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  #16  
Old 12-15-2020, 12:35 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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The reason I enjoy my spire is because it makes it very easy to collaborate. I can export directly to a messenger app with no having to export then email. With that being said, I may sell mine soon. I like it a lot, but once I updated my phone, I now have the ability to record through an external microphone and there are pretty decent apps for phones now, so it's pretty easy. It's not as high quality as the spire, but for song writing collabs it works just fine.
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2020, 12:53 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Hi KevWind,

I think that review was pretty accurate at the time (June 2018). Izotope has continued to update the iOS app, offering more effect options and an enhanced SoundCheck that recognizes your input and balances accordingly. There is also an Enhance feature that is similar to iZotope's plug-in DAW products.

The streamline use of the Spire Studio allows me to do in an hour what would take me all afternoon with a ZoomH4n Pro. It certainly doesn't have all the features of a full DAW.

My music partner is a Logic Pro X user, but also uses a Spire Studio. He will often start a project with the Spire, then transfer it to the DAW as it grows beyond 8 tracks with multiple takes.

I am certainly one of those you didn't point a finger at () who finds Logic Pro X unnecessarily complicated. In the time it takes to get a level balanced and ready to record in Logic, I have completed recording a track with the Spire. The recording I do isn't at the professional level... after playing for 50 years, I thought it would be nice to have some record of that. I have also been doing a series of "Staying At Home" videos where I use a Shure MV88+ and an iPhone... like the Spire, it is a simple means to an end. And, for my use, it is enough.

If, in my enthusiasm, I suggested that the Spire Studio is the end-all, be-all for anyone interested in recording, I would like to go on record (pun intended) as saying: "It works for me." I try not to get into the "my guitar can beat up your guitar" discussions, regardless of the particular piece of equipment.

Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Ask your recording specialist if Spire Studio may be right for you. No animals were harmed in the making of any of my recordings, and Rufus the cat quite likes the process (he is often at my feet while I am recording, and has been heard on a video or two).

I'm a retired guy. My wife thinks I am "accomplishing something" when I am recording and doesn't ask me to do other projects around the house. That in itself may be the best reason for it.

Virtual hugs (remember hugs?),
Jim
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2020, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
So here I think is what appears to a fairly objective of the feature benefits and pros' and con's Curious what the current users think of this Review ?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...e-spire-studio
I think that gets it about right. I started playing around with recording with a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder back in about 1984 or so. I had no problem getting up to speed and working that machine, but the sound was not even in the same league of today's tools and there were no effects or manipulation possible - just basic recording, punch in and punch out, and mixing. I've tried a number of times to use Garage Band to record and I find it hopelessly confusing. If I was recording a LOT, I'm sure I'd internalize it's methods and get reasonably good at it, but I don't record that often. And when I do, I just want to be able to play and not spend a lot of time setting up mics, checking levels, etc.

I got the Sprire two years ago and it's exactly what the doctor ordered for me. It's dead simple to use, it takes me no more than 5 minutes to be totally set up and ready to go, and the sound quality is fantastic. I LOVE the soundcheck feature - it makes setting levels a snap. I love the app controls. and the simplicity of the mixing screen.

There are only two things I miss from using my old Fostex 4-track and, less so, from my frustrating experiences with Garage Band. First, the ability to punch in and punch out with a foot switch. There's a pretty decent punch in capability that I've gotten good at, but there's no way to punch out without just reaching over and hitting the "record" button. So I really can't do overdubs of a botched section except when I'm singing and have both hand's free. Which is OK, because singing is where I need the most help. But for guitar tracks, I can start recording again from the spot of a mistake, but then I pretty much have to replay the rest of the track from that point. I'd LOVE a foot switch to be able to punch in and out. Second, the mixing, while dead simple, is static for the whole track, not a dynamic thing where you can change levels and pan DURING the track. You set it up for the whole track and that's where it stays. I've learned to work around the pretty well, just by using separate tracks for lead fills during the vocal portions of songs and for lead breaks, that I'd generally rather have a a higher volume. This isn't a huge deal for me, but ideally, it'd be nice to be able to change the mix properties in real time as a track plays.

There are tradeoffs for sure. For any level of pro level or even high level amateur recording, I'm sure the Spire would be too limited for most folks. But for a guy who just likes to play around with building multi-track songs for the fun of it, it's a great tool. For me, the tradeoffs are great - I'll deal with it's limitations in exchange for it's extremely easy setup and simplicity in use.

-Ray
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  #19  
Old 12-15-2020, 10:11 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Obviously those here who find the Spire easy to use are reporting their honest experience. It's possible that some ADF members would find it easier to use than most DAWs.

I had some honest frustrations with the Spire, discussed near the end of the old thread and the beginning of this one. I won't repeat myself. I would say that I think the product could benefit from a manual (these days typically a PDF file). But again, happy users here say I could be mostly wrong.

KevWind, it's easy for us who've gotten over the initial learning bump with DAWs to imagine that everyone else won't have some trouble there. Even things like what which input is which, and does it need phantom power or line level or why am I not hearing what I think I should be hearing confuse folks who haven't gotten used to at least one DAW and some basic concepts.

