When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone he said that Apple is launching three new products: A new touchscreen iPod, a phone, and an internet communications device.
Then he went on to say that all three are actually one product – the iPhone.
The iPhone was a game changer for the smartphone industry.
RØDE has launched a new audio interface that could be a game changer for podcasters.
The new RØDECaster Pro is a full Podcast Studio in one device.
RØDE is an Australian company that has been manufacturing high-quality microphones for musicians and the radio industry for over 50 years. RODE is no stranger to the podcast industry either. In the early days of podcasting, RODE was one of the first microphone manufacturers to make a product specifically designed for podcasters.
RØDE was a pioneer in the podcast equipment space when they brought out the Rode Podcaster microphone. The Podcaster microphone was the first high quality, dynamic, USB microphone that was designed for podcasters.
They also have the popular RØDE Procaster Microphone and the RØDE NT Condenser microphone.
RØDE is continuing its innovation in the podcasting space with the RØDECaster Pro.
RodeCaster Pro Features
- All-In-One Podcast Studio
- Large full-color touchscreen
- 4 High-Quality XLR Mic Inputs
- 48V phantom power
- Echo-Free Phone and App Calls (Automatically handles the mix-minus)
- APHEX Processing for Rich & Warm Voice (Aural Exciter and Big Bottom)
- 8 Faders to Control Audio Levels
- Record Mix to microSD Card or Computer
- Ergonomically located controls
The RODECaster Pro is an ALL IN ONE Podcaster Studio
The typical podcast studio includes all sorts of audio equipment.
A mixer or audio interface, a digital recorder, a hardware compressor/ limiter/gate, a preamp, a headphone amplifier, audio cart software, and cables to connect everything together.
The RODECaster Pro can replace all this equipment and will simplify complicated setups making it push-button simple to record a podcast with guest interviews, intros, outros, and sound FX.
Let’s take a look at the podcast equipment the Rodecaster will be able to replace:
- A podcast mixer or audio interface
- An additional dedicated laptop or mobile device for skype calls
- A pre-amp/audio processor like the DBX 286 or MDX 4600.
- An aural exciter / big bottom audio enhancer
- Audio Cart software/hardware
- Digital Audio Recorder
- Headphone amplifier with individual gain control
- All the cables needed to connect the equipment
- And more…
Rode wants to simplify the podcast equipment setup with this fully integrated podcast recording studio. With the Rodecaster Pro, podcasters will be able to record up to five co-hosts and/or guests at the same time.
The design looks slick and easy to use.
It sounds like RØDE hasn’t missed anything on a podcaster’s wish list!
The R0decaster Pro has four XLR microphone inputs each with individual sliders for leveling.
Each input has mute and solo buttons to easily control who can talk and to prevent coughing and other sounds from entering the mix.
Bring in podcast guests by phone call or Skype without having to worry about a feedback loop
There is a 3.5mm audio input for Skype calls, a USB connection, and a Bluetooth connection allowing people to call into your podcast.
The RØDECaster Pro automatically handles the mixer mix-minus which can be challenging to set up correctly on a traditional mixing board.
A mix-minus setup allows you to bring in co-hosts and guests allowing them to hear everyone else and the sound effects without hearing their own voice echoing back at them. The mix-minus delivers the audio mix to the users, minus their own feedback loop.
No need to buy audio cart software anymore
I’ve used iJingle, BossJock Studio and my current favorite, PlayIt Cartwall. to bring in theme music and sound fx in the past. I’ve also used Microsoft OneNote as live show notes to play audio files while referring to my pre-production show notes.
The Rodecaster Pro includes 8 programmable audio effects pads where podcast producers can play their sound files at the touch of a button. So you can say bye bye to your audio cart software if you buy the RODECaster Pro.
You can even customize the colors for the pad illumination so you can remember which buttons are theme music, voicemail feedback or sound fx.
You can easily record directly to the touchpads from the device or you can drag and drop audio files in your computer using RODECaster Pro software on your computer.
Touch Screen Control Panel and Display
A high-resolution touchscreen gives the podcaster access to all the device settings and EQ presets for a polished recording. You can add audio processing with a built-in Hig Pass Filter, Reverb, Noise Gate, De-Esser, and Dynamics processing.
The APHEX Aural Exciter is an expensive add-on to your podcasting gear stack at $350 for the standalone equipment!
