Analogue audio veterans and DSP pioneers Universal Audio have announced their move into the microphone market, with six new models.
The first appears to be a result of their acquisition of innovative microphone modelling company Townsend Labs towards the end of last year. Indeed, the new UA branded Sphere L22 is fundamentally the same as Townsend Labs' debut offering, but Universal Audio have released their own version of the Sphere plug-in that runs on their own UAD DSP system, allowing you to hear the advanced microphone modelling in real time when using their Console mixer or LUNA DAW. UA's plug-in can also be used in your own DAW, of course, and we understand that support for the original microphone and plug-in will remain unchanged.
Next up are three premium large-diaphragm capacitor mics that may also look familiar to microphone anoraks. The UA Bock 187, UA Bock 167 and UA Bock 251 are based on the Neumann U87, Neumann U67 and Telefunken ELA M 251, respectively, the first being a solid-state mic and the latter two valve (just as the originals were). These three mics were all designed by microphone luminary David Bock, and though they too are derived from existing microphones, UA tell us that their circuitry has been revised, resulting in improved technical specifications.
Finally, the SD-1 and SP-1 are all-new microphones, the former a broadcast-style dynamic, and the latter a small-diaphragm capacitor mic. The SD-1 is intended for close-up speech, vocal and instrument recording, and features both a high-pass filter and an optional presence boost. The SP-1, meanwhile, has been designed to offer excellent rejection of off-axis sounds, as well as minimal self-noise.
The UA Sphere L22 is priced at $1499, the SD-1 at $299, and the SP-1 at $399 for a matched pair. Pricing for the reimagined Bock mics is $1249, $2999.and $5999 for the 187, 167 and 251, respectively.