Rode Procaster Review | A Quality Dynamic Vocal Mic for Podcasting
The Rode Procaster is a broadcast quality dynamic microphone designed to record vocals. It’s extremely popular for podcasting and voice-over work.
We recently bought two Rode Procaster mics as part of a studio overhaul here at The Podcast Host.
Rode are an audio industry heavyweight, and each of their products seems to come with a universally good reputation. Our overall kit is made up by a good number of their products.
Until now though, we've never actually put out a review of the Rode Procaster.
Suddenly having two in the studio to play with was as good an opportunity as any to fix that though. Let's take a look over this mic and see if it's something that might be a good option for you and your own podcast.
What Is The Rode Procaster?
The Rode Procaster is a broadcast quality dynamic microphone designed to record professional sounding vocals. This makes it extremely popular in the world of podcasting and voice-over work.
The Procaster is a dynamic microphone. This term relates to how it's actually built and how it functions.
Condenser mics are the traditional alternative to dynamics. The simplest distinction is that the former are more sensitive, and will pick up more detail in the audio you're recording. Naturally, this can be a con as well as a pro, depending on the environment you're working in.
Despite being in the dynamic bracket though, the Procaster does a great job of recording the nuances of a vocal performance. This is aided by the fact that it's also good at rejecting unwanted sounds from around the microphone.
How Does It Work?
The Rode Procaster has a Cardioid polar pattern, which means it focuses on the sound in the area in front of the microphone. For a more in-depth look at polar patterns, here's our guide to them.
It's an XLR microphone, which means you'll need an additional piece of equipment like a mixer, preamp, or digital recorder to run it. Unlike its cousin, the Rode Podcaster, it isn't a USB mic that can be plugged directly into your computer.
The Procaster has an internal popshield built into it, though if you're someone who pops the mic a lot, it won't hurt to utilise an external pop filter too.
When you initially set it up, you could easily be fooled into thinking you talk into the neck of the mic. But you actually want to talk down it from the top instead, as shown in the photo here.
The Procaster is quite gain-hungry, so you need to have your input recording levels turned up a wee bit more than usual to run it.
Here's a sound sample recorded using the 2i2 in the studio. It's had no cleaning or post-processing applied to it.
Look & Feel
The mic weighs a beefy 745g. It looks and feels like a really solid bit of kit.
It's 214mm long with a 53mm diameter, and comes in black.
You can currently buy a brand new Rode Procaster on Amazon for $349 – this is part of a bundle deal that includes the Rode PSA 1 Swivel Boom Arm and Shock Mount.
On Amazon UK, you can buy the mic on its own for £131.
The Procaster comes with a twelve month warranty. You can extend this to a full ten years, free of charge, by registering your purchase details with Rode.
You will need a boom arm or mic stand to use the Rode Procaster. It definitely isn't a mic that should be hand-held.
You can mount it to a mic stand using the Rode RM2, which usually comes in the box with the Procaster as standard.
You can also use the Rode PSM1 shock mount to help isolate the mic from external vibrations.
Summary: The Rode Procaster
There's no question about it: the addition of the Rode Procasters to our studio setup has helped improve our overall sound quality.
It's an excellent mic that can yield excellent results, there's no doubt about that.
It's hard to make the case for a complete beginner buying the Procaster though. There are cheaper and more versatile mics out there (the Samson Q2U and the ATR2100) which won't require you to use a mixer or preamp in the early days.
But for those more established podcasters who're looking to improve their sound quality and setup, then the Rode Procaster is absolutely worthy of consideration.
Need More Help With Your Podcast?
If you need some more tailored advice for your own setup, or want help with any other aspect of podcasting, then why not take a look at The Podcast Host Academy
That’s our Premium Site, where you’ll find access to all of our video courses, tutorials, ebooks, and downloadable resources. On top of that we run regular live Q&A sessions where you can get all your questions answered on an ongoing basis.
It’s the ideal place to plan, launch, and grow your podcast in a focused and structured manner!