Following more than three years of technical development, Townsend Labs was founded in 2015 by thirteen-year Avid alumni and DSP architect Chris Townsend, together with Erik Papp, previously CEO of Summit Audio. The company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area region of California unveiled its world-class patented microphone modeling technology, Sphere, in July 2016. The announcement was followed by an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign a month later.
Sphere’s analog hardware directly captures spatial and distance information in the sound field, allowing for unprecedented control and multi-dimensional modeling of vintage microphones from within the Sphere software plug-in.
Ever since its initial introduction, the Sphere plug-in has been available for all major native plug-in formats, as well as on Universal Audio’s UAD-2, Apollo and Arrow platform. Now, the company announced the addition of AAX DSP support in Sphere 1.3, allowing owners of Pro Tools HDX systems to also enjoy perfect integration of the Sphere microphone into their existing DSP-based workflow, and monitor the over 20 included microphone models with near-zero latency while recording.
The Sphere L22 captures the spatial in-room behavior of the original microphones, including transient response, harmonics, proximity effect, and three-dimensional polar response. The stunning accuracy is what has convinced users from home recordists to seasoned industry veterans.
The Sphere L22 system is comprised of a dedicated, dual-channel microphone and its software counterpart, the Sphere plug-in. The plug-in currently includes over 20 models of coveted microphones — a collection which would be worth more than a hundred thousand dollars if it was ever up for sale, and to which new microphone models are regularly added. The microphone can be used with any preamp and any digital interface, and the Sphere plug-in is available now for all major native plug-in formats. Sphere is now the first and only microphone modeling system available for Pro Tools HDX.
The Sphere L22 microphone can be purchased for $1499 USD, excluding tax. The Sphere plug-in is free of charge and available for download on Townsend Labs’ website. Anyone interested in exploring the system is invited to download various sound examples recorded with Sphere L22 microphones and try the free, fully-featured Sphere plug-in on their system.