Townsend Labs Sphere™
A limitless mic locker using advanced microphone modeling.
When paired with the Sphere microphone (sold separately), the Townsend Labs Sphere Precision Microphone software plug-ins give you unprecedented access to the rich, three-dimensional sounds of the finest microphones in recording history.
The Townsend Labs Sphere Precision Microphone System is the first mic modeler to capture proximity effect and off-axis polar response — the essential elements to accurately capturing the rich detail of rare vintage microphones. So you can track instruments and vocals using hallowed microphone sounds from Neumann, Telefunken, AKG, and more* — in real time using any Apollo interface.
*All trademarks are property of their respective owners and used only to represent the microphones modeled as part of the Townsend Labs Sphere L22™ Precision Microphone Software.
Now You Can:
Track through your Apollo and easily audition and record through vintage microphone sounds with no latency
Change the proximity effect and polar pattern in real time or at mixdown
Reduce bleed, room coloration, and feedback — before or after tracking
Record in stereo with different mic models on the left and right channels
Choose from 34 included emulations of classic condenser, ribbon, and dynamic microphones
Use IsoSphere technology to optimize the Sphere L22's response to your specific acoustic treatment
Included Mic Models
Included Mic Models
LD-47K (Neumann U47)
LD-49K (Neumann M49)
LD-67 (Neumann U67)
LD-87 (Neumann U87)
LD-12 (AKG C12)
LD-414 US (Later-period AKG 414 w/ nylon capsule)
RB-77DX Satin (RCA 77DX)
DN-12A (Vintage AKG D12)
DN-421N (Sennheiser MD421N)
LD-251 (Telefunken ELA M 251)
LD-800 (Sony C800G)
RB-4038 (Coles 4038)
See All Included Mic Models ›
Take a Listen
“The Townsend Labs Sphere is a gem! It gives you versatility of several mics and chains with the click of a mouse. It’s become my swiss army knife of microphones.”
– Antonio Dixon (Beyoncé, Toni Braxton, Babyface)
“If I was starting a studio today, I would start with Sphere.”
– Billy Bush (Garbage, Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney)
“The Sphere L22 sounds amazing on it’s own, the models are great, and I can record in stereo very quickly. It's almost like magic.”
– Cassidy Turbin (Beck, Keyon Harrold)
“I use the Sphere even when I have access to all the vintage mics it emulates. The possibilities it gives me that the ‘real’ mics don’t is invaluable. It’s become my preferred choice regardless of what else is in the mic closet.”
– Chris Baseford (Shinedown, Avril Lavigne)
“Being able to change microphones at the click of a button sped up my process and allows me to focus on getting my ideas down to tape. The Putnam 47 is my favorite 47 I’ve ever sang through and my main vocal tone now.”
– Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria, We Are Harlot)
“Sphere is fast, consistent, and it works really well.”
– Jason ‘Cheese’ Goldberg (Rich The Kid, Post Malone, YoungBoy)
“Using Sphere technology with Apollo, I can commit to the sound on the way in. At the touch of a button, I can fine-tune my mic selection, polar pattern, proximity, axis, and other settings, before I hit record.”
– Joe Chiccarelli (Jason Mraz, Beck, The Strokes, Morrissey)
“The open natural sound of the Sphere mic is quite impressive. Add the emulation software, and it becomes even more powerful. A great new tool for the mic locker!”
– Vance Powell (Jack White, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)
June 6, 2021
The addition of the Townsend mic sims to the UAD ecosystem is incredible. Especially for vocals, you can literally go through an entire mic locker in a very short time and find the perfect...Read More
May 28, 2021
Yes! Really great collection of mics.
I purchased a Townsend Labs Sphere L22 mic and of course got their UAD plugin for free. You also get the native version, btw. Anyway, I've demoed this collection alongside the Ocean Way and...Read More
May 27, 2021
Works great as expected.Read More
May 7, 2021
Fun to cycle through the mics to see which one makes your artists voice fall into the mix. Comes with the mic so don’t buy this. It’s worth it if you have an untreated room. Not a one...Read More
April 30, 2021
I must say im almost in chock! This mic and plug is so great, just go for it and but it, you wont regret it ever.Read More
April 27, 2021
The best 1300 quid I’ve ever spent.... sounds great .....I’ll be demoing the UAD mikes, but that might be a while it comes with 40ish mikes as standard .......Read More
Included Mic Models
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.
Used by countless icons from Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole to Jimi Hendrix, the LD-37A is based on a classic '50s Sony C-37A. Compared to other tube condensers, this mic sports a warm, smooth sound while also keeping the "air" and detail. It excels on vocals, electric guitars, and horns but it's also a popular choice for toms and drum overheads.
