Back in 2018, Australian audio specialist RØDE released a piece of equipment that revolutionized podcasting. The RØDECaster Pro was a podcasting studio in a box; an advanced mixing desk with headphone outputs and microphone inputs that enabled almost anyone to start recording high-quality podcasts straightaway.
By combining all the elements found in a professional broadcast studio into an easy-to-use console, the RØDECaster Pro was yet another world-first from RØDE. No matter whether the user was a podcasting newbie or a studio professional with years of experience under their belt, the RØDECaster Pro enabled anyone to create high-quality recordings with ease and has gone on to become one of the world’s favorite bit of podcasting kit.
Since its launch in 2018, RØDE has carried on evolving the RØDECaster Pro with regular firmware updates, each bringing enhanced performance and cutting-edge features for podcasters and even for gamers, livestreamers and other content creators. Now it’s time for the next chapter in the RØDECaster Pro story.
The brand-new RØDECaster Pro II launches today and offers an incredible feature set designed to create exceptional sound. With four studio-grade Neutrik combo inputs for connecting microphones as well as instruments, including guitar, bass, keyboards and other devices, users of the RØDECaster Pro II can unlock a new level of creative possibility.
Damien Wilson is RØDE’s CEO. At the launch of the all-new Podcaster Pro, he said: “The RØDECaster Pro marked a monumental step forward in creative audio technology. It was a truly groundbreaking innovation, the likes of which had never been seen before, and it has had a significant impact on the growth of podcasting over the last four years.
“When developing the RØDECaster Pro II, we went in with a similar mindset to the original: we wanted to create something truly revolutionary once again, but this time our focus was all creators, not just podcasters. We designed it completely from the ground up to deliver unprecedented performance and complete adaptability in any creative application, from gaming and streaming to music production. And, of course, it’s still the most powerful podcasting console available. This is not simply an evolution of the RØDECaster Pro. It’s a completely new beast, unlike anything you’ve seen before.”
Each of the RØDECaster Pro II’s analog inputs features completely redesigned ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution Preamps designed in-house. Each preamp can deliver pristine audio quality with any microphone or instrument. These world-class preamps were developed specifically for the RØDECaster Pro II and can rival boutique designs that cost thousands of dollars per channel.
With an incredibly low, equivalent input noise rating of just -131.5dBV, plus a massive 76dB of gain on tap, these preamps deliver clarity and transparency as well as eliminating the need for lifters, boosters or external processing, even with the most demanding of microphones. I’ve tried out the preamps for myself and can confirm that those bold claims are true. With the RØDECaster Pro II, you really can do without a Cloudlifter.
The RØDECaster Pro II also features a full suite of studio-quality APHEX audio processors. These have been completely overhauled from the ones used in the original RØDECaster Pro and remodeled using component-level analysis of analog units to deliver impressive dynamic signal processing that enables anyone to capture the magic of a professional studio.
A high-performance quad-core audio engine delivers significantly more processing power to the unit than any other content creation console on the market, while powerful onboard effects enable the user to craft their unique sound. However, even with these advanced capabilities, the RØDECaster Pro II is very easy to use. RØDE has designed the console to minimize the fuss and maximize creativity.
There’s a high-definition, full-color touchscreen, combined with the tactile rotary knob, that makes for easy navigating and controlling of the console’s menu. The system includes professionally tailored presets and the innovative VoxLab processing editor that can capture incredible sound, even if the user has no prior audio experience.
The RØDECaster Pro II can be fully customized and is flexible enough to adapt to a wide range of creative recording applications, whether that be livestreaming and gaming or podcasting and music production. There are nine individually assignable sound channels, with six broadcast-quality physical faders and three virtual faders. Any of the nine audio sources can be allocated to any fader, enabling users to set the mixer up exactly as they like it and to suit their creative requirements and workflow.
