BC2

Overview

BC2 Engine Closed Porter & DaviesBorn out of a combination of necessity and ingenuity, the BC2 by Porter & Davies is a small, highly portable and tough solution to an age-old problem: We all know the feeling of the bottom end thump when we see a band from out front. Who usually feels that the least in the whole room? The drummer. The answer is a device that you are in control of, that delivers the weight and power and the sound of the bass drum without the external volume.

The BC2 allows you to feel, experience and hear the bass drum like you never felt it before. It consists of our very own Patented throne top with the finest Tactile Generator mounted internally, coupled to a flightcased electronics “Engine” pack. The system delivers powerful and nuanced reproduction, transmitted through bone conduction.

Don’t take our word for it, please see what these top drummers have to say in our Artist Section.

BC2 Engine Open Angle Porter & DaviesIf you’re using in-ear monitoring, you’ll be able feel the bass drum like never before. If you’re not using in-ears, this system so accurately connects you to your bass drum that it will improve your confidence, groove, playing and whole stage experience. It is an absolute revelation in the recording studio!

The BC2 electronics fit into a road rugged flightcased “Engine” pack the size of a 10″ tom case which only weighs 10 kilos. It is extremely portable and, most importantly, is quick and easy to set up. Simply open the case, plug in throne, plug in mic, plug in power and you’re away!

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Details

bc2The BC2 is an amplified Tactile Generator Monitor System which turns the bass drum signal (and other signals if required) into “tactile sound” up through the drum stool. You feel it and hear it, but no one else does. This works mainly through bone conduction (see the Theory page). The result is far more sophisticated than a simple “thump”. All of the tone and intricacies of the bass drum sound and impact are felt and heard internally.

The BC2 is a two unit system consisting of an “Engine” which contains all of the electronics: – Amp, preamp, inputs and outputs, protection circuitry, and volume and tone controls, and the throne top.
The Patented BC2 Throne is an all-in-one unit in which we internally mount the highest quality and most efficient Tactile Transducer available. There is zero compromise on build quality.

BC2 Engine Open Control PanelThe three handmade comfortable Throne top designs (see here) are extremely sturdy and elegantly constructed, and are adorned with a silk “BC2 by Porter & Davies” logo. They will accommodate 7/8” diameter throne bases as used by DW, Gibraltar, Roc N Soc, Yamaha, Tama, Ludwig, Premier, Custom Percussion, and others. Custom sizes and pneumatic (air lift) mounting brackets are available on request.

The BC2 is built into its own flightcase, whereas the BC2rm is designed to fit into industry-standard 19” racks.

Our systems are being road proven by a growing list of the world’s top drummers and bands (see the Artist section).

Main Features

  • BC2 Saddle Throne Top and Engine Open VerticalVoltage selector switch for use worldwide (240 or 115 volts).
  • Hardwired passive XLR mic in and out sockets.
  • Line XLR socket which accepts both balanced and unbalanced inputs.
  • Phantom Power selector to accommodate both dynamic and condenser microphones.
  • NL4 Speakon connection from Engine to Throne.
  • Three separate power leads provided: USA, UK, and EU.
  • Choice of three Throne styles (click here).
  • Full control of power and intensity immediately at your side. The system is 100% consistent, night after night, completely irrelevant of acoustics, stage volume, room size, etc.
  • Both the BC2 and BC2rm units are incredibly compact and efficient. They need under 150W to drive them, as opposed to around 1200W required by a well known competitor.
  • The power range is formidable.
  • The BC2 / BC2rm offers unparalleled response speed (0% lag) and sensitivity, so will faithfully replicate all of your playing dynamics: It will respond to long notes (beater off) as well as short notes (beater on), depending on drum dampening, tuning, and playing style.
  • It will TRANSFORM your playing experience: The drummer and drum kit become “one” – your groove will be stronger than ever.
  • As well as the bass drum, you can also feed in toms, snare drum, even bass guitar. The sensitivity and response are so accurate that even ghosted double stroke snare rolls are represented.
  • If you use IEMs, the BC2 / BC2rm completes the sonic experience by providing the physicality of the bottom end which otherwise cannot be replicated. The mix will clear up and give space to the other sounds which no longer have to compete with the bass drum, and the volume can come down.
  • This also applies if you don’t use IEMs: Monitoring and general stage levels naturally decrease quite drastically, as well as becoming so much cleaner.
  • The BC2 flightcase base will accommodate ALL of the relevant leads (Speakon, power cables).
  • BC2 Engine Open AngleThe whole system takes well under 2 mins to rig up. Open the flightcase, plug in the bass drum mic directly (or line from the monitor desk/board), connect the power lead, connect the throne to the box, switch on. That’s it.
  • Here is another BIG advantage for fully amplified gigs: No bass drum(s) thumping through big monitor subs to pollute the stage sound.
  • The kit can be miked up more ambiently, and the sound engineer hasn’t got to gate or roll off all the heavy bottom from the other mics. The toms can now breathe properly and sound huge… The singers also have less to moan about!
  • Fantastic with MIDI kits: Real power, and you’ll lose that disconnected feeling. The sense of reality has to be experienced to be believed.
  • Cheaper tour/stage spec: No subs required for the drummer.
  • For recording, the new sense of weight, nuance and connection is invaluable.
Billy Cobham BC2

