Sometimes we get asked: "How close is the modeling to the original?" - Typically, our answer is, "Which one?" Production tolerances and aging effects of capsules and components are causing vintage mics to vary substantially from one unit to the next. But we recognize that it's still a burning question for some. Fortunately, the fantastic Audio Test Kitchen (ATK) platform now gives you the ability to audition an enormous range of current production large-diaphragm condenser microphones. The site gives you the ability to compare 300 microphones in a listening test shootout, as well as have a closer look at one of the most important parameters: the frequency response. The wise men at Production Expert compared the Sphere L22 model based on the Sony C800G to the original microphone measured by ATK. They also did the same thing with some of the other virtual microphone options out there.
Apples to Apples
Comparing the included Sphere LD-800 model to the original Sony C800G measured by ATK, the editors note the following:
"There is a small difference in the 2k to 7k range, which is probably within the manufacturer's production tolerances and could be found between any two C800Gs. The low-frequency response is very accurate indeed."
It is important to note that the microphone our LD-800 model is based on is most likely not the same physical microphone as what was available to Audio Test Kitchen. Considering common manufacturing tolerances, some minor differences are to be expected in these comparisons.
Beyond the Frequency Response
The authors of the Production Expert article also rightly point out that there's much more to a microphone's sound than the on-axis frequency response. Unlike the other mic modeling options out there, Sphere also accurately models proximity effect, unique polar patterns, and off-axis colorations. Learn more about the unique off-axis behavior of microphones in this blog post.
Compare for yourself
Needless to say, we're pretty happy with the results of this comparison. We highly recommend checking out the article and then hearing the mics in action on the Audio Test Kitchen site. Enjoy!
New to Sphere?
With Sphere you now can:
- Record with the sound of microphones many have only dreamt about
- Change mic type, polar pattern, and other microphone characteristics, even after tracking!
- Audition the sound of different microphones without tiring the vocalist
- Reduce bleed, undesirable room coloration, and other common issues using Off-Axis Correction™
- Record in stereo from a single microphone
You are invited to install the free, fully-featured Sphere plug-in for all major platforms and DAWs. Try it now and reimagine our library of pre-recorded tracks.