RØDECaster Pro Hands-on Review

The RØDECaster Pro is claimed to be the world’s first fully integrated podcast production studio. It has been designed for everyone from professional podcasters to those who are just starting out and would like to create their own podcasts. One of the main aims RØDE had was to make the RØDECaster Pro easy to use and operate.

With the popularity and number of podcasts increasing on a daily basis, RØDE saw an opportunity to come up with an easy to use and affordable solution for anyone who is interested in creating their own podcasts. The RØDECaster Pro is feature packed and includes a lot of items, that to date were only found in much more expensive offerings.

I thought it made perfect sense to do a review of the RØDECaster Pro as a podcast. There is no better way of reviewing a product than using it in the capacity it was designed for.

SO WHAT CAN IT DO?

The RØDECaster Pro features 4 high-quality microphone channels that are able to power studio condenser microphones as well as conventional dynamic microphones. In a nice touch, you can quickly connect microphones for you and your guests with an automatic level setting and then do one-touch recording to a microSD card. The RØDECaster Pro operates as a standalone unit straight out of the box, recording directly to a microSD card. The RØDECaster Pro can also connect to your computer via USB, as it is a USB audio interface. This means you can also record your podcast to your favorite recording software. RØDE claims that you can literally be recording your first podcast within minutes of taking the RØDECaster Pro out of the box and that is absolutely the case. Even my 4-year-old daughter was able to do it after a few simple instructions.

Often with podcasts, you will be interviewing someone remotely through either Skype, FaceTime or a phone call. With the RØDECaster Pro if you want to interview a guest remotely all you need to do is connect your phone to the RØDECaster Pro via Bluetooth or with a TRRS cable. The RØDECaster Pro automatically provides “mix-minus” audio to prevent echo being heard by the caller, without the need to purchase dedicated and hardware.

SOUND EFFECTS AND JINGLES

The RØDECaster Pro comes with eight programmable sound effects pads, for instant triggering of sound effects, music, jingles, applause, and even ads. You can record audio directly to the programmable pads from any input, or simply “drag and drop” files from your computer using supplied software. RØDE has even designed the product so that you can even select your favorite colors for the pad illumination buttons. This is a nice easy way to remember which effect is which without having to physically label them.

Class A Servo-biased Preamps

The RØDECaster Pro uses pristine preamps and outputs feature Class A circuitry, as featured on broadcast consoles that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. RØDE claims that the Class A preamps provide a much cleaner gain structure with lower levels of distortion, providing a very clean, low-noise signal. The Preamps are also servo-biased and are said to keep distortion levels low.

APHEX® On board

The signal can also be enhanced with the use of patented audio processors, APHEX Aural Exciter™ and APHEX Big Bottom™. These have been incorporated in the audio processing section of the RØDECaster Pro, and are claimed to produce sound will have that rich, warm tone only found in professional studios. The RØDECaster Pro also features multistage dynamics, such as compression, limiting, de-essing and noise-gating.

WHEN CAN YOU BUY ONE AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

RØDE has said that the RØDECaster Pro will start shipping the next week or so for $599 USD. This is a very reasonable price given the products specifications and capabilities.

What else is on the market?

Currently, there is no complete standalone unit that offers all of the same offerings. You would need to purchase a number of different pieces of hardware and/or software to perform the same features. A four channel audio recorder alone like the Zoom F4 already costs $549 USD so for the RØDECaster Pro at $599, you get incredible value.

As an example of what was required before the RØDECaster Pro, take a look at their last Studio Rescue where they built a podcast recording studio.

Do you run a podcast? What’s your current setup and what do you think of the RØDECaster Pro?

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