The Rode brand is traditionally known for its condenser microphones that are designed with a large diaphragm. The brand has established their authority as specialists of high quality mics since the last ten years. But interestingly, mics aren’t the only best products of Rode.
Anyone who is familiar with podcasting knows that there are certain necessary gears that you need to carry to make a successful podcast. These include mics, headphones, a mixer, a computer, an audio interface, among others. Keeping the new trend in mind, Rode ventured into a production line of interfaces and mixers, creating a product line that offers the complete solution for any scope of podcasting business.
The RODECaster Pro is a combination of all the great features required for podcasting, offering solutions in a compact and easy to use form. For podcasters who are planning to start radio productions that would include music, sound effects, cues, or jingles, the RODECaster Pro should be the perfect all-in-one solution.
Also, if you are starting your own podcast or thinking about setting up a studio then find out everything you need to know about the best video podcast equipment in 2020.
RODECaster Pro: Is It A Fully Integrated Podcast Production Studio?
Audio mixers are usually complex as they come with multiple kits and cables and a lot of accessories that may confuse a new user. The multi-unit kits with the mixers are required for plugging more than one mics during live concerts, broadcasting audio, recording in the studio, etc. However, with mixers, podcasters cannot save or store their recordings. Whereas, RODECaster Pro is the combo of an audio mixer and a digital recorder provided in an integrated unit. This unit conveniently allows the users to record with a single touch of a record button.
RODECaster Pro Key Features:
- Affordable and convenient integration of podcast production consoles.
- Able to integrate to streaming platforms
- Records 24-bit and 48kHz audio directly into SD card or computer via USB
- Four Class A mic preamps
- Audio level control with 8 Faders
- Aphex Big Bottom and Aural Exciter processing onboard
- Music playback options and Instant FX provided in the companion app
The Unique Design of the RODECaster Pro
The RODECaster Pro comes in a compact size with a well structured body to provide ease in use. All the fittings and buttons on the unit are well built and durable for prolonged usage.
There are a total of 8 sound pad buttons to control the sound effects or audio clips. The display settings enable the user to see the remaining time if the clip is paused. Users can also customize and configure the audio library from the device option or make changes using the Rode companion app.
The touchscreen of RODECaster is bright and highly responsive. The settings can be easily managed by someone who is not tech-savvy; with one tap, users can record, check playback settings, and record clips to microSD cards.
There is also an option for built-in settings which users can select according to what best suits their voice. The microphone channels of RODECaster Pro can support 4 high quality microphones including a condenser and conventional dynamic microphones. With one touch, the mic can be quickly connected. The predefined settings help the users to conduct interviews easily.
Since the device has a microSD card installed, all the recordings are saved to it directly. The RODECaster Pro can also be paired with a computer via USB connection. A 1/4-inch TRS connection is also available to play audio recordings using a monitor. The volume control for each mic is also given with a volume control wheel for the speakers. The direct control for inputs is just below the touchscreen, a volume slider, mute button, and a solo button is provided with each input.
Performance of the RODECaster Pro
As all the buttons of the device are self-explanatory, the RODECaster is suitable for both amateurs and pros alike.
The four XLR inputs make RODECaster Pro an all-in-one podcasting device. It produces great sound quality using Rode’s recommended PodMic, as it doesn’t pick any other sounds in the room being an omnidirectional mic. Also, the sound levels are automatically set as you change the position of the mic keeping the sound stable and uniform. The touch screen also allows users to change sound levels while recording.
Users can also turn some processing options On and Off.
- Compressor – It helps to balance the overall volume
- Noise Gate – Reduces the unnecessary background noise
- De-Esser – Reduces the sibilant sounds recording
- Ducking – Automatically lowers the volume of music under voice
- High Pass Filter – Minimizes the effect of low rumble or microphone pops
- Aural Exciter & Big Bottom – The EQ presets that can change the tone of your voice.
The RODECaster Pro’s live broadcasting features allows live previews of any pre-recorded files without interrupting the broadcast or live recording session. The preview is also set to unity gain level, so the position of the fader doesn’t affect the volume of the clip. Also, the off-air option lets the interviewer deal with any nuisance or audio issues before going live during the streaming.
Sound Quality of the RODECaster Pro
The Rode’s RODECaster Pro outputs and preamps are up to the level of any other Class A circuitry in expensive broadcast consoles. For a very low distortion, the Class A servo preamplifier comes in very handy. While the quality headphone output ensures that the sound you and your guests hear is in full definition.
With Aphex on board circuitry, voice enhancement can be enabled in the recording. For rich sound results within the professional recording studios, the built-in audio processors Aural Exciter and Big Bottom (EQ preset) can help you to amplify the signals. Both audio processors are included in the RODECaster Pro audio processing section.
In order to provide the best quality sound, the RODECaster Pro allows users to use multiple effects and multi-stage processing options. These functions include compressors, high-pass filters, de-essers, ducking, and noise gates, all of which can be easily accessed with the LED touch screen.
What Other Accessories You Can Use With RODECaster Pro?
It is a set of 4 high-quality adapters that enable headphones or earbuds with 3.5mm plugs (used in consumer devices mostly), to be used with devices with larger 1/4 inch headphone units. They are ideal to connect headphones to the RODECaster Pro and AI-1.
It is a top quality 1.5m long cable (TRRS to TRRS) that is designed to connect the device with various audio equipment. Because of its length, users can plug their smartphone into the RODECaster Pro.
It is a power cord that can power the RODECaster Pro through any compatible USB output, making it completely portable. It has a locking connector for improved safety. Operation requires a high-power USB output (minimum 2.4 A).
It is a set of 8 rings which are color-coded for connecting to an XLR plug. The color-coded plugs are easy for identification of cable. The color of the ring corresponds to the color defined for each microphone channel in the RODECaster interface.
Pros and Cons of RODECaster Pro
- Very ease to use, even for beginners
- Intuitive control panel
- Runs a pad for triggering cues
- Four mic inputs and four headphone outputs
- Bluetooth and TRRS phone connection
- Only 512 MB of onboard internal memory for recording sound clips and jingles
- Relies heavily on microSD cards to transfer large files to computer
Who Should Use The RODECaster Pro?
The target audience for the RODECaster is squarely aimed at podcasters, but it’s versatile use cases make it appealing for a wide audience as well. Here are a few some example of users that the RodeCaster Pro can cater to :
- Those who need to interview guests on phones.
- Anyone who wants to be able to record phone and Skype calls easily
- Users who want to record a live performance or record live audio with real-time effects and music
- If you need to record up to four people at once over Skype or on the phone
- Users who need a portable setup for recording while traveling.
RODECaster Pro – The Ultimate Choice
The RODECaster Pro was amazing when it was initially launched and with many upgrades over the past few months, it’s an even better and perfect all-in-one solution for many podcasts.
The design itself is very appealing with color coding and accessible large sound pads. The microSD card lets users do stereo recording without worrying about connecting to a computer. With a bidirectional USB-C connector you can connect your phone or via Bluetooth to high quality audio.
The eight programmable jingles can also help you make multiple productions in real-time, which highlights Roddecaster’s reputation as an excellent base station for live performances. For more quality sound, Rode recommends the use of PodMic to avoid picking of other sounds in the room. You can check out HUSTLR’s review on Rode PodMic.
Of course, RODECaster is not cheap and users should invest in it according to their needs. The price of $600 without the inclusion of a microphone means that for most people this is not a beginner’s device. However, if you are a podcaster looking for a portable and all-in-one solution, then the RODECaster Pro is your best bet.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.