You may need been contemplating – or have already began – selecting up a brand new passion this 12 months, notably one you are able to do at residence. Podcasting appears to be a preferred possibility, and RODE is an organization that has finished extra to cater particularly to this viewers than simply about some other audio firm on the market. The RODECaster Professional ($599) all-in-one podcast manufacturing studio that they launched in 2018 is a unbelievable device for anybody trying to maximize their podcast potential, and with superb new firmware updates launched this 12 months, together with a number of nice new equipment, it’s stepped up even additional.
The RODECaster Professional is a robust manufacturing studio, but it surely’s not overwhelming for individuals who aren’t audio engineers by commerce. The deck balances providing loads of bodily controls with conserving them comparatively easy, supplying you with issues like quantity sliders and enormous pad-style buttons for high stage controls, after which placing extra superior options and tweaks behind layers of menus accessible through the big, high-resolution touchscreen for customers who want extra fine-tuned manipulation.
RODECaster Professional contains 4 XLR inputs, every of which might present (individually selectable) phantom energy for condenser mics, together with 4 1/four″ headphone outputs for corresponding monitoring. That’s nice as a result of it means when you have company used to recording podcasts and high-quality audio, they’ll take heed to their very own enter, or you’ll be able to decide to simply have one producer conserving observe of all the pieces. There’s additionally a left and proper 1/four″ audio out for a studio monitor speaker or different output, in addition to a USB-C connector for plugging into a pc, and a three.5mm in for connecting a smartphone or different exterior audio supply. Smartphones will also be related through Bluetooth, which may be very useful for together with a call-in visitor through wi-fi.
The principle floor of the RODECaster Professional contains quantity sliders for every obtainable enter and pre-set sound results; quantity knobs for every headphone and speaker output; buttons to activate and deactivate inputs; massive buttons for enjoying again pre-set audio information and a big report button. There’s additionally a touchscreen which provides you entry to menus and settings, and which additionally acts as a visible ranges editor whereas recording.
RODECaster Professional is designed so that you could use it utterly independently of any laptop or smartphone – it has a microSD slot for recording, and you may then add these information through both straight connecting the deck by USB, or plugging the cardboard in to a microSD card reader and transferring your information. It’s also possible to use multitrack-to-USB or stereo USB output modes on the RODECaster Professional to successfully flip the studio hardware right into a USB audio interface on your Mac or PC, letting you report with no matter digital audio manufacturing software program you’d like, together with streaming software program.
The RODECaster Professional’s design is an ideal mix of studio-quality hardware controls and ease, making the machine accessible to amateurs and professionals alike. I used to be up and operating with the deck out of the field in only a few minutes, and with out making any changes in any respect to the sound profile or settings, I had great-sounding recordings utilizing the RODE PodMic, a $99 microphone that’s optimized by RODE to work with the RODECaster Professional out of the field.
All of the controls are straightforward and intuitive to handle, and also you shouldn’t have to learn any instruction manuals or guides to get began. The eight button sound results grid is probably going probably the most difficult a part of the whole bodily interface, however even the default sounds that RODE contains will be helpful, and you may simply set your individual through the RODECaster companion app for Mac and PC, and within the field you’ll discover guides that you should utilize to overlay the buttons and label them to maintain observe of which is which.
The sliders are easy and nice to make use of, making it straightforward to do even, handbook fade-ins and fade-outs for intro and outro or pre-recorded soundbites. Backlit keys for energetic/inactive inputs, mute standing and the big report button imply you’ll be able to inform with a fast look what’s and isn’t at the moment energetic on the observe.
RODE has neatly included a locking energy adapter within the field, so that you simply received’t discover the twine by accident yanked out in the course of a recording. Every of the XLR inputs additionally features a fast launch latch for safe connections. And whereas the RODECaster Professional undoubtedly takes up a whole lot of area with roughly the footprint of a 13-inch MacBook Professional, it’s mild sufficient to be completely transportable in a backpack for on-location recordings.