I considered with my own now isolated playing partner who's not technically interested, just setting up a template in a DAW and leaving a mic plugged in, but my experience in tech support says that Murphy will likely change something or click somewhere you don't expect and things will no longer work as expected.
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Last edited by FrankHudson; 12-15-2020 at 10:28 PM. Reason: I was repeating what I'd already written at length up thread
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  #20  
Old 12-16-2020, 08:52 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
Obviously those here who find the Spire easy to use are reporting their honest experience. It's possible that some ADF members would find it easier to use than most DAWs.

I had some honest frustrations with the Spire, discussed near the end of the old thread and the beginning of this one. I won't repeat myself. I would say that I think the product could benefit from a manual (these days typically a PDF file). But again, happy users here say I could be mostly wrong.

Quote:
KevWind, it's easy for us who've gotten over the initial learning bump with DAWs to imagine that everyone else won't have some trouble there.
Even things like what which input is which, and does it need phantom power or line level or why am I not hearing what I think I should be hearing confuse folks who haven't gotten used to at least one DAW and some basic concepts.

I considered with my own now isolated playing partner who's not technically interested, just setting up a template in a DAW and leaving a mic plugged in, but my experience in tech support says that Murphy will likely change something or click somewhere you don't expect and things will no longer work as expected.
I agree about the learning curve and why I qualified my post with the fact that a DAW is what I learned on in 2003 so it may be I have forgotten how intimidating and or complex it can appear. I am 70 so forgetting is integral part of life now
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  #21  
Old 12-26-2020, 09:19 AM
benjamin1884 benjamin1884 is offline
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Iíve been enjoying the Spire for collaboration. I did vocal, guitar, banjo and mandolin, my buddy Al added the upright and dobro, and voila finished product
Hope you enjoy
Rick
https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/1YsPVYTJ8GNJ6mBU8
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  #22  
Old 12-26-2020, 11:01 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamin1884 View Post
Iíve been enjoying the Spire for collaboration. I did vocal, guitar, banjo and mandolin, my buddy Al added the upright and dobro, and voila finished product
Hope you enjoy
Rick
https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/1YsPVYTJ8GNJ6mBU8
Very nice!
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  #23  
Old 01-19-2021, 10:12 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I heard from my music partner this morning: his computer was just returned after a week, and he was looking to make some music. I haven't recorded anything in several weeks... three hours later, I had 8 tracks from the Spire sent off to him (guitars, drums, bass, vocals). He'll add his parts and mix in Logic ProX. Easy.
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  #24  
Old 01-20-2021, 08:16 AM
rmoretti49 rmoretti49 is offline
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I am happy enough with my Spire Studio, but remain quite annoyed with the lack of a comprehensive manual. Yes, I can find some tutorials on the Izotope website. But they are incomplete, and often enough do not answer the questions I have. It is as if the developers thought that by not creating a manual, their device was automatically completely, thoroughly intuitive. Spire is indeed pretty intuitive but not that intuitive. I use mine with an Android tablet, and the screens are not the same as they are for the Apple application.
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  #25  
Old 01-20-2021, 02:51 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Originally Posted by rmoretti49 View Post
I am happy enough with my Spire Studio, but remain quite annoyed with the lack of a comprehensive manual. Yes, I can find some tutorials on the Izotope website. But they are incomplete, and often enough do not answer the questions I have. It is as if the developers thought that by not creating a manual, their device was automatically completely, thoroughly intuitive. Spire is indeed pretty intuitive but not that intuitive. I use mine with an Android tablet, and the screens are not the same as they are for the Apple application.
This was a strong impression I was left with too, and given that the hardware and the software's capabilities are good, frustrating. One can figure out things eventually based on what you want to do it, but it's not like it's so complex that an approximately 20 "page" PDF manual couldn't cover some basic workflows or explain briefly what was happening behind the scenes with the Izotope software auto-magical handling of the audio.

If I wasn't otherwise occupied, I would think about contacting Izotope and offer to write that manual myself. That would be a nice project for someone interested in that sort of work and wanting something they could show potential employers, or as and extra-credit educational project. At my age none of this applies, but if I was a young'un...

One reason that might be harder to do, and one reason Izotope may not have done it, is part of the Unique Selling Proposition of the Spire: that it uses phones/tablets as it's user interface that they do not control. As you mention, your screens on whatever version of Android you are using don't look like what you see in some tutorials, and even the same generation of Apple IOS doesn't work exactly the same on the iPhones as on iPads. This is sort of a devil's bargain. On one hand it allows the Spire to have a much richer user interface that something like a Zoom handheld with a tiny low-res LCD screen, on the other hand, the owners and controllers of that user interface and underlying hardware can change, fork, or otherwise trouble someone like Izotope or a third-party writing a manual.

My guess is the happy users on this thread have figured out that they want to do with it (most things seem "intuitive" once you've learned them ) or are working with workflows that are different than mine.

