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Rode Podcast Mixer Comparison: Rode Procaster II, Classic & Rodecaster Duo
Episode 1010th July 2023 • Podcasting Resources Guide • Juergen Berkessel
00:00:00 00:11:02

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Brace yourself for an unparalleled journey into the sphere of premium audio as we delve deep into the realm of podcast mixers. In this episode, we examine the Rodecaster Pro 2, Pro Classic, and Duo Streaming Mixer - three powerful mixers that assure to elevate your podcasting voyage. Regardless if you've been in the podcasting game for years or a novice testing the podcast waters, this episode guarantees something for all.

  • 00:00:13 - Intro
  • 00:00:32 - Rodecaster Pro II: The Ultimate Podcast Mixer
  • 00:05:15 - Rodecaster Pro Classic
  • 00:07:16 - Stream On the Go: Rodcaster Duo Streaming Console
  • 00:10:26 - Our Verdict & Recommendation


Welcome to the Podcasting Resources Guide podcast, where we explore the latest podcasting platforms, tools & techniques. In today's episode, we compare the Rodecaster line of podcast consoles. We're putting the spotlight on three fantastic audio production consoles, all from Rode - the Rodecaster Pro II, Rodecaster Pro Classic, and the Rodecaster Duo Streaming Mixer. Let's dive straight in!

Roll out the red carpet for the Rodecaster Pro II, folks! This bad boy is the ultimate podcasting console that'll meet all your audio production needs and then some. Seriously, picture this: a console that's not only loaded with amazing features, but also incredibly user-friendly and compact. Can you say dream come true? That's right, we're talking about the Rodecaster Pro II.

Let’s start with the star of the show – the sound quality. Prepare to be blown away by the superior audio this device delivers. We're not just talking about run-of-the-mill sound quality here, folks. This thing goes above and beyond to give you the best of the best. And if you're a podcaster who’s been yearning for top-notch clean preamps, your dreams have just come true!

And here's something that'll make any previous owners of the Rodecaster Classic jump for joy – In the original version, some microphones, like the popular Shure’s SM7B, required more power, resulting in external devices for optimal performance. Not anymore, folks. The Rodecaster Pro II takes care of that for you, providing pristine preamps that'll make your audio shine.

The Rodecaster Pro II is all about customization. You want options? This console’s got ‘em. It's like a playground for podcasters, with a ton of bells and whistles to make your heart skip a beat.

Let's talk about some of the incredible improvements the Rodecaster Pro II brings to the table. First up, we've got combo XLR/TRS jacks on the four microphone inputs. What does that mean for you? Well, it makes connecting your 1/4" devices an absolute breeze, no adapters required. Convenience at its finest.

Remember the TRRS mini jack from the previous model? Well, say goodbye to it because the Rodecaster Pro II now comes with dual USB-C interfaces. What does that mean? It means you can connect modern mobile devices with ease and enjoy that sweet, sweet flexibility.

Oh, and did we mention that this powerhouse is now even more compact? That's right, the physical faders have been reduced from 8 to 6, giving you a sleeker and more portable package. But don't worry, the total number of faders remains at 9, thanks to the addition of "virtual faders".

These faders work similarly to the physical faders found on your console, which you'd typically use to adjust the levels and balance of your audio inputs. The difference is that they are software-based and accessed through the console's built-in touchscreen.

The Rodecaster Pro II comes equipped with three of these virtual faders, bringing the total number of audio channels you can control to nine when coupled with the six physical faders provided. This means that along with your microphone and other audio sources connected via physical inputs, you can also control additional USB or Bluetooth connected devices.

Here's how it works: You can allocate the four analog inputs, USB and Bluetooth interfaces, and SMART pads to any of the physical or virtual faders. Once assigned, you can then control the level of audio from each of these sources independently, giving you more flexibility and precision over your podcast production.

Navigating to these virtual faders is easy! They can be accessed right from the console's 5.5-inch color touchscreen. With this feature, Rodecaster Pro II provides a versatile and powerful mixing surface, but the overall size of the device is now more compact.

The most playful feature are perhaps the SMART Pads, which are not your average sound triggering pads. These bad boys can do so much more. They can activate voice effects, send MIDI commands, automate levels, and the list goes on. It's like having a team of audio engineers at your fingertips.

And let's not forget about the enhanced APHEX audio processing and on-board effects. With the Rodecaster Pro II, you have more control than ever before. We here at Polymash have a video tutorial about using these as a sort of EQ...

OK, now, we have to address the elephant in the room – the price tag. Yes, the Rodecaster Pro II does come with a higher price compared to its predecessor. It's about $200 more, to be exact. But consider this, my friends: With all the incredible features, improved performance, and the sheer convenience it offers, investing in the Rodecaster Pro II is a decision that you're unlikely to regret. Trust us, it's worth every single penny.

