Modeling technology has become pervasive in the audio world and has reached the point where it sounds so good that hardly anyone even blinks an eye anymore at a product that contains it. One of the last bastions for modeling has been microphones though, since that always seemed like hallowed ground by the pros. Those barriers are now being broken however, and the new Slate Digital VMS ML-2 modeling microphone is a good reason why.
The Slate VMS ML-2 is a small diaphragm mic that looks like a typical condenser mic but is so much more. The accompaning software contains the models of most of the mics that you would find in a large commercial studio locker, such as a U67, SM-7B, RE-20, FET 47, D 12, several different types of SM57s, R 121, 421, 414, 451 and more.
The thing to notice here is that a good many of these mic models are dynamic, which is why the ML-2 has a special “Dynamic” mode with a switch that attenuates the mic’s output and repolarizes the capsule, allowing it to be used in extremely high SPL situations without overloading or saturating. That means you can use the mic on your favorite snare drum or guitar cab without worrying about introducing any distortion from the mic overloading.
The Virtual Microphone System software goes a step further by offering the FG-73 British discrete preamp module and the FG-76 German tube preamp module as well. None of these processing blocks add any latency to the audio signal, so if you use a low latency interface with the ML-2 you can track through the VMS software without any audible monitoring delay.
While the ML-2 is available as a stand-alone product and will work with any preamp, Slate digital doesn’t guarantee that the software emulations will be accurate unless you pair it with their VRS8 interface. That said, it will work on most late model computers and operating systems but does require an iLok 2 or 3 for operation.
The Slate Digital VMS ML-2 goes for $149. You can find more info here, or check out the video below.