Townsend Labs Sphere™
Townsend Labs Sphere
N. Jensen Stilborg
I really dig this. I own some of these mics and the emulation is killer. Highly recommended.
An excellent mic locker in one mic
I know that the Townsend Sphere will not appeal to those who wish to be tied down to Universal Audio equipment, but it is ultimately worth the price. I record in an office at home with little sound abatement. You would not know it. I can get better sound than a Neumann TLM 103. The mic is very sensitive, so if you have a snoring pug in the adjacent room, you'll need to close the door. Microphone placement is important. That said, the mic is very quiet (virtually no self noise). With the Townsend mic and software and a UAD Apollo or Arrow interface, you'll be very, very impressed.
Best Mic in My Cabinet - and a Great Value for the Price
After familiarizing myself with the mic the night before, I had my first chance to test out the mic, during a VO session yesterday.
In a word, the mic sounds absolutely STUNNING—blows my Gefell UMT 70s out of the water. It is at least comparable to, if not better than, my Peluso 2247LE, which I sold a while back, for fear of the antique tube eventually needing to be replaced for a second time.
I am seriously considering retiring the Gefell and getting a second L22! The mic models that Townsend Labs provides via UAD, as well as the Ocean Way Mics collection sound great too—and are really just the icing on the cake. The ability to change mic positions and swap out mics in a stereo set-up after recording is a game-changer!
The personalized letter in the box was a nice touch. What can I say—I am a fan. Keep up the great work UAD and Townsend Labs!
Future of Microphones!
I thought it couldn’t get better than UAD products for my small project studio, then I tried Townsend Labs, Sphere L22 microphone. From the UAD Townsend, Bill Putnam, & Ocean Way collections, you have access to all the mics you could ever dream of and more! The adjustments you can make to the proximity, polar patterns, etc., It's the future!
The ability to create the legendary sound and charisma of the recording industry’s iconic microphones is a real value. Being a composer and instrumentalist I can use a U47 like Rudy Van Gelder used on many of the most famous jazz records on sax, or pull up a RCA 44 Ribbon mic like John Williams may have used on his Oscar winning film scores for flute.
Finally, if you need customer support, you can expect extraordinary service from everyone at Townsend Labs from the owner, CEO, on down. Overall experience in one word, Amazing! I Expect nothing less from UAD for them to partner with Townsend Labs. First Class all the way. Thank you both!
Those two words in the title say it all. This is a game changing piece of technology. Coupled with the Sphere hardware. Having all those microphone sounds at your disposal is an incredible boost to your creativity. The plugins work seamlessly and the possibilities are endless.
R. Lumpkin II
A Must Buy for Apollo users
The Townsend Labs Sphere microphone is basically the UA Apollo of microphones. The mic is incredible and the emulations give me and my clients the feels! I’m pretty skeptical of many things, so I did my own personal test with a U-47 and Manley Voxbox. Then I used the Sphere U-47 and Manley plug-in. OMG.....gold!! After setting this mic up, I haven’t used any other mics in the vocal booth. And the ease of use is great. I love being able to switch between a 47,251, and 87 with just a couple clicks of a mouse. It saves time and lets me dial in a great sound in seconds. If you record audio and use an Apollo, it should be mandatory that you use this mic. It has literally opened up some new sonic opportunities for me, and just sounds great.
Townsend Labs L22 Microphone pairs perfectly with my Apollo 8P and X8p interfaces
I've been a Townsend Labs Sphere L22 owner for the past year. I started with the original mic set that came with the L22 in May '18. It has proven ideal for tracking a percussive "deep tissue" acoustic guitarist over the past months. The L22 perfectly captures his Martin D-28 and J-40 guitars.
Right off the bat, my mind was completely blown by the versatility offered between the modeled mics, powerful polarity options beyond the polarity options of the original mics, the L22 running as two different mics in stereo, and the ability to alter the proximity via Sphere! To be able to to track the two channels, and then later while mixing, to decide which mic is the best for that vocalist, instrument etc. Townsend has implemented some amazingly great science, but it still seems like super cool futuristic magic! And then a few months later, Townsend added more mics to the core collection for free!
I was so impressed by the L22 and Sphere, and Sphere180, that I bought the Oceanway mic collection, and later the Putnam collection. So now I have a dream mic cabinet with tons of amazingly beautiful modeled classic mics Realistically, I could never afford to find, much less buy, these original stellar mics.
So last week I learned I will be working on a larger recording project in July, and it was clear it was time to buy a second L22. Thank you Chris and Erik for developing and supporting such a fantastic mic and killer software!
Solid Mic - SUPER happy :)
Can't say it enough. This mic is incredible. On it's own it sounds great, the modelling options are just a massive bonus! The ability to play with the proximity affect is super useful as well. Saves me lots of EQ work down the road. Highly recommended!
I would pay for these....glad they are free!
I own both the Ocean Way and the BT collections. Although the expansion packs do add a lot to the Sphere collection, I always reach for the 4038. In all projects I have done so far the 4038 always does the trick.
For a nice and clean sound - like in classical music recording - the Default Linear/Direct and the variety of the AKGs are a must!
Very glad we have a very solid starting package like this.
All you need.
Hands down the most versatile mic I have ever owned.
Such a gem of a mic
I fell in love with your concept right away, because I was an Apollo Twin user. I have never owned an expensive mic, so this was perfect for me.
