As we go through each step, we’ll explain the related Rode Podcaster features. That way you can fully understand this tool and maximize its output quality.
Ready to get started? Let’s go! 🚀
How to use a Rode Podcaster in five steps
Step One: The Unboxing
Any time you receive any podcasting equipment via shipping, the first thing you should do is check to make sure nothing is broken or missing.
Plus, unboxing is kind of a sacred ritual for podcast tech nerds. 🤓🙏
The box should contain a Rode Podcaster mic, a ten inch USB cable, and a Rode stand mount.
If the box is missing any of these things, check with the source you bough it from. For example, if you bought it straight from Rode itself, it might not come with the USB cable or the stand mount. 🤷♀️
If anything has visible damage, immediately take a photo of it. If you find something is not working as you set it up, you can send the photo and the shipping info to the seller to request a replacement.
The Rode Podcaster comes with a ten-year warranty from the manufacturer so there should not be any issues if something does happen during shipping. 😅
Chances are, nothing will be damaged. The Rode Podcaster is a dynamic microphone, not a condenser microphone. That means it has an internal magnetic coil to capture sound waves, not a sensitive diaphragm structure.
Step Two: The Physical Setup
Now that you have opened your treasure box, it is time to physically set up the mic. The good news is that you do not need to worry about installing an external pop filter because the Rode Podcaster comes with a pop filter built in. 👍
Using the Stand Mount
You can simply attach the mic to the small stand mount it comes with.
If you choose this route, make sure your recording studio (yes, this can be a bedroom closet if needed) is set up so you don’t really touch the table the stand mount is on at all. 🙅♀️
The Rode Podcaster does have a built-in shock mount. Inside its metal capsule, the actual microphone is suspended in the air with elastic bands. This reduces vibrations the microphone may pick up from the studio table or desk.
But if you are the kind of podcaster who talks with their hands, thumps the table for emphasis, or uses a lot of physical notes, you might want to use a boom arm instead of the stand mount. ⬇️
Using a Boom Arm
Rode recommends you use their PSA1 boom arm for the Podcaster mics, calling it the “ultimate studio boom arm for podcasters.”
If you go this route (and pay about $130 for the boom arm), you will need to find a place on your table or desk edge to clamp it on securely. 🗜️
Then run the USB cable that comes in the box over the PSA1. Clip the cable to the boom arm with the clips that come with the boom arm.
The PSA1 has damped springs and neoprene materials so you won’t pick up any structural vibrations or noises. Even better, you can adjust across a wide range of space to be as comfortable as possible. This is great upgrade to having to lean close to the stand mount to make sure your voice audio is picked up. 😁
Step Three: The Plug-In
The number one feature of this product is that it is a USB microphone (rather than an XLR microphone). This feature makes this step of the setup very easy in a couple different ways.
No Power Cord Needed
First, you don’t need to worry about a power cord. The Rode Podcaster’s USB cable transfers all the electricity that the mic needs. It pulls any necessary phantom power from whatever the microphone is plugged into (computer, mixer, etc.). ⚡
No Additional Software Needed
Second, you don’t need to worry about having a certain software or operating software. The Rode Podcaster works on both Macs and PCs. Once you plug in the Rode Podcaster, your computer will automatically list it as an option for audio input, or your computer may even automatically make it the default for audio input. 🎙️
Now, you will need a computer program that receives the recording from the mic and saves it as an audio file. However, all modern computers have free audio recording software built into them. Here’s a list of podcast recording software if you want to explore all your options.
Of course, you will need editing software to turn your voice recording into a final podcast, but you can check out our blog post on free editing software to learn more about that. 🧑🏫
Options: Computer, Tablet, Mixer
Because of its USB feature, you can plug the Rode Podcaster into just about any machine and get started right away. A Mac computer, Windows computer, iPad, mixer… the list is long… much longer than the list of machines that have XLR jacks!
We should mention here that Rode does make its own mixer called the Rodecaster. So yes, you can plug your Rode Podcaster into your Rodecaster… if you can keep the names straight. 🤔
Step Four: Adjust
Once you have your Rode Podcaster microphone plugged into whatever machine is doing the recording, the next step is to adjust to perfection. 🤌
Monitor with Headphones
There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the body of the Rode Podcaster. This is so you can monitor the recording audio without a lag. In other words, you can hear exactly what your listeners will hear, rather than what you are hearing as a person in the recording room.
This is important because sometimes the recording picks up noises that you don’t notice as a person in the room. On the other hand, sometimes you hear noises in a room while you are in it, but the microphone does not pick it up. 🎧
Cardioid Pick up Pattern and Audio Bleeds
The Rode Podcaster has a cardioid pick up pattern. That means it records what is in front of it and ignores sounds coming from the sides and behind it. This is perfect for capturing a single voice for podcasts. It naturally helps the recording to be free of a lot of background noise. 🤫
Of course, there is a flip side to this. If you have two or more people on a podcast, each person should get their own Rode Podcaster because it is built to pick up on one person’s voice only.