There are eight SMART pads on the RØDECaster Pro II and these are so much more than just a neat way of instantly recalling sound effects. Each pad can be customized to do everything from triggering on-the-fly voice effects like reverb, echo, robot and pitch FX, to sending MIDI commands to external software and hardware, activating automated mixer actions like fade-ins and fade-outs, plus much more.
A switch for selecting eight banks of SMART pads which means there are up to 64 unique actions that can be recalled at the touch of a button. The on-board effects and APHEX processors are also fully customizable, with granular on-board editing enabling users to fine-tune every parameter to suit their voice or instrument. All processing and effect parameters can also be saved as presets and loaded at any time on any channel.
Every setting, from the mixer configuration to SMART pads, as well as entire recordings, can be saved onboard as a ‘Show’, enabling users to get set up and start recording in seconds. This also makes the RØDECaster Pro II the ideal tool for creators who make different types of content. It’s also a handy feature for anyone who runs a multi-functional studio or education facilities that require different types of setups for different users.
The RØDECaster Pro II is bristling with connectivity so that it can work with a wide range of devices, unlocking more creative possibilities, more streamlined workflows, plus easier integration with other equipment. The four analog inputs can accommodate everything from a single microphone for a solo podcast to a full band for a livestream. There are also four high-power headphone outputs and ¼-inch balanced line outputs for connecting speakers for monitoring and playback.
Dual USB-C interfaces accommodate the connection of two computers or mobile devices simultaneously, with an extra virtual USB channel for connecting chat applications like Zoom or Skype, unlocking the potential for everything from remote podcasting to organizing complex streaming setups. Apple MFi certification ensures seamless integration with iOS devices.
In addition to the USB inputs, there’s advanced Bluetooth connectivity with wide-band speech that makes recording ultra-high-quality phone calls easy and it can also be used for crystal-clear audio streaming and even connecting wireless speakers thanks to a transmit function. Users can record in stereo or multitrack either to an onboard microSD slot, a computer or an external storage device, with ultra-fast data transfer over USB. The RØDECaster Pro II also has Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, enabling users to update the constantly evolving firmware wirelessly.
The RØDECaster Pro II has been completely redesigned. This is no evolution of the first version and it’s packed with new features that make recording as simple and streamlined as it’s possible to get. On-board audio editing, mix-minus on the Bluetooth and USB channels, bi-directional MIDI communication, ten language options, mute and listen buttons, producer talkback mode, stereo input linking with pan controls, plus tailored presets for RØDE microphones and other popular models are just some of the features on offer.
RØDE claims that this launch is just the beginning of the RØDECaster Pro II. Because it’s equipped with a very powerful quad-core audio engine, there’s plenty of headroom to unlock even more enhancements and features with frequent upgrades so the console will continue to evolve. The RØDECaster Pro II will be launched with a suite of optional accessories, including the RØDECover 2, a high-quality protective cover, a VESA mount, carry bags, colored cables and much more.
Pricing & Availability: The RØDECaster Pro II will be available for pre-order from Tuesday, 24 May 2022 for US$699 and will begin shipping in June. I hope to have a full review of the RØDECaster Pro II very soon.
More info: www.rode.com
- All-in-one audio solution for content creators, including podcasters, livestreamers, musicians, and more.
- Ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution Preamps.
- High-performance quad-core audio engine for improved processing power.
- Studio-quality APHEX audio processing for superior sound quality and flexibility.
- Onboard effects, including reverb, echo, robot, pitch-shifting and more.
- SMART pads for triggering sounds, voice effects, MIDI commands and mixer actions across eight banks of eight pads creating 64 unique actions.
- Nine individually assignable channels, on-board granular editing, fully programmable SMART pads for a tailored perfect setup.
- Advanced Bluetooth connectivity with wide-band speech for ultra-high-quality phone call integration and audio streaming and wireless monitoring.
- Dual USB-C interfaces for connecting two computers or mobile devices, studio-grade Neutrik combo inputs for connecting microphones and instruments, plus Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections.
- 5.5-inch high-definition touchscreen (with haptic feedback) and rotary encoder for easy navigation and control.