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Old 12-12-2018, 10:51 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Default Very cool - thanks Jim!

I just checked out the Spire app on my iPad and I think that might be all I want or need. And it's amazingly, impressively simple to use... On the rare occasion I've done any recording recently, I've been fighting with Garage Band, which is a PIA to setup and has waaaay more options to navigate than I like and it just makes the whole thing complicated enough that I use it almost never. But this is great!

I already have an Apogee mic and guitar interface, so I can get a mic'd or amplified guitar signal into the iPad. Just playing around for about 15 minutes, I was able to build a little four track recording with rhythm acoustic, vocal, second acoustic, and lead electric guitar, mix it, and email an mp4 / AAC file of it to myself. I know the hardware recorder extends the capability, but I'm fine without an automatic soundcheck - it shows you the levels right on the screen and it's very easy to dial in on the Apogee input devices. And I don't need the built in effects - I already have guitar effects on a pedal board that come through my amp, into the line out to the Apogee, and then into the recorder. So I can do that with any of my guitars as needed. Although with acoustics, I tend to just record them with the mic, as I do with my (very very bad, no good, awful) vocals.

There are only two things I miss from the old 4-track Fostex cassette recorder I had 30+ years ago or from Garage Band. First, there's no punch in - punch out function to make small repairs. Maybe you can just record over a part of a track - I haven't tried that yet - that could work for vocals but probably not guitar parts if you have to use your hands to start it and stop it. And you can't save a file with a dynamic mix - like if you want to bring the lead guitar up during breaks in the vocal and drop it back during the vocal - you can do that while you're playing with the mix, but it just saves the file with whatever settings are showing on the mix screen when you export it. Are those features any different if you have the recorder? I'm thinking not, but not sure.

I'm thinking if you don't need the sound check or guitar/vocal effects and don't plan to plug other higher quality microphones into the unit, I may have pretty much all of the rest of the functionality just with the app. In any case, it appears it's got plenty for my extremely meager needs. For me, recording is just playing around with ideas - there's no finished product to it, it's just fun to mess around with. For that, just using the app with my existing analog to digital mic and guitar interface, I may be just fine with only the app.

I'm glad you mentioned this Jim - I'd never heard of it before, but it's a cool system. Either the app alone or the recorder alone, or, if you want all the bells and whistles, the recorder and app together... Really simple usability is the whole ballgame with me and recording, and this has that in spades!

-Ray