The BC2: Not just for big loud rock gigs. Here is Billy Cobham during his week-long residency at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club.

“… this added effect allows me to play at a level that is at least one step higher than I would do in live performance situations without the Porter & Davies drum throne…”

Spec

BC2 Engine Open Top ViewBC2 by Porter and Davies “Engine” Flightcase (with all leads and accessories)

Dimensions:
30cm x 30cm x 30cm inc ball corners.

Weight:
9.5Kg.

Cables supplied as standard:
2M UK, Euro and US power cables plus 2M Speakon NL4 throne link cable.

Amp:
(230/115vAC switchable)

BC2 Round Throne Top and Engine OpenMic in:
600 ohm electronically balanced P2 hot XLRF. +48v Phantom power switch with indicator.

Mic out:
Hardwired parallel to mic in. XLRM.

Line in:
10K ohm electronically balanced P2 hot XLRF.

Low Contour:
+/- 12dB @ 45Hz shelving.

Signal present indicator led, green:
-30dB.

Signal Peak indicator led, red:
+4dB.

Max output:
150W RMS / 4ohm 0.05%THD 20hz-18khz +/- 2dB. Anti-thump and 2 stage noiseless dynamic load protection circuitry built-in.

Round Throne Top:
40 x 40 x 24cms deep.
Weight: 5.7Kg.

BC2 Saddle Throne Top UndersideSaddle Throne Top:
40 x 40 x 24cms deep.
Weight: 5.7Kg.

Extra-wide Throne Top:
50 x 40 x 24cms deep.
Weight: 5.9Kg.

Connection between Engine and Throne:
Speakon NL4 to Speakon NL4.

Other Applications

The BC2, BC2rm and Gigster were primarily conceived for drummers, but as time has gone on many other musicians have been trying out P&D rigs for other instruments: If you sit down when you play, a P&D rig will add a huge dimension to your musical experience. Many studio and theatre bass players have discovered the difference a P&D system makes to their work, but now word is spreading to other musicians…

Here are a few examples:

Jonathon Beckford

Keyboardist Jon Beckford (above) has been using his BC Gigster with Billy Ocean for a few years now. He describes it as “solid as a rock… there’s no turning back with its attack, the rhythm becomes your backbone.”.

Adrian Oxaal

Oysterband ‘cellist Adrian Oxaal (left) uses a BC2 to supplement his regular monitoring. The BC2 gives him the richness, tone and sustain of his instrument which usually simply disappears on a noisy stage.

Manu Van Os

Manu van Os, keyboard player for Dutch band Racoon bought the BC2rm (below) and says “I don’t want to play without it anymore. It’s not only just nice to play with and a welcome addition to the in ear sound, but it adds to the quality of your personal part within the music and therefore enhances the total band performance. It gives me the push through the seat without the need for big monitors or wedges to move the air; It clears up the low-end, makes the bass tighter and much more defined. With those two things happening, your total mix gets deeper and wider.”.

Theory

Porter & Davies Throne Tops

Porter & Davies Throne Tops

Most of the sound we hear reaches our ears via airborne vibrations, like those produced by acoustic instruments and loudspeakers. However, there are four additional pathways through which we perceive acoustic energy, all of which fall into the category of tactile sound. These additional pathways include:

  • Deep tissue and muscle mass (“Kinesthetic”)
  • Skeletal joints (“Haptic”)
  • Skin sensation (sense of touch)
  • Bone conduction (skull to cochlea transmission)
Dil Davies London Drum Show

Co-inventor Dil Davies at the London Drum Show.

To capitalise on these additional means by which we perceive acoustic energy, Tactile Sound Transducers have been designed to send high-quality audio to the listener/player in the form of vibrations over a full range of tactile audio frequencies. When attached to a resonant surface (which is at the heart of our Patent Pending thrones), the transducer reacts with precision and directness to the signal it receives.

