Rode introduces a new version of its portable audio mixing console, Broadcaster ProWith upgraded hardware, new speakers, a host of new software features, and a subtly more elegant design. The Rodecaster Pro II It aims to assemble key parts of the audio control room for live broadcasts, podcasts, and other audio productions into a desktop console for hobbyists and professionals alike.
At first glance, the Rodecaster Pro II looks like a slightly more compact version of its predecessor, with six actual dimmers instead of eight, reducing its width from 14 inches to 12 inches. But the console does come with some bigger updates on the inside. The console is now powered by USB-C and has the ability to connect to two computers or mobile devices simultaneously for dual operations. There’s also a larger, better-looking touchscreen, and the system comes with much more options to customize processing and automation in the onboard software.
The biggest update seems to be with the audio pads (now called SMART pads). Pads were previously used to play tracks on demand but have now opened up to be fully customizable – with the ability to play effects, auto fade, MIDI commands, video shuffle, and more, much like Elgato’s streaming suite.
The new console speakers feature lower noise floors and higher gain than the previous model, so much so that Rode says they eliminate the need for products like Cloudlifter to boost the signal-to-noise ratio of professional mics like the Shure SM7b before moving into the mixer.
A common complaint about the original Rodecaster Pro was the limited audio processing options internally, with some effects like the compressor and EQ presets only having an on/off function. Rode unlocks these features with more subtle parameters to adjust as well as additional effects like reverb and pitch change.
Overall, these may seem like minor updates and may not be a necessary upgrade for all existing Rodecaster Pro users – but as live video and audio platforms evolve into higher productions, the gear should continue as well. Making transitions, fades, and even lighting settings from a console comes close to having a complete control room in your office.
Rode says it will continue to update the Pro II firmware for additional functionality, additional features, and software compatibility (which can now be updated via Wi-Fi and Ethernet on the console) “in the weeks/months after launch,” similar to firmware releases. Add-on on the original Rodecaster Pro. When asked if Rode will update the original Rodecaster Pro with future firmware versions, Rode said “not at this point,” so it looks like a lot of this software functionality will only be available on the Pro II.
The Rodecaster Pro II is now available for pre-order for $699 ($100 more than the cost of the Rodecaster Pro I) with plans to ship mid-June 2022.
“Typical beer trailblazer. Hipster-friendly web buff. Certified alcohol fanatic. Internetaholic. Infuriatingly humble zombie lover.”