A lesser known FET-version of the Sony C-37A, the 37P is slightly brighter and is an excellent choice for freshening up dull sounding sources.
Created in 1947, Neumann U47 has stood the test of time as the ultimate studio mic. Extensively used by The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and countless others, only about 6,000 of these mics were produced. The Neumann U47 analyzed for this model has a fully brass capsule with a screw-mounted mylar diaphragm and a genuine VF14 tube.
The Neumann U49 employs the same capsule used in the U47, but the response of the U49 is slightly smoother and less colored. The U49 also uses a Telefunken AC701 tube instead of the VF-14 used the 47. The LD-49K model is based on a Neumann 49c, which was likely manufactured in the early ’60s and has a U47 capsule with a screw-mounted mylar diaphragm.
The LD-563 is based on an iconic East German bottle microphone from the mid-1960s. When set to cardioid, the model is based on an M7 capsule. 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 an absolute favorite for recording vocals, but it’s not a one-trick pony. It has also found much use as a room mic for drums and many other applications.
The Neumann U67 is a unique and wonderful mic that sounds warm without sounding dull. It shines on distorted guitar amps where it can reduce harshness while maintaining detail. The LD-67 model is based on a mid-’60s version with an EF86 tube and its high-pass filter and pad switch settings are fully modeled.
After the Berlin Wall fell, a warehouse was found with Neumann U67 parts on the East German side of the border. In 1991 a limited production of U67 reissues were made from these new-old-stock parts.
The Neumann U87 was brought to market as a replacement for the U67, even though it sounds quite different. The LD-87 model is based on a mid-’70s version with a split backplate capsule which sounds slightly different than a modern 87. The high-pass filter and pad switch settings are also fully modeled.
The LD-87 TK model is based on a Neumann U87 modified by Tracy Korby. The modification extends the 87's response at both the low and high end, giving it a more modern sound but without accentuating sibilance.
Based on a current production Neumann U87Ai, the LD-87 Modern emulates this classic large-diaphragm FET condenser and defacto standard for broadcast, voiceover, and many other applications. The third 87-type mic in the Sphere Core Collection, the LD-87 Modern is slightly brighter than the LD-87 Vintage.
The LD-12 model is based on the iconic AKG C12 from the ’50s, faithfully capturing its gorgeous high-end sheen and sparkle. The LD-12 is a great choice for lush, breathy vocals without overly accentuating sibilance.
The LD-251 is based on the Telefunken ELA M 251 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 Beyonce.
The LD-800 model is based on the legendary Sony C800G. The 800G is often the perfect choice for a modern pop or hip-hop sound and is the go-to microphone for countless big-name artists, including Mariah Carey.
The original AKG 414 with a brass-ringed capsule is one of the greatest studio mics of all time. It uses the same CK12 capsule as the legendary C12, although just about everything else is completely different from the electronics to the body design. The LD-414 Brass is a perfect choice for drum overheads, snare drum, and acoustic guitar.
In the late ’70s, the AKG 414 began using a new capsule with a nylon mounting ring. The sound of these capsules are different and much of the high-end sparkle of the CK12 disappeared with the new capsule. While many people prefer the sound of the older capsule, the nylon version has a more neutral response which can work well on many sources.
The LD-414 US is based on one of the most ubiquitous condenser microphones of all time, the later-period AKG 414. The mic uses essentially the same nylon capsule as the later production AKG 414 EB, so the sound is quite similar although a bit more neutral.
The LD-414 T2 is based on a newer AKG 414 variant that was designed to recreate the sound of the old CK12 brass-ringed capsule but using a modern nylon-style capsule. While it is a good sounding mic, it never got all that close to duplicating the sound of the original 414s with CK12s. The sound is a bit "scooped" with less midrange compared to the previous versions.
The SD-416 is 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 that we’re all so familiar with. The 416 also enjoys wide popularity in broadcast, tv, and film location sound.
The SD-451 is based on the AKG 451 modular end-address small diaphragm condenser mic which has become an industry standard. The full complement of capsule options are modeled, so you have all the flexibility of the original. The two 75Hz and 150Hz high-pass filter options are also modeled from the original.
The RB-4038 model is based on the Coles 4038 ribbon mic originally developed in the mid-’50s by the BBC and manufactured by STC (Standard Telephones and Cables). It excels on drum overheads and its inherent high-frequency roll off and large proximity effect are sometimes a liability at close distances, but at typical drum overhead distances it can have just the right balance.
The classic RCA 77DX is an iconic, a multi-pattern ribbon that has graced the desks of many famous personalities, including David Letterman and Larry King. Countless musical legends, such as Bing Crosby, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash, have also recorded with a 77. Wonderful for recording brass instruments, this mic is typically used with cardioid or figure-8 pattern, but the full complement of patterns from the original is provided.