Jonathon Beckford

Keyboardist Jon Beckford (above) has been using his BC Gigster with Billy Ocean for a few years now. He describes it as “solid as a rock… there’s no turning back with its attack, the rhythm becomes your backbone.”.

Adrian Oxaal

Oysterband ‘cellist Adrian Oxaal (left) uses a BC2 to supplement his regular monitoring. The BC2 gives him the richness, tone and sustain of his instrument which usually simply disappears on a noisy stage.

Manu Van Os

Manu van Os, keyboard player for Dutch band Racoon bought the BC2rm (below) and says “I don’t want to play without it anymore. It’s not only just nice to play with and a welcome addition to the in ear sound, but it adds to the quality of your personal part within the music and therefore enhances the total band performance. It gives me the push through the seat without the need for big monitors or wedges to move the air; It clears up the low-end, makes the bass tighter and much more defined. With those two things happening, your total mix gets deeper and wider.”.

Instructions

The BC2 and BC2rm come with the following:

  • BC2 or BC2rm Engine.
  • Throne top (choice of three styles). Integrally mounted inside the throne is our very own Precision Devices transducer.
  • Speakon NL4 connector cable.
  • 3 x power cables: USA, GB, EU.

You will also need the following, as they are NOT supplied with the BC2:

  • The throne base is NOT included, but our thrones will accommodate 7/8″ diameter throne bases as used by Gibraltar, Roc N Soc, Yamaha, DW, Tama, Pearl, Ludwig, Premier, Custom Percussion, and others. Custom sizes and pneumatic (air lift) mounting brackets are available on request, as are backrests on all models.
  • If you like to sit low, we recommend our own extra-low throne base.
  • Bass drum microphone and connecting XLR cable.
  • Mic stand or Kelly Shu internal bass drum mount (highly recommended).
  • XLR lead to link the mic to the BC2 ‘Engine’.

Basic set-up

Put the throne in position and open the BC2 Engine flightcase. You can use the lid as a support for the Engine section for more height. It has specially designed recessed corner pieces for stability.

Plug in the bass drum mic XLR lead to ‘Mic’, or a feed from the monitor board/desk to ‘Line’, plug in the throne (via the supplied Speakon NL4 connector lead), and the power lead. Please see the section below for detailed instructions on using the Line input.

Turn the large ‘Master Level’ knob fully off (anti-clockwise) and start off the ‘Low Contour’ knob at about 12 – 1 o’clock. Switch the power on.

Play the bass drum at your max power and adjust the ‘Mic Level’ knob until the red ‘Peak’ lights up [at this stage you will feel nothing through the throne]. This sets the basic level for your playing style, drum, and whatever microphone you are using.

Next, pull the Mic Level back a fraction to avoid overdriving the unit. Some bass drum mics will run hotter than others.

Gradually turn the Master Volume to your desired setting.

Adjust the Low Contour to your preference. Generally speaking, unported bass drums require far less Low Contour than those that are dampened and ported. Too much Low Contour may trigger the VMT (see below).

Instructions

The BC2 is equipped with a voltage selector switch which will allow the unit to be used in countries with either 230 and 115 Volts (such as USA and Japan). Please select CORRECTLY! There are two ways to connect the bass drum microphone to the BC2 system: Either directly via the ‘Mic’ XLR input or via the ‘Line’ XLR input.

‘Mic’ input:
This is the most simple and effective method. The BC2 Engine is equipped with an internal hard-wired passive microphone signal splitter, which means that the signal from the microphone is unaffected by the controls on the Engine. The signal will go through to the PA perfectly even if the Engine is unplugged. The sound techs do their thing, and the drummer controls his/her precise desired setting. We recommend that sound techs are instructed to us the ‘Mic’ Output as if it were the actual microphone XLR socket.

The BC2 is equally happy with both dynamic and condenser microphones. Should you wish to use a microphone requiring phantom power but are not connected to a desk/board supplying the phantom power, simply activate the 48V power switch on the front panel of the Engine.

‘Line’ input:
The ‘Line’ XLR input has a number of applications:

  • It will also take a feed from a monitor desk /board where you can then apply EQ and gating if required.
  • The Line input will also allow other signals to be routed through the BC2 (bass guitar, snare, toms for instance).
  • It will allow the connection of electronic drum kits to the BC2 system. You can also mix the Mic and Line inputs simultaneously.

The BC2 Line socket accepts both balanced and unbalanced inputs.

Tips & Suggestions

The BC2 reproduces the sound of your drum with remarkable accuracy.