If this is your situation, test each microphone to make sure there isn’t any bleed. In other words, make sure your mic is not picking up any of your guest’s voice, and vice versa.
If that is happening, move the microphones further away from each other. Always try to put microphones in each other’s ‘blind spots.’ The ‘blind spot’ for the Rode Podcaster is behind it picks it records in a cardioid pattern. So if you have two Rode Podcaster mics, set them up opposite of each other across a table.
You also want to check for any headphone bleed. In other words, are any of the microphones picking up any audio leaking out of the monitoring headphones. 💦
Step Five: Record
Its time for the main event! Record that broadcast-quality sound! Capture your best podcasting voice!
Of course do a trial recording when you first set up your Rode Podcaster. Don’t wait until you are ready to use it for a real recording session. You never know what kind of unexpected obstacles might pop up. 😬
While live monitoring is helpful, you really need to record audio and then listen back to it to analyze all the details. Is your mic placed in the best position? Are you too far away and quiet? Are you too close and not even giving your pop filter a fighting chance?
Do a short test recording with guests too. This applies to both guests in your studio and remote guests. Since the Rode Podcaster is dynamic and therefore pretty durable, you should consider shipping one for your remote guest to use. 📦
Remember, the job of a microphone is to capture your voice with as much fidelity as possible. Then you can make it sound exactly how you want it to during editing, specifically, mixing. Mixing is when you adjust the qualities of each audio file, join them together, and adjust them together. This creates the final, perfect product.
Before we close out this blog post, there are a few notes we should cover. 📋
Maybe you are reading this blog post and you haven’t bought a Rode Podcaster yet. Maybe you are just reading it to see if it really is super easy to setup and use a Rode Podcaster (yes, yes it is). If that is the case, we should flag that this microphone’s price is $230.
That is actually a very reasonable price for these kind of mics with these kinds of features and quality. Some recording mics can cost in the thousands. Remember: Make sure you have your podcast budget mapped out when starting out. 💵
Ratings and Reviews
When writing this blog post, we reviewed the ratings and reviews for the Rode Podcaster on several sites, including Amazon, YouTube review videos, etc. You should always check these yourself, especially because anyone can add a new review or rating at any time. 🕵
Overall the comments are that the Rode Podcaster is a good microphone for podcasting. Its USB output connection means you don’t have to be an audio professional to figure out how it works or what it is compatible with (in contrast with an XLR output connection). Its affordable price is due its dynamic recording. Dynamic recording is not as detailed as condenser recordings, but it still gets the job done if you want a broadcast-quality, digital podcast product.
To wrap up, we’ll give you an idea of who the Rode Podcaster’s competition is. That way you can have better context when making your podcasting mic decisions. ⚖️
The Blut Yeti is probably the name that comes to mind for most people in podcasting if you say “USB microphone.” Its easy plug-and-play design made creating a podcast more accessible to people around the world. Since it has four recording patterns to chose from, including ‘figure eight’ people could invite guests to join the show without buying another microphone. Plus, it is very affordable with its price set around $100.
When you compare it to the Rode Podcaster though, you see why the costs is less. The Yeti’s plastic stand plus its microphone structure means it tends to pick up a lot of unwanted noise if you aren’t careful.
The Shure SM7B is what we use here at Ausha for our podcast. 👩🎤
Like the Rode Podcaster, the Shure SM7B is made to be used in a studio setting, preferably with a boom arm. It uses a dynamic recording method, rather than a condenser one. It records in a cardioid pattern, just like the Rode Podcaster. And finally, the Shure SM7B also has a built-in pop filter and suspended mic inside the capsule to reduce unwanted noise.
But there are key differences. For starters, the Shure SM7B uses a XLR connection, not a USB one. This means you also need addition audio equipment– it is definitely not just plug-and play. The price is also a big difference. While the Rode Podcaster costs around $230 dollars, the Shure SM7B costs almost double that at around $400. 💵 💵
For that cost difference, you do get a quality difference. The Shure SM7B captures the full richness and crispness of the human voice. You can really hear the change in people’s voices when a certain emotion hits. The warmth of the recording makes a podcast feel really comfortable and homey.
In the end, picking the right podcast microphone depends on your budget and your needs. If you do pick the Rode Podcaster you are guaranteed a super simple setup with good quality recording… especially if you have read this blog post. 🥳
Thanks for reading and as always, enjoy the podcasting journey! 👨🚀 🪐
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