The Bill Putnam Mic Collection
Rare, iconic mics for the Sphere L22 microphone.
The Bill Putnam Mic Collection plug-in, exclusively for UA Audio Interfaces and UAD hardware, adds nine vintage mic emulations — modeled from Bill Putnam Sr.’s renowned collection — to the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone.
These mic emulations not only nail the classic timbres of iconic mics used by Bill Putnam to track Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and more, they also faithfully model the transient response, harmonics, proximity effect and three-dimensional polar response of the original mics.
Record and monitor with Bill Putnam’s legendary microphone collection in real time using UA audio interfaces
Track through Bill Putnam's hand-picked mics, including icons from Neumann, RCA, AKG, and more*
Change the proximity effect in real time and after the recording, in order to match a vocal take
Adjust the polar pattern and other parameters to reduce bleed, room coloration, and feedback, before or after tracking*The Bill Putnam Microphone Collection plug-in requires the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone. All trademarks are property of their respective owners, and used only to represent the microphones modeled as part of the Bill Putnam Microphone Collection software.
Take A Listen
Hear it yourself.
Download unprocessed tracks recorded with the Sphere L22, and audition various mic models using the plug‑in.
Included Mic Models
BP-251E (Telefunken Ela M 251E)
BP-251A (Telefunken Ela M 251)
BP-47M (Neumann U47)
BP-67 (Neumann U67)
BP-12a (AKG C12A)
BP-37A (Sony C37A)
BP-405 (Sennheiser 405)
BP-44BX (RCA 44)
BP-545 (Shure 545)
See Included Mic Model Info
The Mics of Bill Putnam Sr.
The Bill Putnam Microphone Collection gives you access to the iconic, multi-dimensional sounds of Bill Putnam's favorite microphones — the same mics used to track Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Mamas and the Papas, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, and more. Now you can track vocals, guitar, and more through Putnam’s best mics like the Neumann U47, Telefunken Ela M 251E, RCA 44, Sennheiser 405, and more.
Unlimited Miking Flexibility
With the Bill Putnam Microphone Collection plug-in, you can change the proximity effect and polar pattern in real time or at mixdown, as well as reduce bleed, room coloration, and feedback — before or after tracking. You can also blend two different mic models together for recordings that capture the characteristics of both microphones. Easily record a singer/guitarist with reduced bleed between the vocals and guitar, or tweak a vocal’s bass response with the adjustable proximity effect.
Instantly Audition Multiple Mic Emulations with UA Audio Interfaces
By connecting the Townsend Labs’ Sphere L22 microphone to the mic preamps on a UA audio interface, Sphere allows you to instantly monitor and record with a huge variety of mic sounds in real time. This ultra-low latency recording experience ensures that you can capture the emotion of a performance using the ultimate mic locker.
December 30, 2021
Really nice collection. All of the microphones are good. The 251e, U67 and U47 are particularly good in my opinion. They do sound different from the stock Townsend mics but without a doubt...Read More
October 29, 2021
World class mic locker at home
The best mic I’ve ever recorded on is a specific ELAM 251 at Blackbird Studios. Knowing I could never justify buying a real 251, especially a vintage one (and they do all sound...Read More
August 21, 2021
Closest to real C37a's.
I'm still blown away by this mic. I recently purchased a recording studio, and 2 vintage c37a's were included. I did a shootout with the real c37a's for what has been their main job here:...Read More
July 21, 2021
I am very happy with the mike emulations in the collection. "Dylan 67" is my new go to for vocals.Read More
July 1, 2021
for various voices.Read More
May 28, 2021
Another great collection
I have been running this collection, along with the Ocean Way and Townsend Labs, through some recording and listening sessions. All produce some really impressive results. While there are...Read More
Accurate emulations of vintage microphones from Bill Putnam’s legendary collection, including mics from Neumann, Sony, AKG, RCA, and more
Realtime UAD Processing with Universal Audio’s Apollo interface for near-zero latency
Polar pattern modeling for the three-dimensional response of target microphones, polar patterns, and other off-axis characteristics of vintage microphones
Re-Mic Sphere tracks and select mic type, polar pattern, and other settings before or after tracking
Adjustable proximity effect for tweaking bass response
Simultaneous mic models for phase coherent mixing of multiple virtual mic models from the same physical microphone before or after tracking
Included Mic Models
The BP-251E model is based on a classic Austrian made microphone built for export to the US which has a 6072 tube and an original fully brass capsule.
The 251 is one of the rarest and most highly regarded microphones of all time. It is the go to vocal mic for many A-list artists, including Beyoncé.
The BP-251A model is based on a classic Austrian made microphone which has an AC701k tube and an original fully brass capsule.
Created in 1947, the U 47 has stood the test of time as the ultimate studio mic. The BP-47M model is based on one of Bill Putnam's 47s, with an M7 capsule and features a slightly warmer sound.
