Precision Microphone Modeling System
Sphere L22 Overview
The Sphere L22™ microphone system from Townsend Labs models the characteristics of the most sought-after large-diaphragm condenser microphones with amazing accuracy and allows selection of different mics and patterns even after tracking.
The Sphere L22 system consists of a dedicated, dual-channel microphone and its software counterpart, the included Sphere plug-in (UAD, AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST, AU). 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.
Now You Can:
- Record with a world-class microphone collection of 34 stunning-sounding mics
- Change mic type, polar pattern, and other microphone characteristics, even after tracking!
- Audition the sound of different microphones without tiring the artist
- Reduce coloration and room ambience in challenging spaces in combination with popular isolation filters, such as the sE Reflexion Filters, Aston Halo, Kaotica Eyeball, and more.
- Record in stereo from a single microphone
Breakthrough Microphone Modeling Technology
Sphere’s multi-dimensional approach captures the spatial nuances, proximity effect, and off-axis frequency response of a wide range of microphones, which until now was not possible with any other product.
Access some of the most prized microphones of all time,
including a 47 (with VF14 tube), a 67, an M49, a C12, and the 800.
(NOTE: hi-res files can be downloaded directly from Soundcloud)
Sphere L22 Microphone
The Sphere system employs the high-resolution, dual-channel L22 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, custom-designed to capture the three-dimensional soundfield with exacting detail. Manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, the L22 ensures that modeling is consistent and accurate.
Realtime UAD and AAX DSP Processing
With Universal Audio Apollo interfaces, achieve extremely low latency (approx. 1.6ms round trip at 96kHz) for guaranteed real-time performance. The AAX DSP format allows for guaranteed low-latency performance on Avid HDX systems. UAD and AAX DSP plug-in formats are included at no additional cost. Sphere also supports native AAX, VST and AU plug-in formats.
Polar Pattern Modeling
Because Sphere captures the multi-dimensional response of target microphones, it precisely emulates the polar patterns and other off-axis characteristics of prized microphones which are essential to their unique sound.
Listen to the LD-67 model with omni, cardioid, and figure-8 patterns:
The next clip is with the L22 microphone facing directly away from the guitar cabinet, while the pattern is adjusted from omni to figure-8.
Re-Mic Sphere Tracks
Select mic type, polar pattern and other settings both before and after tracking.
Adjustable Proximity Effect
No 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.
Dual Mic Models
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.
Record In Stereo (With One 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.
This acoustic guitar track was recorded with one Sphere microphone and processed only using the Sphere 180 plug-in first with the LD-47 and then with the LD-12 mic model.
Virtually rotate the axis of the mic to give a more off-axis sound before or after tracking.
Microphone isolation filters (also referred to as reflection filters or 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.
The Sphere plug-in features a visually informative (and very cool) Polar Meter that dynamically displays the direction and level of sound being picked up by the microphone, as well as the currently selected polar pattern.
Create more accurate polar patterns to reduce bleed, room coloration, and susceptibility of feedback before or after tracking. For more information, see the Off-Axis Correction chapter in the Sphere Hardware and Software User Guide.
The microphone hardware has a self-noise level of 7dB-A SPL, well below most vintage microphones and comparable to many of the best modern microphones.
High SPL Handling
The L22 can handle in excess of 140dB SPL before clipping and is remarkably rugged. It won’t be damaged by high SPLs or air blasts as some vintage microphones can be.