Make beats in quarantine: Minimoog and iKaossilator apps are free for a limited time

I'm stuck at home with two kids and am constantly looking for new activities to occupy them. We're fortunate to have a piano and guitar around. But this week I added two electronic instruments to our arsenal after two generous music companies decided to give away their apps for free.

Korg, the venerable Japanese maker of synthesizers and electronic instruments, is currently offering its iKaossilator app for free until March 31. The app, which usually costs $20, features gesture-based controls and 150 integrated sounds. It's easy to use; just drop your finger on to the glowing "X-Y pad" to make a sound, move it around and build from there.

But the iKaossilator also offers a sophisticated set of features including loop sequencing, support for WIST, which lets you sync-start with other music apps and the ability to import and export files. It's simple enough to occupy a 7-year-old for hours and comprehensive enough to get a fledgling producer off the ground. The app is available for iOS on the iPhone and iPad and Android devices.

Read more: Free entertainment to help you survive coronavirus social distancing

Another storied name in electronic music, Moog -- maker of the eponymous synthesizer -- is offering its Minimoog Model D app for free. The app, which cost $5 before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, is based on the company's 1970s-era Model D synthesizer, which has been a favorite of musicians ranging from Herbie Hancock to Dr. Dre.

Featuring more than 160 preset sounds, the Minimoog Model D app is simple enough to use; you'll have fun just playing around with all of the sounds, dials and buttons. But there are also sophisticated features to help you filter and control your bleeps and boops, make loops and beats, share your productions -- and even integrate with other MIDI devices. The company's March 13 tweet, announcing the free download, was not explicit about whether or when the offer would expire. I've reached out to Moog and will update this article when I hear back.