The processing power of smart phones — a huge step up from the MP3 players of old — gives practically anybody access to near-professional-grade audio effects. What used to require expensive high-end audio equipment can now be done with the so-called “phone” in your pocket, just by downloading an app.
Assembling the top picks for this category was tricky. Many options on both of the main mobile platforms (iOS and Android, now that it’s gotten its act together) can process sound for amusement, or in the studio. Some of them are designed to make your music sound better, some are designed to widen the sonic palette of musicians, and others are basically toys, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
We know we’re leaving some deserving apps off of this list, but those are the breaks. As for our criteria, we looked for polished, original, and/or highly-functional apps in a few categories:
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Gerrysan