The Slate Digital ML-2 is a phantom-powered ultra flat, wide-bandwidth, small-diaphragm condenser mic designed to provide a “blank canvas” response and comes with Slate Digital’s Classic Instrument Module software
The Slate Digital ML-2 is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone that’s capable of recreating the tone of an entire mic locker of instrument mics. Its ultra flat and linear response behaves like a “clean slate” if you will, that enables it to provide authentic sounds of dynamic mics, such as the Shure SM57* and Sennheiser MD-421*, ribbon mics, including the Royer R-121,* and famous small diaphragm mics, such as the AKG C 451* and Schoeps M 222* tube mic. Not just limited to the famous small-diaphragm mics, the ML-2 can also emulate the sound of large-diaphragm mics, such as the renowned AKG C 414* and Neumann U67* tube condenser. A member of the Slate Virtual Microphone System, the ML-2 can be purchased as a standalone mic and comes with Slate Digital’s Classic Instruments Module software, featuring meticulously modeled microphones from the mic locker of world-class, NRG Studios.
Slate Digital VMS ML-2—Just the Facts:
- Ultra flat and linear small-diaphragm condenser mic
- Dynamic mode repolarizes the capsule to record high-SPL sources while remaining clean and unsaturated
- Comes with Classic Instruments Module with 18 models of dynamic, ribbon, and small- large-condenser mics
- The software adds no latency, for near-zero-latency tracking**
- An excellent mic in its own right for true-to-source recordings
**Requires low-latency interface
Slate Digital VMS ML-2—Behind the Grille
Like its big brother the ML-1, the ML-2 was designed to have an ultra-linear response with no distortion, so that it can serve as a blank canvas for Slate’s modeling software. If you recall the first attempt to model microphones, it was by a company whose name rhymes with, “Aunt Fairies.” The claim was that the software could make any mic sound like a vintage condenser. As it turned out, all that it did was offer more of an EQ-ed veneer rather than an actual emulation. The secret of the Slate Virtual Microphone System is that it’s a perfect fusion of hardware and software modeling, beginning with the ML-2 is the all-important first link of your signal chain.
The ML-2 is designed to accurately reproduce the response of pencil condensers, precisely replicating the classic cardioid polar pickup pattern of vintage mics. In essence, it captures a sound source as accurately as possible while still maintaining the capsule response of the actual mics it’s meant to model. This, in turn, enables the software models to accurately reproduce the sound of the mics in not just timbre, but in physical behavior as well.
If you have even a tyro’s grasp of microphone technology, you’re probably wondering how a small-diaphragm condenser can handle the high SPLs and response of the heavier moving-coil diaphragm of a dynamic mic. The answer came to Slate Digital as the result of extensive testing during the development of the ML-2. Slate engineers found that even the most expensive small-diaphragm microphone designs saturate when miking very loud and transient-rich sources, such as close-miked drums. To duplicate that effect, Slate created a proprietary switchable circuit that attenuates the mic’s output and repolarizes the capsule, which allows the ML-2 to be used in extremely high-SPL situations without overloading or saturating. As a result, it can be used just like a dynamic mic on drums, guitar cabinets, and more.
Steven Slate didn’t choose these mic models by accident. As the creator of the industry’s premier drum sample libraries, Slate is intimately familiar with the most ubiquitous mics used for drum recording, and more importantly, how they should sound. For example, the SM57 is the go-to mic for snare drum, and lately, combining it with the R-121 has become extremely popular for not just snare, but also electric guitar cabinets. Like the 57 is synonymous with snare recording, for high-hat, it’s the AKG C 451. Moving around the kit, the MD-421 remains the mic of choice for toms (due to its natural compression characteristics). For kick drum, the Slate ML-2 gives you the sound of the famed AKG D12* or Neumann U47*. And, when you consider the price of the ML-2 against a collection of the aforementioned vintage mics (if you can find good ones), plus the modern mics, it’s a mere fraction. Plus, there’s no dealing with the vagaries and pitfalls of eBay or waiting for availability.
The Classic Instruments Module
When purchased separately, the ML-2 comes with the Classic Instruments Module, with is a collection of 18 microphone models, including dynamic mics, ribbon mics, small-diaphragm condensers, and large-diaphragm condensers include a fabulous model of the Neumann U67 vocal mic for added versatility.
