Campbell, California, November 10, 2020: Townsend Labs is proud to announce the latest update to Sphere—the software component in the award-winning and best-in-class Sphere L22 microphone modeling system. Version 1.5 adds new features for voice-over artists and music producers seeking better recordings under challenging conditions. New models of four classic microphones, each with a proud history of vocal/voice-over use, have been added to Sphere’s ever-growing mic locker, and Version 1.5 introduces IsoSphere™, a patented new technology that helps combat the unwanted effects of poor room acoustics. It’s available in all major native plug-in formats as well as Universal Audio's UAD-2 and Avid's AAX DSP—and like all Sphere upgrades to date, it’s free of charge.
For many artists and engineers, changing times and technologies have led to working more from home and collaborating remotely—and often recording in less-than-ideal spaces. Townsend Labs meets these challenges with IsoSphere™ (US patent 10701481), an easy-to-use yet effective cutting-edge technology that rethinks how microphones interact with the space around them.
Microphone isolation filters (also referred to as reflection filters) and portable acoustic booths are a boon to home recordists, but they also impart their own undesirable coloration to the sound, and their effectiveness at reducing reflections and background noise is limited, especially at low to mid frequencies. IsoSphere™ 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.
Chris Townsend, CEO and CTO, states, "It's been truly exciting to see IsoSphere go from concept to patent to product in such a short time, and its patent protection means that the feature will be unique to Sphere for years to come. At a time when more people are working from home studios than ever before, this innovative technology will help creators achieve the best possible audio quality."
Meet Four New Mic Models
Thanks to Sphere’s collection of included microphones (34 models and growing fast), users can draw from a mic locker full of iconic tones from countless classic records. Sphere 1.5 makes the Sphere L22 even more attractive for voice-over studios and artists, adding four new industry-standard models ideal for their needs:
LD-87 Modern, based on a current production 87 in factory-shipping condition. The 87 has become a de facto standard for broadcast, voice-over, and many other applications over its 35-year lifetime, and the new LD-87 Modern is slightly brighter and more modern-sounding than our LD-87 Vintage model.
LD-37A, based on a classic 1950s Japanese tube microphone used by countless icons, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Jimi Hendrix. It’s known for a warmer, smoother sound than other condensers—good for taming sibilance and harsh high end, yet retaining enough 'air' in the upper register to avoid sounding dull. It’s a favorite choice for drum overheads and toms for many engineers, but also excels on electric guitars and vocals.
LD-37P, based on a lesser-known FET version of the 37A Japanese tube microphone Slightly brighter than the 37A, it can be an excellent choice to freshen up source material that is a bit dull-sounding.
DN-20, based on an industry-standard large-diaphragm dynamic microphone used on applications ranging from broadcast and voice-over to kick drum. Its pleasant presence boost with a sharp high-frequency dip to minimize sibilance make it a go-to choice for spoken-word applications.
A New Look
Sphere 1.5 also introduces a new, refined user interface. It’s a more focused design that emphasizes essential features, such as mic model selection, and neatly integrates the new IsoSphereTM feature, which immediately feels natural and organic.
Chris Townsend, Townsend Labs’ CEO and CTO, explains: “Four years after the launch of the Sphere L22, we took a hard look at the Sphere plug-in user interface. Listening to our growing base of Sphere owners, we built upon and improved the user experience with a refreshed look and improved usability that reflects our commitment to cutting-edge technology and design.”
Erik Papp, Townsend Labs’ Co-Founder and President, adds: ”Those who get to know Sphere for the first time will have an even quicker learning curve and enjoy a more accessible and consistent layout. At the same time, the core controls and features that Townsend Labs customers have grown to love remain right where they should be.”
The Sphere 1.5 update introduces a selection of new presets from world-famous artists, producers, and engineers including Chris Baseford, Joe Chiccarelli, Billy Bush, and Cassidy Turbin. It also features go-to settings by voice-over artists such as Brent Allen Hagel and Jordan Reynolds. These highly usable presets are the ideal starting point to record a specific instrument or just to get inspired, and just like the update itself, they are available at no additional cost.
Price, Formats, and Availability
The Sphere L22 Microphone Modeling System is available from most pro audio dealers worldwide for $1499, excluding tax. The mic can be used with any preamp and digital interface with at least two microphone inputs, and 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, with support for Universal Audio’s UAD-2/Apollo and Avid’s AAX DSP platforms at no extra cost.
About the Sphere L22
Since its debut in 2016, the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 has established itself as the best microphone modeling solution. 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 system consists of a dedicated, dual-channel microphone and its software counterpart, the Sphere plug-in. The exacting models incorporate transient response, harmonics, proximity effect, and multi-dimensional polar response. Thanks to Townsend Labs' exhaustive and curated study of classic microphones, the Sphere system currently brings the soul of 34 of the world's most revered microphones to life. The striking accuracy and sonic results have convinced owners from home recordists to seasoned industry veterans, such as Joe Chiccarelli, Billy Bush, and Allen Sides.
Leading pro audio industry accolades such as Sound on Sound Editors' Choice award, the win of a 2020 TEC Award for Sphere 1.3, and the recent TEC Award nomination for Sphere 1.4 underline the innovative approach of the Sphere L22.
For further information, review requests, or any questions, please contact Townsend Lab’s President Erik Papp at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.