Podcasts are the new radio. They are an essential part of the media mix for any media company or media diet. We’ve been recording podcasts at Stuff for years, while I present T2S2, my own podcast where I speak to interesting people about interesting things.
Unlike Stuff’s extremely accomplished director of audio Hans Baumgarten, I don’t have much training in audio equipment. Luckily, I don’t need it.
We liked the Røde Rodecaster Pro podcast console so much when we reviewed it, that we got ourselves one for Stuff Studios in Braamfontein.
What the Rodecaster Pro brings to the table
It’s made for non-audiophiles. The interface is wonderfully simple: there is one fader for each channel (as each input is known, be it four microphones, a USB-C port, 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth device). There are four headphone jacks for live monitoring and an output jack for monitoring everything through speakers, all with their own volume dials.
Best of all, it has one big button that says REC. Push it to start recording, then push it to stop. Your recordings are stored on a microSD card. It’s that simple.
I wish I could tell you about all the other features – there is a panel of eight programmable buttons on the right side of the desk – but I have never used any of them. I push record, check the levels are good when people speak, and we have a podcast.
We’ve also been using the excellent Procaster microphones, which Røde says are “professional broadcast-quality dynamic microphones”. I agree. It has a built-in pop filter for those little splutterings people make (called plosives, which I also didn’t know). The sound quality is really great.
We also went for the closed-back Mackie MC-250 headphones, of which Stuff deputy editor Duncan Pike, who is an audiophile, said “punch well above their price”. They’re available via Musical Distributors for R3,000.
We even used Røde’s Wireless GO II mic to record the video interview (that black square on my T-shirt).
The Rodecaster Pro and Procaster microphones are excellent and are now part of Stuff’s regular production gear.
Meanwhile, please listen to the Scrollacast podcast, also on Apple podcasts or Spotify, as well as previous T2S2 podcast interviews: Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala, Bank Zero founder Michael Jordaan, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, Tencent Africa CEO Brett Loubser, Netstock CTO Barry Kukkuk, Flourish Africa lead Ameya Upadhyay, TymeBank SA CEO Tauriq Keraan and TED’s Chris Anderson.