5 Unusual Places to Record Music with Spire Studio

May 24, 2018 | By David Bawiec, Spire Contributor

5 Unusual Places to Record with Spire Studio

As you may know, the Spire app has some pretty exciting Spaces effects that become available when you pair the app with Spire Studio—including different reverbs and delays that help sweeten vocals.

But sometimes you want to capture the sound of a natural space. That’s where going out and finding a physical space with a particular atmosphere will make your recording sound special. In this article, we’ll uncover five unique places you can record. But first...

Scouting locations

How do you find the perfect location to record?

Thankfully, Spire Studio is portable, so there are very few limits to where you can record. The space you choose should provide a unique sound that enhances your performance rather than distracts from it.

Sing, play, or clap to get an idea of how long a room reverberates, as well as how your voice/instrument interacts with the room's textures and walls. The size of the space, as well as the material that it's made of, will affect the unique sonic fingerprint that the room has. Some materials will reflect the song, others will absorb it. Use that to your benefit.

Experiment by walking around the room and listening for the subtle differences in how the sound changes depending on your location. If possible, always try to record yourself during a time when the space is quiet. This will guarantee that you'll only be capturing your voice/instrument without unwanted background noise (traffic, people...).

1. Bathtub

One of the closest and most accessible places you can find is already in your home: your bathroom. There's a reason why people love to sing while they shower. All the flat and bare surfaces (shower tiles, the tub) allow for the sound to reflect nicely, thus creating a pretty reverb.

But you can take things further. Singing into an empty porcelain bathtub will create some really nice ringing in various frequencies. If you don't have a bathtub, try different points in your shower (with the water off!). Listen for the spot that creates a nice reflection.

staircase

2. Staircase

In this (stair)case, you're looking for different textures that will let your sound bounce around the space in various ways. The more worn the material, the more interestingly it will interact with your sounds.

An old wooden staircase will sound different from a metal one. The size of the stairwell will also affect the sound. So will the walls and their shape. So experiment and find the one that makes your voice shine or the one that distorts it in an interesting way (if that's what you're going for).

large metal container

3. Large metal container

This is where things get weird. Finding an empty shipping container may be tricky, but if you can gain access to one (legally please!), they can really provide amazing sounding results.

Metal tends to reverberate for a long time, which will add to the natural beauty of this space's sound. On top of that, the wavy shape of the metal walls will create some very interesting dispersion of sound, meaning your voice will have a nice zing to it. Use this space's weird structure to your advantage. Compare how things sound when you're in the center of the container, versus when you're singing into a corner, or singing out from the corner into the open space.

inside a slide

4. Slide

You thought you were too old to be on the playground? Nope. Find a playground with a long, tubular slide (when children are not using the playground, please). Most slides nowadays are made out of molded plastic materials. The cool thing about enclosed plastic spaces is that they not only bounce sound waves nicely, but they also absorb a lot of higher frequencies. This creates a round and slightly muffled sound.

If you really want to amp up the warping effect, place Spire Studio at the bottom of the slide and play from the top of the slide. The microphone will pick up your already affected vocal. The longer the slide, the more warped the sound will be.

cave

5. Cave

If you're ever venturing into “the wild,” bring Spire Studio with you. You never know when inspiration will strike or when you may encounter a unique place to record.

One spot is a natural cave. Caves are usually the perfect place to find large open spaces that will create beautiful reverberation. Also, depending on the structure of the cave, you may end up with some truly mesmerizing echoes.

Try to walk around the cave and sing/clap to find the perfect spot that gives you a great balance between reverberation and a cool echo. If you really want to take things up a notch, sing your song in a tempo that matches the rhythm of the echoes. You'll end up creating a really nice pairing between the two that will give you that studio quality effect yet achieved in nature!

Take it away

Since Spire Studio is portable and has a 4+ hour battery life, you can bring it with you wherever you go. Who knows when you happen to come across a space that sounds truly unique and inspires you to record that new song. Don't be afraid to push the envelope and get creative with where you record. Your personal studio now travels with you. So go out there and make some recordings!