Rich Parker, director of engineering at Vermont Public Radio, seated in the main master control/air studio with two of the station's 12 Neumann BCM 104 microphones
Vermont Public Radio (VPR) has standardized its announce microphones with a dozen Neumann BCM 104 broadcast mics throughout the five-station statewide network, which will be expanding to six locations.
VPR's director of engineering, Rich Parker, said, "We were eager to have a consistent mic sound throughout all of our studios. We are very pleased with the sound of the BCM 104, as well as its compact look. And because of the reasonable cost, we were able to outfit our remote locations as well as
our main studios."
Mike Pappas, chief engineer at KUVO public radio in Denver,
initially recommended the BCM 104 to Parker. Pappas, who had already installed a number of the microphones, reported that the improvement in audio quality was immediately noticeable. "Mike said, 'We put them on-air and people called us to ask what we were doing!' I trust his judgment and I wasn't disappointed," Parker recalled.
Parker said that VPR had been using a number of different microphones in the Vermont production and talk studios, including several Neumann U89s. "There are a couple of things that are really amazing about the BCM 104," he
said. "One, it's a large-diaphragm mic with the Neumann name and the manufacturing care and the electronics that we've come to love. The other piece of it is that the form factor is much more suitable for studio use.
"The form factor, especially on talk shows where you have
people interacting with one another, is a huge advantage. Visually, they're much less obtrusive than what we were using before. They look like they were designed as an announce mic for broadcast. There's very little room for error in the orientation of the BCM 104 because of the way they're mounted. It's a single-pattern mic, which
is what you want for a studio. When you're talking about an announce mic, you really don't need four patterns."
Parker continued, "We put them in the studio and people immediately liked them. They're very open and transparent-sounding. Because we had been using foam wind screens on the U87s, people needed to learn where to work it, so there was a little bit of a learning curve because you can hear everything. I encouraged them to not work it as close, move it around and find the sweet spot. I think it's a great mic."