Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System

Mic/Preamp Modeling Hardware/Software Hybrid System with Large-diaphragm Condenser Mic, Preamp, and Plug-in Suite - Mac/PC AAX, AU, VST
Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System image 1
Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System image 1
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Or just $28/month§ for 36 months

0% interest for 36 months**. 36 equal monthly payments required. Valid through 2/22/2017. Learn more

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Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System
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Your Virtual High-end Mic Locker

What would you pay for a locker full of coveted, mint-condition vintage microphones and high-end modern classics? While you're calculating that, we'd like to tell you about an alluring alternative. The Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System includes an extremely transparent microphone, a sonically neutral preamp, and Slate's amazing VMS microphone/preamp modeling software — and it puts a world-class virtual mic locker in your recording rig at an amazing price. Everyone here at Sweetwater is very excited about Slate Digital VMS. Use it on your next project, and you will be too.

Like owning a locker full of high-end mics

Very few recording engineers ever get to own all the microphones or preamps they'd like to have, but with the Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System, getting your hands on the sounds you want has never been as easy or as affordable. The system includes the ML-1, an extremely transparent large-diaphragm condenser microphone, and the VMS-ONE, a sonically neutral preamplifier. This delivers a coloration-free signal that, when routed through Slate's VMS microphone/preamp modeling software, gives you a mouthwatering selection of microphone models ranging from coveted tube classics (the FG-47 and FG-251) to a modern ultra-fidelity condenser (the FG-800). Slate's Virtual Preamp Collection includes the FG-73, modeled after a legendary British discrete solid-state console preamp; and the FG76, modeled after a classic vintage tube pre.

Choose your ideal signal path

Setting up for a vocal overdub session? How would you like access to a coveted German large-diaphragm condenser mic from the early 1960s? No problem. Why not pair that with the channel strip preamp from a classic '70s British console? Done. Using advanced physical modeling and state-of-the-art digital signal processing techniques, this hybrid microphone and preamp modeling system gives you access to virtually any signal-path tone you can imagine.

Breakthrough hybrid modeling: the key to VMS

The system includes the extremely transparent ML-1 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, which is completely devoid of coloration. The sonically neutral VMS-ONE Linear Preamp ensures minimal coloration, giving you a clean slate for preamp modeling. The VMS plug-in software lets you completely change the tonal characteristics of your recording, even after the fact. Choose from a massive collection of classic vintage mic and preamp models, as well as unique models for advanced recording techniques. You can re-create countless iconic recording chains most engineers can only dream of getting their hands on!

Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System Features:

  • Hybrid microphone and preamp modeling system
  • Gives you access to virtually any signal-path tone you can imagine
  • The ML-1, an extremely transparent large-diaphragm condenser mic
  • VMS-ONE, a sonically neutral, super-linear microphone preamplifier
  • VMS plug-in software, with a collection of classic mic and preamp models
  • Software requirements: Mac OS 10.7 and above; Windows 7 and above
  • Requires an iLok2 or iLok3 (not included) for authorization

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide
Studio Preamp Buying Guide
Steven Slate Interviewed by Sweetwater

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Diaphragm Size Large
Software AAX, AU, VST (iLok2/3 required)
Power Source VMS One preamp
Color Black
Connector XLR (mic); 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS (VMS One outs)
Manufacturer Part Number VMS

Customer Reviews

Based on 20 reviews
Write your review


Yes, it does wonders. Super smooth feeling and sounding as you sing into it. It takes anything you throw at it. Have a listen to my demos as they come out. Find me on reverberation. I'm not hard to miss.

Pretty Impressed..

