Reviews have been really good and the general consensus is the sound comes pretty close to the mics being modeled (the differences are very minimal and would probably be indistinguishable in the mix). Most of the mics it models (U47, U67, AKG C12, etc., there are 3 different sets of collections available as of now) are definitely way beyond my price range. Basically, I can have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mics for less than $2,000 (including the cost of the plugin collections). Plus, the ability to "change" the mic and its characteristic even post tracking seems to be very useful).It certainly looks very impressive in terms of characteristics, flexibility and innovation.
I guess it depends on the way you plan to use it and the acoustic treatment of your room.
If you have a good room and want to record only saxophone, for the money you can also find other good choices, perhaps better ones. On paper the Townsend looks fine and very powerful in terms of sound sculpting, but can its generic sound match the competition?
Best to try at your place before you buy.
Dont forget you need two channels for the Townsend, and a computer to run the plug-in.
I do own and have owned mics in the same price range (U87, 4038, R-122, etc.) but I don't think my conscience would ever let me buy a U-67 or C12 or the other mics modeled by the L22. I do agree that the actual hardware will probably still be better sonically, but value for value, plugins in my opinion are a better option, especially with how far the technology has come.I havent tried before a virtual mic but i have compared synths and outboard and every time the real machines had a quality to the sound that is more organic, vibrant an alive to me.
Of course most times the plug-ins are just fine and in many cases the real machines are impossible to find or afford, plus all the other advantages the plug ins offer.
In the price range of the Townsend there are other very good mics to compare it with.
No matter how good the plug in is it can only work with the sound the capsule captures. With a traditional mic at that price range the money goes mainly to the capsule and electronics, ...plus the brand. With Townsend i dont know how they distribute the money.
If you have a clear concept of the sound in your head better try other mics too, but if flexibility is what you are after then the Townsend is one of the best options according to the reviews at least.
I totally agree. As im not a purist i also try to use the best of both words according to what i can afford.I do own and have owned mics in the same price range (U87, 4038, R-122, etc.) but I don't think my conscience would ever let me buy a U-67 or C12 or the other mics modeled by the L22. I do agree that the actual hardware will probably still be better sonically, but value for value, plugins in my opinion are a better option, especially with how far the technology has come.
JC, I do respect your opinions here and have benefited from your recommendations in the past. Gotta ask, though, have you actually tried the Sphere? It really has gotten great reviews from sound engineers and producers (gearslutz, uadforum) who actually use it in their studios, as well as respected publications like Sound on Sound. One criticism it has gotten is that it's not quite as "3D" as the mics it models. However, sitting in the mix, the differences are virtually indistinguishable.Slate VMS. But again, it's mostly snake oil.
True, but it's still substantially more cost efficient to go digital regardless, particularly with how accurate current emulations are. For instance, a Neve preamp would cost me over $2,000 to buy used. With coupons and promos, it cost me less than $100 to buy a plug-in from Universal Audio, and it will cost me $50-$100 to buy each upgrade when it happens every few years (with other companies, upgrades are free, but UA plug-ins are the best). It would take over a decade, maybe 2, before I even approach the cost of buying the hardware. Plus, hardware takes up a lot of physical space. On that note, I've already sold my Daking Preamp/EQ and am in the process of selling my Daking FET Compressor. Everything will be in the box for me from now on.Problem with digital anything is that it gets superseded by the next upgrade.