The Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Precision Microphone Modeling System combines a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with the Sphere plug-in to accurately model 34 of the most sought-after vintage microphones including Neumann, Telefunken, AKG, and more. Auditioning and switching between mics during a session can be tedious, but thanks to the software, you can change mic type, polar pattern, reduce bleed, room coloration, feedback, and even adjust the proximity effect—either during or after tracking vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, stringed and wind instruments, percussion, room sound, and more.
The Sphere L22 is a dual-capsule microphone with dual outputs, custom-designed to capture the three-dimensional soundfield with exacting detail—including the directional and distance information otherwise lost with a conventional single-channel microphone. Remarkably rugged, the mic can handle in excess of 140 dB SPL before clipping and won’t be damaged by high SPLs or air blasts as some vintage microphones can be. It also has a self-noise level of 7 dB-A SPL, well below most vintage microphones and comparable to many of the best modern microphones. Two 3-pin XLR mic preamp inputs are required for the mic, as all mic-modeling and other advanced DSP features occur in the Sphere plug-in. Note that the mic can be used with or without modeling.
Sphere DSP Plug-In for Multi-Dimensional Mic Modeling
- Re-Mic Technology: allows the user to change the mic type and polar pattern even after tracking.
- Adjustable Proximity Effect: eliminates the need to move a microphone solely because of too little or too much bass due to proximity effect—great for punching in a vocal where distance from the mic varies from take to take.
- Off-Axis Correction: create more accurate polar patterns to reduce bleed, room coloration, and susceptibility to feedback before or after tracking.
- Sphere supports a wide range of plug-in formats, including UAD, AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST2, VST3, and Audio Units on Mac and Windows (voucher included for free UAD Sphere plug-in).
34 Included Microphone Models
The Sphere plug-in gives you access to 34 of the most prized microphones of all time, including a 47 (with VF14 tube), a 67, an M49, a C12, and the 800 to name a few.
- LD-47K: The 47 is the ultimate vocal mic. The specimen modeled is an original 47 with a fully brass K47 capsule with a Mylar diaphragm and a VF-14 tube.
- LD-12: Released in 1953 the C12 is another iconic mic, which has a gorgeous high-end sheen and sparkle, due to the uniquely designed CK12 capsule. It’s a great choice for lush, breathy vocals, without overly accentuating sibilance.
- LD-67: The 67 is a very unique and wonderful mic that tends toward warm, yet without sounding dull. The modeled mid-1960s version really shines on distorted guitar amps where it can reduce harshness while maintaining detail.
- LD-49K: Although the M49 used the same capsules as the U47, it has a number of “enhancements” which give it its iconic and distinctive sound.
- Sphere Linear: The Sphere Linear model provides ruler-flat frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz as well as an extremely smooth and well controlled off-axis response.
Polar Pattern Modeling
The Polar control lets you adjust the pickup pattern of the mic model, with the additional advantage of being able to select intermediate polar patterns that the original mic did not have. For example, when modeling. For microphones with a single pattern, the pattern control is fixed to that pattern.
- Omni, Sub-Omni
- Wide-Cardioid, Subcardioid, Cardioid
- Supercardioid, Hypercardioid
- Sub-8, Figure-8
Real-Time Processing with Low Latency
- With Universal Audio Apollo interfaces (available separately), you can achieve extremely low latency (approx. 1.6ms round trip at 96 kHz) for seamless real-time performance.
- The AAX DSP format allows for low-latency performance on Avid HDX systems.
Record in Stereo with One Mic or Add a Second Mic
- With just one Sphere L22 mic, it’s possible to make coincident stereo recordings, and even have different mic models on the left and right channels, using the Sphere 180 plug-in.
- With a second Sphere L22 mic (available separately), Dual Mode in the Sphere plug-in makes possible phase-coherent mixing of multiple virtual mic models from the same physical microphone, before or after tracking. It’s also possible to adjust the relative phase alignment of the two mics with the Align control.
Optimize the Mic for Your Specific Acoustic Treatment
- IsoSphere in the Sphere plug-in optimizes how the Sphere L22 works together with commonly available isolation devices—such as the sE Reflexion Filters, Aston Halo, Kaotica Eyeball, and even vocal booths. It enhances off-axis behavior for maximum rejection and modifies frequency response to compensate for unwanted coloration, leading to even better-sounding recordings.