Slate Digital has introduced The Virtual Microphone System, a new breed of microphone product. It’s a combination of microphone, preamp and software to help emulate sought after and typically expensive microphones and preamps.
The Virtual Microphone System, or VMS for short, includes microphones (ML1 and ML2, see below), preamp with both digital and analog connections (VMS Dual Preamp Converter), as well as the software which emulates famous microphones and preamps (VMS Plugin Module). To do this, they tried to create very transparent microphones and preamps and a software which supposedly imparts the color you want from your favorite hardware.
Slate and c:o were clever enough to understand that at least two hardware microphones had to be included – one for your large diaphragm condenser and one for the other variations. The preamp included also acts as a converter if you want it to.
I’m sure this will cause quite the controversy, as seems to be typical for many Slate products. I haven’t tried it yet so it would of course be wrong of me to comment on if this thing is revolutionary or even sound good enough yet but let me clarify one thing straight away: this is not like Antares Mic Modeler or similar plugins that just try to emulate microphones. Such products fail from the start because your SM58 – or whatever microphone you might use – will color it on the way in. There’s just no way a 58 will sound like a Neumann. The question is of course then, will a Slate Digital? Well, I am skeptical but also intrigued.
Can this actually be the salvation for the more serious albeit not disgustingly rich engineer? Will it make those lucky bastards who’ve managed to build up impressive microphone collections to sell them? Maybe and definitely not.
Slate Digital will present The VMS at the NAMM show. If you’re there, head over to their booth and force them to let you compare it to the real deal then report back here about your findings. Thank you.
Now to the question of price… Steven?