The MXL BCD-1 a dynamic microphone aimed at live broadcast and podcasting applications, hence the name “BroadCast Dynamic”. Release in 2011, the BCD-1 is the MXL’s equivalent to the very popular Electro-Voice RE 20 used in many radio stations all over the world.
MXL is well know for its low-cost consumer microphones but this mic’s target market is more towards the broadcast and podcast professionals and enthusiasts.
MXL BCD-1 Build and Design
The MXL BCD-1 has an all-metal construction. It is similar in design to the RE-20 though noticeably shorter. Like almost all microphones built for broadcast, the MXL BCD-1 is an end-address mic which means you speak at the end of the mic not the sides. In other words, it’s designed in such a way so that the mic end is aiming at your mouth when speak.
The mic body is suspended by a swivel mounting system that’s built into it very similar to the Shure SM7B built-in mount. This design allows accurate positioning especially when mounted using a mic arm which gives you the freedom of moving the mic at any direction.
The optional accessory MXL BCD-stand is available just for that purpose.
The MXL BCD-1 barrel has side “openings” covered with grills as an internal reflections canceler as we will see shortly.
The MXL BCD-1: Dyanamic vs. Condenser
As you may know, there are two main types of microphones: condensers and dynamics. In a nut shell, condensers are need power to operate and transfer sound waves that hit their capsules to electrical signals. This make them very sensitive and pick up all sounds in the area including streets and neighbors, AC and furnaces and noises from inside your mouth. This is why condenses are often used in sound isolated sudios.
Dynamics, on the other hand, have a different technique for capturing sound waves and converting them to electrical signals. They require no power to work and are way less sensitive to sound. In fact, the quieter the dynamic mic, the better like the very popular Shure SM7B dynamic mic which is well known for lack of sensitivity and need for gain and amplification.
This is why dynamic mics dominate the broadcast, podcast and radio market. They don’t pick up as much noise and focus mainly on the voice of the person speaking directly at them. Broadcasters and podcasters usually do a lot of stuff while “on-air”. They may be typing on the keyboard to search for something online, getting handed paper or operating a soundboard.
The down side to this, though, is that dynamic mics tend to be gain hungry and need tons of amplification before they can give their best sound. The BCD-1 is no exception as it needs at least 60-65dB of gain.
MXL BCD-1 Noise Rejection Techniques
The BCD-1, in addition to being a dynamic mic, is designed to block and isolate as much noise as possible. Its barrel has a “tuned” grill to cancel internal reflections.
The cardioid polar pattern focuses the pick up at the top end of the mic where the moving-coil is.
To further isolate noise, the BCD-1 has a built-in shockmounting mechanism around its cartridge which tackles the handling noise issue. Theoretically, you can move the mic around while recording or broadcasting without the noise being picked up by the mic.
Finally, no broadcast mic is complete without high-pass filter which the BCD-1 has. This basically means that when ON, frequencies higher than a certain threshold pass, thus the term “high-pass”, and any frequencies lower than that threshold are blocked. This is particularly useful in the broadcast and podcast world where you will often combat a low-frequency noise coming from the AC, computer hard drives and fans or street traffic.
The high-pass filter also controls its proximity effect.
The BCD-1’s twin condenser, the BCC-1, is however, a condenser mic that attracts more sound controlled environments such as recording studios and isolated booths.
MXL BCD-1 Sound
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to test this mic but from what I heard on other reviews, it sounds great. The sound it produces is warm and rich. Some critics say it’s boomy in the low to low-mids and harsh in the higher frequencies. I think it’s no different from the Shure SM58. In fact, it sounds better to me.
Being built especially for broadcast makes me seriously consider it for my podcast.
MXL BCD-1 Features:
- Dynamic mic, ideal for broadcast and podcast applications
- Side rejection design to eliminate room noise
- Built-in shockmount to prevent handling and mic movement noises
- Built-in swivel mount for positioning
MXL BCD-1 Technical Specs
|40 Hz-15 kHz
|-54 dB re 1 V/Pa
|157.5mm x 50.8mm / 6.2 in. x 2.0 in
|1.25 lbs / 567g
MXL BCD-1 Package
The package includes these items:
- Hard plastic case with the mic placed in foam bed
- MXL Sticker
- Micro-fiber cleaning cloth
MXL BCD-1 Price
The regular MXL BCD-1 price is 1$70 at Amazon although I’ve seen it as low as $136 on Amazon itself.
At this price, it way cheaper than any “broadcast” mics out there. The closest alternative is the Rode Procaster at $230.
For anyone looking for a dynamic mic built for broadcasters and podcasters, this is a great choice in my opinion. Combined with the right amp and/or audio interface I can get great audio for my podcast. And although I have some of the greatest broadcast mics (Shure SM7B and Rode Procaster), I’m still tempted to get this mic.