REVIEW: RØDECaster Pro Podcast Studio

A big bottleneck to getting started for a lot of people is the right gear. Rode made this step super easy with their RodeCaster Pro Podcast Studio.

For anyone who’s used any kind of mixer, the front panel is very familiar; essentially a 4-channel input section that gets driven from XLR microphones. Rhode was kind enough to supply us with their PodMic, which worked nicely. There’s also channels for inputs from Bluetooth, USB, and 1/8” inputs from devices like smartphones or tablets. With four 1/4” headphone connections, each with their own level controls as well as a master out, personal monitoring is covered with ease. External monitors can also be connected via the stereo 1/4” outputs. Each level is controlled by a nice long fader, with solo and mute functions on each channel.

The 8 colored soft touch buttons are sound effect buttons that come with some pre recorded effects, kind of like what you would have in a radio broadcast studio; Applause, Laughter, Crickets, etc. Ever see the Family Guy episode where Stewie and Brian have their morning show “Dingo and the Baby” and they go nuts with the sound samples? Yeah, it’s like that. However via the touchscreen pad, these pads can be set to play back the user’s preferred sounds, like their own theme music, or credits, or even intros to specialized segments. It’s all customizable on your PC, and super easy to integrate into your recording workflow, especially in real-time. 

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Now it can be connected to a computer via USB, and it acts like the typical DAW interface, while recording to whatever recording program of choice. BUT, it doesn’t need to be tethered to a computer; it can record to a Micro SD card, making it a very portable device and a great solution for those who want an easy, all-in-one solution.

The touch screen and menus are easy to navigate, and within 5 minutes we were up and running, with no issues at all. It’s truly user intuitive. The menu allows the inputs to be selected to be optimized for Rode’s PodMic, Procaster, NT1, NT1A, and NT2A mics, as well as generic Condenser and Dynamic microphones. The PodMic works fantastically for pretty much any voice right out of the box. There are setup functions that allow for what would normally be an input gain control but there are a few neat add ins; a voice function, for tone of the voice, and its strength. Advanced setup features cover noise gate, hi-pass filter, on board de-esser, compressor, and ducking for use with multiple podcast guests. Aphex got into the game as well, with their exciter and big bottom functions, that add that extra brightness and life, without getting all trebly and hissy.

Rode also includes their Rodecaster Pro App, which can handle firmware updates, as well as getting into more functionality of the sample pads, not only for the appearance, but let’s say the laughter sound. Want to hit it, and then be able to stop it with another hit? Yep, it digs in just a little deeper. 

Overall it offers up pretty much any option that used to be something that only professional radio stations had. With the ability to pair in a smartphone either via USB or the audio input, doing phone interviews on your podcast is no longer a collection of specialized hardware with a spaghetti mess of cables. Simplicity is the name of the game with this; it’s literally plug and play without any hassle or extras to get going. For anyone who has a great idea for a podcast, this is THE place to start.

PROS:

Simple, functional, plenty of easily accessible options, great menu system.

CONS:

None.

STREET PRICE:

$599 (Rodecaster)  $99 (PODMIC)

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