This Spire hardware really does offer a way to do no-drama one or two track at a time multitracking for guitars and vocals without need to understand basic recording setup (the sound check level control, the Izotope presets/"secret sauce"...). These are good reasons some here love theirs.
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'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
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  #26  
Old 01-20-2021, 05:37 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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The workflow really is easy with the Spire (with an iPad Pro): pick an effect (space, amp, pedal), do a "sound check" playing/singing, record. To add more tracks, repeat. You can do a elementary mix (adjust volume, pan right or left). Several one-click options to export the file. Done.

Compared to my Zoom H4n Pro, the Spire is a walk in the park. I have used the onboard condenser mic, plugged in dynamic and large diaphragm condenser mics, guitars (acoustic and electric), bass (direct), electronic drums (direct). If I want more guitar effects than the Spire offers, I run a direct line out from a THR30ii to the Spire.

Over the time with the Spire, I have learned what I like with mic placement, for better results. I cannot imagine a less complicated recording set-up. I don't profess to be professional in my results, but there has been remarkable improvement after getting the Spire.

Working with the Spire made me more comfortable in using the Shure MV88+ with an iPhone for music videos. For decades, making music was about playing out for me. That went away in the past year (corporate events), so doing some recording (mostly for my Honey) has filled that void. My music partner likes to do full band recordings (with he and I playing all the instruments), but I tend to do more guitar/bass/vocals for myself. The Spire is slick for that.
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  #27  
Old 01-20-2021, 07:53 PM
lfoo6952 lfoo6952 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
This was a strong impression I was left with too, and given that the hardware and the software's capabilities are good, frustrating. One can figure out things eventually based on what you want to do it, but it's not like it's so complex that an approximately 20 "page" PDF manual couldn't cover some basic workflows or explain briefly what was happening behind the scenes with the Izotope software auto-magical handling of the audio.

If I wasn't otherwise occupied, I would think about contacting Izotope and offer to write that manual myself. That would be a nice project for someone interested in that sort of work and wanting something they could show potential employers, or as and extra-credit educational project. At my age none of this applies, but if I was a young'un...

One reason that might be harder to do, and one reason Izotope may not have done it, is part of the Unique Selling Proposition of the Spire: that it uses phones/tablets as it's user interface that they do not control. As you mention, your screens on whatever version of Android you are using don't look like what you see in some tutorials, and even the same generation of Apple IOS doesn't work exactly the same on the iPhones as on iPads. This is sort of a devil's bargain. On one hand it allows the Spire to have a much richer user interface that something like a Zoom handheld with a tiny low-res LCD screen, on the other hand, the owners and controllers of that user interface and underlying hardware can change, fork, or otherwise trouble someone like Izotope or a third-party writing a manual.

My guess is the happy users on this thread have figured out that they want to do with it (most things seem "intuitive" once you've learned them ) or are working with workflows that are different than mine.

This Spire hardware really does offer a way to do no-drama one or two track at a time multitracking for guitars and vocals without need to understand basic recording setup (the sound check level control, the Izotope presets/"secret sauce"...). These are good reasons some here love theirs.
If you go to the izotope website, under support, you will find tutorials and instructions on how to use the Spire.
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  #28  
Old 01-21-2021, 10:56 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Originally Posted by lfoo6952 View Post
If you go to the izotope website, under support, you will find tutorials and instructions on how to use the Spire.
I'm sure your suggestion/reminder will help some, so it's good that you point this out.

I looked at all of them in existence late last year when I got my Spire. My memory is that I found the Izotope tutorials insufficient. Video tutorials in a lot of cases can also be inefficient, depending on the user's needs and the type of information being conveyed. For example, a video tutorial on how to play clawhammer banjo is the most effective and efficient way to convey the information. A video tutorial when you're trying to figure out quickly "how do I export individual .wav files for all the tracks to a icloud/onedrive etc" is not as efficient. And while video files can have tables of contents/indexes, few do.
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20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
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  #29  
Old 01-21-2021, 07:47 PM
rmoretti49 rmoretti49 is offline
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Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
I'm sure your suggestion/reminder will help some, so it's good that you point this out.

I looked at all of them in existence late last year when I got my Spire. My memory is that I found the Izotope tutorials insufficient. Video tutorials in a lot of cases can also be inefficient, depending on the user's needs and the type of information being conveyed. For example, a video tutorial on how to play clawhammer banjo is the most effective and efficient way to convey the information. A video tutorial when you're trying to figure out quickly "how do I export individual .wav files for all the travelop a manual for Spire?cks to a icloud/onedrive etc" is not as efficient. And while video files can have tables of contents/indexes, few do.
Yep. that is exactly my experience, too. Really, how much trouble would it take for Izotope to develop a manual for Spire?
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  #30  
Old 01-21-2021, 10:09 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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As a relatively early Spire user, I can say that the features have changed and improved over time. I appreciate the fact that they continue to support this platform with updates... although I had to scratch my head on one update, then got another that fixed my issue two days later. With the regular updates, a manual would be quickly outdated or incomplete.

I consider myself reasonably tech capable... the Zoom H4n Pro and Logic ProX had me consulting YouTube regularly to get through a project. Never had to do that with the Spire, but iZotope's videos have given me good tips on getting more out of it.
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