Let’s talk about podcast recording. We’ve got two hit podcasts that air weekly on CKNW and the CORUS radio network here in Western Canada, and are available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts–this is your cue to subscribe to GetConnected and The App Show. We’re more nimble than ever: our team used to make the trek out to CKNW headquarters to record weekly, but now we’re our own self-contained radio recording studio, thanks in part to the Rødecaster Pro from Røde. Yes, it’s spelled with an ø.
We’ve been recording radio shows for nearly 20 years. The Professional mixing gear you’ll find in a radio station was tough to beat back then; getting the same sound at home or in our office wasn’t something I thought we could duplicate.
John Biehler, one of my co-hosts and Editorial Director at GetConnected, found the solution: good quality microphones, great headphones, a room with good audio treatment, and at the heart of it the Rødecaster Pro.
We started recording this way about a year ago, and having everyone in the room together makes for easy recording. Our NT1-A condenser microphones use an XLR connection into the Rødecaster, and there were enough headphone ports for us to have up to four hosts recording at the same time.
A word about podcasting microphones
The NT1-A condenser mic are dynamic, responding to the sound that goes into them, and they’re incredibly forgiving even in rooms with bad acoustics. They give all of the voices a warm, natural sound–and the Rødecaster comes with a vocal pre-set for them as well. We’ve got clip-on pop filters for each of the mics, cutting the pops and hisses from words that have plosives and sibilants–that means hard p, b, and s sounds.
Go read our headphone blog
Headphones are a personal choice, and we’ve touched on them in another article. Give it a read when you have a minute.
All of this makes interacting with the Rødecaster Pro easy. It has a whole range of inputs, outputs. You can use it standalone or connected to your computer to use it as a mixing board with a digital audio workstation. I’ve been doing my best to keep Graham from stealing it to use at home.
You can mute or unmute each input, and you have sliders for each input as well as a master slider; each headphone output has its own volume knob to control the volume level of the mix for each person, as well as a monitor volume knob if you’re using local speakers to monitor output.
What connections does the Rødecaster Pro have?
- 4 XLR Mic Inputs
- 4 TRS headphone jacks – you can use an adapter to connect 1/8” stereo mini (also called TRRS) headphones.
- 2 TRS monitor outputs for local monitoring through speakers
- 1 TRRS 1/8” stereo mini phone input
- 1 microSD slot
- 1 USB-C connection (for power or to connect to a computer)
- 1 Power connector
How we make great podcasts with the Rødecaster Pro
We use it as a stand-alone piece for the most part, recording to an SD card. The pads on the Rødecaster are great for storing samples or jingles; each of our shows has segments that either need an intro, an outro, or both, and there is 512MB of storage on-board for each of those. We’ve used the USB-C, Bluetooth, and stereo-mini input to conference guests in on our show; I like hardwired connections more, because as good as Bluetooth is right now, it can be a wildcard factor that we don’t really have time to deal with.
With COVID-19 shifting our workflow around I’m still using the Rødecaster to make my life easier, cutting the time it used to take down by a manageable degree. The big change has been that we’re also recording remote video; if you’re looking to do that you can do everything from using an inexpensive ring-light like mine, right up to the broadcast-ready setups that John and Graham are using, with products like the Elgato Keylight Air.
The Rødecaster Pro goes for around $800 most days, and is available across Canada, from smaller music stores right up to giants like Amazon. There’s recently been an update to the software that keeps making the Rødecaster even better and more valuable to our workflow. Watch the video below to see just some of the new features that were added.