According to Røde Microphones, the new RØDECaster Pro was designed to change the face of the fastest-growing segment in the media industry – podcasting. The complete integrated solution allows everyone with a dream to create professional-quality podcasts and sets a new direction for the company, offering an all-in-one studio platform for podcasters of every level.
On-board features for the RØDECaster Pro include four microphone channels using Class A, servo based inputs able to power studio condenser microphones as well as conventional dynamic microphones, with separate inputs for a phone or line-in external audio device with a 3.5mm TRRS jack, Bluetooth connection for a phone or other device, and a USB interface for music/audio or app calls. This last option allows podcasters to integrated professional audio quality phone and app calls – with no echo and featuring mix-minus monitoring. For all audio input sources, the user will be able to easily adjust levels like with any other broadcast console.
To completely separate the RØDECaster Pro from existing solutions, the Australian company added a set of eight programmable sound pads, highly sensitive and color coded, to trigger jingles, ads, music, and any sound effects. The keypad will be something familiar to any musician or DJ (it actually looks like a DJ control surface for sampling), while any broadcast-minded presenter will also feel at home by using the tactile keys as familiar programmable cart machines. Of course, the RØDECaster Pro was also designed to interface with a computer and there is a dedicated software to program the keys. Users can can record audio directly to the programmable pads from any input, or simply “drag and drop” files from the computer using the supplied software. It's even possible to color-code the pad illumination with selected colors.
But probably the most exciting thing about the RØDECaster Pro is the fact that it features Aphex Exciter and Big Bottom processing to generate the rich, warm tone found in professional broadcast systems. Since its introduction in 1975, close to a million Aphex Aural Exciters have found their way into recording studios and broadcast facilities, nightclubs and concert halls, arenas and airports, musicians' and DJs' rigs and houses of worship. The Aural Exciter's patented technology features Tune, Harmonics and Mix controls, enabling users to focus on select frequencies just like on an EQ. But unlike an EQ, the Aural Exciter's harmonic processing doesn't boost the signal's output level, so it maintains a clear and balanced sound. The result is audio that's more balanced, more articulate and, simply put, better sounding.
For more than 35 years, the Aural Exciter's patented technology has been the secret weapon for many audio professionals, a powerful way to improve and enhance sonic quality more naturally than with equalization. For vocals and spoken dialog, it can dramatically increase intelligibility, and it adds punch and presence to the mix with the Big Bottom processing adding deep, powerful low-frequency punch, without unwanted level boosts. And apart from the Aphex processing, the RØDECaster Pro offers multistage dynamics with compression, limiting and noise-gating. The full color, high-resolution touch-screen allows easy control of all settings, including EQ presets for a range of professional voicings.
And because podcasting demands interactivity and it becomes essential to receive contribution and remote call, the RØDECaster Pro allows to connect any phone 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 costly hardware.
There's also four high-power headphone outputs and stereo speaker out, each with independent volume controls. It is possible to record the show directly to a microSD memory card for completely self-contained operation, or through to a computer and software via USB, as it is also a USB audio interface. This means users can record the podcast to any recording software and seamlessly stream a live show.
"We released our first podcast product, the Podcaster USB microphone, in 2004," says Røde Founder and Chairman, Peter Freedman. "Since then, our broadcast microphones, especially the Procaster and Røde NT-USB mics, have become the microphones of choice for the growing podcasting and vlogging world.
"The RØDECaster Pro Podcast Studio is a real passion project for us here at Røde, and the natural next step in our mission to democratize the tools of creativity. The RØDECaster Pro puts a professional level studio in the hands of everyone – whether they are just starting out or are a seasoned professional. There is nothing like this in the world!”
The RØDECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio will be available in December 2018.