Music Studio 2 Review – Tried and True

Music Studio is developed by Alexander Gross of Xewton

Available in iTunes for Apple devices, and Now GooglePlay for Android

Music Studio has been with us (on iOS) for years. It was one of the very first studio type music apps I ever bought way back when I had my iPod Touch 3G. It has seen steady and consistent updates keeping it on the level with our rapidly growing music needs. Now it’s even available for Android users in the GooglePlay store. I haven’t tried it on an Android, and honestly can’t comment about that version, but expect it works just as well.

This all in one music production suite is packed with everything you need to create music from start to finish. Over a hundred tracks sequencing, sampler, twin keyboards, custom drum & chord pads, 10 effects units, note editor, Automation, Audiobus In & Out, Inter-App Audio In and Out, MIDI, 100 Drum Loops…and more and more.

There is a free, lite version to dip your toes into if you’re not sure about buying straight away. The first thing I noticed was the quality and variety of instruments. Hundreds of studio recorded instruments come packed in with the purchase of the app, and dozens more can be purchased. Every relevant instrument is available, minus only a very few. Whatever might be missing shouldn’t be an issue these days with all the other music apps around filling nearly every gap. With MIDI, Audiobus and Inter-App Audio input/output fully supported, you’re only limited by you’re own collections of samples and instrument apps. This was the first production app I could find a Digerydoo that sounded good.

The twin keyboards can have their own instrument assigned and played. The bank of customizable chord buttons above reflect what’s being used as per your own preferences. Assigning individual percussion instruments or samples to the drum pads can also be used. Trigger and loop away, or record a sample with your device or external microphone and apply to one of the pads to use in your composition. It’s easy stuff.

Some might wonder where the mixer is? Simply put, it’s not here in the traditional sense. However every track can be mixed individually. Instead of a mixer page, just select the track to adjust the pan, level, effects, mute or solo etc. It can be a little bit of a challenge to get used to if you are more accustomed to a dedicated mixer board page, but the bottom line is, nothing’s really missing. It’s just being done differently. Most people aren’t going to be overly concerned with this unless they start piling on several dozens of tracks. Then the missing mixer just might prove to be a bit of a obstacle.

It’s never bothered me, and on the plus side a mixer page is indeed being developed for Music Studio 3. I have confirmed this directly with the developer.

Editing a tracks sequence, or sample is quick and easy. Just double tap the area within the track to bring up either the sampler page or the sequencer note editor page. Quantize, transpose, write, copy and all of that stuff should feel as familiar as it looks. Working with automated FX work much the same way. It’s a very straight forward work flow. This is very intuitive and has a very gentle learning curve. Nothing clunky or unnecessarily complicated. Smooth.

Moving on.

Music Studio 2 also has 10 built in effects units. They have improved over the years and you can assign as sends, inserts or use globally in multiples. As I mentioned above there’s automation. So making creative effects that move with the music are at your finger tips, just like any respectable studio type. All the audio effects mainstays are accounted for. Reverb, Delay, Phaser, Stereo Widener, Filter and so on. I find the EQ a little in the lite side being a simple 3 band, but that’s not much of an issue these days with Audiobus and Inter-App Audio providing such easy access to your other apps that are more specialized. What is available gets the job done and doesn’t sound cheap.

Music Studio is known for its excellent MIDI support. Whether you use virtual MIDI with other music apps, or hardware Music Studio keeps up and makes things easy on you. Reliable is the word.

There are so many great things to bring up, I can’t cover every detail. If you need more specifics, details or exact numbers just visit Xewtons Web Site. You’ll find more than just specs. There’s a thriving user community forum to help answer questions, get support or just share. Assuming the extensive in app help doesn’t put you back on track. No pun intended.

In conclusion, Music Studio stands confidently with other iDAWs, is priced very well, has better instruments than others, is a stable, quality production app with tons of tools and all delivered with a pleasantly clean interface. It’s great for those just starting out and won’t overwhelm newcomers and pros will like its longevity. It has been reliably developed with excellent consistency by a developer who is listening to his users wants and needs. Despite no separate mixer, all the same parameters can still be adjusted and mixed without skipping a beat. Few limitations and loads of options, Music Studio 2 remains an excellent choice for everybody.


  1. thank you for review! Could you clarify the key difference between this one and other popular DAW on iOS?

    1. I kind of did, sorry if that’s wasn’t clear, but I found that the lack of dedicated mixer was really the most notable difference. However that’s going to change in version 3.
      The instruments here are really good. Way better than say GarageBand, Cubasis etc.
      The price of this app is really fair and low and a great starter studio app to grow into.

      1. Did that help at all? 🙂 thanks for pointing this out, I edited the conclusion a little bit to hopefully are the point more clear.

  2. Definitely something to check out-somehow I missed the original.I know of it, but at its release, I wasnt spending nearly as much on music apps. In what format are the instruments/sounds it comes packed with? Soundfont? Anyway-great review. If it weren’t for your tweet I would have missed this release.

  3. Another great review! I’ve been kind of busy doing some “live” shows and any recording has been as part of collaborations using Logic on Mac, but after reading this, I think I need to re-visit this one. Thanx!

  4. have you ever used auria? i’m new into this ios daw area and want to form an opinion before spending some bucks. (funny that unlike the gplay store, reviews are a rare thing at the apple store…)

    1. Auria is my primary DAW since it first released a few years ago. So, yes! 😁 I reviewed it a while here on my blog. It’s in the archives if you any to read it. My opinion hasn’t changed so even though it’s an old review and there have been many improvements I still consider Auria Pro the best and most complete iDAW to date. It has the very best plug ins available. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone as their first iDAW, it can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with iDAWs. Cubasis (also reviewed more recently and can be read from the archives) would be my second choice, and I’d recommend it to one who is new to all this. However Cubasis lacks the high quality plug ins that Auria has. Cubasis has improved a ton over the years.

      1. good to know! i’ll double check that in a while.

        you are from the opinion that auria wouldn’t be the first option for a newcomer. i wonder why. in my “defense” i should say i’m new to the ios approach, but not to the daw concept, as i’m using ardour on linux. 😉

        i will continue exploring music studio for the time being. i’m just not sure whether the ipad midi implementation will be able to work with aggregated devices, such as the roland mx-1, though. 😐

      2. Good point. I should have said I wouldn’t recommend to newcomers to DAWs in general. Anybody who is experienced with DAWs (iOS, OS, Win, etc.) should have no trouble getting comfortable with Auria.

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