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The AMS Neve BCM10/2 Mk2 is an updated reissue of the rare Neve BCM10/2 broadcast console featuring a choice of 1073N, 1073 Classic, or 1084 Classic preamps, two assignable 2264ALB 500-series compressors, direct channel outputs, four aux sends, 5.1 surround monitoring and more
For industry insiders, the story of the Neve BCM10/2 is a familiar one. What was intended to be a breakthrough broadcast console in 1970 became an affordable (relatively speaking) and/or convenient means of adding 10 channels of Neve 1073 preamps as a sidecar to a main console without having to pop for a full-blown Neve desk and try cramming it into your control room. It wasn’t easy or cheap finding a number of Neve 1073 preamps ready for action. Due to their modular nature, they had to be removed from an existing vintage Neve desk (which people prefer to keep intact, rare as they are) and specially racked. Those in the know sought out the old BCM10/2 broadcast consoles, since one in decent condition gave you 10 already-racked 1073 preamps plus 1072 line amps in the summing matrix. Of course, the BCM10/2 was not without limitations for studio work. In short, the 10 input channels were summed to a stereo bus with no direct outputs per channel (unless modified), making it useful as a sub-mixer, but a tad clumsy as a recording desk. But all those vintage Neve 1073s in one package . . . drool . . .
AMS Neve BCM10/2 Mk2—Just the Facts:
- Class-A topology with Neve-designed custom transformers
- Console size: 10 channels
- Choice of 1073N, 1073 Classic, and 1084 Classic preamps for channel input
- Classic 1272 summing bus gain makeup
- 2x 500-series slots fitted with Neve 2264ALB compressors, patchable or selectable across the mix bus
- Direct outputs on every channel selectable pre- or post-channel insert
- Simple input to each channel doubles the mix inputs and also allows monitor and cue mixes
- 4x aux sends, 1x stereo cue, 1x main stereo mix bus
- Stereo and 5.1 monitoring with passive 24 position gold plated monitor level control
- 3x stereo and 1x 5.1 selectable loudspeaker output sets
- Comprehensive solo system with destructive and safe/isolate modes
- 2x Stereo reverb returns with width, mono, and balance controls & 2x mono DI to bus inputs
- Main mix output insertion selectable pre-or post-fade with IMR (Insert Mix Return) parallel processing controls
- 25-way D-sub connectivity for easy installation into home or studio environments
- Optional side car stand on castors
AMS Neve BCM10/2 Mk2—Beneath the Surface
After decades of requests from audio professionals and witnessing a feeding frenzy in the vintage markets for old BCM10/2s, AMS Neve answered the call with the recording-oriented BCM10/2 Mk2—and then upped the ante with 16-, 24-, and 32-channel configurations, optional patchbay, mix-bus compression, aux sends, 5.1 monitoring, and more. If you’re looking for a no-frills, “just the fact’s ma’am” type of console with the world’s best-sounding preamps and EQs, this is the desk for you. With 24 channels of 1073N preamps, plus the ability to upgrade to 1073 Classic and 1084 Classic preamp/EQs, the BCM24/2 Mk2 gives you all the analog sound and fury that 1s and 0s just can’t compete with.
BCM10/2 Mk2 options (New)
To make the BCM10/2 Mk2 studio friendly or more than just a sidecar, AMS Neve offers a number of options:
- 10, 16, 24 or 32 channel configurations
- Neve 1073N mic preamps fitted as standard, upgrade to 1073 Classic or 1084 Classic on specified channels
- Pair of loudspeaker shelves – mount on top of the console
- Sidecar stand with lockable castors (32-fader stand has fixed feet)
PAD For the Record—The simple truth is that analog consoles can do things that can’t be done by mouse or control surface. One such function is riding input faders—the secret to tracking superstar vocals and making a mix percolate with excitement. As any industry pro will tell you, riding faders will always sound better than compression, since there are no artifacts, no raised noise floor, and no loss of transients. Plus, you can anticipate wide dynamic swings where a compressor can only respond after the fact. Yes, it’s risky, but that’s what separates the pros from the wannabes: rising to the occasion and daring to be great. Another reason to go analog is that pulling back a DAW fader changes the sound, as mixers such as Chris Lord-Alge and Alan Sides will confirm. Lowering volume on a digital fader reduces word-length and subsequently resolution, which changes the makeup of the sound (it gets fuzzy). Whereas in analog, the signal maintains its texture and punch, while the integrity of its wave shape stays intact regardless of level
PAD Tech Note: Neve 1066, 1073, 1081, and 1084; what’s the difference?
In the early seventies, Neve consoles were modular enabling studios to choose their channel count. The 10-series preamp/EQ modules, which included the 1066, 1073, 1081, 1084, and 1072 line amp were built to populate 80-series consoles. They all share the same input and output stages, but differ in terms of equalizer bands having different center frequencies and slopes. The concept was to offer engineers a variety of EQ options while maintaining sonic consistency throughout the desk. In essence, with the exception of the 1072, which was designed for the gain makeup of the summing matrix, they are all essentially the same preamp with different EQs.
Hybrid mixing with the BCM10/2 Mk2—the best of both worlds
If repeatability is an essential part of your workflow due to client change-requests coming days or weeks after a mix is finished, you can still use a stellar-sounding analog desk for summing or stem mixing. Just set your faders at -20dB, send your stems to the console, and do your automation in the DAW. Even if you route to some outboard, it’s still much easier to recall a mix than if you did everything in the analog domain—and with a BCM10/2, you get the benefits of all those custom Neve transformers warming and widening your mix.
Another benefit of going through a console is that you don’t have to be as careful with your track levels in the DAW. Once you have your sound, red lights be damned (especially with 32-bit floating-point processing). Just make sure you’re not losing your tops, watch levels going back into the DAW, and Bob’s your uncle.
At the end of the day, it’s sound quality, emotion, and human interaction that makes great music—something that crunching numbers in a no-risk environment just can’t stand up to. If you want to make records the way records should be made, there’s no substitute for a great-sounding console and the ability to mix like you’re playing an instrument.
For more information on the AMS Neve BCM24/2 Mk2 or other Neve consoles that may better suit your needs, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Integrator today.