In The Studio August 04, 2023

Best Boundary Layer Microphones: The BL8

5 BL8 boundary layer microphones floating with blue highlights and a black background

The BL8: What is a Boundary Layer microphone, and why do you need one?!

The BL8 completes sE Electronics’ live sound offering for drums. In addition to the award-winning V PACK kits, we needed a microphone to specifically capture the batter attack of the kick drum’s foot pedal. Especially in heavy styles of music, the batter attack often outweighs the “boom” of the kick.

The sE Team got to work developing a product that outperforms competing products and cements our legacy as the best mic makers for drums. The BL8 features the renowned sE8 small-diaphragm condenser capsule, providing exceptional detail as well as impressive SPL handling. In fact, with its integrated attenuation pad, the BL8 can handle SPLs up to 163 dB. So, go ahead and hit the kick drum with a sledgehammer if you want. You’re not going to overload this mic! We designed and manufactured the BL8 to take a beating, pun intended.

Much like the V KICK, the BL8 Boundary Layer microphone has “Classic” and “Modern” mid-character options, as well as flat. It also has a low-cut switch that can be set to 80 or 160 Hz, in addition to its natural frequency response. And there’s more!!! The BL8 also excels as a grand piano microphone. It can be temporarily or permanently mounted to the lid of a piano. This approach enables capturing stunning detail live or in the studio.

The BL8 marks the completion of a vision. A vision that began with the V KICK, and has expanded to see the V PACKs become a staple of touring rigs worldwide. While the BL8 may be hidden inside the kick drum, if you’re at a show with sE mics on the drums, you can rest assured it’s probably in there.

Published: August 2023
By: Chris Frasco (Owner & Operator of Master Frasco Audio Lab, Nashville)