Well, got it today. I had no problem routing it into my Apollo Twin Duo. It took a little while to make sure I was gain staging correctly and making sure the pre was in Line mode. Thirty minutes later I had a new vocal track and was down to just putting my vocal chain in place. I have to say, it sounds fantastic. The 251 mic fits my voice and after running it through the Slate Neve 1073 preamp, then through a UAD 1176 plugin, it's golden. It cuts through the mix and I did not have to do the major EQ'ing and processing I previously had to do using a Rode NT1a. It's working flawlessly in Pro Tools 12 and Studio One 3. I have seen one review state that the models had a bit of extra sibilance, but I haven't had that experience. So, yes, I'm very happy with my mic upgrade and can see where it will be very useful in matching the mic to the sound. On my budget it's nice to have great choices rather than just one dynamite mic that may only work for a few situations.
Music background: Performing Artist/Studio Geek

New Generation of Audio Equipment

Slate Digital's Virtual Microphone System is one huge leap toward a new frontier of hybrid audio engineering equipment. Combining high end hardware with meticulously designed software, VMS isn't opening a door to a new frontier, its kicking that door down. $999. Let that sink in. Let me state upfront that I do not have firsthand experience with any of the specific emulations included. I cannot tell you whether or not this microphone can completely replace your vintage u47, your C800G, and your 251. (But honestly, even if it is 1:1 identical, why would you replace those microphones?) But I can tell you that for under $1k, you get 4 high end microphones. (Yes, even the Slate ML-1 by itself is a good microphone, just very flat!). There's also plenty of evidence from professionals that the emulations are at the very least, eerily close to the real thing. The FG47 is full and round, with a nice big bottom. Fat everything. The FG800 is modern and airy, crisp and shiny. The FG251 is well balanced, smooth, and compliments just about anything well. You also get 3 high end preamps. (A 1073-like that NAILS the neve flavor, a v76-like that sounds just as stellar, and the VMS One itself which is an amazingly clean, linear pre-amp.) Now it doesn't just stop there. You can use the software on anything. The preamps are actually available as plugins from Slate. The VMS One also takes line level inputs, so you can run other signals through it. THERES MORE MICROPHONES COMING FOR PURCHASE TO USE WITH THIS. (We know so far of the C12 and u67. There's also a mystery third microphone yet to be revealed in that same update.) If you absolutely cannot stand monitoring through DAW (since VMS requires the plugin), you can still monitor the ML-1 live and it sounds good! Has a modern, high end sound. Take the time to get to know each microphone. I would even recommend revisiting your current microphones before using this one. Just so it can really blow you away with its sound quality, and allow the versatility and variety of tones to click. The shockmount is sturdy, the microphone is nice and heavy and big, it comes with a decent case, and no frills packaging. The value of this, not just microphone, but virtual microphone system, is absolutely absurd. $999. Not only am I going to go on the record and state: This is now a must-own for not only engineers/artists on a budget, but almost everyone. But I'm going to go a step further and say that we are witnessing an absolute paradigm shift in modern audio engineering equipment. My only complaint is that the preamp is so light its borderline too light! Haha cables tug on it and it stands up!

Just amazing

Just got my VMS working with my RME UFX... NO latency problem at all. Man.... this mic sounds so great even without the emulations. But with the emulations is just fantastic. I´ve been waiting 2 years for this product. Yes... I`m a Slate believer since day one I tried their products. This mic is revolutionary. Can Believe just costs $ 999.00. No doubt... get it if you can!.
Music background: Rock


This mic is everything they say it is. I work a studio that owns all the classic mics you could want but also has a project studio to reach clients that are looking for a cheaper product. This thing is the closest I've ever heard to the top notch quality at a fraction of the cost. It's a pleasure to work in the project studio now. Huge, phenomenal vocal sounds! Not to mention that is it killer to be able to switch between mics during/after tracking within seconds. A must have. I can't go back.
Music background: Audio Engineer

Sweetwater Advice

Daniel Vranic

I've used Slate Digital's VMS Virtual Microphone System alongside real 251s, U47s, and 1073s coupled with high-end outboard preamps, and I can wholeheartedly say this microphone knocks it out of the park. The emulations are scary close to the real mics, and I'm happy to recommend it to anyone, whether they record in a bedroom or a venerated commercial studio in LA or Nashville.
See also: Condenser Mics, Slate Digital, Slate Digital Plug-ins: Utility, Slate Digital Condenser Microphones, Slate Digital Preamps