I was one of the early buyers before all the reviews came out.
I love it, and so do all the singers that sing in my studio.
I normally track with modeling U47 into Neve 1073, then a touch of LA3 (all virtual) and it works great!
When I have female vocals I sometime use OW 12#2.
I have nothing but praise to give you very fine mic. :)
A Post Production Workhorse
I don't know how many other post audio people are aware of this product but as far as I'm concerned anyone recording in post is going to want to give it a try or better yet, own an L22 Mic System and at least one of the other UA bundles of mic models outside the stock set of plugins.
I've had mine since the very early days of its release and have used it in a variety of ways, including recording two hosts performing voiceover using the mic's two capsules. I am able to replace or adjust the mic models after the fact, as well as automate things like proximity effect and off axis correction. It's not only "handy" to try out multiple different mic models on the same person or sound design element after the fact, it's actually very educational. I actually found one very famous person sounded best on a 57 model. The Bill Putnam Jr and Oceanway Collections add other levels of quality and the access to emulations of so many venerated microphones has me toying with my sounds long after the producer has left the studio.
Being able to widen or narrow the polar patterns of the various mic's means being able to correct for roominess in a recording or just add a little air. I find I really like recording sound effects with this system because I can even use it in stereo.
I's a marvellous marriage of software and hardware.
I sold my U87 and Peluso P12 after hearing the plug-in demo and purchased the Sphere Microphone System; the LD-U87 and LD-12 models both capture the fundamental difference in these two microphones, to my ear, thus for me it was an easy choice. The Sphere System is an amazing tool and I have learned more about different mic models and what makes the models so subtly different in the right ways for different sources, something that would have cost a small fortune in a lot longer timeframe. The different mic models allow you the opportunity learn and thus tweak the fundamental characteristics of a microphone setup after the fact when working to "fit" a source into a mix. I still own other microphones however when I purchase another microphone it will be a Sphere because I then will have just that many more modelled mics to choose from and that much more flexibility and options for my recordings.
This is an amazing system. It is the future for sure. I now have all of the classic mic sounds I wanted in one system for a fraction of what I would spent on just the 2 mics I was looking at. Customer service has been top notch as I learn all that this amazing microphone can do. I am anxious to dig deeper as I have only scratched the surface of what this thing can is capable of. Don't wait buy it now and enjoy it with confidence. Thanks Chris for an amazing accomplishment.
BEST $1500 YOU WILL EVER SPEND!
I can’t recommend the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 enough! I own 3 of them and It has been a total game changer for us at Gurari Studios. It integrates perfectly into the UA system with its low latency monitoring and the ability to commit or not. I own or have used many of the microphones modeled and they are spot on! I’m particularly fond of the Bill Putnam collection. My studio specializes in critical/high end classical recordings and we have been using the L22 since it first came out back in August of 2017 on everything from narrations on documentaries to opera singers, strings, piano, etc. Every client has been BLOWN away by the results! The ability to choose a microphone, polar pattern, adjust axis, and off axis correction after it has been recorded is a total game changer. With Opera singers, every note counts…No more wasting time setting up multiple microphones and having them repeat phrases to find the right mic. Just audition all the models after the fact and pick the mic and polar pattern that suits your needs. When recording opera singers, I tend to use a modified M/S array. I put one L22 in stereo handling the sides and the other L22 in mono typically with a figure 8 pattern handling the middle. I tend to make the sides ultra-wide (using the provided software) and then fill in the center with the mono mic. This gives me incredible depth and “air” to the sounds which is very desirable in classical music. Also, because the SPL can be so high at times (especially from coloratura and dramatic sopranos) that it can cause distortion at the diaphragm, but with the ability to turn the mic in stereo with the diaphragms pointed to the sides, it rarely ever distorts. The ability to automate and rotate the axis also helps create more “air” in the sound when they hit those ear shattering high notes. The L22 is one of the most important pieces of gear we own and we own A LOT of gear.
The best decision this year
This is the best decision I have made this year for my studio the sound brings a new level to my work I am very please with the outcome of me decision thanks sphere and uad I will be back for more gear and I’m looking forward to more mics I can’t wait ,these gear is really unbelievable that’s the truth
I take sphere22 mic and UAD plugin to be faster to recording voices... it’s perfect. Take it!
Good alternative to Slate VMS
Native vst is free btw ))
Townsend Sphere is easy to use plugin. Just add it in insert after your microphone record (microphone should be linear).
VMS is very different and is very good algorithm. Townsend plugin algo is primitive - it changes frequency response, phase and always adds the same type of harmonics.
So when I don't happy with VMS I use Sphere.
Brings a 100k mic locker to your home studio!
Townsend labs is the first and only mic emulation system (and yes I own a VMS also) that truly captured the essence of the real thing IMO. I am fortunate to have a friend that owns a 100k mic locker and my dream was to have my own means to produce vocals and instruments as warm and shiny as his did. The Sphere exceeded all my expectations and gave me the ability to bring a level of professionalism that was previously unavailable to the home hobbyist. Additionally, the ability to automatically compensate for the artist’s proximity to the mic is a huge differentiator and major game changer. Congrats on a phenomenal product! UAD, please let us add this prior to the Unison slot so we can benefit from the full uncolored emulation so we can still take advantage of great unison plugins like your Manley VoxBox!
This is an awesome plugin and is included with the Townsend Labs Sphere. Such an amazing systen. Super happy!