Cool RODECaster Pro Settings:
The RODECaster Pro has a really neat feature which allows you to customize advanced audio processing settings for each channel. There is a list of mic profiles that you can choose from. Find your microphone on the list or the one that most closely matches your podcast microphone and the software automatically uses optimum digital signal processing for your microphone!
You can select from a variety of presets to compensate for the variability in your co-host’s and podcast guest voices. You can choose from Deep, Medium or High voice presets as well as the soft preset for soft-spoken podcasters or the strong preset for louder podcasters.
Auto Setup Levels
You can choose to have your levels be dynamically changed as the person is speaking for users who don’t have the experience to perfectly tune the gain on their microphone.
Adding a compressor to your audio is helps to even out the variability in the audio and prevents peaking. It gives the voice an added professional sound.
If your recording environment has background noise like a computer fan or other low-level noise then you can eliminate this noise from your recording using a noise gate. A noise gate sets a sound floor beyond which zero audio gets through.
High Pass Filter
A high pass filter eliminates low rumble sounds from your recording.
A de-esser will help to reduce sibilance on words beginning with the letter S. You may have heard podcasters who sound like a snake hissing as they are speaking ‘S’ words. The de-esser reduces this effect.
Ducking is a feature that reduces the sound of other channels when the primary channel is activated so that it will be more easily heard by listeners. The RODECaster Pro has a ducking feature that applies to Channel 1 only.
Therefore, the podcast host (on channel 1) will automatically cause all other channels to reduce in volume when he or she is speaking. This helps the podcast host to maintain control of the show and reduces the annoyance of people talking over each other. The podcast host’s microphone will always be heard clearly when the ducking feature is on!
Host Control of the Show
The podcast host has access to recording functions during the show. The host can mute and solo channels using buttons on the bottom of each channel on the RODECaster Pro. Only the host can hear muted and soloed channels which will help when cueing up audio without distracting co-hosts and guests.
When recording your show directly to a microSD card (sold separately) a timer on the screen will show you how long you have been recording. You can add markers to your podcast while recording to tag segments, edit points, or show note time links.
To prevent damaging your audio file the host cannot access advanced settings while the show is recording.
Class-compliant USB audio interface
Easily connect the RODECaster Pro to your computer via USB and record a stereo mix to the Podcast Audio Editing Software (DAW) of your choice. You can bring audio into the device from your computer at the same time using a dedicated USB channel.
No Need for an external headset amplifier
I have the Art HeadAmp4 which allows me to have four headsets with independent volume control. We used two of these for The Bunker Project Podcast which gave us enough headsets for everyone most of the time. It is good to have a headphone amplifier as part of your podcast studio. A high powered 4 headphone amplifier is built into the RODE RODECaster Pro.
The RODECaster’s built-in headset amp allows all in-studio co-hosts and guests to have an independent volume control of their headsets. The host has the option of plugging their channel 1 headset into the front of the device for convenience.
Your ears are protected by a switchable volume limiter which will prevent large volume spikes.
There are two speaker outputs which will allow you to send a stereo mix of your show to a PA System during live events. You can simultaneously broadcast your show to an online audience via USB.
Watch this RODECaster Pro Demo video showing how easy it is to use this game-changing audio interface:
My closing thoughts on the RODECaster Pro.
Keep in mind that I haven’t used this device. These are my thoughts on the device before it is available for sale.
I am very impressed with this device. At first glance, I thought the price was a little high for an audio interface. But when you see everything that is included, the price is definitely justified. The pre-amps are good quality and the included features are amazing.
I don’t know if the device records in multi-track or not. From what I read it sounds like it records to a stereo mix and not multi-track. But I could be wrong. If it records in multitrack either to the micro sd card or to a DAW that would be super cool.
I was optimistic when Chris Curran, from the Podcast Engineering School, on his Podcaster’s Lounge show addressed a comment that the RODECaster Pro records into a stereo mix on the SD card but CAN record in multitrack to your DAW software. That would be sweeeeet!
But then RODE confirmed in a tweet that the RODECaster Pro was never intended to be a multi-track recorder. Bummer.
Well, add ASIO Multi-track output to a DAW as a feature request for version 2 please. 🙂
RODE announced that a firmware update will bring Multi-Track Recording to the RODECaster Pro soon!
I’d like to know how the device handles the mix-minus and how the audio processing actually sounds on a finished file.
It looks to me like this device is a winner.
When the iPhone launched it changed everything. But the iPhone is a product with mass market appeal.
Will the RODECaster Pro be a game changer in the podcast production space?
Only time will tell…
What do you think?