Townsend Labs is proud to announce that no fewer than ten new microphone models have been added to the Sphere plug-in—the software component in the award-winning and best-in-class Sphere L22 microphone modeling system. With the 1.4 update, which is free of charge, the collection now includes over 30 individual models. Version 1.4 of the Sphere plug-in is available in all major native plug-in formats, as well as Universal Audio’s UAD-2/Apollo and Avid’s AAX DSP platforms.
It’s not only the unrivaled accuracy and rich feature set that sets Townsend Labs Sphere L22 apart from other microphone modeling systems. It’s also the number of microphone models that are available to Sphere L22 owners. Today, Townsend Labs launches version 1.4 of the Sphere plug-in, which widens that gap even further. Ten new microphone models are available at no extra cost, which means Sphere L22 owners now have access to more than 30 stunning microphone models.
Ten New Microphones
LD-563, based on a classic German bottle microphone with interchangeable microphone capsule heads. The different polar patterns in the Sphere plug-in are based on three different capsules, M7, M8, and M55k. For many, the 563 with the M7 cardioid capsule is a favorite for recording vocalists.
LD-017T, a commissioned model of a current production SoyuzⓇ 017 TUBE large diaphragm microphone, created in partnership with Soyuz. It’s a modern classic that is 100% hand-built in Tula, Russia. Popular uses include vocals and acoustic instruments.
DN-409N and DN-409U, based on two different variants of the classic German 409 dynamic microphone, which is a favorite for rock vocals and guitar amplifiers. The older N-version is slightly more colored whereas the U-version from the 1980s has a nice, smooth top-end.
DN-421N, DN-421S, and DN-421B, based on three different variants of the iconic German 421 microphone—a large-diaphragm dynamic, popular for bass and guitar amps, kick drums and toms, horns, and vocals. The N-version is based on a classic beige 421 from the 1960s and has a slightly warmer sound than the 421B, which is based on a current production black 421 and faithfully captures its slightly brighter character. The 421S is the oldest version of the three, with a script logo and a more colored sound.
DN-12A and DN-12E, based on Austrian dynamic microphones – a go-to choice for kick drum and bass instruments. The DN-12A is based on the original version from the 1950s and has a more colored sound. The DN-12E is based on a later version with a slightly more “modern” sound.
SD-416, based on an industry-standard shotgun microphone, commonly used in the studio for voice-over and ADR duties. It is the go-to mic for that big voice-over sound in Hollywood-produced movie trailers we’re all so familiar with.
Statement from Townsend Labs
Erik Papp of Townsend Labs comments:
“This update adds tremendous value to the Sphere L22 system. The Sphere Core Collection expands over time. We are proud to grow the collection by 50% with this release. It is a way of saying “Thank You” to our existing customers while providing more value to those that may have been waiting. The Sphere mic collection now covers an even wider range of uses. We are particularly happy to be able to add the Soyuz 017 TUBE, which is a modern classic. We modeled the 017 in collaboration with Soyuz, and we are honored that Soyuz chose Townsend Labs to work with us and that they entrusted us to represent their sound.”
5x Grammy award-winning audio engineer, musician and producer Cassidy Turbin (Beck, Childish Gambino, Dwight Yoakam) adds:
“The 421 models sound just as I’d expect. And even better with Sphere I was able to dial in a tighter polar-pattern from an actual 421 and greatly reduce drum bleed on an upright piano track. The Soyuz 017 TUBE modeling on the L22 makes for a really versatile microphone. It’s kind of like if a 47 and 67 had a child. Pretty damn unique.”
Price, Formats, and Availability
The Sphere L22 Microphone Modeling System can be purchased from most pro audio dealers worldwide and is offered for $1499 US dollars excluding tax. The Sphere plug-in is free of charge and is available in the major native plug-in formats—AAX, VST 2, VST 3 and AU. Also included at no additional cost are plug-in versions for Universal Audio’s UAD-2/Apollo and Avid’s AAX DSP platforms. The microphone can be used with any preamp and digital interface that has at least two microphone inputs. Anyone interested in exploring the system is invited to download various sound examples recorded with Sphere L22 microphones and try the free, fully-featured Sphere plug-in on their system.
Since its debut in 2017, the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 has established itself as the best microphone modeling solution in the industry. Its pioneering multi-dimensional modeling technology and unique dual-channel design take microphone modeling far beyond merely mimicking the static on-axis response of the original microphones. The Sphere L22 captures the spatial in-room behavior of the original microphones, including transient response, harmonics, proximity effect, and three-dimensional polar response. The stunning accuracy is what has convinced users from home recordists to seasoned industry veterans, such as Joe Chiccarelli and Allen Sides, that Sphere is the future of microphones.
About Townsend Labs
Following more than three years of technical development, Townsend Labs was founded in 2015 by thirteen-year Avid alum and DSP architect Chris Townsend, together with Erik Papp, previously CEO of Summit Audio Inc. Townsend Labs Inc. is a professional audio company in the San Francisco Bay Area region of California. In July 2016, Townsend Labs announced their world-class patented microphone modeling technology, Sphere. Sphere’s analog hardware directly captures spatial and distance information in the sound field, allowing for unprecedented control and multi-dimensional modeling of vintage microphones from within the Sphere plug-in.