The release of this innovative product has been an instant crowdfunding success story. As you will have seen on the site, the debut product from Townsend Labs, the Sphere L22 microphone, launched this week with an amazing crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, raising over $100,000 which is 2.5 times their target in just 24 hours, with orders coming in from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, as well as the UK and the US.
Could This Be The Future Of Microphone Modeling?
Just watch James' exclusive review and you will get a sense of why we think so. With the Sphere, Townsend have set new standards in microphone modeling technology, delivering three-dimensional characteristics of the most sought-after microphones on the market, when combined with the included Sphere DSP plug-in. The Sphere L22 starts off with a palette of eight classic mics, and the ability to change polar pattern and proximity control even after tracking. We understand more microphone profiles will be added in the future.
A Labour Of Love
The development of the new technology has been a labour of love for audio veterans Chris Townsend and Erik Papp, founders of Townsend Labs. Chris told us...
I first started thinking about the microphone modeling problem several years ago during my work in emulating guitar amplifiers with various vintage microphone combinations. Traditional modeling techniques like those used in classic hardware emulation don’t fully address the characteristics that truly make microphones unique and desirable. To capture those key spatial details, we pioneered methods to study microphones in three dimensions.
Early customers signing up to pre-order the Sphere L22 on Indiegogo will benefit from the special introductory pricing. Once the Indiegogo campaign has finished, the Sphere L22 is expected to have a suggested retail price of $1,799 USD. Eric Papp told us...
We have come a long way, the Sphere L22 is designed and tested, and we have invested in tooling for manufacturing. These funds are not for development, but instead linked directly with production cost. This takes a huge risk away for our backers. Indiegogo orders will help us gauge and fund production while giving us a unique introduction to our market. The goal is to add to the growing base of audio manufacturers that have successfully sought crowdfunding such as Dynamount and Keith McMillen Instruments.
We Are Impressed
The fact that they have fully funded the development before coming to Indiegogo is a breath of fresh air. They have completed the development, they just want crowd funding in place to manufacture the mic system in quantity. As Eric says, the risk is not there, you are helping with cashflow and getting a product at a very special price in return.
We are also impressed how open and honest they have been. On the Townsend site there are pages about how it works and a White Paper too for those who want to know more detail. They have been open that some of the mic models are 'in the style of' rather than perfect models, again the honesty is refreshing.
By the time you read this they should be past 3 times their original target of $40,000. They have very nearly sold out of the Matched Pair offer and at this rate it won't be long before they will have sold out of the single mic version too.
The First UAD Powered Microphone
The included Sphere DSP plug-in is available for both Mac and PC in the VST, VST3, AAX (native) and Audio Units formats. It additionally supports Apollo Interfaces and UAD-2 hardware, making Sphere the first UAD-powered microphone.