It’s no secret that Universal Audio has moved into the microphone market, releasing their SD-1 (standard dynamic) and SP-1 (standard pencil) microphones and acquiring 2 reputable microphone brands Townsend Labs and Bock Microphones. Universal Audio have just announced their first move by rebranding the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 modelling microphone as the Universal Audio DLX and releasing the LX, the little sibling to the DLX.
Visually these microphones are very similar to the previous Townsend L22 with the only difference being the UA badge and new name. The main difference between the DLX and LX is the number of microphones they can model – the DLX has 38 different microphone models whilst the LX has 20 models. This makes the new Sphere mics a more appealing option for those who want access to a virtual cabinet of mics without paying for all of those mics!
Hardware modelling is by no means a new concept however technology has developed to a point where these emulations are incredibly faithful to the originals and make extremely rare and expensive microphones accessible to those of us who don’t have the budget to drop tens of thousands of dollars on that vintage Neumann U67 or AKG C12. Here is a short list of some of the microphone models offered by the DLX and LX:
· Neumann U67
· AKG C12
· AKG C414
The software controlling the DLX and LX are now native to UA’s Console and appears like any other UA plugin. It is a very powerful piece of software that allows you to change the polar pattern of the microphones, engage the pad switch and bass roll-off (only available on the DLX) and obviously change the microphone model. It also provides historical information on each of the microphone models (such as which bands have used the microphone and what instruments they sound good on) which are excellent features as you don’t need to be a microphone aficionado to get started with the DLX or LX.
There are purists out there who would decry the notion of hardware and microphone modelling as ‘not the same as the real thing’ but I can tell you that the DLX and LX emulations are as close as you can get to some of the most sought-after microphones without selling your house!
- Record with a collection of world-class microphones, up to 38 stunning-sounding mics on the DLX and 20 mics on the LX
- Change mic type, polar pattern, and other microphone characteristics, even after tracking!
- Audition the sound of different microphones without tiring the artist.
- Reduce colouration and room ambience in challenging spaces in combination with popular isolation filters, such as the sE Reflexion Filters, Aston Halo, Kaotica Eyeball and more
- Record in stereo from a single microphone (DLX only)