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RØDECaster Pro ~ Review

Rodecaster Pro Review: The Best All-In-One Podcast Mixer

So what’s all the hype is about? What’s so special?

One of the big benefits is that everything you need (and then some) is combined in one unit:

  • Mixer / Audio Interface (4 XLR inputs)
    • Individually-controlled Phantom Power
  • Bluetooth in and out (I/O)
  • TRS I/O
  • USB I/O
  • 4-channel Headphone Amp (and a cable to connect it)
  • Soundboard (8 pads)
  • Aphex Exciter (4 channels would cost you $700)
  • Compressor / Noise Gate / High-pass Filter / De-Esser
  • Save to SD Card

Basically, the Rode Rodecaster Pro is an all-in-one podcast studio that will record to a computer and SD card, automatically improve sound quality, lets you record phone calls, add in one-touch sound effects, and more – all in one relatively compact device.

We’ll go into detail on most of these below:

Rodecaster Pro Device

The top of the device is pictured above, but here’s a bit more detail:

There are 4 individual headphone controls and volume control for your speaker output if you use one. They each have a nice clicky/stepped feel:

Rodecaster Pro headphone knobs and volume knob

On the front of the Rodecaster Pro is one 3.5mm headphone jack for channel 1. The back has four 1/4″ inputs.

Rodecaster Pro front 3.5mm headphone jack

Below that are the customizable soundpads:

Rodecaster Pro soundpads

You can transfer sounds from your computer to any of the pads, or you can record anything into the pads from the settings screen. I’ll show you that a little later.

So you know, there are different options for how the buttons work:

  • Replay starts over on every button press and can’t be stopped
  • Play starts on a button press and can’t be stopped
  • Latch starts on a button press and stops on a button press

Each pad can have a unique setting and no matter what setting you use, you can still control the volume with the slider.

rodecaster pro soundpad playback options

Under each channel’s fader are solo and mute buttons. You can select multiple channels at once and the only channel that doesn’t have a mute button are the soundpads.

Rodecaster Pro solo and mute buttons

Moving to the back of the mixer are all the inputs. I mentioned them up top so no need to repeat everything.

There is plenty of room for everything and it doesn’t feel crowded at all.

Rodecaster Pro rear 2

One nice little touch is that the power cable screws in so you can’t accidentally pull it out.

Rodecaster Pro rear 1

And when you hit the power button (purposefully or accidentally), you and prompted with this screen to confirm:

Rodecaster Pro shutdown prompt

No lost recordings with the Rodecaster Pro!

Rodecaster Pro Settings

Now let’s dive into the touchscreen and all the options it has.

From the “home” screen, when you touch the gear/setting icon you’ll see this:

Rodecaster Pro settings screen

The audio button leads to a screen that lets you choose which channel you’d like to adjust:

Channel Settings

Starting with Channel 1, you get 3 main tabs (plus the advanced screen).

The microphone tab lets you choose from built-in options for popular Rode microphones (check out the PodMic here) as well as generic condenser and dynamic mic settings:

Rodecaster Pro channel 1 microphone

Each one you select actually controls phantom power and input level automatically – really smart move:

Rodecaster Pro channel 1 setup

Note that the Procaster is a dynamic mic and doesn’t need Phantom Power but I use a Cloudlifter Z so I turned that on and lowered the input level.

The somewhat hidden advanced screen is where you get a ton of value:

Rodecaster Pro channel 1 advanced

All the settings here are automatic and from my testing work extremely well.

Options like the Noise Gate are adjusted by the voice tab (making it more or less sensitive based on the strength of your voice), although that’s not clear without watching a specific Rode video. Something most people won’t do.

Rodecaster Pro channel 1 voice

Channel 2-4 are more of the same, but don’t have the Ducking option.

Phantom Power is set individually for each channel as well, which many mixers and interfaces of this size don’t let you do.

Rodecaster Pro channel 2 NT1 selected

Rodecaster Pro channel 2 advanced

The USB input has a more simplified screen for None, Speech, and Music:

Rodecaster Pro USB settings

The TRS Smartphone and Bluetooth input have similar options, but also include a Phone Call setting:

Rodecaster Pro smartphone settings

One thing to note here is that there is automatic mix-minus for phone calls, which means that your phone guest will hear the conversation like a normal phone call.

Without mix-minus, they would hear a delayed echo of themselves and that’s extremely distracting and unprofessional. Well done!

Rodecaster Pro bluetooth settings

Podcasts Screen

The Podcasts page is where you can listen to podcasts recorded to the SD card.

The top two arrows let you change which recording to play.

Those little lines white lines are Markers and you can skip between them with the forward and back arrows next to the play button.

You can also drag the playhead circle to wherever you’d like.

Simple but powerful.

Rodecaster Pro podcast playback

Sounds Screen

The Sounds screen lets you record directly from the device into the sound pads (no computer needed) and also shows you the name in case you need a refresher:

Rodecaster Pro soundpad settings

Like it says, just tap one of the colors and hit the “Record” button to save over that pad:

Rodecaster Pro soundpad record

I think it would be nice to be able to adjust the above-mentioned “Play, Replay, Latch” options right from the device, but that’s a minor thing and most people will have a computer to change those settings.

Hardware Screen

Rodecaster Pro hardware settings

The Hardware setting lets check and erase the microSD card:

Rodecaster Pro sd card info

Pair a Bluetooth device:

Rodecaster Pro bluetooth pairing

Advanced lets you adjust brightness and headphone output options:

Rodecaster Pro brightness and headphone settings

Recording Screen

The “home” screen and the Record screen look similar.

When you hit the big red Record button, you’ll see “Rec” in the top left along with a timer and “Add Marker” button:

Rodecaster Pro recording screen with buttons

The input levels are clear and easy to monitor at a glance.

If you look closely you’ll see channels 1, 2, and 3 have a red dot above the microphone. That means Phantom Power is enabled for those channels.

All these little touches make for an excellent user experience and Rode delivered an impressive product with their first mixer.

Rodecaster Pro recording screen closeup

 

If you want to make recording a multi-person podcast as easy as possible while sounding great, get the Rodecaster Pro.

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