I could see that working really well in music learning spaces, for understanding the concept of multitrack recording without getting bogged down with all the extraneous details that go along with recording at a digital audio workstation.
What was it like recording with your four- and seven-year-old daughters?
Jason: Initially, I had to go into my bathroom and record because I wanted an isolated guitar. They're young, so it's impossible for me to expect them to sit there for three minutes and not make a single noise. I went into my iso booth, my bathroom upstairs, and recorded the guitar track.
Then I gave them headphones, and we just started to add some effects. Kids who have never heard anything like it before, they’ll go, "Oh," when they hear a deep reverb. They loved it.
We just set it all up, and I was like, "Alright, what do you guys want to do? Do we want to do the vocals first? Do we want to sing the song together? Should we add a little egg shaker or a tambourine and we can do some bongos?"
As we went along, I was able to show them the interface on the iPad and describe what they were seeing. I’d say, "You see those little spikes there? That's the guitar. This part where suddenly you see something and then there you don't? That's silence, and then that's when we start singing."
They actually started to do it really well. They were scrolling through the tracklist to see what's down below and to know when they needed to start singing. I was able to show them the mixing interface and be like, "Let's put our vocals over on the left side." They had fun dragging that around.
There's no way at their age, that I could have ever expect that kind of understanding if I were to open up a Pro Tools session and say, "Here's how you do it." They'd get lost in a second.
But Spire? It's a professional tool, but it's also approachable and on the level of a toy that they can understand, if that makes sense.
How has your experience been using the effects in Spire?
Jason: My experience with the Spire effects has actually been really good. Initially in my old school digital audio workstation thinking, I was like, "Why do these have to be a record effect? Why can't I put them on in the mix?" But over time I've realized why. The point is not to set an elaborate mix, the point is to get your ideas down.
To that effect, I'm in love with the Deep Space Vibes reverb. I play around with that a lot.
“I can just grab my stuff, take off to a room, close the door, and that becomes my recording space. I can't even tell you how liberating that's been.” —Jason Howell