Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Precision Microphone Modeling System

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SKU: # 490631
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SPHERE-L22

Your Price: $1,949.00 CDN

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The Sphere L22 microphone system from Townsend Labs models the characteristics of the most sought-after large-diaphragm condenser microphones with amazing accuracy, and allows selection of different mics and patterns even after tracking.

The Sphere L22 system consists of a dedicated, dual-channel microphone and its software counterpart, the included Sphere plug-in. The exacting models incorporate transient response, harmonics, proximity effect, and multi-dimensional polar response. Thanks to Townsend Labs' exhaustive and curated study of classic microphones, the Sphere system currently brings the soul of 34 of the world's most revered microphones to life, in the included Sphere plug-in (UAD, AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST, AU).

What the Sphere L22 can do:

  • Record with the sound of some of the most prized microphones of all time, including a 47 (with VF14 tube), a 67, an M49, and a C12

  • Change mic type, polar pattern, and other microphone characteristics, even after tracking!

  • Audition the sound of different microphones without tiring the vocalist

  • Reduce bleed, undesirable room coloration, and other common issues using Off-Axis Correction

  • Record in stereo from a single microphone


Sphere L22 Microphone
The Sphere system employs the high-resolution, dual-channel L22 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, custom designed to capture the three-dimensional soundfield with exacting detail. Manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, the L22 ensures that modeling is consistent and accurate.

Realtime UAD Processing
With the Universal Audio Apollo, achieve extremely low latency (approx. 1.6ms round trip at 96kHz) for guaranteed real-time performance. Also supports AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST and AU.

Polar Pattern Modeling
Because Sphere captures the three-dimensional response of target microphones, it precisely emulates the polar patterns and other off-axis characteristics of vintage microphones which are essential to their unique sound.

Record In Stereo (With One Mic)
With just one Sphere L22 mic its possible to make coincident stereo recordings, and even have different mic models on the left and right channels, using the Sphere 180 plug-in.

Low Noise
The microphone hardware has a self-noise level of 7dB-A SPL, well below most vintage microphones and comparable to many of the best modern microphones.

High SPL Handling
The L22 can handle in excess of 140dB SPL before clipping and is remarkably rugged. It wont be damaged by high SPLs or air blasts as some vintage microphones can be.

Sphere L22 Microphone Specs:

Equivalent Noise Level: 7 dB-A
Max SPL at 0.5% THD: 140dB (with -20dB pad engaged)
Pad Attenuation: -10db and -20dB
Sensitivity: 22 mV/Pa
Output Connector: 5-pin male XLR
Breakout Cable: 10' (3m) 5-pin female XLR to dual 3-pin male XLR
Weight (mic only): 1.7 lbs. (770 grams)
Dimensions (mic only): 8.9" x 2.5" (225mm x 63mm)
Output Impedance: 200 Ohms
Recommended Load Impedance: > 1000 Ohms
Phantom Power
Voltage: 44 to 52 V per channel
Current: 5 mA per channel typical, 8 mA at max SPL

What's Included:

Sphere L22 Microphone - high precision, dual-capsule, large-diaphragm condenser studio microphone, which can be used with or without modeling

Bundled Accessories
• 10 Foot (3 Meter) Breakout Cable
• Shock Mount
• Swivel Mount
• Hard Carrying Case
• Plush Dust Cover

Sphere Plug-in
• Sphere DSP algorithms - accurately models a wide range of the most sought-after microphones in the world.
• Re-Mic technology - allows the user to change the mic type and polar pattern even after tracking.
• New patented features - including Off-Axis Correction, which can produce more accurate polar patterns for reduced bleed, room coloration, and feedback.
• Supports a wide range of plug-in formats - UAD, AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST, AU, on both Mac and Windows. Voucher included for free UAD Sphere plug-in.

