Slate Digital has introduced a small diaphragm modelling microphone to supplement its Virtual Microphone System. The ML-2, as it’s called, can emulate a large variety of microphones, including dynamic mics, ribbons, small and large diaphragm condensers.
The mic emulation plug-in ships with 18 models, of which there is indeed a large variety. It’s safe to say that you are going to recognise a fair number of classics among the roster. The emulations will work with the ML-1 microphone, although they probably won’t sound as Slate intended them to, due to the differences in frequency response between the two mics.
The ML-2, Slate claims, has an ultra-linear frequency response, along with a dynamics switch which attenuates the mic output and repolarizes its capsule. This will let you record high SPL sources like snare drums without the mic distorting in the way small diaphragm condensers can do. It supposedly brings with it the convenience of using the ML-2 as a regular dynamic mic on drums, guitar cabinets, and other instruments or vocalists.
Although Slate Digital recommends its VRS8 interface for use with the ML-2, it also explains that the microphone can work with any preamp, as long as it’s reasonably linear in character. Most modern pres in audio interfaces are quite clean and sterile-sounding, so they are unlikely to throw off the mic emulations’ sound — if at all.
Price and availability
The ML-2 can be ordered now, priced USD 149 / EUR 189 / GBP 149. As usual, the software is authorized with an iLok dongle. This is the second small-diaphragm modeling microphone to hit the market after the Antelope Audio Verge. At the time of writing this article, Verge is more expensive and has only six available mic models. Antelope will have to expand its capabilities with more mic models soon, or it risks running behind Slate in the mic emulations arms race.