One thing I'm not going to share in this post is how much money and time that I've spent buying, evaluating, and testing equipment for my podcasts. From a full mixer and studio, to a compact studio that I can carry in a backpack, down to USB microphones I can record via laptop or iPhone… I've tried them all.
The problem to date has always been the combination of in-studio and remote guests. It's such an issue that I even contacted some manufacturers to see if I could have someone build a prototype.
It's not a complex problem, but it does require some flexible hardware. When you have multiple guests in addition to a remote guest, the latency of the remote guest will cause an echo of their own voice in their headset. So, you have to create bus that omits the remote guest's voice in the output back to them. This is known as mix-minus.
But I can't be hauling around a programmable mixer on the road in addition to all of the equipment, so I figured out how to create the same configuration using a virtual bus on my MacBook Pro. And it's still a pain in the butt to setup.
That's all changed.
Now, everyone with a dream to create professional-quality podcasts will be able to do so seamlessly with this new and powerful platform. This is a remarkable new direction for RØDE: an all-in-one studio for podcasters of every level.
I was visiting my videographer today, Ablog Cinema, and he'd asked if I'd seen the new RØDECaster Pro – Podcast Production Studio. Here's an overview.
But wait… there's more. Here's a detailed rundown:
Did RØDE think of everything? On-board features include:
- 4 microphone channels: Class A, servo based inputs able to power studio condenser microphones as well as conventional dynamic microphones.
- Separate inputs for 3.5mm TRRS (phone or device), Bluetooth (phone or device) and USB (for music/audio or app calls)
- Phone and app calls – with no echo (mix-minus). Easily adjust levels – no extra gear or messy set-up involved.
- Programmable sound effects pads: 8 colour coded sound effects triggers for programmable jingles and sound effects.
- Programmable in the RØDECaster™ Pro or from your computer via the software.
- APHEX® Exciter™ and Big Bottom™patented processing for that rich, warm tone only found in professional broadcast systems. Also includes multistage dynamics: compression, limiting and noise-gating.
- Touch-screen allows easy control of all settings, including equalizer presets for a range of professional voicings.
- Four high-power headphone outputs and stereo speaker out, each with independent volume controls.
- Records direct to microSD Card for completely self-contained operation, or to your preferred computer and software via USB.
- Live streaming capability.Today’s radio!
This is nothing short of amazing! Having programmable sound channels will allow me to preprogram my intro, outro, and ads on the fly so that I can literally record and upload to my podcast hosting.
What About Live Video?
Another advantage of this unit is the ability to pair it up with a system like Switcher Studio. The stereo output can drive the audio on your live-connected device and you can switch back and forth between iPads and your guest via an iPhone FaceTime or Skype call!
I've got a trip next year to record more Luminaries podcasts with Dell… and this unit will be going with me. The unit weighs in at just over 6 pounds so it's not going to be too bad to lug around. Add in microphones, cables, and headphones and I may need to get something with wheels, but that's okay.
If I had one complaint it would be that the unit will not multi-track record. So, if a guest coughs while another guest is speaking… you're stuck with it or you need to stop the show and rerecord the segment, then stitch the segments together in post production. Let's hope that future versions enable multi-track recording via the micro-SD card and USB outputs.