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
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
“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)
This is simply great. So much flexibility in one device and works so well.続きを読む
Total game changer
The only microphone to buy in this era...続きを読む
The new revolution
Amazing mic and amazing system, i proved the slate vms -a good system too- but the posibilities with the townsend mic are almost infinite...great idea, incredible mic and great...続きを読む
Beyond reality! Simply extraordinary
Took me a while, I couldn't believe the fundraiser, I didn't believe the early reviews. I didn't believe the audio shootouts. This thing is right in front of me and I still don't believe it...続きを読む
Sphere Mikrofon Simulation Sensation
Ich war erst etwas skeptisch, aber nach dem Kauf des Spere L22 habe ich mir dieses Plugin geladen...es ist Wahnsinn. Die Simulation der ganz großen Top Mikrofone, alles wird möglich...続きを読む
I don’t have a lot of experience with studio mics. I’ve been using the Neuman TLM 103 with an Pro Sonus compressor/eq for the last 13 years. This is def an upgrade. The L22 is so clear...続きを読む
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.
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.
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.
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
This is simply great. So much flexibility in one device and works so well.
Total game changer
The only microphone to buy in this era...
The new revolution
Amazing mic and amazing system, i proved the slate vms -a good system too- but the posibilities with the townsend mic are almost infinite...great idea, incredible mic and great plugin!
Beyond reality! Simply extraordinary
Took me a while, I couldn't believe the fundraiser, I didn't believe the early reviews. I didn't believe the audio shootouts. This thing is right in front of me and I still don't believe it really exists. This is a true marvel of audio engineering!
Sphere Mikrofon Simulation Sensation
Ich war erst etwas skeptisch, aber nach dem Kauf des Spere L22 habe ich mir dieses Plugin geladen...es ist Wahnsinn. Die Simulation der ganz großen Top Mikrofone, alles wird möglich gemacht. Die Bedienung der Software sehr gut. Vor allem die Möglichkeit den Charakter noch nachträglich zu verändern macht Spaß, vielen Dank
I don’t have a lot of experience with studio mics. I’ve been using the Neuman TLM 103 with an Pro Sonus compressor/eq for the last 13 years. This is def an upgrade. The L22 is so clear without the plug in but after using the plug in it is amazing what it can do. You can actually creat the sound you want before you get to the mixing process. Especially if it’s coupled with the Apollo X twin.
I have used other mics that emulate the sound of legendary mics. The L22 takes the entire cake. I work out of my home studio from a laptop and it has taken my sound to a level I never knew was possible! Get this mic. You will not be disappointed.
I was a little hesitant when I first heard of this, but after using it on a few sessions, I am blown away. The ability to change the microphone during mixing allows the vocals to sit exactly in the right place in my mixes! I haven't had any bad experiences with it using it on both acoustic guitar and vocals. The microphone choices are top notch and easy to navigate. I am very happy with this plug-in!
I have used this twice si ce I bought this and it is an Amazing companion to the Sphere L22 Microphone that I also have.
I don't think that I need to buy another Microphone ever again.
My best music purchase ever
I’m a singer songwriter trying to record and produce my own records. This mic gave me the confidence that I lacked working with other mics on my voice. It really adds warmth and bigness to my voice. Love it!!
Sphere mic awesome, UA ecosystem, not so much
Townsend labs created a fantastic mic, and the included plugin works great and is quite flexible. This particular plugin was free (included in the 1500 dollar price tag of the mic). With computers that laugh at typical VST CPU usage, the days of hardware accelerated plugins being a necessity are well behind us, as there are fantastic options available which run natively for a fraction of the price. Great interface, great mic and great plugin, but at 100-150 a plugin moving forward, I’m a solid pass. Especially when purchasing new hardware only duplicates included starter set plugins, diminishing the value for existing users.
I can sell my U87
I tested the Sphere against my U87 AI and with a bit of tweaking could make the sphere sound 98% the same. Impressive product!
Very nice on accoustic guitars in stereo too.
Great Product and Support
There are two things I want when I invest in a product -- quality and support. The Sphere Mic and additional UA emulations have been a fantastic addition to my studio and I've been impressed with the timely response from Chris when I've had questions.
Awesome plug and microphone!
Great Mic, Great Emulations and Great Value!!
I've had the L22 for a little under a year but just started extensively using it on some of my newest projects. I love it. Being able to record on a $10k C-800G but later change it to equally expensive (and out of my price range) ELA M 251 is MIND BLOWING!! Moreover, It sounds great! I bought the Ocean Way and Bill Putnam collections as well and cant wait to play around with them! Great Job Townsend Team (Oh, and you too UA team!
Best Investment EVER!!!
The Sphere L22 is the best purchase of my musical gear career. Not only did my commitment years ago to go Universal Audio turn out to be a smart move. The seamless integration with the Sphere L22 has made my home studio a complete joy to work / play in. These guys have flipped the audio world on it's head.
This Mic and Plugin Combo Are the Truth
I was blown away instantly upon arrival of my new mic system. Being in the recording industry for over 20 years now and owning a lot of the mics that were modeled in the plugin, all i could say was WOW. I wish Townsend would have done this years ago. Hats off to all the Hard work that was put into the creation of this product. Since the purchase of this Microphone system, I have began selling off all of my high end microphones with no regrets. The sound is accurate and clean and my high end clients love the facts that I or my staff don't have to leave the console to swap out mics to find the one best suited for their voice.
I was lucky to be introduced to the Sphere microphone by a good friend whom I trust when it comes to pro audio gear. We had a chance to compare the Sphere 251 model to a Telefunken ELA M 251E reissue and I committed to buying the Sphere on the spot. The friend who owned the Telefunken reissue has since sold that $14,000 (retail CAD price) mic and bought a Sphere as well. As a micro studio, I was up against needing to purchase several mics - a dynamic for guitars, a ribbon for guitars, a large diagram condenser that suited male vocals, one that was more suited to female vocals, a pencil condenser for acoustics, etc. It's a daunting and expensive road. Sphere gives me a rare and unique opportunity to generate the tones of classic, vintage mics that have become out of reach. Owning one vintage tube mic would have shot my entire mic budget. Now I have access to a library of 30 iconic microphones. It's not just a luxury but an opportunity to learn the behaviour of so many classic mics as well. Used in conjunction with Apollo, I've got a rig that packs more horsepower that I ever imagined I would own. If you were afraid of mic modelling before, you don't need to be anymore. Thanks to Townsend Labs and UA both for delivering something revolutionary.
I have never heard my voice sound so rich and detailed before. In fact I've gotten so used to being able to change the mic after recording, the idea of choosing a mic before recording seems dated to me! The Ocean Way and Putnam collections are amazing as well. I own all 3. All I can say is that The Townsend Sphere and software gives extremely faithful representations of the mics they model and it's great because I no long get mic envy!
I recently reviewed the sphere and said that the customer service hold time was too long, but they did call me back, I meant to say the Universal Audio CS was too long, Townsend was great, this is a really nice microphone.. UA tech support (to be Fair) is excellent, but wait time is longer..