BCD Audio launches new ALT-1D mic amp at IBC 2012
Mike Law of BCD Audio has announced a new version, ALT-1D, of his established and popular ALT-1 stand-alone microphone amplifier.
The original ALT-1 microphone amplifier was designed in 1993 in response to demand for a simple to use stand-alone microphone amplifier for journalist and unattended studio use. The unit was to be as simple to use as possible, with the minimum of controls, but the best attainable audio performance under real operating conditions in the field. It has been a popular product with around 4000 unit sales to date.
A unique feature of the unit was the 'Take' switch, which when pressed would make the unit learn the correct audio gain required for that user. Once the unit has learnt the setting, the compressor / limiter/ AGC system would maintain the correct level. The remoteable 'take' switch allows the unit to be controlled from a news control system.
Since then, further applications have appeared, and units are installed in news and weather booths, direct to PC recording, unattended studios and emergency microphone use in main TV news studios. The unit is in use world-wide in these roles.
Mike Law, BCD Audio CEO said "It's not easy to replace a winning product, but increased manufacturing costs and the switch to surface mount production has made a replacement unit essential.
All of the original features are however maintained, with some carefully thought out extensions."
- Front panel switching and LED indicators for Compressor / Limiter and AGC are retained.
- Mic input on balanced XLR with switchable phantom power is retained.
- Line output on balanced XLR is retained, and now includes fault protection.
- The DC inlet is retained, but the unit can now be powered from the D9 in fixed installations.
- A remote 'take' switch with LED connects at the D9, and replaces the remote control mini-jack variant. An added 'mute' input is added as well.
- An unbalanced audio output is present at the D9, for use with unbalanced destinations, such as PC sound cards.
Mike Law started out with an early passion for electronics and a summer job allowed him to work at UK mixer manufacturer Alice, where he learnt about broadcast audio, and 3 years at Birmingham University where he learnt about PA systems, lighting and putting on bands, culminating in an honours degree in Electronic Engineering. Mike worked at Alice, designing audio mixing consoles until redundancy allowed him to set up his own UK company with the help of two Swiss recording studios, with the aim of producing a digitally controlled music console. The ideas behind that console is the basis of much digitally controlled analogue audio in use today. His company, BCD Audio continues to this day, and Mike has become a specialist in designing digital and analogue audio systems, and has kept up with the times, and can now talk DSP and VHDL when he can find someone to converse with.