Very nice0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreBrampton, Ontario
I had a Rode NT1 for years and thought it was great - and it absolutely is - BUT I have to say after I re-tracked some vocals and acoustic guitar tracks on some of my music and A/B'd the tracks with the NT1 vs L22 the difference is undeniable and so clear. The top end is more pronounced but silky smooth. The mic models make a big difference too. The proximity setting has some effect but not as much as the polar pattern. The LD-251 is a standout model for me but who knows for others maybe the LD 47K......lots of models to chose from..... It's a lot of $$ for this mic, especially for a home studio but, if you take your hobby or profession seriously, then I would recommend this unequivocally. As far as the accuracy of the modelling goes, well I can't comment. I've never used or even come close to being able to afford a vintage mic before..... But I can say that my music sounds far more professional with this mic.
Posted by Cam on Oct 16, 2021
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Sphere L22 - incredible!1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreVancouver, British Columbia
First of all, it’s an extremely high quality unit, with a build quality on par or better than other high-end mics I’ve worked with before. Second, as a full time multi-instrumentalist, singer, and owner of a small but well-equipped home studio, this system has streamlined my recording process and saved me time, space, and therefore money. I primarily play low brass (trombone, bass trombone, tuba, Alphorn) and the mics/techniques used to capture ideal sounds on those instruments are all subtly different. Before, I would have to spend a lot of time switching mics, re-positioning boom stands, setting levels, etc. Now with the Sphere L22 I can just set up one mic, record an entire project, and adjust mic choice/proximity/axis/pattern in post production. So far, some of my favourite emulations are: 421N (tuba), Coles 4038 (jazz trombone), U87 (commercial trombone), U47 (voice).
Posted by Jim on Sep 26, 2020
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The best mic purchase I've made...6 of 6 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreNorth York, Ontario
When I first heard about mic modelling technology I was very skeptical, and not particularly interested, but when I read about this mic on a forum it piqued my interest. I own a few mics, including some higher end ones that cost much more than this one. So why would I be interested in something like this? The thought of being able to adjust different mic colors, polar patterns, and proximity effect at any point in the production stage was really interesting...and the fact it could also work as a stereo mic was also intriguing. Finally, the fact it was compatible with my UA Apollo for latency-free monitoring kind of sealed the deal. I'd been looking for a versatile mic I could take around with me to any kind of recording situation, so I decided I had to try one out. As it turns out, this thing is a total a game changer! Choosing and adjusting the mic models and polar patterns while I'm at the mix stage is fantastic. When tracking and layering vocals, switching mic models for each layer (to avoid the build up of ringing frequencies) makes smooth sounding vocal stacks quick and easy. Being able to record drum overheads/drum rooms in stereo (phase coherent), stereo acoustic guitar, piano, or even stereo group vocals with this one mic just adds to the usability. You literally won't find a more versatile mic (at any price point). Add to that the fact that this mic takes very high SPLs easily, so you can have the sound of very expensive mics you wouldn't dare throw in front of a screaming guitar cab or inches from a kick drum with no worries. I wasn't actually that bothered about the accuracy of the mic models when I decided to try this mic out, I figured just having access to so many different sound flavors and tones would make it worth the money, as long as they sound GOOD. As it turns out, the mic models are incredibly accurate sounding. I've been lucky enough to use many of the mics that are modeled, and have been able to compare the models to the originals, and I couldn't be happier. At the time of writing this, there are 3 different mic packs available (including the free pack that comes with the purchase), with a great selection that would put most high end studios' collections to shame. The mic itself is really well made, and sounds great on it's own without the modelling software...which was an added bonus. And Townsend Labs' customer service is fantastic - when I've had questions or needed help with anything they have been quick and extremely helpful. Great to see in a new company. If you're on the fence about trying this, you'd be doing yourself a total disservice by not giving it a chance. I have no doubt you'll be as surprised as I was. We all know that no matter how great a microphone is, there are sources that it won't work well on. So having a collection of the best sounding mic flavors at your fingertips is pretty priceless. I never would have thought I'd be writing a glowing review about a modelling microphone, but it's turned out to be such a vital part of my work flow I felt the need to support and great company and product. Currently saving for a second one....
Posted by Steve Chahley on May 9, 2019
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L22: A One Mic Treasure Chest5 of 5 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreToronto (Bloor St.), Ontario
Since I first saw a demo of a prototype of this mic by James of Pro Tools Expert, I knew I had to have one. I saw at the time that they were crowdfunding and bought mine that way. I waited a while and when it shipped I was excited. I won't bore you with the rest of the story. It's enough to say it does everything as advertised; I can use my UA interface or my standalone analogue dual mic preamp. All the models sound great. I have even automated many of the software features in my mixes, including swapping mic models on the fly. The fact there are two other mic bundles available at the Universal Audio website is a bonus but the stock ones are amazing and as far as DAW's and hardware go, I consider this mic and its software as open source as these things can possibly get. The 3D mic models hold up against the actual mic?s. I own a few of the microphones they modeled so comparison is pretty straightforward. The first time I used L22, I shut my eyes and twice in a row landed on a U87 model. This is not surprising since a U87Ai was my main microphone for 15 years when I worked for a broadcaster. I cannot recommend this product enough. It's great to have it in my collection. It fills out my collection completely and it's only one mic. A real treasure.
Posted by Damian Kearns on May 1, 2019
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Townsend Labs Sphere L22

