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Thread: MXL BCD1 broadcast "noisy room" mic vs SM7b/RE20 is $300 saved?

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    MXL BCD1 broadcast "noisy room" mic vs SM7b/RE20 is $300 saved?

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    Its summer, the noisy rumble of the window ac is running, a floor fan too. The room is poorly done and not sealed from anything such as noise. Noise is what lead me to the SM7b, and pros' singing in the noisy control room etc. (which lead me to preamps and gain etc..because these things have no gain)
    We all know SM7b and RE20.. these two just own this area of mics and it seems they always will. MXL did this BCD1 around 2011.

    COST:
    I grabbed a BCD1, is MXL version of this genre. Its on Amazon $95 if you want a Limited Edition Midnight that looks black or purple or brown depending on the light photons. BLACK is.$140.
    (SM7b keeps climbing $400 as of this writing, RE20 $400. )

    INCORRECT INFO FOUND:
    1)My fav site of mics is Recording Hacks but for the first time they didn't have much. Matter of fact they even had wrong info on this mic. Theres no HPF, let alone three of them?
    2)Many places also call BCD1 a LARGE Diaphragm mic, unable to find pics, the BCD-1 was taken apart.
    Results its NOT a LARGE D, its the same as a Shure SM7b....same as a SM57 same as a SM58...
    3)Even MXL's manual paper says MUST USE PHANTOM POWER WITH THIS MIC...??
    Its a dynamic and no Phantom is needed.
    4) another review mentions it doesn't come with the standard mic stand adapter but it does, you just have to unscrew it and the insert comes out for the larger mic stand thread adapter.

    EARS TEST:
    plug in, first impression, my 2 cents it sounds like a SM7b that sounds like a SM58 and can use some "tweeks" to polish, like 10k , to get the LDC sound. The noise rejection was great compared to my LDC. (noise = window ac and floor fan)
    The BCD kiks ass in removing the room but needs gain like the SM7b. Also the amount of rumble was hugely removed when I picked up the BCD1 and held in the air, not the mics fault but a Mic Arm thing is a great idea for a crap room/area with rumbles transferring to anything solid.


    for $100, BCD-1 works well. I added a short sound clip in my room of my LDC and BCD1 background noise rejection, but if that's too much trouble ….basically I was getting up to -42 on the LDC idle and there was no reading on the DAW for the BCD1 (but I could hear some noise in the headphones).

    Truth is I will probably never spend a bunch of money in this room, it will never be silent, so Headphone mixing and BCD1 genre of mics is probably a smart deal...technically and financially.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd1-review-png   bcd1-review2-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 06-22-2019 at 13:20.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Good review. I did download the manual, but didn't see a reference to phantom power(?) http://www.mxlmics.com/manuals/studio/BCD-1-Manual.pdf

    Have you had a chance to see how it responds to proximity effect? The design of the SM7b and RE20 are such that proximity effect is minimized and there are occasions I like a bit of boost on the low end by getting in close to a mic.
    The sensitivity specs show it being slightly hotter than an SM57/58, so most interfaces should be able to handle that OK.
    I don't really need another mic, but for less than $100 for a cool looking 'Deep Purple' mic is tempting. Black paint $40 more????
    Mark.......

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    yeah I couldnt find the manual that had the warning section on your link, it doesnt use Phantom....I wonder if I looked at a BCC but hadnt see the same doc.

    I ran it through some tests and its very similar to the SM7b, I never had a RE20, but the plosives were better than I thought after hearing all the youtvideos where I thought several had plosives going on. Its got a double steel screen in the End, the capsules sits back approx 2" or so.
    I always use Foam on the mics as a guard/capsule protector.

    Looking at the picture the capsule is at the "2nd ring" from the end.

    Its smaller than the SM7b and in my small area thats a plus.
    > Proximity is pretty flat. The drop off is huge at even a foot back.

    Everything I heard was like the video I posted in the thread, noisy room in Recording Techniques.

    A lot of time I might do a Vocal and acoustic scratch track and the BCD1 cuts the acoustic out a lot, but the acoustic guitar is there in a thin-sounding way. Again SM7b operated that way too. I would imagine MXL had a RE20 and SM7b when they studied for this design? you think?

    Its a different mic, Ive been using LDC's for the past year or three...this is one you have to be right up on top of and stable...no roaming around..lol its a small area.

    One thing I really like of the SM7b is the metal screen that sets a consistent placement, the BCD1 you can do this but I think the SM7b capsule is back a couple inches more....so maybe the BCD is more like the RE20?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd-review-3-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 06-23-2019 at 06:31. Reason: add pic

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    <add> just grabbed a RE20 to see what its like , compared to this MXL- BCD1 copy

    Ill add this note of the test picture to better explain the Noise difference.

    The mics are in same position and same gain per the Reaper meter.
    The noise is a Window AC about 18ft away and a floor fan about 12ft away. The PC fan is about 2ft away.

    The main interest I had was the room noise, but I also found with a nice preamp and a bit of 10K this BCD1 mic sounds very nice too.

