Field Report: MXL BCC-1
In an everyday on-air chain, several pieces of critical equipment stand between voice talent and listeners. The first, of course, is the microphone. While important fundamentals dictate microphone purchases, selection is by-and-large very subjective and expansive in nature. Personal preference, budget and environment make deciding on the right microphone somewhat tedious. Reflective rooms typically rule out condenser mics, but the need for bright response and high output rule out dynamic mics. Then there are the morning zoos and college radio scenarios that relentlessly abuse studio equipment, and the microphones catch the brunt of it. What if a mic existed that offered robust all-in-one features for all environments with noise-free performance, clarity and transparency to boot? From what I’ve found, the MXL BCC-1 does exactly that.
Out of The Box
The BCC-1 is a nickel-plated, pressure-gradient condenser microphone with a familiar broadcast design and adjustable pivoting mount. The diaphragm is internally shock mounted, reducing the need for vision-reducing shock mount hardware. It is an end-address microphone with wire mesh around the capsule. As is the case with most condensers, the gold-sputtered diaphragm is sensitive to moisture. A foam windscreen is included, and MXL suggested using it at all times for close-proximity vocal miking. The microphone weighs just more than 1.5lbs. and at first glance, it is a flashy and attractive microphone.
The most pressing curiosity I had concerning the BCC-1 was its behavior as a condenser mic in a typical studio situation. It boasts a cardioid pattern, but so do the dynamic mics I use every day. The first test was in a completely non-reflective room with minimal resonant modes. For general voiceover work, the microphone passed the test. A near inaudible noise floor was noted and seemingly no negative acoustic response was apparent from its environs. From a frequency response perspective it is essentially flat with a gradual upward slope beginning at about 2kHz and dropping back off at about 7kHz. A high frequency roll-off begins at 10kHz. The BCC-1 has a full frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The mic is considerably lively and presented a brighter coloring of my voice that many other microphones seem to attenuate. With that in mind, it was time to test with different acoustics and genders.
|Performance at a glance|
| ■ 148dB SPL
■ 48V phantom power
■ Gold-sputtered 6µm diaphragm
■ Nickel plate finish
■ Cardioid polar pattern
The next step was to try two more studios. The first studio is horribly resonant and the BCC-1 performed surprisingly well. The room was not heard in the resulting test recording and the bright response on my voice was still apparent. The mic boasts tons of output, so the outboard preamp and processing got a workout when compared to the normal dynamic mics used.
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