Back in 2018, Rode, one of the world’s largest microphone manufacturers, introduced a product that would change the lives of podcast broadcasters. Named the RodeCaster Pro, this product aimed to consolidate everything a broadcaster might need to create a podcast into a single device. The product made a significant impact globally; indeed, with the capability to use 4 independent microphones and headphones simultaneously, it facilitated content creation in the same location. In addition, through bluetooth and TRRS connection, remote guests could be seamlessly added to the broadcast. It offered the ability to record on an SD card and to a computer in any format, featured 8 SoundPads ready for sound effects, and dozens more features. The RodeCaster Pro pioneered devices with such features and was followed by many players in the industry.
And now, here is the RodeCaster Pro II!
Rode announced the long-awaited next-generation product, the RodeCaster Pro II, taking into account the experience gained from the RodeCaster Pro and all the feedback from its users. This time, dozens of improvements have been made not only for podcast producers but for all content creators. Let’s take a look at the innovations.
The 4 XLR microphone inputs found in the original RodeCaster Pro have been replaced with 4 high-quality Neutrik® combo jacks that can connect guitar-like instruments, synthesizers, or other line-level devices. The RodeCaster Pro II is 2 inches smaller. One fader has been removed, and it should be noted that it will take up less space on our desk. The device is powered by a new 4-core audio processor and meets its power needs via a USB Type-C port. Controlling the RodeCaster Pro II is easier than ever with its 5.5 inch Haptic Feedback supported HD touchscreen and newly added rotary encoder. The connection options are quite rich. Software updates can be performed without the need for a computer with Wifi 802.11g/n/ac 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless network and 1gbit Ethernet support. In addition, it’s possible to connect to two separate computers or mobile devices simultaneously with 2 Type-C connection points. Full MFI compatibility is offered for iOS. Although the familiar TRRS connection point has been removed, high-quality phone calls can be made and connected to external wireless speakers with Advanced Bluetooth®. Data transfer has been greatly increased with an integrated USB 3.0 130MB/S write speed SD card reader.
The Neutrik® combo connection points specially produced for the RodeCaster Pro II offer incredible values. According to the company’s official statement, these connection points, with a noise level of -131.5dBV and a gain value of 76dB, can connect dynamic and condenser microphones, as well as musical instruments and devices of all kinds at line level.
The 3.5MM headphone input on the front of the first generation device has been removed. Along with 4 high-output power headphone outputs, a ¼-inch balanced monitor output can be independently controlled.
There are a total of 9 assignable channels on the RodeCaster Pro II, 6 physical and 3 virtual. These channels can be associated with different faders, and virtual channels can be controlled with a rotary encoder. Also, each channel has its own mute and listen buttons, studio-quality compressor, noise gate, high-pass filter, de-esser, and 3-band equalizer.
One of the biggest innovations of the RodeCaster Pro II is the complete overhaul of the pads on it. I really liked an expression used by Rode. “Other consoles have Sound pads, we have Smart Pads” 🙂
The 8 Pads on the RCP II can now be used not only to play music but also to control sound effects such as reverb, echo, pitch, and robot effect, to send MIDI commands to external applications, and to trigger mixer functions such as fade in/fade out. Moreover, it’s possible to navigate between 8 different Smart Pad banks with the newly added navigation buttons and manage a total of 8*8=64 functions.
I will cover MIDI commands in a separate article. To give a small example, you can use the record button on the RodeCaster Pro II to start recording on the DAW you use by making the necessary assignments. The innovations don’t end there. The integrated memory, which was 512MB in the previous generation, has been increased to 4GB in the RodeCaster Pro II. This way, more sounds or instant recordings can be stored. Smart Pad configurations can be saved as presets and the settings made for different content types can be easily restored.
As is known, reverb and echo features were the most requested features for the RodeCaster Pro. Unfortunately, the hardware of the previous device wasn’t powerful enough to offer these features. With the RodeCaster Pro II, new features of studio quality have been offered with a 4-core audio processor and APHEX®, and sound effects that make broadcasts more fun have been added.
Yes, the new microphone preamps offered with the RodeCaster Pro II are powerful enough to feed even the most gain-hungry microphones like the Shure SM7B. Rode has even added a special preset for the SM7B and stated that using a Cloudlifter would create excessive noise.
There’s a lot to say about the RodeCaster Pro II; however, I don’t want to finish it all in one article 🙂 In the next article, I will try to answer frequently asked questions. I think Rode will reinforce its position in the industry with this device once again. This time a product that is end-to-end customizable has been offered. Especially the inclusion of a mix-minus supported special chat channel, the ability to record to an external disk as well as an SD card and computer, and the device being powered through the Type-C connection point is truly wonderful. Hopefully, ethernet and wifi can be used for different purposes after a while; after all, 1gbit wired and 5GHZ wireless connection seem a bit too much just for firmware updates.
See you in the next article.