Townsend Labs has updated the software component of Sphere, its mic modeling system, to version 1.2. A free update for all new and upcoming owners of the Sphere L22 modeling microphone, version 1.2 adds no less than nine new virtual microphone models. This brings the total number of mic emulations to 20, both on the native and UAD-2 plug-in versions.
The collection of nine encompasses the following microphones:
LD-67 NOS – models the distinctive sound of a limited Neumann U67 reissue from 1991
LD-87 TK – based on a Neumann U87 modded by Tracy Korby for extended low and high frequency response, resulting in a more contemporary sound.
LD-414 Brass – models the original AKG 414 studio microphone with brass-ringed capsule.
LD-414 Nylon – AKG 414 with a different capsule that uses a nylon mounting ring. The capsule sounds different from the original in that it has less high-end extension and a sound that can be considered more neutral.
LD-414 US – AKG 414 with a similar sound to the nylon-mounted capsule, though even more neutral.
LD-414 T2 – a newer AKG 414 variant which recreated the sound of the old brass-ring capsule but kept the nylon and switched to a transformer-less circuit. Some argue that the microphone failed to convincingly replicate the original 414 sound, but it has reduced distortion figures.
RB-77DX Satin – models the RCA 77DX ribbon microphone with multiple polar patterns, a very popular vintage mic that’s been used to record many musical legends.
RB-77DX Umber – darker and smoother-sounding than the Satin variant.
DN-7 – recreates the Shure SM7B dynamic mic A version. Setting the Axis control to 180 degrees emulates the mic without the windscreen, which is how some engineers prefer recording it.
Overall, this is a significant update to one of the leading mic modelling systems on the market. With 20 models overall, there’s certainly plenty to play and experiment with. Of course, the competition from Steven Slate and Antelope Audio keeps working hard to expand the number of mic models in their own products, so it’s going to be a constant race to the top score for the benefit of mic modeling system owners.