With the release of the new Townsend Labs Sphere L22, 2016 just may go down as the year of the virtual microphone. By giving audio creators access to a wide range of plug-ins and microphone models, products like the Sphere L22 make it more affordable than ever to have different mic options for recording in your studio.

How does the Sphere L22 give you such options? The microphone itself is a high precision dual channel mic that can be paired with the Sphere DSP to provide accurate models of some of the most beloved large-diaphragm condensers in the studio world.

The mic and DSP are capable of achieving incredible results by simulating transient response, harmonics, proximity effect and three-dimensional polar response. All of these factors can be changed prior to recording or even in post-production if you are unhappy with your initial selection.

The Sphere DSP offers several different microphone models, many of which recreate the classic microphones of recording history. Here are how Townsend Labs describes a few of the different models.

LD-47: For many the 47 is the ultimate vocal mic. Rumor has it that Frank Sinatra would not sing without his. The specimen Townsend modeled is an original 47 with a fully brass K47 capsule with a mylar diaphragm and a VF-14 tube.

LD-12: Released in 1953 the C12 is another iconic mic which has a gorgeous high-end sheen and sparkle, due to the uniquely designed CK12 capsule. It's a great choice for lush, breathy vocals, without overly accentuating sibilance.

LD-67: The 67 is a very unique and wonderful mic that tends toward warm, yet without sounding dull. Townsend modeled a mid 1960s version. It really shines on distorted guitar amps where it can cut some of harshness, while maintaining detail.

LD-49K: Although the M49 used the same capsules as the U47, it has a number of “enhancements” which give it its iconic and distinctive sound. The center position on the pattern knob is approximately cardioid, but often the pattern was dialed in a little more exactly to get the best cardioid pattern possible. The model uses this “best” cardioid position.

Sphere Linear: The Sphere Linear model provides ruler flat frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz, as well as an extremely smooth and well controlled off-axis response. A first of its kind, for a directional microphone.

In addition to these five microphones, Townsend also includes a number of other models like the LD-87, SD-451, RB-4038 and DN-57. The Sphere plug-in supports a wide range of plug-in formats, including UAD, VST2, VST3, Audio Unit, and AAX Native on Mac and Windows.

If you're interested in learning more about what the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 can do, check out our new demo video featuring Josh Gleave and Janelle Wheeler of the Nashville-based band Lockhart. Josh goes in-depth on the capabilities of the microphone and plug-ins while tracking guitar parts and Janelle's vocals.