Rodecaster Pro Review

Rodecaster Pro Review
Review

Price when reviewed

£529

$599
Check current price

Our Verdict

Whether you are a complete novice, dabble in podcasting or have an existing podcast and would like to simplify your operation, the RodeCaster Pro from Rode is unparalleled on the market and the ideal solution for your studio.

For

  • Very easy to use
  • Seven input channels
  • Bluetooth for patching in phone calls
  • All-in-one functionality
  • Record bespoke jingles and intros
  • Record direct to microSD or your computer

Against

  • No multi-track recording
  • 512MB internal storage for recording intros, jingles

Rode’s self-contained, all-in-one podcasting production studio, the RodeCaster Pro, is unique to the market. We put it through its paces in our RodeCaster Pro review.

What is the RodeCaster Pro?

The RodeCaster Pro is an all-in-one podcast production studio designed to simplify podcast productions. It can support up to four audio channels and features a colour, touchscreen interface, one-touch recording and eight programmable sound effects buttons.

The unit also supports Bluetooth for recording phone calls, and you can record your podcasts directly to a microSD or to your computer via USB.

Rodecaster Pro Review

Features

The RodeCaster Pro is an all-in-one podcast mixing station with a wealth of useful features. On its face is a prominent colour touchscreen for accessing settings, presets and other features.

The touchscreen, for instance, lets you access key functions and add applause, intros, laugh tracks and other audio profiles. You can also make bespoke settings to each microphone within the touchscreen menu.

Rode’s RodeCaster Pro has seven input sources, all of which you can control with a slider control. Among these seven inputs are four Class A mic preamps with XLR inputs, and you can adjust the levels of each microphone.

You’ll also find headphone inputs for each microphone.

Rodecaster Pro Review: phone calls

What’s more, the RodeCaster Pro has an input control for Bluetooth so that you can record phone conversations as audio for a podcast. There are also controls for USB and mobile audio sources.

What’s more, you can record everything directly to a microSD card or to your computer via USB.

Eight customisable pads – sort of like presets on your car radio – allow you to quickly insert your intro, outro or other clip into your recording.

Other features include 1/4-inch TRS connection for playing your recording via a monitor.

Rodecaster Pro Review: build quality

Build Quality

Rode has spared no expense making the RodeCaster Pro, and if you’ve used Rode products before you’ll immediately recognise that inimitable Rode quality.

The unit is solid and well constructed. All the buttons and sliders are solid and firm. It’s a robust machine. What really makes the RodeCaster work, though, is its design.

Let’s start with the touchscreen. It’s large and bright and very responsive to your touch. Its menu system is intuitive, and you can quickly find what you’re looking for. If you’re not naturally tech-savvy, you don’t need to worry about being overwhelmed by the RodeCaster Pro. It’s a perfect balance of simplicity with the power and control to do just about anything you want with audio.

To the right of the touchscreen is a large Record button for instant recording to your microSD card.

Below the touchscreen are direct controls for all the input sources. Each input has its own volume slider, mute button and a ‘solo’ button so that you can listen to the source on its own during recording.

To the right of the input controls are your sound effect playback buttons. There are eight pads in total, and each has its own colour. These are all customisable.

Above the sound effect pads are volume controls for up to four headphones and a volume control wheel for speakers.

On the back edge of the RodeCaster Pro you’ll find your integrated microSD card slot, USB-C connection, power button, headphone outputs, connection for speakers, mobile phone connection (via TRRS cable) and four XLR mic inputs with phantom power.

There’s quite a lot here to play with.

Rodecaster Pro Review: performance

Performance

What I like about the RodeCaster Pro is that you can hit the ground running. All of the buttons and menu options are largely self-explanatory. No matter how tech savvy you are as an individual, I’m pretty confident that you won’t need to spend a lot of time reading up on this works. Just plug in your mic and record.

Seriously, setting up the RodeCaster Pro is literally just a case of plugging in some cables.

Having four XLR inputs makes this a truly all-in-one podcasting station. We tested the RodeCaster using Rode’s recommended PodMic, which provides brilliant audio quality. The PodMic is omnidirectional, so it doesn’t pick up other sounds in the room. The flip side of this, though, is if you turn your face from the mic, the levels you set will drop.

Rodecaster Pro Review: adjusting mic levels

Levels is another key benefit. Some people’s voices don’t project as well as others. It’s a fact of life. Being able to independently adjust the levels of each microphone meant I could achieve a professional, uniform sound quality. The touchscreen also lets you gauge your levels when recording.

Bluetooth control is also a huge benefit here. Often when I interview people it’s via Skype, or a similar VoIP service. The RodeCaster Pro makes it easy to patch a phone call into your recording, and like the mics you have full control to adjust its audio levels.

My colleague Ali and I recorded a 30-minute podcast about our favourite gear of 2019 and what we’re looking forward to in 2020. With our two PodMics plugged in, we quickly adjusted the levels. Then we used the touchscreen to record a quick, bespoke intro.

Rodecaster Pro Review: audio clips

There are also pre-programmed laugh tracks, applause and other sound effects you can apply to your recordings. We assigned applause and laughter to the customisable effects pads and used them for the purpose of this test, but ultimately we removed them from the recording because, well, laugh tracks are just a bit cheesy! Nevertheless, it’s a great bit of functionality and you can customise them to whatever sound you want.

The RodeCaster Pro has 512MB of built-in storage with which you can add your bespoke tracks and sound effects. You can record these clips directly into one of the RodeCaster’s inputs or drag and drop files from your computer using Rode’s software.

It’s also worth noting there is a desktop app for both Mac and Windows systems that allows you to access the RodeCaster Pro remotely.

Recording is all very simple. If you plug a microSD card into the built-in slot you can record audio with the one-touch button on the top panel. You can also connect your computer to the RodeCaster via a port on the unit’s rear panel.

Rodecaster Pro Review: verdict

Verdict

I honestly can’t think of a similar product on the market as high-quality, capable and reasonably priced as Rode’s RodeCaster Pro. And that, alone, is a major plus in the RodeCaster’s column.

The extreme user-friendliness of the device is another major reason to buy it. It’s plug and play, and couldn’t be easier. Some experienced podcasters and audio engineers who require certain advanced features like multi-track recording (the RodeCaster Pro has multiple inputs, but records them on the same track) might find the RodeCaster Pro a bit simplistic – but for most podcasters, this will offer everything you need.

Whether you are a complete novice, dabble in podcasting or have an existing podcast and would like to simplify your operation, the RodeCaster Pro from Rode is unparalleled on the market and the ideal solution for your studio.

What’s more, I highly recommend getting Rode’s PodMic to use in your operation. The sound quality is superb, and the mics are very reasonably priced.

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