The 67 is a unique and wonderful mic that tends toward warm, yet without sounding dull. It really shines on distorted guitar amps where it can reduce harshness while maintaining detail.
The LD-67 model is based on a mid-1960s version with an EF86 tube. The particular 67 modeled is slightly warmer sounding than other 67s.
The high-pass filter and pad switch settings are fully modeled. In many older microphones the pad switch, in addition to lowering gain, can change the frequency response and overall sound considerably. Filter position 1 models the high-pass switch. Position 2 models the pad switch. Position 3 models the case when both high-pass and pad are enabled.
The BP-12a model is based on an early '60s C12A microphone, which has been put to good use recording vocals for Geddy Lee, David Bowie and many others.
Under the hood the C12A is much like the legendary C12 but with a 7586 nuvistor tube. It still uses the same CK12 capsule which is a big part of the sound. On the outside, the body style changed from the classic C12 cylinder to a variant of the 414. Audibly, the end result of these changes is a little less sparkle and more warmth than its predecessor.
The C-37A was released in 1955 and uses a 6AU6 tube. It's known for a darker sound which can be good for taming sibilance and harsh high-end. The mic has been used by countless artists, including Frank Sinatra. It's also often a good choice for snare or tom miking.
The 37 supports non-directional (omni) and uni-directional (cardioid) patterns which are both included in the BP-37A model. On the original the pattern is adjusted by mechanically moving vents on the back of the capsule using a slot on the back of the mic, which is unusual.
The mic has a 4-position high-pass filter which is mapped to the plug-in's Filter knob. The M (Music) position is essentially flat and the M1 (Music 1), V1 (Voice 1) and V2 (Voice 2) settings providing progressively more bass attenuation.
Some might argue the 405 is a highly underrated microphone. It has been used on countless hit records, including as the overhead drum mics on The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." It was one of the first solid state microphones and is also unique in that it uses radio-frequency technology to interface with the capsule.
With the BP-405 model, when the pattern control is set to omni then the model is based on the omnidirectional 105 microphone, which is in the same product family as the 405. When set to cardioid the model is based on the 405 which has a native cardioid pattern.
The RCA 44 is visually and audibly one of the most iconic microphones of all time. In the 1930s and 40s it became a staple of broadcast and studio recording. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) developed the 44, in part, because they needed microphones for their own broadcast operations. Countless legendary artists have recorded with the 44, including
Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. Bill Putnam often used the 44 to record pianos.
The BP-44 model is based on a 44BX mic which has a slightly higher output level than previous versions. The original 44 has a fixed figure-8 polar pattern which results in a very warm sound due to the exaggerated proximity effect. To obtain the most accurate modeling set pattern control to figure-8.
The 545 is a predecessor to the SM57 which was the first mic to use Unidyne III capsule. The 545 is one of the first handheld end-address dynamic microphones and has a more uniform polar pattern than its predecessors.
The 545 was used extensively on Pet Sounds, including Brian Wilson's lead vocal, and countless other recordings of that era. Also, the 545 (and the 565 variant) were used extensively to record performances at Woodstock.
The Bill Putnam Mic Collection
Really nice collection. All of the microphones are good. The 251e, U67 and U47 are particularly good in my opinion. They do sound different from the stock Townsend mics but without a doubt well worth the price. All of the mics have different flavours, the 251e really full yet cuts through the mix. The U47 is really smooth and airy and the U67 just sounds perfect and open. Five stars from me.
It is a nice to have Collection if you have the Sphere Microphone, but the diference is not far different from the standart Sphere Mic Collection , i think, i will try the Ocean Way Series also to compare.
World class mic locker at home
The best mic I’ve ever recorded on is a specific ELAM 251 at Blackbird Studios. Knowing I could never justify buying a real 251, especially a vintage one (and they do all sound different), I looked into the Putnam collection to get me close enough. The 251 E gets me pretty close. But I discovered that mixing in about 30% of the C12A in dual mode gives me the extra sparkle and compression that one at Blackbird has. The Sony mic is also unbelievable. For me, the Putnam U47 doesn’t beat the OW47 though. Owning these two mic collections makes me feel like I own a studio like Blackbird. Or at least, close enough for my ears!
Closest to real C37a's.
I'm still blown away by this mic. I recently purchased a recording studio, and 2 vintage c37a's were included. I did a shootout with the real c37a's for what has been their main job here: Drum overheads.
I positioned the Townsend in stereo 180 mode right with the 2 Sonys, fired up the stock Townsend models, and they...Fell flat on their face. TOO dark, the magic was missing. I was a bit disappointed. But then... I loaded Bill's models, and VOILE'...Dead on! I was hard pressed to tell the difference.
