Item: MXL BCD-1, Broadcast Dynamic Microphone
Price: £169 (UK), $149.95 (US)
Quick Singer Assessment:
The MXL BCD-1 is well suited for recording vocals or spoken word, and can also work well for brass or saxophone. However, it can be a bit pricey in Europe, and the tone and volume of the mic can be effected quite drastically if moving around while recording.
At a Glance
The MXL BCD-1 is a large-diaphragm dynamic microphone designed to add warmth and richness to vocals and spoken word. It is at home in both recording and broadcast studios and offers excellent side rejection, making it perfect for noisy spaces or rooms that have not been acoustically treated. Its built-in swivel mount allows for optional positioning when combined with a mic stand and its internal shock-mount helps to prevent unwanted noise from vibrations and knocks. The microphone connects via a standard XLR connector and comes bundled with a foam windscreen that fits over the microphone.
Although primarily aimed at broadcast situations, the MXL BCD-1 can also be used to record singing. It is especially useful if you are recording in less than optimal environments or are tracking a guide vocal with band in the same room. Although the microphone’s frequency range is not as wide and accurate as a typical studio condenser microphone, it is tailored to enhance the important frequencies in a vocal so that they stay forward in a mix and their articulation is clear. It is best suited for close microphone work due to its rejection of sound from the sides. There are three selectable high-pass filter (low-cut) switches to remove any excessive bass frequencies that may occur.
The MXL BCD-1 has a very tight polar pattern, which is good to minimize unwanted room sound, however if you move around too much when speaking or singing, the tone and volume of the mic can be affected quite dramatically. Also many users in Europe will also struggle to understand why the microphone is considerably cheaper in America.
Audio-Savvy Reviewer Says…
The design of the microphone is similar to that of the (higher priced) Electro-Voice RE20 and, although it does share similar sonic characteristics, the RE20 tends to sound a little smoother in comparison to the BCD-1. The microphone will no doubt appeal to people recording podcasts and doing voiceover work, however it would also work well on rock or rap vocals where a condenser mic style high-end sheen is less critical than the issue of cutting through the mix. It can also work well on brass instruments and saxophone; it produces a rich sound on electric guitar amps. MXL also make the BCC-1 condenser mic, which shares some of the characteristics of the BDC-1 but with a wider high frequency response and wider pickup pattern. – Chris Kennedy
Manufacturer’s Website: www.mxlmics.com
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Chris Kennedy is a songwriter, producer multi-instrumentalist and freelance journalist from the UK. He has performed extensively over Europe and written and produced over a dozen albums. Chris also has a passion for music technology and was the principal product reviewer and tech expert of the original Voice Council magazine.