    I think I learned something too, I was mistakenly thinking of sensitivity as this huge difference, but now I think its the Pattern more so than sensitivity rating. The huge drop off proximity and side rejection and rear rejection, where as sensitivity could show the same noise floor once the volume is adjusted.

    Anyway! fun stuff...

    <left is the BCD1-dynamic and the right is a LDC >
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd1-review-3a-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 06-23-2019 at 16:47.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    continuing this review....its amazing how the engineers can design stuff like this BCD1 and noisy room rejection pattern.

    I think the BCD1 might even be more drastic than the SM7b in rejecting the room as in sound drops off really fast as you move away from it.
    I got out the measuring tape and it was only 3"!!! away and the sound dropped off in a huge way.
    While this is interesting as a science project and design test.....this mic would be horrific for someone who moves around or cant keep their mouth on the foam.

    bizarre … unforgiving for a moving mouth/head...but a wonder for a noise rejection in a crap room, ambient...
    I didn't notice any major overloading of the mic but the preamp gain needs attention to not overload the interface...but this isn't a problem.
    For me Im not a screamer, and staying on the mic is easy in a desktop small space deal...and keeping the mouth on the foam, is same I did with the SM7b for consistent tracking, but more attention is needed to that.

    RE20 should be here today, that will be interesting to compare. The RE20 is a true large diaphragm , so BCD1 is probably a mix of re20 design and smaller SM7b type capsule. Already I think I like the smaller size of this BCD1 better, RE20 is pretty large , very large Im reading.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd1-close-3-away-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Seems like that tight of a pattern would be problematic for most singers who actually use the mic in a natural way, so it’s going to really be limited to voiceover work, unlike the SM7b. At least it sounds like that to me.

  7. #7
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    yeah I agree.
    I could use it, I have a small desk, the mics there..I dont move like Jagger....
    but in general , yeah man, kind of amazing how they do it though? like a cliff dive!

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    RE20 showed up and snapped a side by side, the RE20 wasn't as huge as some said...like "DANG!! THAT MIC IS HUGE!" was a concern...
    But it was fine and larger than the BCD1 but not scary Blimp size....that was a good thing.
    Ive wanted to try a RE20 for a long time, it was a decision between it and SM7b , so now its here years later.

    First thing was the droop on the standard mic holder, I guess I can try tightening this but its brand new. It came with a shock mount, but Ive read that's huge too. The internal shock mount was the best of my tests as far Table Rumble...on and off the table, in this room, a Boom Arm will be installed.

    SM58 was included today too...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd1-re20-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    ok...room noise test comparison...Noisy room....AC window, fan on floor, pc 2ft away.... table rumble 70hz and below...

    the BCD1 did great.
    the RE20 maybe even better because of internal design.
    the SM58 did ok, but handling and didn't have the mouth on the foam, ease of a broadcaster mic
    the LDC has worst room pickup but most tolerant of someone moving about singing..etc..

    as for my ears on sound, I don't know, the dynamics sounded similar, the BCD1 had more top end...I don't know yet. I'll need a few months to feel the vibe of each. def to get a boom arm stand and remove the rumble! the HPF filtering takes out the rumble too, per my LA610 eq at 70 and -6 or -9.... still I like the boom arm thing.

    this review was interesting, the noisy room revisited, I got to say I like the MXL BCD1.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd1-re20-58-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    fillup some more memory space on HR.com. I tossed in a few more mics in the mix. Started wondering about Ears vs Noisy-Room…. Dynamics vs LDC... etc

    RE20 I wasn't getting it, was kind of "wooly" and seemed to grab some more low mids on my vox...I don't know. I wonder what other owners use for their Channel Strip? Anyone have inputs on this infamous mic? Ive been listening to Superstitious Stevie Wonder and McCartneys RAM, the RE20 is on...but whats their chain I wonder? Their recordings have sparkle, clarity, LDC like. I sent it back.

    BCD1 was much more clarity but I suppose that could be someone elses thin & peaky.... it works for me, has the best rejection of the bunch, and was cheap.

    SM58/57 etc...handhelds, not as easy but very workable.

    Surprise was, and I think my favorite of all, in the happy-medium level is the KSM27. (AKG 2000B too). KSM27 cheap, $80-$180.. with 2qty holders included. It has the LDC sparkle but a tighter pattern for noise rejection than most LDC, a comfortable mid sensitivitygain, but not too much for a crap HR room, and a effective HPF. I recall it being used live even so noise pattern makes sense the aka DIXIE CHIC mic, its built and drop tested like SHURES heavy and steel..nice solid feel. etc..etc.. The other AKG 2000B was dusted off and very similar to the KSM27. $80 - $150 used with holders...and MUST USE FOAM, as the SOS article says. lol

    I sent the RE20 back, but it had the boom arm in the deal...so a boom stand arm for my desk will help all getting off the cheap wooden desk with the "rumble" sub sonic noise.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bcd1-re20-more-one-png   noisey-room-ksm27-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 06-29-2019 at 08:59.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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