Updated: Nov 24, 2019
First and foremost, the MXL BCD-1 is an “end” address dynamic microphone. There is nothing I hate more than an equipment review where the reviewer shows, displays, uses or otherwise demonstrates the equipment wrong. End address specifically and ONLY means, to talk straight down (or slightly off axis) to the barrel of the microphone at the end. No, that’s the XLR connector… the other end. Right.
Side address microphones you address from the side. as shown here in the image of the RODE NT1-A below set to record from the side (note pop filter positioning).
The MXL BCD-1 comes with a pretty robust built-in swivel mount that allows for perfect positioning when combined with the optional MXL BCD-Stand or other broadcast arm.
There are of course other broadcast grade booms out there (and I will be reviewing the majority), but for this article, I’ll stick with the MXL pairing as it is a pretty damn good one and is certainly used by professionals and pro-sumers alike.
MXL overall is truly a brand that rivals all the big boys in the industry and it has many reasons as to why it produces some of the best and most sought after dynamic mics.
The brightness and clarity with rich deep tones are the characteristics we loved about the MXL 990’s and MXL just keeps on delivering that exact quality right across their entire line as the BCD-1 gave up nothing but unwanted noise for our purposes.
The BCD-1 will indeed and most certainly give you a very bright clear and warm sound that will eliminate all the raw background noises, hums and ambients instantly.
When we first built our broadcast studio way back in 2010, we went with the MXL 990 studio condenser mics requiring phantom power to run and although they were incredible for capturing the voice in our broadcast work, they picked up literally every little click hum, and room noise you can think of including even some noise from outside the studio! We of course learned that we had to sound proof the entire studio and kill all internal sound reflection, and once that was done, the MXL 990’s were absolutely awesome, but a bit noisy for a broadcast environment.
Then, in 2011 we needed to get some broadcast mics that would be suitable for on-location broadcasting. We didn’t want to rely on the small dynamic “reporter” type mics that were the standard for doing location work as they all seemed to be lacking something in the tones and we wanted to keep our sound consistent when switching from the studio to our location hosts, so we researched a more suitable solution for our mobile studio as we knew the 990’s would not be a great choice.
Enter the MXL BCD-1 Dynamic Broadcast. We looked at other obvious top tier choices like the HEIL PR-40, ElectroVoice RE-20 and the SHURE SM7B, but as cost was an issue as we were outfitting 4 different stations, we gave the BCD-1 a test and were astounded with the value and quality MXL was putting out for in some cases less than half the price. The mic will only focus on the main source of sound and ignore and bounce back anything that isn’t coming from the front or “end” of the mic. The side axis noises will are repelled brilliantly and any distortion or skewed sounds are kept at bay effortlessly.
This dynamic mic has been made to focus on and reproduce isolated sounds that are placed in fairly close proximity to the mic. Speaking of proximity, it is an absolute gem when utilizing the “proximity effect” that so many radio people do enjoy.
However, it’s true that it’s not very good at recording people standing far away, perhaps a choir let’s say. Rightly so as it was not designed for such application. However, it is a very well engineered and accurate piece of equipment that will reproduce both all of the bass and high sounds of a voice artist or broadcaster faithfully without adding any unwanted noise or strange tone to the equation. MXL also makes sure that their dynamic mic settles into its new home the best it can and they include both a very nice mount, carrying/storage case packed with good quality foam for the microphone with the package.
The Pros: + isolates the main vocal sound source well even in noisy environments + rejects background and side noise quite expertly even without processing + comes with a great quality mount and carrying case with foam + Built for the professional with all metal construction (ours still working after 8 years of daily use) + End address design allows for optimal setups for pop filters and versatile mounting. + Works well with all voice types. (This is a biggie as most others sound great for one person and not so great for another depending on voice types.
Now, about the MXL BCD-Stand. This is a spring-articulated boom arm allows for professional flexibility and totally customizable placement of microphones for optimal vocal recording.
It is of very good quality and completely unlike the cheap Chinese arms available on Amazon and eBay etc. for around $8 to $11 dollars. It includes both a Table clamp and a more permanent swivel mount option.
It supports heavy microphones like the ProCaster from RODE, the RE-20 and 320 from ElectroVoice (including that big sexy cage!) and the SM7B from SHURE. And yes… as every reviewer of these Boom Arms is asked ALL THE TIME… it does indeed support the Blue Yeti and Blue’s line of big heavy dumb crappy mics.
We’ve used the MXL BCD mic booms (among others) in our studios for a total of about 8 years of daily use. They don’t creak, squawk, moan or groan when moving or re positioning mics during broadcasts. The springs are in great shape and have not stretched, or lost flexibility. Great low noise internals put together well. Overall, they are workhorses that’ll give you a great result for about $139.00 US as of this writing. Well worth that and then some!
MXL overall always seems to go all out to impress customers and with one of their best rated dynamic microphones, they certainly deliver once again. The BCD-1 comes with a hearty case and foam to help you store and care for your new mic and keep it safe from any accidents that could happen. The side rejection and limited background noise make the isolation of the main sound source shine through.
If you are looking for a damn good quality dynamic mic, MXL is an absolute fantastic choice!
Christopher John Taylor - VineHill Entertainment