Anybody who played in a band in the pre-digital age will remember the enormous – and bogglingly expensive – jump that was required to get a studio-quality recording. Even in the age of DIY recording, of Macs and software packages, it is no doddle. But this jam jar-sized portable wireless recording studio from Cambridge, Massachusetts, changes all that. Spire Studio lets you record up to eight tracks, with effects, and blend them into a seemingly professionally mixed song in minutes – using just two big buttons and an exceptional iOS/Android app.
It is a mouthwatering proposition for musicians. When I mentioned to my sister-in-law, Louise Wener (of the now-reformed 1990s band Sleeper), that I had a loan sample, she asked if she could borrow it to make some recordings on tour. And at the senior end of rock ’n’ roll, Pete Townshend of The Who and John Taylor of Duran Duran have gone on record as fans of Spire. “You could record a demo under a bridge with a nice reverb. Or in a field. Or busking in a train station… I am in love with this thing,” Townshend says.