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In June 2021, Universal Audio acquired the TEC award-winning Sphere L22 modeling microphone system and related technology from Townsend Labs, Inc., and the fruits of that deal have just arrived: the new UA Sphere DLX ($1,499) and Sphere LX ($999). Used in conjunction with the Sphere plug-in, UA Sphere microphones bring the sound of dozens of painstakingly modeled legendary mics to your studio.
The incredibly flexible Sphere platform makes it possible to audition different mics before recording, change them later if you need to, virtually adjust mic positioning, and more. Best of all, it does all this with near-zero latency when used with UA Apollo interfaces. If you need a powerful one-mic solution for recording instruments, vocals, podcasts or voiceover work, the Sphere platform might just be what you’ve been waiting for.
We recently tried out the new UA Sphere DLX modeling microphone during a session at our Vintage King Nashville Showroom. Watch the video below to hear how these classic emulations sound on vocals, guitar and more! Performances by Anna Mae (Vocals), Yosemite Mudflap (Drums), and Kevin Schuck (Acoustic Guitar / Electric Guitar).
The new flagship mic of the UA Sphere line, the Sphere DLX, is a premium stereo modeling microphone capable of emulating 38 condenser, ribbon, and dynamic mics (four more than the Sphere L22) with stunning accuracy. Two gold-sputtered diaphragms capture sounds coming from the front and sides of the mic, providing the spatial information necessary to apply microphone models in stereo or mono, switch polar patterns, virtually rotate the mic, and more. You can even load two different models for the left and right channels.
Because the mic requires two channels, a CAL switch on the rear allows you to calibrate the mic to compensate for any gain mismatch between your preamps. A pad switch gives you the option to reduce the sensitivity by 10 or 20 dB for recording loud sources cleanly. To top it all off, the Sphere DLX boasts the lowest self-noise of any mic in its class, according to Universal Audio. The Sphere DLX is built to Last a Lifetime and includes a shockmount, 25' dual-channel cable, mic stand mount, and carrying case, giving you everything you need to record right away.
Sharing the same ultra-transparent, low-noise design of the UA Sphere DLX, the LX model offers the same sonic flexibility with a smaller set of 20 microphone models to choose from. Instead of a stereo mode, the Sphere LX offers a dual-mono mode, which allows you to select two different microphone models for the same source. This makes it easy to try out various combinations of legendary mics without the phase complications encountered with multiple-microphone setups. The UA Sphere LX comes with a mic stand mount, 10' dual-channel cable, and carrying case so you can start recording right out of the box.
The UA Sphere Plug-in is where the real magic happens. Inserted on a stereo track in any DAW or in the UAD Console platform, the plug-in combines the signal from both microphone capsules to accurately model the electroacoustical characteristics of classic condenser, ribbon, and dynamic mics from Neumann, Telefunken, AKG, and Sony (to name just a few). Because the processing takes place in the plug-in and not the mic itself, you can seamlessly audition different mics before, during, or after recording—all with near-zero latency when used with an Apollo interface.
But the flexibility doesn’t stop there. You can even adjust the axis and proximity effect of the virtual microphones to get the perfect tone on guitar amps, vocals, or any other source. The plug-in even includes presets that compensate for the acoustic effects of popular microphone isolation shields including the sE Reflexion Filter, Aston Halo, and Kaotica Eyeball. With Townsend Labs’ groundbreaking technology and Universal Audio’s unparalleled design, the UA Sphere system is like having the world’s greatest mic locker at your fingertips.
Microphone Emulations Included With Universal Audio Sphere DLX
LD-47K, LD-87, LD-87 Modern, LD-87 TK, LD-67 NOS, LD-67, LD-49K, LD-563, LD-103, LD-017T, LD-37A, LD-37P, LD-12, LD-251, LD-800, LD-414 Brass, LD-414 Nylon, LD-414 US, LD-414 T2, LD-BV1, SD-416, SD-451, RB-121, RB-160, RB-4038, RB-77DX Satin, RB-77DX Chrome, DN-20, DN-57, DN-7, DN-12A, DN-12E, DN-409N, DN-409U, DN-421B, DN-421N, DN-421S
Microphone Emulations Included With Universal Audio Sphere LX Microphone Emulations
LD-47K, LD-87, LD-87, Modern LD-67 NOS, LD-103, LD-12, LD-251, LD-800, LD-414 Brass, LD-414 US, SD-416, SD-451, RB-121, DN-20, DN-57, DN-7, DN-12A, DN-409U, DN-421B