The RB-77DX Umber model is substantially darker and smoother than the RB-77DX Satin model, and works well on brighter, more strident sources.
Introduced in 1965, the Shure SM57 is very likely the best selling studio microphone of all time. It can be a particularly good option when blended with other mics, such as ribbons and large diaphragm condensers, to achieve an overall more balanced sound. The DN-57 model is based on a recent production SM57.
Based on the Shure SM7A, the same mic Bruce Swedien used to record Michael Jackson's vocals on Thriller, the DN-7 model captures the magic that has allowed it to hold its own with some of the best condensers ever made. The DN-7 is based on the "A" version, and when the Axis control is set to 180 degrees, the model emulates the mic without the windscreen installed. Some recording engineers prefer this sound and permanently remove the windscreen.
The DN-12A model is based on a dynamic microphone from the 1950s which has gained wide use as a kick drum mic for its very unique tonal qualities. The filter settings in the model are designed to complement this mic and can be used to achieve a more modern kick drum sound. The Proximity EQ control adjusts the amount of bass resonance in the model and is an easy way to dial in exactly the right sound.
The DN-12E model is based on a dynamic microphone which has gained wide use as a kick drum mic for its very unique tonal qualities. The later 12E version has an XLR connector on the bottom of the mic.
An industry standard, the Electro-Voice RE20 large-diaphragm dynamic microphone is used for everything from broadcasting and voiceovers to kick drums. The DN-20 captures the original mic's pleasant presence boost and sharp high-frequency dip that minimizes sibilance, as well as its consistent bass response regardless of its distance from the source.
The DN-409N is based on the earliest version in the 409 line of microphones. It has slightly more coloration than the newer ones and works well on many sources, including electric guitar and vocals. Notable uses of the 409N include vocal duties for Pink Floyd's Live at Pompeii concert video.
The 409 is an all-around great mic but it especially shines on electric guitar. It has a smooth top end particularly for a dynamic mic and the low-end response below about 100Hz is greatly reduced which can help instruments and voice sit nicely in the mix.
This version is from the 1980s. 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.
The DN-421B is based on a current production black 421 which has a slightly brighter and modern sound than earlier incarnations.
DN-421N is based on a classic beige 421 from the 1960s. It has a slightly warmer sound than current production 421s. 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.
The DN-421S is based on one of the first 421 versions with a script logo. It has a slightly more colored sound than other 421s.
*Townsend Labs Sphere 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 Townsend Labs Sphere software.
Precision Sphere L22 microphone (sold separately) and the Sphere UAD plug-in model iconic large condenser microphones
Access to some of the most prized microphones of all time, including the U47 (with VF14 tube), U67, M49, and C12
Realtime UAD Processing with Apollo interfaces with extremely low latency (approx. 1.6 ms round trip at 96 kHz)
Polar Pattern Modeling emulates the three-dimensional response of target microphones
Select mic type, polar pattern, proximity effect, and other settings before or after tracking
Phase coherent mixing of multiple virtual mic models from the same physical microphone before or after tracking
Record in stereo using one Sphere L22 mic and even use different mic models on the left and right channels
Townsend Labs Sphere
The addition of the Townsend mic sims to the UAD ecosystem is incredible. Especially for vocals, you can literally go through an entire mic locker in a very short time and find the perfect gem of a mic to pair with your vocalist and it can even be done after the fact if you just monitored through the plugin. It is literally magic!
Yes! Really great collection of mics.
I purchased a Townsend Labs Sphere L22 mic and of course got their UAD plugin for free. You also get the native version, btw. Anyway, I've demoed this collection alongside the Ocean Way and Putnam collections. I found it worthwhile to own all three because of some very lovely mics in the various collections. That being said, this one alone will hold you in good stead I think. You have plenty of great choices and the options to tweak are endless. It's really quite amazing technology. The Sphere mic, btw, is a really fantastic piece of work and a really fine mic even without the plugin. Very honest, open and clear. It's a great place to start especially when you add in the emulation technology. I also want to give a shout out to Eric Papp of Townsend Labs for their outstanding customer support. They have a great product and are committed to supporting it. As I stated earlier, if you only have this plugin to go with your Sphere mic, you will have a fantastic new mic locker to play with. I would encourage you to demo the Ocean Way and Putnam collections anyway because you really need to hear what more you could have. Enjoy!
Works great as expected.
