Comparing Spire Studio and an Audio Interface

by David Bawiec | April 20, 2018

header-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

So you're in the market to buy a new audio interface. You know that there are hundreds of options to choose from, with new ones being released on what seems like a monthly basis. One of the options is Spire Studio. Which, in many ways, is a typical audio interface. But it's also so much more. So how does Spire Studio stack up against the competition? What does it do differently? What can it do better? Let's dive right in and compare.

  • Inputs & Outputs: Most audio interfaces include at least one line-level analog input and two outputs.

  • Headphone Out: A typical audio interface will include a headphone output. This is usually a 1/4 inch connector.

  • Mic Preamps: You can expect one or more microphone preamplifiers that will let you record beautiful sounding vocals or acoustic instruments.

  • 48V Phantom Power: If you're going to be using a condenser microphone you'll want to make sure that your interface can provide phantom power. Thankfully most audio interfaces nowadays do.

  • Bit Depth and Sample Rate: This is something that can get a bit confusing for most people, but all audio interfaces include at least the basic 44.1kHz and 16-bit audio processing. The more advanced models for professional work can work at 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, or even 192kHz.

All of the above are included in the Spire Studio. It actually goes above and beyond, to record at 48kHz and 24-bit, meaning pristine audio quality for anything you record.

So now that we know that Spire Studio has you covered on all the basics, let's take a look at how it steps outside of the "basics" box and why it's an award-winner.

Microphone

mic-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

Recording vocals is never really an easy process. In a typical situation, you need to:

  1. 1. Set up a mic-stand

  2. 2. Place the microphone on the mic stand

  3. 3. Connect the mic to the audio interface with an XLR cable

  4. 4. Open the DAW of your choice

  5. 5. Create a new track where your recordings will live

  6. 6. Chose the input that corresponds to where you connected the mic on the audio interface

  7. 7. Manually set the levels

  8. 8. Set up a monitoring feed

  9. 9. You're finally ready to sing.

If all you're trying to do is record a high-quality demo of a new song idea, then I'd say you just went through a lot of work for that. And any time you waste on setup takes away from the time you could be creating and recording your ideas.

Spire Studio takes the stress and setup out of the equation by introducing something truly remarkable: A built-in, professional microphone with award winning sound processing technology. No need for cables. No need for a mic stand. No need to connect anything. With the studio-quality microphone built into Spire Studio, you're ready to record when inspiration strikes.

On top of that, Spire “Soundcheck” automatically sets your levels for the clearest sound. Just play at your normal level for a few seconds, and you’re ready to go. So honestly setup time is practically non-existent. Meaning you can stay in the creative zone.

Inputs & Outputs

inputs-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

In addition to the built-in microphone, Spire Studio has two XLR/TS combo jacks with Grace Design preamps for pristine clarity and presence with +48V phantom power. So you can connect and record anything. Want to plug in your electric guitar or bass with a 1/4'' cable? You're covered. Want to connect a fancy microphone via XLR to record a friend? You're covered.

Spire Studio has two 3.5 mm (1/8") stereo headphone outputs, one on the front and one on the back. These outputs can be used to monitor while recording or to listen while playing back your project. The two outputs can be used simultaneously so two people may listen at once! Since Spire Studio is made primarily for singer-songwriters who may be on the road, the headphone outputs have been intentionally designed to use the mini headphone jack connector (1/8"), meaning you'll be able to plug in any earbuds that you have with you.

Battery

battery-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

When they say "on-the-go" they really mean it! No other audio interface that I know of includes a built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Where all other audio interfaces require being connected to an outlet, Spire Studio doesn't! Have you ever wanted to record on a train? You can! Have you ever wanted to record while in a canoe on a lake? Now you totally can! The battery will give you over four hours of continuous use. Four hours to create without needing to plug-in.

Connectivity

connectivity-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

With so many audio interfaces available on the market, you will find that there are plenty of different ways that different interfaces connect to your computer. Throughout history, as various connection types came and went, so did the ways we connect audio interfaces, from the old standard USB, through the now outdated Firewire 400. For the most part, nowadays you can find audio interfaces with either of these connection types: USB, Firewire, PCIe, Thunderbolt.

Where Spire Studio differs is that in its principal it's meant to be an easy-to-use device that allows you to record anywhere, even on the road, without connecting any cables. Why? It's because Spire Studio uses WiFi. Yep, you heard that right. It creates a WiFi network, which you can join from your phone. No more annoying cables, just simple over-the-air music creation. So whether you're at a coffee shop or sitting under a tree out in an open field, you can leave your laptop behind and record anywhere you go.

DAW

daw-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

Almost every single audio interface on the market doesn't do much on its own. It requires a DAW like Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Reason, or another audio program on a computer to record, edit and mix your audio.

This is where Spire Studio stands out from the crowd. Not only does it not require a computer, you can do a lot from the interface itself. You can record, run a soundcheck, and play back your recording, all with a push of a button. And if you want to get more advanced with applying recording effects, editing your takes and mixing your song, Spire Studio comes with the free companion Spire App which allows you to do all of the above on your phone.

Wire-free. Computer-free. Hassle-free.

Conclusion

end-interface-vs-spire-blog-images

From what I've seen currently on the market, Spire Studio is one of the more exciting offerings for singer-songwriters. It's portable, it's small, packed with dozens of incredible features, includes a built-in mic, almost entirely eliminates the need for any setup, and lets you record high-quality audio, edit, mix and share your music with friends. Plus, the collaboration feature really knocks it out of the park.

So if you've ever wanted to bring your studio with you wherever you go, you can finally do so. And you can do it at an affordable price. So I recommend you check it out. Studio Spire may become your new favorite recording/travel buddy.