you. It is your talents being showcased. Some of these programs even allow you to write music notation.

KORG iMS- 20
A recreation of the Korg MS-20 analog synth, is the total package for music production. Complete with a MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, analog sequencer, 6-part drum machine, mixer, song/pattern composer, and direct publishing to SoundCloud, KORG iMS-20 is an all-in-one steal at just $29.99 in the iTunes store.

This app, which runs a mere 19.99, puts an entire studio rig at your fingertips. It comes with “4 stomps, amp, cabinet and mic. Choose from 11 built-in stompboxes, 5 amps (clean, crunch, lead, metal, bass) with full controls, 5 cabinets and 2 mics.” There are also plenty of options for changing the lineup to new pedals at the drop of a hat. Without the hassle of lugging all the individual pieces of equipment around you still have a digital quality studio with you at all times.

Symphony Pro
At $9.99, Symphony Pro is the most comprehensive experience in composing sheet music on the iPad, offering the ability to create everything from chord charts and guitar tabs, to full orchestral compositions. Additional features even transcribe your real-time recordings with the app’s 114 bulit-in instruments into sheet music, and allow you to create and edit chord symbols, lyrics, and annotations.

FL Studio Mobile
Compatible with its desktop PC version, FL Studio Mobile offers up to 99 track sequencing and effects, built in as well as customizable sample kits, direct SoundCloud and Dropbox upload, and compatibility with numerous accesories such as iRig MIDI, iRig, iRig Mic, Yamaha i-MX1, and more, at $14.99 in the iTunes store.

Yamaha Music Sequencer
This program offers some of the same options as Cubase, but for mobile application. It also has 382 preset “phrases” and patterns to help get you started until you can begin inserting your own to mold into a full composition. At 19.99, through the iTunes store, you can’t get much more bang for your buck when it comes to mobile music editing.

Or check out IK Multimedia for a full range of these and other mobile production apps and devices. Break onto the scene without emptying your wallet.

I think the word needs to get out in order to motivate creativity that has been hiding out there. What if the next great act is just hiding in a basement or garage?

By: Kyle Yung