If you've ever attempted to record a little music demo of your own, you know that these days, the wealth of technological options can be a little overwhelming. Audio company iZotope, known for its pro-level recording gear and software, might just solve this problem with a pared-down little gadget called Spire Studio. The cute, cylindrical hardware has inputs for microphones and instruments and connects to the Spire mixing and editing app on your smart phone. It even has a rechargeable lithium ion battery that the company claims will last for four hours so you can record pretty much anywhere.
Spire Studio has a built-in mic, two pre-amped inputs and even audio effects like reverb or delay to make your recording sound more professional. You can control the whole back end with the Spire app, which connects wirelessly to the Spire hardware. The recording pod is small enough to drop into your backpack and take with you anywhere. It's even got an automatic level system which will make sure you don't record your band at too high a level. Spire Studio has eight tracks that you can use to overdub and record on your own, or you can send your songs to bandmates who can then record their own parts (assuming they have their own Spire). And, according to FastCompany, you can export the tracks to an audio program like Pro Tools or Logic to have even more control over the multiple audio tracks.
Ultimately, having a quick way to record a basic song with actual instruments and vocal performances could benefit a wide range of customers. Professional musicians can make a demo really fast when inspiration strikes, and hobbyists can have an easy intro to multitrack recording, something that's harder and harder to come by in the increasingly complex world of software recording.
Update: iZotrope told Engadget that Spire Studio should release this fall and will cost $349.