Introducing Sphere 1.4 - Now including 30 mic models

Townsend Labs is proud to announce that no less 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.

When paired with the Townsend Labs L22 dual-capsule microphone, the Sphere plug-in gives you unprecedented access to the rich, authentic sounds of the finest microphones in recording history. Our patented Sphere modeling technology accurately models the response of a wide range of mics, including transient response, harmonics, proximity effect, and multi-dimensional polar response. Sphere is supported across platforms and does not require a dedicated interface or preamp.

What’s new?

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. Version 1.4 of the Sphere plug-in widens the gap to the competition even further. Ten new microphone models are available at no additional cost, which means Sphere L22 owners and users now have access to more than 30 stunning microphone models.

Meet Your New Mic Models

Townsend Labs Sphere 1.4 LD-563 Microphone

The LD-563 is based on an iconic East German bottle microphone from the mid-1960s. The original featured interchangeable microphone capsule heads and we've modeled all three types individually. In cardioid, the model is based on the legendary M7 capsule, which is the same as in early versions of the 47. When set to omni, the model is based on an M55k capsule. And in figure-8 the capsule used is an M8.

The 563 with the M7 capsule is a favorite for recording vocals, but it’s not at all a one-trick pony. It has also found much use as a room mic for drums and many other applications.

Townsend Labs Sphere 1.4 Expanded LD-017T Microphone

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.

Although it has a K67 style capsule its sound is more reminiscent of a 47 but with enhanced high-frequency extension. Popular uses include vocals and acoustic instruments.

Soyuz is a relatively new boutique Russian microphone company that has quickly built a following with high-profile artists and engineers, including Sylvia Massy, Nigel Godrich, and Rik Simpson.

We are honored that Soyuz chose Townsend Labs to model the SU-017 and that they entrusted us to represent their sound.


Townsend Labs Sphere 1.4 Expanded DN-409N Microphone

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.

According to producer/engineer Joe Chiccarelli, the 409 was the go-to microphone for classic rock guitars in the 80s. But a notable alternative use of the 409N was vocal duties for Pink Floyd's Live at Pompeii concert video.

The 409 is no longer in production and it sounds quite different, and arguably much better than modern incarnations, such as the 609 and 906.

Townsend Labs Sphere 1.4 Expanded DN-421N Microphone

DN-421N, DN-421S, and DN-421B, based on three differently sounding variants of the iconic German 421 microphone are famous 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.

The 421 is unusual for a moving-coil dynamic microphone in that it has a large diaphragm. The larger diaphragm gives it greater low-end extension compared to typical dynamic mics, which makes it more suitable for recording bass instruments.

Townsend Labs Sphere 1.4 Expanded DN-12A Microphone

DN-12A and DN-12E, based on Austrian dynamic microphones, are go-to choices for kick drum and bass instruments for many producers and engineers. Its modern-day successor, the 112 model, sounds dramatically different.

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.

Good sounding vintage units of these mics have become hard to find. With Sphere, you can choose the model you like best without having to go treasure hunting.


Townsend Labs Sphere 1.4 Expanded SD-416 Microphone

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. The 416 also enjoys wide popularity in broadcast, tv, and film location sound.

Interestingly, the mic has also found some unusual uses in music production. According to producer/engineer Jack Douglas, he used a 416 from several feet away to record Steven Tyler’s voice on early Aerosmith albums.

Where do I get it?

The Sphere plug-in version 1.4 is immediately available for all major native platforms (VST, AU, AAX Native), AAX DSP for Avid Pro Tools HDX systems, and UAD-2 for Universal Audio Apollo/Arrow interfaces and accelerators. To record audio and make use of the microphone models in the Sphere plug-in, the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone is required. However, the plug-in itself is available to anyone free of charge, and can be used for demonstration purposes of pre-recorded material or for manipulating sounds and mixing tracks recorded with a Sphere L22 microphone.

Follow the links below to download either the installer for native platforms and AAX DSP, or to be redirected to the UAD Software v9.10 download page.

What exactly is the Sphere Microphone Modeling System and why do I need it?

Excellent question! Watch this video, explore our other content and download the free, fully-functioning software as well as our pre-recorded tracks to find out:

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.