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Old 11-14-2019, 06:05 PM
pagedr pagedr is offline
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Default Zoom H4N vs Spire Studio

I've been looking for something portable and really simple to record with that doesn't require mics. I'll be using mics from time to time but the ease of use and portability is most important to me, as well as quality of recording of course. Been doing quite a bit of research but haven't found many direct comparisons of these two devices. Does one record better without mics than the other? Is one of these two significantly easier to use or are they both pretty simple? Especially curious to hear from anyone who has used both, but of course any and all info or recos are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:03 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I own both: a Zoom H4n Pro and the Spire Studio. In term of ease of use, the Spire Studio leaves the H4n Pro way behind. Both do a good job of recording, but the Spire is very intuitive and doesn't take a bunch of click wheel turns and pushes and forwarding through various menus to get where you want to be (like with the H4n Pro).

If you are willing to put in considerably more study and patience, the H4n Pro has more "adjustability" (for lack of a better word). You have a total of 4 tracks to work with (3 if one of them is stereo with the X/Y mics). The Spire Studio gives you 8 tracks. The Soundcheck feature makes it easy to balance your vocals or instruments. Simple mixing by just sliding the level and position of each track on the Spire.

I like the sound better with the built in condenser mic on the Spire than the X/Y mics on the H4n Pro. The Grace Design pre-amps on the Spire Studio sound better to me than those on the H4n Pro.

The H4n Pro has the advantage with being hand-held (something I've never done). Also with a data card for onboard storage. Transferring files from the Spire to an iPad or computer could not be easier... literally one click.

I work with a music partner who is 1,400 miles from me - we send Spire tracks back and forth with no fuss.

If I were looking at it again, I would not have bought the H4n Pro... I bought it before the Spire Studio was released. I have not used mine at all since getting the Spire.

It would take me the better part of a day to record 4 tracks on the H4n Pro (because of all the button pushes and wheel clicks). In less than 2 hours I can record 4 or more tracks on the Spire Studio and have those files on their way to my partner. I generally do acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. My partner adds piano, synthesizer, and electric guitar.

Easy. Really. I've added a bunch of SoundCloud files to that thread that was mentioned in another thread asking about the Spire Studio...

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=502715

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:13 AM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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Having owned both, I would say that the sound quality is about the same but that in terms of ease of use, the Spire wins easily. For portability, the Zoom has the advantage. Both are good units, but unless you need extreme portability, the Spire is a better unit.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:56 PM
pagedr pagedr is offline
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Appreciate the info from both of you! I went over to Guitar Center this morning and bought a Spire. They had a Zoom H4N as well, but so far loving the Spire and itís super easy to use. The built in mic sounds great and the app is awesome. Great product overall, looking forward to becoming more acquainted with it.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:23 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagedr View Post
Appreciate the info from both of you! I went over to Guitar Center this morning and bought a Spire. They had a Zoom H4N as well, but so far loving the Spire and itís super easy to use. The built in mic sounds great and the app is awesome. Great product overall, looking forward to becoming more acquainted with it.
Congrats - I think you made a good choice. While the Spire Studio is pretty intuitive, take some time to look through the videos on their site for tips on getting the most out of your Spire...

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...io/videos.html
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