Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Modeling Mic
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 system consists of a high precision dual channel microphone, which when paired with the included Sphere plug-in (UAD, AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST, AU) accurately models the response of a wide range of mics, including transient response, harmonics, proximity effect and three-dimensional polar response.
Now You 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
Sphere Expanded: Sphere 1.4 software adds 10 more microphone models! See what's new in under 2 minutes:
See how the Sphere L22 system works in this 3-minute overview:
Sphere supports AAX DSP for Pro Tools HDX. Learn more in this video:
See why pros like Billy Bush & Joe Chiccarelli use the Sphere L22 system:
Breakthrough Microphone Modeling Technology
Sphere's three-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, and a C12.
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, 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. Sphere also supports native AAX, VST and AU.
Polar Pattern Modeling
Because Sphere captures the three-dimensional response of target microphones, it precisely emulates the polar patterns and other off-axis characteristics of vintage microphones which are essential to their unique sound.
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.
Virtually rotate the axis of the mic to give a more off-axis sound before or after tracking.
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 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.
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.
Sphere L22 System: How It Works
Using a dual-capsule microphone with dual outputs makes it possible to more completely capture the soundfield -- including the directional and distance information otherwise lost with a conventional single-channel microphone. This allows the Sphere system to precisely reconstruct how different microphones respond to the soundfield.
In contrast, other microphone modeling technologies apply EQ to filter the sound from what is essentially a conventional microphone. This is fundamentally no different from using EQ to process a recorded track.
The Sphere L22 microphone modeling system comprises this precision dual-channel microphone, plus an audio plug-in for your DAW. The software plug-in does all of the DSP processing used to create the microphone models. Using a plug-in, instead of DSP processing built into the mic, has the major advantage of allowing the user to change all of the modeling settings, such as mic type and polar pattern, after the audio is recorded.
What's In the Box?
- Sphere L22 Microphone -- high precision, dual-capsule, large-diaphragm condenser studio microphone, which can be used with or without modeling
- 10 Foot (3 Meter) Breakout Cable
- Shock Mount
- Swivel Mount
- Hard Carrying Case
- Plush Dust Cover
- Sphere Plug-in
Learn the story of the U67 tube mic -- and how the Sphere L22 system recreates it:
Hear acoustic guitar through 5 mic models in 50 seconds in this video demo:
Sphere Plug-in Features:
- accurately models a wide range of the most sought-after microphones in the world.
- Re-Mic technology allows the user to change the mic type and polar pattern even after tracking.
- Patented Off-Axis Correction feature, to produce more accurate polar patterns for reduced bleed, room coloration, and feedback.
- Support for a wide range of plug-in formats -- including UAD, VST2, VST3, Audio Units, AAX DSP, and AAX Native on Mac and Windows. Voucher included for free UAD Sphere plug-in.
Microphone Models Included with the Sphere Plug-in:LD-563
-- based on a classic German bottle microphone with interchangeable microphone capsule heads. The different polar patterns in the Sphere plug-in are based on three different capsules, M7, M8, and M55k. For many, the 563 with the M7 cardioid capsule is a favorite for recording vocalists.
-- 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. Popular uses include vocals and acoustic instruments.
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.
DN-421N, DN-421S, and DN-421B
-- based on three different variants of the iconic German 421 microphone -- a large-diaphragm dynamic popular 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.
DN-12A and DN-12E
-- Based on Austrian dynamic microphones, a go-to choice for kick drum and bass instruments. 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.
-- 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.
-- For many, the 47 is the ultimate vocal mic. Rumor has it that Frank Sinatra would not sing without his. The specimen we modeled is an original 47 with a fully brass K47 capsule with a mylar diaphragm and a VF-14 tube.
-- 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.
-- The 67 is a unique and wonderful mic that tends toward warm, yet without sounding dull. We modeled a mid-1960s version. It really shines on distorted guitar amps where it can reduce harshness while maintaining detail.
-- Although the M49 used the same capsules as the U47, it has a number of "enhancements" which give it its iconic and distinctive sound. The center position on the pattern knob is approximately cardioid, but often the pattern was dialed in a little more exactly to get the best cardioid pattern possible. The model uses this "best" cardioid position.
-- The Sphere Linear model provides ruler-flat frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz, as well as an extremely smooth and well controlled off-axis response. A first of its kind, for a directional microphone.
Other Models Include:
LD-251, LD-800, LD-67 NOS, LD-87, LD-87 TK, LD-414 Brass, LD-414 Nylon, LD-414 US, LD-414 T2, SD-451, RB-4038, RB-77DX Satin, RB-77DX Umber, DN-57, DN-7
zZounds is an authorized dealer of Townsend Labs products.
Sphere L22 Microphone
- Equivalent Noise Level: 7 dB-A
- Max SPL at 0.5% THD: 140dB (with -20dB pad engaged)
- Pad Attenuation: -10db and -20dB
- Sensitivity: 22 mV/Pa
- Output Connector: 5-pin male XLR
- Breakout Cable: 10' (3m) 5-pin female XLR to dual 3-pin male XLR
Weight (mic only): 1.7 lbs. (770 grams)
Dimensions (mic only): 8.9" x 2.5" (225mm x 63mm)
- Output Impedance: 200 Ohms
- Recommended Load Impedance: >1000 Ohms
- Phantom Power
- Voltage: 44 to 52 V per channel
- Current: 5 mA per channel typical, 8 mA at max SPL
- Sphere Core Plug-In
Supported Plug-in Formats:
- AAX Native
Audio Units (Mac only)
Supported Operating Systems:
- Native (AAX, VST and AU):
- Mac OSX 10.8.5 and above
- Windows 7 and above
- Apollo Interfaces and UAD-2 hardware (AAX, VST, AU, and RTAS)
- Mac OSX 10.9.5 and above
- Windows 7 and above
- 4 GB of RAM
- 200 MB free disk space
- 1024 x 768 display resolution
- Internet connection to download software
- Two microphone preamplifiers with phantom power
- Compatible plug-in host application (DAW) software supporting AAX, VST2, VST3, AU or UAD.
- Weight, Dimensions, and Manufacturer Part Numbers
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN):