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Rodecaster Pro Review: The Best All-In-One Podcast Mixer

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Rode surprised the podcast world with the Rodecaster Pro.

Rodecaster Pro on desk

For a company mostly known for making high-quality microphones, they have really thought things through with the new Rodecaster Pro.

Their recent entry into interfaces and mixers with the Rode AI-1 USB audio interface was the first hint that they were going be investing in a new segment…

But I don’t think anyone would have guessed this would be the follow-up!

There are a ton of features – both visible and “hidden” in the touchscreen display.

If you want to watch a short (6 minutes or so) overview, take a look at the video below:

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Best Handheld Digital Audio Recorders (For Podcasting, Interviews & Music)

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Handheld digital audio recorders go by a number of different names: handheld field recorder, handheld recorder, portable digital audio recorder, and probably others.

No matter what you call them, these things are awesome!

They have built-in microphones, but also include various inputs and outputs for multiple sources including microphones, instruments, headphones, and more.

You can also use them as USB audio interfaces directly into your computer or as an on-camera microphone or on-camera mixer/interface.

The audio quality and flexibility are what really makes them worth it.

There are a couple popular brands that stand out in this space so most of the recommendations will be from the same few companies. I’m going to focus on portable recorders that include mic inputs so you can use separate interview-style microphones or plug in your studio XLR mics.

Top choice for most people: Zoom H4N Pro

If you want a more simple “grab and go” option, take a look at the Zoom H1n or the TASCAM DR-05 below. Or another budget-friendly option I would recommend if you have an iPhone is to look at these external lightning mics.

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Best USB Audio Interfaces For Podcasters & Musicians

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A USB audio interface lets you convert your analog audio signals (i.e. your voice) into a digital signal for your computer. They can vary in quality, features, inputs & outputs, and more. They all have mic preamps built into the XLR inputs, and at least one output for monitoring speakers or headphones.

Compared to a built-in sound card, you’ll almost always get higher sound quality when using an external audio interface (essentially an external sound card) as well. If you want to simplify it, you’re converting XLR to USB (in the case of a microphone).

The “best” USB audio interface will really depend on your needs and potential uses, so we’ll highlight brands and models with a range of I/O (input/output). We’ll start with the smaller units and move down the page toward the larger ones. It’s organized by the number of XLR mic inputs.

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Best Audio Mixers For Podcasting & Music (w/ USB Interface)

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Because the best mixer for podcasting will vary depending on your needs, how many people are involved, your experience with audio equipment, and much more, I’ve broken up the recommendations into mixers that work well for single-person and 2-person podcasts, and recommendations for podcasts with 3 or 4 (or more) hosts.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding on an audio mixer is that you will need an XLR input for each person in the room or studio. Even if you’re doing a solo podcast, if you ever want to have a guest join you live, you’ll need a spare input and XLR mic for them. Because of that, I would actually look for a mixer that has more inputs than you think you’ll need.

For example, if you’re doing a 2-host podcast, you should consider mixers from the multi-person podcast section. Some people might only ever have guests through Skype or phone calls, but you never know.

I’m only going to include mixers that include a USB connection so you don’t have to worry about how to connect them to your desktop computer or needing additional equipment to get your recordings onto your podcasting laptop.

USB audio interfaces are also popular ways to record on your computer (or connect to a mixer) but you usually won’t have the same control over EQ, levels, gain, etc.

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