Fun to cycle through the mics to see which one makes your artists voice fall into the mix. Comes with the mic so don’t buy this. It’s worth it if you have an untreated room. Not a one trick pony for sure
I must say im almost in chock! This mic and plug is so great, just go for it and but it, you wont regret it ever.
The best 1300 quid I’ve ever spent.... sounds great .....I’ll be demoing the UAD mikes, but that might be a while it comes with 40ish mikes as standard .... really happy with my purchase, the plug in component is UAD so it rocks as usual
A sceptic turned believer
When I first heard about the Sphere microphone I was a bit sceptic to say the least. I downloaded the plugin and used it on the sample- projects provided by Townsend. I was quite surprised how good the models sounded and how similar they were to the originals. Some weeks later I was able to test the actual microphone when a friend and I tested the Sphere (with software models) together with 18 other microphones and I was blown away by the performance of the Sphere. Third phase of my journey with the Sphere was when I finally got my own Sphere and started to play around with it. This thing is for real!! I know the modelling is fantastic but to be blunt I do not care if the model captures the original 100% or only 98% these microphones sound fantastic and to be able to have a whole pallet of microphones at my fingertips with a click of a mouse is just great. I use it with UA console and use the U87 models when I sing (or play) and then use the Sphere software on the recorded track to find the microphone the best captures the performance and mix I am working on. But be ware, the modeled mics are so sensitive and accurate they actually effects your performance as you sing when used with the UA-console during recording phase. There are so many flavours of sound in the software package that you will always find a microphone that works with the singer or instrument. The U47 model is great and delivers a depth and warm tone that is stellar. The U87:s sound amazing and delivers a forward vocal sound that requires minimal EQ adjustment and takes EQ extremely well when needed. The basic basic package is great and the other modelling packages available via UA extends the microphone pallet further.
If you find it hard to believe just download the plugin and then download some shootouts available on the net and try it out! You will be amazed :-)
I've been recording music for decades now and have used many different microphones from U87, U47, U67, Shure sm81, 57, 58, Sennheisers 421, and even other microphone mimicking microphones like Slate Digitals. While all microphones have there place and I would love to have a mic locker filled with the best new and vintage microphones the Townsend Labs Sphere is the next best thing. The clarity is remarkable, the ability to record in stereo is phenomenal, being able to use two different mic sims at the same time is unbelievable, and the amount of control over the many various aspects is the icing on the cake! I really have only begun the process of digging into everything this microphone is capable of and I'm just in awe of it! I would recommend this microphone to anyone even those who have a mic locker to drool over!
Sphere + Apollo = Perfect Match
It's been fun finding some dual blended mics for trumpet, like the Soyuz 017T with a little 251. The Neve 88RS followed by the Sphere in the first slot works nicely. My current chain is 88RS>Sphere>Ocean Way Studios>LA-2A Grey>Pultec EQ-1A. The 409N is also butter on trumpet.
One of the audio purchases I’ve made,
Astoundingly good modeling. I’ll dispense with any gratuitous hyperbole. I am thrilled with Townsend mic and modeling.
Es una maravilla de la tecnología.
Great, but buggy
I love the plunge, and it works wonders within UA Console, but as a stand alone plugin or within DAWs it doesn't quite do what it's supposed to.
The sound is great and you have so many possibilities and flexibility.
It's fun the team adds mics simulations on updates!
Amazing. The freedom to hit Record
Townsend mic is a genius product! For quickly laying down tracks, this mic is a liberation. Just hit Record, and adjust everything after the fact: choose a coloration via mic model, choose the sound stage via pickup pattern, fine tune with off-axis and proximity effect. Love it! (Friendly reminder: you'll get a coupon to buy this UAD plugin when receiving your Townsend mic. No need to really spend $199 here.)
Soooo many options...I’m a kid in a candy store!!!
I love this microphone! Before purchasing I was recording with Miktek Cv4 (which sounds beautiful as well for $1600msrp) but the options with the Townsend Labs Sphereare ridiculous and the sound I am getting is quite Impressive. It’s not a cheap mic but I need you to understand there are 34 mic models included with this. Not to mention the Putnam & Ocean Way collections (adding an additional $300) which include their own models of specific microphones!! And if that’s not enough, I used it recently on my single “Next 2 Me” using the C12 model. Here’s a link: https://open.spotify.com/album/2NKWednHLAkMWjAPMrMPFI?si=9ttuTkJ7TsS57aQu4BSnZQ
Check it out, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t need another microphone...unless you want one that’s not included. Happy Buying!
I have not gotten the chance to explore it fully, but what I am delighted about is how the vocal sounds, which is what I'll use it for mainly. Better then any mic I currently possess.
This plugin has become our favorite tool here at himlalyd. Its soft and has a round good tone. And its easy to use and exstremely versital