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Old 12-12-2018, 04:45 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Tropical Tip of Texas
Posts: 6,625

Hi Ray; I am recording the acoustic guitar part with the built-in condenser mic. Some of the vocals. Today, I experimented with using a dynamic mic as well. Bass, the X10 plugged in, and electronic drums are plugged directly into the Spire. The onboard mic is actually quite nice - I think it does a better job than the X/Y mics on my Zoom H4n Pro.

What the Spire really has going for it is the same thing that brought many of us to consider carbon fiber: the ease. Not in the humidifying aspect, but in automating the levels and compression. Do the 10 second "sound check" and you are good to start recording.

The app is, likewise, intuitive. Using the Spire with the app is downright enjoyable. I have a clip on my mic stand for the iPad (use it with OnSong for set lists), so it is all "right there"... no pressing little buttons, click-wheels, or knobs. The graphic "mix" is fast and easy to bring a particular track up or down. It certainly isn't a full-featured board, but that isn't the intent. It really is all I need for my particular use. Once the Spire and iPad are connected wirelessly, I don't touch the Spire unit other than plugging or unplugging something - all done with the app.

I have Audacity, Pro Tools First, and Garage Band on my laptop - haven't had a need for them with the Spire. Good for me since those each have a learning curve... and I seem to have a frustration level linked pretty close to any learning curve these days. I had downloaded the Spire app before the unit arrived and played with it a bit. Easy.

I figured the components in the Spire were easy to add up to the price of the unit. The condenser mic is decent (better than I expected), the Grace Design pre-amps in the other two combo inputs are good (and really quiet), and the easy interface pulls it all together. The amp, space, and pedal features are a bonus.

I plan to do "a song a day" this week... and that's before I get out of my jammies. (I like to play to get my day started) We'll see how that works with my attention span. My wife said she misses her "hour of music" the past two mornings, so I played for her after making this last recording. Rufus was in the music room with me while I was recording, but looked a bit confused while I played guitar with no vocals, sang with no guitar, and no noise at all while playing bass.

My "system" with this has been:
Set the metronome and do a soundcheck with the acoustic guitar.
Record that track.
Then, a vocal track.
A bass track.
Another guitar track.
More vocal tracks as needed.

Easy enough to mute a track, do a second take, and delete one of those. The toughest part for me has been the bass. Yeah, I know many of the bass player jokes. I have been fortunate to be in various bands with some truly fine bass players, and they make it look effortless. My mind still thinks like a guitar player and I have to really think about how the bass works with each chord change and the rhythm. I don't think I could play bass and sing at the same time.