The touchscreen show is one other design spotlight, because it’s high-resolution, with a matte cowl that makes it viewable in a variety of sunshine, and really responsive contact enter, It’s an effective way to increase the performance of the deck by software program, whereas nonetheless making certain nothing feels fiddly or onerous to navigate, which will be the case with hardware jog controllers such as you’d discover on a Zoom recorder, for example.
Balancing simplicity and energy is the actual purpose RODECaster Professional works so nicely. In case you’re simply beginning out, you’ll be able to principally simply start utilizing it out of the field with out altering something in any respect about the way it’s set as much as work. That’s very true for those who’re utilizing any of RODE’s microphones, every of which has built-in profiles included for optimizing sound settings immediately.
I discussed above that the RODE PodMic is optimized to be used with the RODECaster Professional on this manner, and the outcomes are unbelievable. If the value tag on the RODECaster Professional is a deterrent, it’s value contemplating that the PodMic is a fantastically reasonably priced dynamic podcasting mic, which produces sound manner above its class when paired with the deck. so the general value of a RODE podcasting setup utilizing each of those would truly be comparatively cheap vs. different options.
In case you’re able to dive in and customise sound, you’ll be able to toggle options like built-in compressor, de-esser and different audio results. It’s also possible to manually alter every of those results because the launch of Firmware 2.1 earlier this month – letting you alter the processing of every included sound impact by the RODECaster Professional companion app for a very customized, distinctive lastly sound.
The flexibility to pre-load and name up sound results and different audio tracks on demand on the RODECaster Professional is one other killer function. It’s true that you might obtain a whole lot of this in modifying post-recording, however having all of it to-hand to be used in stay recording situations simply feels higher, and it additionally allows real interactions together with your company that wouldn’t be potential in any other case. That 2.1 firmware replace additionally introduced the power to loop clips indefinitely, which may very well be nice if you wish to place a delicate backing observe all through your recording.
One ultimate function I’ll spotlight as a result of it’s unbelievable particularly in a world the place it is likely to be onerous to persistently get company in-studio is the smartphone connectivity. You possibly can both plug in through cable, or join through low-latency Bluetooth for terrific call-in interactivity, utilizing no matter software program you need in your smartphone.
RODE has finished an ideal job constructing out an ecosystem of equipment to additional prolong the capabilities of the RODECaster Professional, and improve the general consumer expertise. Amongst its latest releases, there’s the Rode PodMic, talked about above, in addition to coloured cable clips that correspond to every enter backlight coloration for simply conserving observe of which hardware is which, 1/four″ to three.5mm stereo jack adapters for utilizing commonplace headphones as screens, a TRRS-to-TRRS three.5mm audio aux cable for smartphone connections, and a USB energy cable to exchange the adapter for simpler plug-in energy on the go.
The small plastic cuffs on your XLR cables are easy however sensible methods of conserving observe of drugs, particularly when everybody’s utilizing the identical mic (as they possible needs to be for sound consistency) – and it helps that they improve the look of your general setup, too. And the USB energy cable particularly is a superb addition to any RODECaster Professional equipment that you simply’re intending to make use of outdoors of your individual recording studio/residence, since you should utilize it with any USB charger it’s a must to hand – as long as it may possibly present 5V/2.5A output.
The actual must-have accent for the RODECaster Professional, nonetheless, is the RODE PodMic. It’s a no-fuss, well-built and sturdy microphone that transports nicely and that may work flexibly with a variety of mounting choices, and in all kinds of settings together with open air and in-studio. Sure, you will get higher sound with dearer mics, however with the PodMic, you’ll be able to afford a set of 4 to enrich the RODECaster Professional for a similar worth you’d pay for one higher-end microphone, and most of the people received’t discover the audio high quality distinction for his or her podcasting wants.
The RODECaster Professional is a unbelievable approach to improve your at-home podcasting recreation – and an ideal approach to take the present on the street when you’re in a position to take action. Its high-quality hardware controls, mixed with sensible, subtle software program that has improved with constant RODE firmware updates to handle consumer suggestions over time, are a successful combo for amateurs, professionals, and anybody alongside the spectrum in between.