Podcasting on iOS is perfectly feasible, as long as you don’t want to use Skype or FaceTime to talk and record the audio at the same time. The new RødeCaster Pro mixer/recorder neatly sidesteps this issue, as well as putting everything a podcaster might need into one sturdy box. And because the hardware is made by Røde, it’s probably pretty good.
The RødeCaster Pro is an eight-channel mixer and recorder that records straight to an SD card. With four XLR microphone inputs, it can be hooked up to your iPad or computer via USB-C and used as an audio interface.
So far, that describes plenty of good audio interfaces. But then Røde adds in some podcast-specific features. One is a grid of eight pads that can trigger various sounds — jingles, cheesy effects, whatever you like. The hardware also packs a touchscreen, a level fader for each input, and mute and solo buttons on each channel. Plus, it offers four headphone jacks on the back, which is essential for multi-person recording.
These are all great features. The RødeCaster Pro is really well-thought-out. But then comes the killer feature: You can hook up a phone via Bluetooth (or jack cable) and record phone calls directly into the unit, on their own channel. It processes the audio with “mix-minus” to make sure that the caller doesn’t hear an echo of their own voice.
RødeCaster Pro: Essential gear for iOS podcasters?
It look like this could be the perfect solution for iOS podcasters. USB-C means it works with the new iPad Pro. And from the research I’ve done, it seems like the audio from your local guests will be routed to the remote caller, so they can hear everyone. If you want to record directly into an iPad, you’ll still need a separate iPhone to run the Skype or FaceTime session. However, if you opt for recording straight to microSD card, you can use your iPad for the call (and later for the editing).
I have questions, though. Can you transfer audio from the RødeCaster Pro to your iOS device after recording, for instance? That’s essential for iOS-only podcasters. And can the new iPad Pro’s USB-C port power the unit?
These questions will be answered when the unit goes on sale in December. List price is $599. Street price? We’ll see.