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Thread: Townsend Sphere User Reports

  1. #31
    Townsend Labs Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davelong View Post
    Yep, amazing mic! Mad props to you guys, Chris - well done!
    Dave
    Thanks! It's been a long time in the making, so great to hear postive feedback from people who are actually using it.

    -Chris
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    Chris Townsend, CEO and CTO
    Townsend Labs - www.townsendlabs.com

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davelong View Post
    I was surprised that the L22's emulation of the U87 didn't sound very close to my own U87 ("AI" model) when matched with my BAE 1073. (On my own vocals, that is.)

    But, as I've learned more about the plugin, I've found a setting that (to my ears) sounds identical to the U87/1073 combination:

    In Dual mode: Mic 1: LD-800 in cardioid (12 o'clock), Filter off, axis 0.
    Mic 2: RB-4038 in figure 8, filter off, axis 0.
    Mic 1 and 2: Mix knob at 38.4% (slightly favours the "800" mic)

    It sounds SO close to my U87/1073 that I can't hear a difference, and when I do hear a difference, I usually prefer the L22.

    Loving this mic!
    I made a similar experience as you, Davelong. Especially compared to a U87 I found that the LD-model missed some warmth and openess at the same time. Obviously the LD in your setting gives you the openness, the 4038 the warm low mids. I used a combination of LD-87, LD-12 and increased proximity to achieve an almost identical sound as the U87 I was comparing to.

    Together with some friends I had the opportunity to compare the models to some of the originals. I found that the models where pretty close to the U47 and the C12, at least the ones we had to compare. For the U67 and 87 I had to become creative with the software to match the sound of the originals. But it was possible in any case!

    In general I found the proximity effect of the sphere L22 less obvious than on the originals. I had to go closer to the sphere to achieve the same results. But of course you can still use the software, too, by increasing the promixity and/or eq-level and/or by turning the model's polar pattern to 8 while using off-axis-correction for the desired polar pattern.

    Still I was wondering, if there are more mic models in the pipeline.

    Also in a review I read, that Townsendlabs was considering to bring saturation into the plugin.

    Any future plans you can share with us, Chris?
    Last edited by dr.jazzy; 12th August 2017 at 10:32 AM.
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  3. #33
    Townsend Labs Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.jazzy View Post
    I made a similar experience as you, Davelong. Especially compared to a U87 I found that the LD-model missed some warmth and openess at the same time. Obviously the LD in your setting gives you the openness, the 4038 the warm low mids. I used a combination of LD-87, LD-12 and increased proximity to achieve an almost identical sound as the U87 I was comparing to.

    Together with some friends I had the opportunity to compare the models to some of the originals. I found that the models where pretty close to the U47 and the C12, at least the ones we had to compare. For the U67 and 87 I had to become creative with the software to match the sound of the originals. But it was possible in any case!

    In general I found the proximity effect of the sphere L22 less obvious than on the originals. I had to go closer to the sphere to achieve the same results. But of course you can still use the software, too, by increasing the promixity and/or eq-level and/or by turning the model's polar pattern to 8 while using off-axis-correction for the desired polar pattern.
    I've measured four 67s so far and I would say they are one of the more variable mics I've looked at in terms of frequency response and overall sound. I would describe the 67 that we modeled for Sphere as being especially warm, although the low end is diminished a bit which counteracts that slightly.

    I also modeled a pair of modified 87s which had the standard 87 60Hz high pass filter removed and the capsule compensation EQ is tweaked to bring in more high end. So kind of a 87 on steroids. I have considered putting that in the product.

    The Prox EQ control in the Sphere 87 model adjusts the cutoff frequency of the hipass filter in the model, so tweaking that might help better match some other 87.

    But I think the biggest challenge in getting things to match well is having a totally consistent performance with exactly the same mic position so that there is an apples to apples comparison. About a year ago we posted A/B comparison tests which we painstakingly setup to mostly remove those variables. We U47 comparison for vocals and we have guitar amp comparisons with a U47, U67, U87 and M49. For the guitar amps, we also did a range of polar patterns as well as on and off-axis.

    https://townsendlabs.com/sphere-vint...c-comparisons/

    I think you'll agree that we matched the originals quite accurately, but of course, we only matched those particular mics. Any requests?

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.jazzy View Post
    Still I was wondering, if there are more mic models in the pipeline.

    Also in a review I read, that Townsendlabs was considering to bring saturation into the plugin.

