Review: iZotope Spire Vocal Recording App

iZotope Spire App for Recording
Can this recording app stand up to Garageband and BandLab?

A Microphone Icon to Represent the Mics and Microphones reviewed at SingdaptiveItem: iZotope Spire App for Recording

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iZotope Spire App for Apple iOS delivers a superb vocal sound quality with your smartphone and best of all doesn’t show any signs of latency. It stands up to other mobile recording apps such as Garageband or BandLab.

At a Glance

The “Pro” version of the Spire app for iOS, now being offered for free, has some great intuitive features. These include vocal tuning, a handful of creative vocal effects, and the “inspire me” section which adds randomized effects to your track. Many singers may like the “pro mic clarity”option. This creates a very crisp, consistent vocal sound that makes your phone’s microphone sound almost like a condenser mic! You can easily share .spire project files, individual tracks, and mixdowns through Airdrop, messaging, and more and you can also import your own beats and tracks.

High Notes

The iZotope Spire App is a fast working, easy-to-use smartphone music recording app like BandLab (Android) and Garageband (iOS). However it could be argued that this is the best sounding of the three for several reasons. The first is “soundcheck”, a feature that automatically adjusts the levels before you begin to record and allows you to hear how you will sound. Probably the most outstanding feature is that Spire doesn’t seem to have any latency problems where other apps struggle to deal with latency. This app also picks up sound well, almost as if it turns your smartphone mic into a condenser because of the amount and clarity of sound it picks up. Last but not least, the input monitoring works well in this app to allow you to hear yourself while recording – a feature that doesn’t always work well with other recording apps.

Off Pitch

The microphone’s proximity effect can be a little too bass heavy – especially if you get really close to the microphone. The 120Hz low-cut can help. Overall, I was really impressed with the ease of use. The “inspire me” section, which applies a random effect at the roll of a dice to your track. However, I do hope that  iZotope will soon update the functionality of their vocal effects – it would be great to be able to change the parameters of the effects as one can in Garageband or BandLab. It would also be great to listen to how these effects sound in real time on one’s track. Currently you have to actually apply the effect to the track and wait for it to be applied, then you can listen back to the effect on your track.

Audio-Savvy Reviewer Says

The iZotope faces strong competition. In comparison to BandLab and Garageband, I found that the iZotope Spire has a much better mic sound and absolutely no latency issues. On the other hand, some of its functionality is not standard for most DAWs. This includes not recording over a previously recorded track and lacking parameter-settings in the effects, both of which Garageband and BandLab allow you to do. However for singers who are new to DAWs and recording, these may not be issues. If you are looking for an easy app to get started with for vocals, then this may be the best sounding of the three. It’s quick and easy to use. Overall, the iZotope Spire is capable of good sounding vocals using just your iOS device.  – Kaitie Sly

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