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Getting the Most Out of the Free Spire iOS App

by Charley Ruddell, iZotope Contributor January 8, 2020
Always recording on the go? Learn how the free Spire iOS app can help.
Always recording on the go? Learn how the free Spire iOS app can help.

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Spire Studio

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Download the Spire iOS app for free today, and open this article’s session file to explore a complete Enhanced session created in the Spire iOS app.

A common challenge for artists is finding an affordable and professional way to track songs and produce their vision. You need accessible, inexpensive, and high quality technology to effectively record professional sound, plus simple exporting options to get your music out to the masses. The Spire app for iOS is the simple answer to this complex problem. The Spire app is not only capable of multitracking, mixing, and exporting projects to social media, the cloud, and beyond, but it’s also free. Producing your own music is simply a download away in the app store.

While owning the hardware Spire Studio will unlock a variety of recording effects that the Spire app doesn’t carry, The Spire app for iOS is all you need to get your project started. In this piece we’ll break down all of the standalone Spire app features, from recording, mixing and exporting, and show you how to get the most from the Spire app. 

Let’s start with the home screen, or the Project List.

The Spire app project list

Spire’s Project List is your first stop on your project’s journey. Here is where your projects will live as you begin to compile your Spire recordings. 

The Project List in the Spire iOS app

The Project List also provides a thumbnail visual of your projects and allows you to preview tracks before opening them. On the left of each project, you’ll find a play button and on the right you’ll find a colored visual of your project’s tracks. 

Swipe left on your project to either share or delete. Clicking share creates a sharing link for your project and allows you to easily go to the link and download the project, stems, or mixdown. 

Simply click the + button at the bottom of this screen to start a new project. The Spire app will take you to the Record page and arm you with your first track so you’re ready to record instantly.

Recording in the Spire iOS app

The Record page is where the magic happens.

Record screen in the Spire iOS app

Here you’ll find your metronome. You have four time signatures to choose from, as well as a sliding BPM scale. Can’t figure out your project’s BPM? Try tapping the tempo with the Tap button. The metronome will adjust the BPM for you. Be sure to turn on the metronome before you start recording so each track accurately represents your desired speed.

Back on the Record page, you’ll find the mic level on each of your tracks. The gain input is adjustable, which allows you to manually control the input level of each track. Try finding a level that feels good in your headphones, then test to see if the channel is clipping; you can see the clip when the mic level turns red. 

To record audio with your Spire App, press the red record button in the bottom-center of your screen. Your metronome will count you off, and then it’s off to the races. 

When recording audio with your device, it’s important to find the correct mic placement to get the best quality recording you can. Your device has several microphones built internally, but the Spire app makes use of one on the bottom by the charging port. Similar to the Spire Studio hardware’s omnidirectional condenser microphone, your device can pick up sound from around the room, but is most effective when the microphone is directly facing your instrument (you can always try using this guide to experiment finding ideal placements for your device).

In the bottom right corner of the page you’ll find the Trim tool. This tool allows you to crop your printed audio to your liking. Simply press the Trim icon, select which tracks you’d like to crop, and set the parameters. When you press the trash can icon, your selected audio will be scrapped. 

One of the most overlooked but most important features on the Record page are the track icons. These icons label your tracks based on the track’s instrument. To select a track icon, click the track number on the left border of the screen and select the icon that matches your instrument. The icons will prove useful in the mixing phase when organizing your tracks. 

Mixing in the Spire iOS app

The Mix page can be found in the bottom right of the Record page. Here is where you’ll find Spire’s secret weapon, the Visual Mixer. 

Mix page in Spire Studio

The Visual Mixer is extremely unique. It allows you to view your project’s stereo field and drag/drop your instrument to your desired location. This process allows you to use not only your ears to perfect a mix, but also your eyes. It’s a mixing feature unlike any other on the market. 

On the left hand border of the mixer, you’ll find all of your track icons. By selecting a track icon, you can either mute it or convert your track to mono or stereo (more on that here). 

Below is an original example recorded and mixed using the Spire app on iOS.

Spire app audio

Share

The Share page is the final stage in your Spire project’s journey. Here is where you’ll decide where you want your project to go. 

The first thing you’ll encounter in the Share page is the Enhance feature, which is reserved only for Spire Studio hardware users. 

As mentioned before, the easiest way to share your project is with cloud sharing by clicking Spire project. On the bottom border of this page are several additional exporting options—you can choose to share via text, AirDrop, or email; you can even upload your project straight to social media, or share it directly to the cloud.


Don’t forget to name your project on this page as well. Click on the Pencil Icon in the top right corner to do so. You can also rename it on the record screen, or by long pressing on the project in the project list.

The share screen on the Spire iOS app

Conclusion

The Spire app for iOS is packed with unique features. Simple cloud sharing, a fully loaded metronome, top quality recording technology, a one-of-a-kind Visual Mixer, and expeditious exporting methods make the Spire app worth a pretty penny—and yet, it’s totally free. Never lose a great song idea again. Start producing your own music today with the Spire app on iOS.

Learn more about the Spire app and hardware

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