A badly tuned drum with old heads will not give you the same impact and tone as a well tuned drum. You get back what you put in.

Bass drum size is irrelevant. You will get similar levels of power from an 18 x 14 or a 24 x 18 if they are set up well.

Microphone positioning will affect the response of the BC2 in the same way as it alters the out front or studio sound. A great all-round position (for maximum power and impact) is approximately 4 inches (10 cms) away from the beater impact point, and at a slight angle. Having the mic deep inside the drum will also greatly reduce external sounds (such as a loud bass guitar) from entering the BC2.

If you have a very loud stage, some gating of the bass drum mic will remove the stage sound from being picked up by the BC2.

A dampened drum will give you a very direct thump, whereas if your bass drum is very boomy, this length of note will be transferred back to you via the throne. TIP: If you like a long open sound but want a more direct “kick” sensation in your throne, try placing the mic (or a separate one) outside on the batter side of the bass drum nice and close to where the beater strikes. If you play with both ‘beater on’ and ‘beater off’, the BC2 will faithfully reproduce the different effects of these techniques (depending on bass drum set up, of course).

The white bulbs (VMT):
If you turn the BC2 up high and play with sustained speed and power (double pedal onslaught etc), you will likely engage the BC2’s VMT (Vacuum Micro Tube) protection device. This is when the white bulbs unit under the grid lights up. This device protects the transducer inside the throne by preventing excessive amounts of signal being sent to it. The more the protection device lights up, the more excess power is diverted away from the transducer and dumped to the bulbs. This enables the P&D system to look after itself and come to absolutely no harm.

For optimum and consistent power we recommend setting the BC2 to a level where the lights do not come on regularly. Even at this level you will probably feel a bit beaten up anyway! If you consistently light up the VMT, please see the ‘Output EQ’ section below.

Try the BC2 in the recording studio: It is an astounding recording aid. You may wish to use a separate mic, especially if the recording mic is way outside the drum.

Driving the BC2 from the monitor desk/board

  • Assign a separate output to send a mix to the engine, in the same way as you would for a wedge/monitor sub (this will be an XLR for the BC2).
  • Set the master output of this aux at 0dB (most masters are infinity to +6dB or more). This output needs to be nice and hot, because the BC2 Engine has its own volume control, unlike a wedge or sub power amp, which is always set at full volume.
  • Mix in appropriate levels of drums, bass, keyboards, or whatever you want to monitor through the BC2 system.

Output EQ:

  • Most monitor desk/board outputs have assignable EQs. You can enhance the effect of the BC2 signal with a little EQ.
  • For the bass drum, we recommend setting the HP filter (or a tight shelving EQ) to around 40Hz (depending on personal preference), as you don’t get any focussed effect in the seat from frequencies below this, but they will draw a lot of power (which can set off the VMT).
  • For more thump, the area around 80Hz is very potent, and the frequencies up to around 160Hz are all felt physically.
  • Set a very narrow band (High ‘Q’) 6db peak and sweep the frequency between 70-100Hz until you find your personal chest cavity resonance (the bass drum ‘hit’ sensation). You will now find you can reduce the master volume and retain the best effect from the unit.
  • These settings also work wonders with any other signal fed into the BC2, ie toms, snare, bass guitar etc.

Please remember that at Porter & Davies we are always here to help, so PLEASE get in contact if you have any questions.

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Warranty

Conditions
In the first instance Porter & Davies must be made aware of any issues prior to goods being sent back for repair.

If a fault develops within the 24 month warranty period the goods will be collected by Porter & Davies at their expense where possible. If it is not possible for Porter & Davies to collect the faulty product, subject to the fault being covered by the warranty, Porter & Davies will reimburse the customer for the cost of sending the goods for inspection.

If it is found that the fault is covered by the limited warranty, Porter & Davies will repair the fault and send the goods back free of charge.

If it is found that the fault is not covered by warranty, for example, the unit has been damaged, dropped or abused in any way, a quote will be provided for the cost of repair as well as pick up postage cost and return postage cost. Upon receipt of funds, the unit will be repaired and returned.

If any attempt is made to try and rectify the problem without the authorization of Porter & Davies, the warranty will be invalid.

If a fault develops outside of the 24 month warranty period, upon informing Porter & Davies, the product must be returned by the customer at their cost.

Upon inspection, a quote will be provided for the cost of repair and return postage. Upon receipt of funds, the product will be repaired and retuned.

All repairs are covered by a 24 month limited warranty.

Contact. info@porteranddavies.co.uk

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