So, whether you're a creative venturing into podcasting, a radio announcer, a voice actor, or even a streamer, the Rodecaster Pro II is the wind beneath your wings. It's a powerful, versatile, and portable "Podcast Studio in a Box" type solution. If you have the budget for it, go ahead and give yourself the gift of exceptional sound. You won't be disappointed.

Now, let's shift our focus on the Rodecaster Pro Classic. This gem of a console is practically legendary in the podcasting community, standing the test of time with its reliability and outstanding features. If you're looking for a versatile and dependable tool for your podcasting needs, the Rodecaster Pro Classic might just be what you're looking for.

Don't be discouraged by the fact that the Classic lacks some of the advanced features found in its newer sibling. This console still packs a punch and deserves your attention. With its performance, versatility, and that nostalgic charm of something familiar, the Rodecaster Pro Classic is definitely worth considering, especially if your budget doesn't allow for the Pro II.

The Rodecaster Pro Classic also has four studio-grade XLR microphone inputs. They may not be as powerfully pre-amped as the new version, but they are more than adequate for 99.9% of microphones out there.

The Pro Classic also comes with eight programmable sound effects pads. These pads allow you to add sound effects, music segments, or even advertisements on the fly. It's an excellent way to enhance the professional appeal of your podcast and keep your audience engaged. Plus, you can trigger these sound effects instantly during your sessions, making your podcast more lively and exciting. These pad's aren't as advanced as in the new version, but for most of us triggering intros, outros, or background segment music is all we need.

So, what's the bottom line? ...

If we didn't already own the classic, we would now probably buy the Rodecaster Pro II. But we here at Polymash are keeping our Rodecaster Pro Classic and not upgrading. The classic is simply that good. We appreciate a no-nonsense podcasting console designed to providing us with a high-quality podcasting experience.

It's easy to use, reliable, and offers excellent functionality. This classic choice is perfect for anyone valuing simplicity, ease of use, and dependability.

If you're a streamer or content creator who's always on the move or works on a tight budget, then the Rodecaster Duo Streaming Console is the ideal device for you. With its compact design, it's super portable and won't take up much space in your bag, or on your desk. Whether you're traveling to different locations for interviews, doing on-the-spot reports, or simply enjoying a podcast session at your favorite café, the Rodecaster Duo can easily be packed up and taken along for the ride.

Now, don't let its small size fool you, because this little mixer is packed with all the features you need to create great content. It's specifically designed for podcasters, streamers, musicians, and content creators, catering to all your needs. Whether you're recording interviews, livestreaming, producing music, or working on other creative projects, the Rodecaster Duo has got your back.

When it comes to streaming, what's different about the Duo is the "High-definition Audio Streaming": The Duo uses advanced Bluetooth connections to stream audio in high-definition. This ensures excellent audio quality for your Bluetooth audio connections. If you ever listened to Bluetooth audio on the Classic, you know the Bluetooth sound was noticeably inferior.

Another of the standout features of the Rodecaster Duo is its price point. Out of the three console versions available, it's the most affordable option. So, if you're working with a smaller budget, this is definitely the model for you. You get all the functionality and quality you need without breaking the bank.

But let's get back to the real star of the show - the features of the Rodecaster Duo. This mixer may be small, but it's definitely mighty. It offers multiple microphone inputs, allowing you to conduct interviews or have multiple hosts on your podcast. The sound quality is top-notch, ensuring that your audience hears every word crystal clear.

The Rodecaster Duo also has a built-in touchscreen, making it incredibly user-friendly. You can easily control all the settings and options with just a few taps. And if you want to add some music or sound effects to your podcast, it's a breeze with the dedicated pads and programmable buttons.

Another great feature is the ability to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to take calls, play music, or incorporate audio from your mobile device seamlessly into your podcast. It's all about convenience and making your podcasting experience as smooth as possible.

So, if you're the type of podcaster who loves to explore different environments and mix up your experiences, the Rodecaster Duo is perfect for you. It won't limit your spirit of adventure or creativity. With its small size, affordability, and amazing features, it's the ultimate companion for any content creator on the go.

And if you have limited desktop space, like us, you might appreciate the small size. We currently use the Rodecaster Pro classic, and it takes up a LOT of space compared to this much more compact mixer.

So, if you're ready to take your podcasting on the road and explore new possibilities, or simply want to reclaim some desktop real estate, the Rodecaster Duo could be the perfect fit for you.

So there you have it. Horses For Courses, as they say. If you're in the market for an all in one podcasting console, go for the Rodecaster Pro II. If you need a desktop mixer, but balk at the price, ...try to find a used Rodecaster Pro Classic on eBay and save a ton of money. It is still a great device. ...And if you value compact size alongside a lower price, go for the Rodecaster Duo.

Thanks for listening to today's episode, I'll see you guys at the next one and don't forget to subscribe!