    Any future plans you can share with us, Chris?
    In general, I can't share future plans. But I can definitely say that we have lots of models in the pipeline.
    Chris Townsend, CEO and CTO
    Townsend Labs - www.townsendlabs.com

  4. #34
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    Hi Chris,

    thanks for responding. Of course I understand, that you can't share future plans. I just wanted to try, and I'm really looking forward to what you will have to offer in the future to even expand and improve an already impressive product. Sharing my thoughts I didn't intend at all to belittle or doubt your painstakingly accurate work in modeling the mics you had at hand. I'm a very happy user of the Sphere L22!

    Of course I know, that mics of the same type may be quite different sounding and the U87 we had was modified in the way you mentioned. Also our comparison was certainly not a scientific one. In order to achieve comparable results we arranged all mics in a circle (like sunbeams radiating from the center where the capsules where aligned) and recorded them at the same time on different tracks. Of course this was not really reliable for different reasons, like for instance the distance to sound source and floor wasn't exactly the same and there certainly was interaction between all the mic capsules and bodies. But it gave us in the short the time we had at least some impressions. By the way: the sphere direct already compared very favorably with all these legends.

    Today I checked back with the files of the session and I was able to match the sounds of 87 and the 67 using only the specific model and adding some additional proximity here and there. Still it's very nice to have the option to get creative by combining two mic-models...

    By the way: I hadn't noticed that the proximity eq of the LD 87 influenced the HPF. After trying I have to say that even with the eq fully up the HPF's frequency appeared still very high for my taste. One doesn't have to use it, of course, but it might be nice to have the option of a standard HPF at 60 Hz or the proximity eq would really be able to lower it to 60 Hz. So here's a modest request. Maybe even a model for a U87ai or a modified 87? But I don't want to appear greedy It's so many options already...

    Thanks for your incredible work!
    Jürgen

  5. #35
    Superman Sid Chigger's Avatar
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    I finally had the chance to spend a day with the Sphere cutting vocals.. 3 males doing lead and background vocals on a couple songs.. Right off the bat, I noticed the mic by itself - no software loaded - sounded pretty good! Nice and flat.. I don't (yet) have an Apollo so I am using the software post recording.. I put the two Sphere channels direct into a pair of RME UFX inputs..

    I have a U87 (not the Ai) here that was made in '80 and serviced last year that I put up next to the Sphere as we recorded yesterday and recorded the vocals thru both mics.. In a blind test the three of us could not pick the emulation.. It blew us away! I then proceeded to spend WAY too much time trying out the software. Almost 6 hours of exploring the possibilities.. A/B'ing the various mic combos, axis location, polar pattern etc.. Some of the differences are miniscule and some of them are really noticeable.. As mentioned in a previous post, the proximity control is subtle but man it can be powerful.. The amount of possibilities you have with this mic is astonishing.. After 6 hours I still didn't go through every possible combination but I hit on several that would sound just fine in a mix.. I am highly impressed with the mic/software and I wish I had an Apollo now! LOLOL
    Win 10 64, i7 5960, 32GB, FF UFX, Octo & 2 Quads, Cubase 8

  6. #36
    Master of the UADiverse Matt Hepworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Chigger View Post
    I then proceeded to spend WAY too much time trying out the software. Almost 6 hours of exploring the possibilities.. A/B'ing the various mic combos, axis location, polar pattern etc..
    Hahaha, I know exactly what you mean! It's a super tweakable beast. Thanks for the comparison with your U87.
    Great report!
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  7. #37
    Townsend Labs Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.jazzy View Post
    Hi Chris,
    Sharing my thoughts I didn't intend at all to belittle or doubt your painstakingly accurate work in modeling the mics you had at hand. I'm a very happy user of the Sphere L22!
    No worries at all. I didn't take any offense to what you said. My response was largely directed towards everyone else reading the forum who might not necessarily understand these issues. Anyhow, great to see you're digging the mic.
    Chris Townsend, CEO and CTO
    Townsend Labs - www.townsendlabs.com

  8. #38
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    I have a love/hate relationship with the (sphere) plugin

    I love that there are so many possibilities

    I hate that there are so many possibilities

    🙈
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolle123 View Post
    I have a love/hate relationship with the (sphere) plugin

    I love that there are so many possibilities

    I hate that there are so many possibilities

    DITTO!!! Spending too much time tweaking and not enough working.

  10. #40
    UAD User Laurance's Avatar
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    When you compare the mic against real 87/67/47/251/414...,

    - Shouldn't be superior to the other mics that tries to reach them ? Say TLM series or other serious mic replicators ?

    - What if my voice don't like the 67 capsule which is (I think) implemented in the mic, shouldn't be the LD-47 tweecking a headache ?

    I have the ability to get one, and I have a TLM-102 on the way (planning to get The AT-4047SV also), should I go!also with the Sphere L22 for some comparisons ?

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