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Protect your investment with the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty

A warranty can be a very important factor when making a buying decision. Because repairs can be very expensive in terms of parts and labour costs, manufacturers usually only provide one year limited warranties that generally only cover items that malfunction due to a manufacturer’s defect. With an important purchase such as a musical
instrument or piece of studio gear, however, many people want to have the peace of mind in knowing that their investment will be protected should the product no longer be performing at 100%.

Because of this, Long & McQuade provides our customers with a FREE one-year Performance Warranty on most of our products. The Long & McQuade Performance Warranty supplements the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure that our customers receive complete “no hassle” warranty coverage within their first year.

How does the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty differ from most manufacturers' warranties?
  • Performance Guarantee: Normal wear and tear is covered, so your product will be performing as well as the day you purchased it for the entire duration of the coverage. Band and Orchestral Performance Warranty does not include replacing pads or cleaning for woodwind instruments, unless deemed necessary by our repair staff. Ultrasonic cleaning for brass instruments will be provided if deemed necessary by our repair staff, but is not routinely offered under the Performance Warranty.
  • Product Replacement: If your product cannot be fixed or costs too much to fix, we will replace it with the equivalent model for no additional charge. If this is not possible, a full refund will be provided.
  • No Lemon Policy: Your product will be replaced should the same problem occur multiple times.
  • Convenient: Easy drop off and pick up of the product at any Long & McQuade location.
  • Guitar Setup: Guitars purchased at Long & McQuade come with 1 free setup, to be redeemed within 1 year for new guitars and 90 days for used guitars.
  • Loaners Available: A loaner product may be given while the product is being repaired.
  • Power Surge Protection: Your product is covered even if damaged from a power surge.
  • Accessory Coverage: Any peripheral devices or accessories that come with your product (i.e. foot pedal, case) are also covered.
  • Commercial Use Coverage: Music and recording professionals who purchase gear for “heavy-use” commercial purposes will still be covered.

Long & McQuade reserves the right to restrict the purchase of additional years of Performance Warranty. Used products come with a 3-month Long & McQuade Performance Warranty. Some products (i.e. computers, software, cymbals and other items) are covered only by the manufacturer‘s warranty. Consumables (i.e. strings, reeds, woodwind pads, drum sticks, batteries, tubes, cross faders) are excluded as they are designed to be replaced. Cosmetic Damage, Accidental Damage, or problems caused by Humidity or Temperature Issues are not covered. Speakers damaged by overpowering are generally not covered. Our coverage does not provide compensation for loss of use. As of June 2018 the Performance Warranty is no longer transferable. The warranty is only valid in Canada.

Purchasing additional years of coverage

Some manufacturers provide warranties for longer than 1 year; however, these are usually limited warranties that do not provide the same coverage as the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty. Customers interested in more complete and convenient (but not necessarily longer) coverage are still able to purchase additional years of the Performance Warranty.

If you are interested in receiving this coverage for longer than one year, you have the option of purchasing additional years of the Performance Warranty. The pricing is as follows:

  • NEW products: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year.
  • USED products: 4% of the current new selling price to increase the warranty from 3 months to 1 year. 4% for each additional year. Pricing for used electronic products is 4% of the original new selling price.
  • GUITARS: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year. $45 maximum. An additional free setup is not included with additional purchased years of Performance Warranty.
  • BAND and ORCHESTRAL instruments: $40 flat rate up to $2,000 of current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years.
  • BRASS and STRINGS: 2% of the current new selling price above $2,000.
  • WOODWINDS: 4% of the current new selling price above $2,000.