The Rode Podcaster dynamic microphone promises broadcast quality sound to a very competitive price. Comming it at about $230 USD it is leaning on the cheaper side of the broadcasting quality microphones, however, Rode promises high-quality sound with high output whilst having an internal shock mounting, internal pop filter and a frequency response aimed specifically for voice over tasks. So let us have a closer look at this beast of a microphone.
Table of Contents
Rode Procaster Mic Specs:
- Dynamic Microphone
- XLR Connection
- Cardioid Polar Pattern
- Frequency Range: 75Hz – 18kHz
- Output impedance: 320Ω
- Sensitivity: 56.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (1.60mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Weight: 745.00g
- Dimensions: 214.00mmH x 53.00mmW x 53.00mmD
- Broadcast quality sound
- High output dynamic capsule
- Balanced, low impedance output
- Internal shock mounting of the capsule for low handling noise
- Internal pop-filter to reduce plosives
- Robust, all-metal construction
- 10 year extended warranty when you register your microphone
What’s In The Box?
Let’s briefly go over what you can find in the box when buying the Rode Procaster microphone.
You will get the mic, a pouch (without any padding), a basic mic connector for a stand or boom arm, manual, warranty card, and a sticker.
So, there is not a whole lot to it. But also, it does not need to be much more. That said, I am a bit disappointed over the pouch, there is no padding what so ever an all it is useful for is to protect the mic from dust.
How Does It Hold Up In Recording?
The Rode Procaster’s frequency response ranges from 75Hz – 18kHz. It is to note that it tapers down in the lows and then cuts off at the 75Hy mark. However this most likely has been done to counteract the increased bass response when leveraging the proximity effect. And comparing it to my other mics, it does not get muffled in the lows when using it super close up.
While it tapers down to the lows it also has a little bit of a bump around 200Hy and also a boost in the high frequencies around 5-10kHz. These EQ characteristics are very targeted for voice and might take away some tweaks for you to do in post.
Procaster Polar Pattern
The Rode Procaster is configured to have a cardioid polar pattern. This is a classic configuration for voice microphones not only in live situations but also in a studio environment. Being a front addressed microphone it picks up all sounds from the front and rejects almost all sound signals coming from the back side (except some high frequencies over 4kHz).
This pickup and rejection pattern combined with the sensitivity characteristics of being a dynamic microphone makes the procaster ideal to use in broadcast scenarios which are usually not noise free like a vocal booth would be.
Working The Procaster Microphone
This microphone wants to be worked hard! By that I mean, you really want to get close to it. In normal circumstances you do not need an additional shock mount, so, get it close!
I have to say, I personally like front addressed microphones at my desk for the voice-over work I do or when doing Skype interviews. Even though the procaster is a large diaphragm mic, it takes up much less of your view (also, because a shock mount is not needed).
Tapering off the bass frequencies comes in handy when being up close! While I like some of my condenser mics a bit better in sound, they are more transparent than the procaster, they also tend to get very “boomy” when being super close, which you have to do when you want rich sound whilst eliminating as much background noise and reverb from the room.
Driving the Procaster
Being a dynamic microphone, it is to be expected to use more gain to drive the microphone. That said, you might want to get a dedicated preamp, a FetHead or a CloudLifter to reach enough pre-amplification and eventually get a good signal to noise ratio.
Like other known broadcasting microphones, the Rode Procaster is a gain hungry beast. It does not require as much as a Shure 7B, yet it is not far off either. You will need about 50-56db of gain to drive the mic for spoken dialog, depending on how loud you are and how close you want to get.
Like with a lot of things in life everything comes with drawbacks, and so it is with microphones. It is about managing the advantages and disadvantages or better it is about setting up goals while minimizing unwanted side effects.