The C12 model sounds BETTER than the Avantone C12 here, to my ears. I will be testing the 47 against the Pearlman 47 soon.
Bottom line...If I get 3 Townsends I won't need much more to run this studio than dedicated close-mics for drums. They are amazing and I'm still discovering uses for this swiss-army MACHINE.
I am very happy with the mike emulations in the collection. "Dylan 67" is my new go to for vocals.
for various voices.
Another great collection
I have been running this collection, along with the Ocean Way and Townsend Labs, through some recording and listening sessions. All produce some really impressive results. While there are C12's, U47's etc. in each collection they sound different. Imagine that, vintage mics that sound different (he said, his voice dripping sarcasm). What I'm saying is that you could just do with the Townsend plugin and have some great stuff to work with but don't overlook the Putnam mic collection. There are some real gems here, at least for me, like the BP-12A. Don't take my word for it though, if you've got a Sphere mic then demo this collection as well as the others. Compare. Go back and forth between the same model mic from the various collections and see what I'm talking about. Do you need all three? How should I know? Maybe. I got all three and am not looking back.
Just buy it!
For me, the value of this collection of microphones isn't first how close to the originals they are (they sound absolutely great) but that you as a recording engineer, recording artist or home studio entusiast get a whole pallet of great microphones using a mouse click, yes, that adds great value for me. Owning the Ocean way Collection this now adds more flavours of sound. I love the workflow the Sphere creates and it is great to be able to change a microphone in post but be ware these microphone emulations are so good they interact with the singer the same way as when you change an actual microphone. The singer sings differently and interacts differently with the microphone using different typ of emulations (beautiful, if you ask me). I do not think of this pallet of microphones as better than the other packages rather they add new flavours, colours and vibe. It is a luxury to be able to switch between three different U47s (owning all three emulation packages). The U47 (BP-47M) in this collections is smooth like silk and has a beautiful top end, it takes EQ well and sometimes I am astound by the fact that I only used a high-pass filter and it already sounds great. The two 251 emulations (BP-251E and 251A) have great top end and a full sound each with a bit of different character. They shine on acoustic guitars and vocals and adds both sparkel and body to the sound. The Putnam U67 (BP-67) emulation is another gem, a guitars sits beautifully in the mix before you even reach for the EQ, it just sounds "right" and very natural to my ears. Great mic for guitars, electric guitars and vocals. In my opinion whether you buy it on a sale or at full price this collection is worth every dollar you spend. Don't take my word for it: try it, then, you'll probably end up just buying it!
Make a good thing even better
I've beem eyeing these expansions for a while but never pulled the trigger until I realized that they can be demoed! I've been loving the Sphere Telefunken 251 model, and this collection includes two more flavors of it.
I actually didn't like the U67 in Sphere, but the U67 in this collection is pure rock and roll. When I sing 90s rock songs through the Putnam U67 it's instant gold.
Their is overlap with the other plugins but my favorite is this one. If I had to start a studio today I’d buy the Townsend sphere and these plugins
Putnam Sphere collection...a bit of history
Perhaps I'm biased here...OK, I'm biased here. That's my daughter Hannah's voice you hear on the Putnam Sphere demo page! Anyhow, I'm a very early TL Sphere owner, and love the provided mic models. Still, after auditioning the demo for the two week period, I only needed a day to fall in love with several of the Putnam models. Sphere owners, do yourself a favor and give this collection a thorough listen. Disclosure, I paid the going price, not a penny less. 5 stars! (Well, 6, counting my baby)
The best U47 and 251E models
Get this over the Ocean mics. These BP mics sound amazing.
bill Putnam excellence
Just an amazing collection if mics and great for getting that vintage and clear sounds while tracking.
The Putnam locker is my go-to. It feels warmer and a little more top friendly than the others. No regrets here!
Love the Sound of Townsend Sphere Mic
This Collect has it own sound very unique in the quality of the sound its produces. Everyone who comes to the studio, Love this mic it a makes them feel like they are in high end studio recording.
Bought this to Compliment my Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Microphone Modeling system and it has been an Amazing Addition to my Audio Productions.
Even more flavours for the most versatile microphone I own!
I own Ocean Way as well as this, and the ability to give things a different vibe by changing the different models is mind boggling. You can even do this after the fact of recording! These are amazing emulations - buy it!
Even more Sphere power
A no brainer if you own a Sphere L22. Now that I have all three L22 plugins, this one appears to be my goto collection.
The best out of all 3
This is one is my favorite Mic modeling collection. This has more character and warm tone to it. Ocean Way collection and Townsend collection are great too but this by far sounds the best to me.
Love this collection for the Townsend L22. Awesome colors and options.
I have all 3 sets and I use them all. The L22 mic is one of the best studio purchases
that I've made in the last 10 years. The Putnam Collection makes it even better.