Home GADGETS The second generation iZotope Spire Studio is a major improvement, but the cost is high

The second generation iZotope Spire Studio is a major improvement, but the cost is high

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We kind of like the original Apex Studio From iZotope. The portable mobile connected recording device is undoubtedly a unique proposition and unusual design. To recap, Spire is a “studio” for musicians on the go, offering two combined XLR ports for microphones and instruments, and a companion application for editing and mixing. There is also a built-in microphone and storage space to ensure your instant recording is safe until you return to the home recording studio.

All in all, this is a strange but very compelling proposition.Also experienced recently Update This increases the onboard storage from four hours of recording to eight hours (iZotope does not mention gigabytes, only “time”). The company also modified the preamplifier, claiming that the new product provides better interference suppression and higher gain (volume). Sadly, the one update I want to see is not here is the option to connect it to the computer via USB.This Spire second generation There are WiFi and Bluetooth, but they are used to connect to your phone. The company seems to really want to keep it as a purely “mobile” experience.

James Tru/Engadget

Either way, after spending a little time on the modified model, it is easy to understand why Spire might be popular with amateurs and professionals. It is simple to use, but it makes you feel that it is much more powerful than the humble premise implies.

In use, it couldn’t be simpler. Plug in a microphone or instrument, click the “Sound Check” button, Spire will listen when you play or sing, and automatically adjust the gain to the best level. Tap Record, then it’s ok. When you are done, you can layer the new parts of the track one by one. If you are a multi-instrument player or even just a singer/guitarist, this means you can focus on each “track” at once and still build a complete song.

I admit that the built-in microphone is not my favorite, just because it is very sensitive. Generally speaking, this will be a good thing, but if you are in a place where the sound is not ideal (if you are not at home, you may be like this) it can pick up a lot of things around you. iZotope is not completely unintentional, because it is an omnidirectional condenser, so it is designed. However, when you are not improvising with other musicians but you are alone, please keep a few things in mind.

Fortunately, iZoptope’s supporting software is very (no, very) good. This is not surprising given that the company is known for its mixing and mastering software especially favored by professionals. For this reason, the noise reduction function effectively eliminates some external traffic noise and general “room” sounds in the hard-walled office I tested.

The second generation of iZotope Spire Studio.

James Tru/Engadget

When it comes to the complexity of editing and mixing audio on a mobile phone, the app itself is one of the more user-friendly apps I have tried. Three tabs make things simple: record, edit, and mix. Each has a clear workspace with easy access to any options-such as effects or mute control. From there, saving and exporting to share with the world (or your desktop) is just as easy. If your music is instrumental and of the “four track” genre, then you really don’t need more. If you want to make a complex EDM stick with filling and editing functions, you will need to use it more to get some ideas and get them on your PC later.

As for those new preamps? If there is no original document for comparison, it is more difficult to determine. Obviously, even when driving the human voice at high volume without distortion, they do seem to increase the gain. Even when recording near many other electronic devices (including calls answered during this period), I did not find any obvious signal abnormalities.

Overall, iZotope makes things that are already good better in some important ways. Unfortunately, the company did not go all out to make Spire 2. There may be more inputs, desktop compatibility with USB or any other hospitality, but Spire is now better in important places, which has never been a bad thing. What might be a little off is the premium you have to pay for these modest upgrades.The original version costs $350, but the revised version will disappoint you 499 USDFor some regular upgrades, this is a big leap.

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