To get the most out of the ML-2 you can pair it with the Slate Digital VRS8 interface, which includes eight VMS Ultra Linear mic preamps. Additionally, the ML-2 is available in standalone and can work with any preamp. However, depending on the preamp you choose, Slate can’t guarantee that the software emulations will be accurate. You’ll need a very clean, transparent preamp. Such units can be quite expensive. However, the perfect cost-effective solution is the Slate Digital VMS One preamp, designed specifically for the Virtual Microphone System.
Classic Instruments Module includes:
S-57 Vintage—The model is a recreation of an early 80’s dynamic 57, perhaps one of the most famous dynamic microphones in audio history. It’s known for its punchy midrange and smooth top end, which is why it is a top choice on guitar and snare drum.
S-57 Modern—A brand new dynamic 57, this mic sounds very similar to the vintage model but with slightly smoother mids and more sizzly highs.
S-7—This is a dynamic mic that became famous as a broadcasting microphone, but its present mids make it ideal for all sorts of instruments such as kick, toms, snares, guitars, bass, and more.
S-421—Another classic dynamic mic, this model is perfect on toms, kick, guitar cab, bass cab, and horns. It has thick low mids and punchy lows.
S-E20—This is a model of a dynamic microphone that became popular in the seventies. It has a very even frequency response while remaining fat-sounding, so it can be useful on all sort of different sources - from vocals and electric guitar to kick drum.
S-112—This is a model of a famous modern kick drum microphone. It has a classic “bouncy” midrange and fat low end.
S-112B—This is a model of a famous kick drum microphone in a different position. Due to the major physical differences in the moving coil design of this microphone versus the static condenser of the ML-1, it was easier to capture specific positional sounds. For the “B”, this position is in front of the sound hole of the kick.
S-12—This is a model of a vintage kick drum microphone. It has a crisp top, fat low mid, and warm bottom end.
S-451—This is a model of a famous small diaphragm condenser that is smooth and clear, with a beautiful high end. It’s great on snare, overheads, hi-hat, toms, and guitar cabs if paired with one of the dynamic models.
S-222—This is a model of a famous small diaphragm tube mic. It’s bright but not harsh, with a smooth midrange and flat low end. It’s ideal for drum overheads, acoustic guitars, and string instruments.
S-121 Normal—This is a cardioid model of the classic ribbon mic, and like the real thing, it has fat lows and slightly dark highs, making it perfect on horns strings, room mics, guitar cabs, and overheads.
S-121 Dynamic—This emulation is the same source microphone as the S-121 Normal, only it has been optimized for use with the ML-2 when it’s in Dynamic mode. Use this model and ML-2’s Dynamic mode when miking very loud sources.
S-67—This is actually a model of a large diaphragm tube mic! It has smooth and slightly dark highs, thick mids, and big lows. Great on room mics, overheads, toms, snares, guitars, basses, and everything else!
S-47F—This famous German FET microphone model is known for round highs, fat mids, and huge low end. It’s a standard on kick drum and bass cab, but also sounds great on toms.
S-414 Normal—This is a model of one of the most famous FET large diaphragm mics. It has clear punchy mids, slightly extended highs, and a very fat low end. It’s perfect on overheads, guitar cabs, bass cabs, toms, and horns.
S-414 Dynamic—This emulation is the same as the S-414 Normal, only it has been optimized for use with the ML-2 when it’s Dynamic mode. Use this model and the ML-2’s Dynamic mode when miking very loud sources.
S-Custom Kick—This is a modified version of the S-12 that adds more attack and punch, with less low mids and more defined lows.
S-Custom Snare—This is a modified version of the S-57, with added curves from famous EQ’s to enhance the sound producing the ultimate polished snare sound.
S-Custom Tom—This is a modified version of the S-421 that adds more highs and lows, and has less low mid, creating the ultimate tom sound for both rack and floor.
*All models mentioned are registered trademarks of their manufacturers
Slate Digital VMS ML-2 includes:
- 1 mic +Single license for VMC Classic Instruments (First time registration only)
Slate Digital VMS ML-2 has opened doors that otherwise would have remained forever closed to all but a lucky few. Order yours today. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today.
Minimum system requirements:
- Quad Core i5 processor
- 4GB of RAM
- Mac OS X 10.7 or later
- Windows 7 and above
- iLok 2 or 3 required
Recommended system requirements:
- Quad Core i7 processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Mac OS X 10.9 or later
- Windows 7 and above
- iLok 2 or 3 required
Supported plug-in formats:
- Intel Mac 32-bit: VST2, VST3, AU, AAX
- Intel Mac 64-bit: VST2, VST3, AU, AAX
- Windows 32-bit: VST2, VST3, AAX
- Windows 64-bit: VST2, VST3, AAX