With the release of v1.3, the Townsend Labs Mic Modelling System plug-in became available as an AAX DSP plug-in. With v1.4 released today, they have added 10 new mic models including one specifically aimed at the audio production sector, a 416 model.
Townsend Labs Release V1.4 With 10 More Mic Models
With v1.4, Townends Labs have added 10 more mic models to the their mic modeling plug-in bringing the collection of mic models to over 30. For audio post-production users the most interesting addition is a model of the industry standard german shotgun mic - the SD-416 model. This is the full list…
LD-563 - based on a classic German bottle microphone with interchangeable microphone capsule heads. The different polar patterns in the Sphere plug-in are based on three different capsules, M7, M8, and M55k. For many, the 563 with the M7 cardioid capsule is a favorite for recording vocalists.
LD-017T - a commissioned model of a current production SoyuzⓇ 017 TUBE large diaphragm microphone, created in partnership with Soyuz. It’s a modern classic that is 100% hand-built in Tula, Russia. Popular uses include vocals and acoustic instruments.
SD-416 - based on an industry-standard shotgun microphone, commonly used in the studio for voice-over and ADR duties. It is the go-to mic for that big voice-over sound in Hollywood-produced movie trailers we’re all so familiar with.
DN-409N and DN-409U - based on two different variants of the classic German 409 dynamic microphone, which is a favorite for rock vocals and guitar amplifiers. The older N-version is slightly more coloured whereas the U-version from the 1980s has a nice, smooth top-end.
DN-421N, DN-421S, and DN-421B - based on three different variants of the iconic German 421 microphone - a large-diaphragm dynamic, popular for bass and guitar amps, kick drums and toms, horns, and vocals. The N-version is based on a classic beige 421 from the 1960s and has a slightly warmer sound than the 421B, which is based on a current production black 421 and faithfully captures its slightly brighter character. The 421S is the oldest version of the three, with a script logo and a more colored sound.
DN-12A and DN-12E - based on Austrian dynamic microphones - a go-to choice for kick drum and bass instruments. The DN-12A is based on the original version from the 1950s and has a more coloured sound. The DN-12E is based on a later version with a slightly more "modern" sound.
Using The Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Mic Modeling System In Audio Post-Production
In this free video tutorial, brought to you with the support of Townsend Labs, our audio post-production specialist Mike Thornton shows how the Sphere L22 Mic Modeling system now fits into the audio post-production workflows, not only for voiceovers but also for ADR.
I mentioned in this free video tutorial, the voiceover recordings that Dan, James and I recorded. It you want to try out the Sphere plug-in for yourself without buying the mic, then you can try it out using these voiceover recordings all recorded with the Sphere L22 microphone. Use this link to download the three WAV files.
Damian Kearns has more than 20 years of experience in post audio. He was CBC Toronto's de facto in-house Pro Tools trainer for much of the early 2000s. He spotted the Townsend Labs mic modeling system when we first mentioned it when we covered the successful Indiegogo campaign when the Sphere L22 Mic Crowdfunder Hits 50% Of Target In One Hour when he first saw the amazing potential of their technology.
“I eagerly purchased my L22 during their crowdfunding campaign because of its build quality, attractive price and the promise of greater flexibility before, during, and (Wow!) after the recording process.”
He started off recording with the free native plug-in (AAX, VST, AU) but Damian feels that the recent addition of AAX DSP support for Pro Tools HDX systems really advances the case for using this mic technology in post.
“HDX means I have full integration with Pro Tools and can record ADR, voiceover and Foley straight into my multi-channel sessions without headphone latency. Since I don’t have to lower my playback buffer size my Playback Engine can be set as high as I need to ensure my massive surround sound Pro Tools sessions play back smoothly.”
How Does The Sphere L22 Mic modeling System Help I Post Workflows?
The reasons are the same as those that we have for using different microphones. People have different voices. Rooms have different sounds. Capturing sound effects and foley needs different mics and and the right polar-pattern. As I explain in the free video tutorial, with the introduction of the AAX DSP plug-in and the latest models being added with v1.4, especially the 416 model, all opens a range of new workflow options in audio post-production including voiceovers and ADR. Imagine being able to choose the best mic for an ADR session in your own time after the actor has left the studio. Damian agrees…
“Making mic model and mono/stereo choices in Sphere after I record is akin to swapping EQ’s or compressors inside a Pro Tools session, during a mix. Powerful!
Mixing is very different from recording: In the mix I’m balancing all elements. If I can pop the DN-57 emulation onto a voiceover and have it “cut like a knife” in a sports show, this means a lot of EQ work is already done. Maybe the announcer likes hearing a bit more bass presence in his voice during recording? I can swap models while we’re laying down tracks and change things later.
I use my L22 during voiceover all the time, thanks to its unbelievable versatility. The other day, for example, I was actually swapping mic models while recording voiceover and when I assigned the LD-87 TK model the producer’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. It was so obvious we had made the perfect match. The guy sounded amazing!”
You can read more about Damian’s experiences with the Townsend Labs system on the Avid Blog. But what do I think about the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 mic modeling system?
I have always seen the benefit of using the Townsend Labs system for voiceovers. But getting my hands on the Sphere mic and with the addition of the 416 model, it opens up the ADR workflow to the Townsend Labs mic modeling system as well as handling voiceovers. Again you don’t need to worry about choosing which mic or mics to record the artist with on the ADR stage, you don’t even need to worry about boom and lav. Just record with the Sphere and then use the mic modeling to get the boom and lav sound.
For the ‘boom’ you can use the new SD-416 model and for the ‘lav’ at the moment we will need to cheat a little, until Townsend Labs add some lav models. However, the small diaphragm 451 on an Omni setting and using the proximity control to move the source say from the mic a bit more, does the trick for me. If you want to replicate the traditional boom and lav in your session, then you can route the Sphere mic to 2 different tracks and use separate instances of the Sphere AAX DSP plug-in to give the options of boom and lav each on their own track. All after you have released the talent from the session.