Many of you may have noticed I have a new Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone that I'm using for my podcasts – it was sent to us by Scott Emerton of RØDE – who also make the RØDE VideoMic Pro. We've been looking for a good external mic to improve the audio of our podcasts and interviews and this looks to be a good one.
Unboxing, setup, and Review
Since we're having so much fun making videos lately, we did an unboxing (yea, I know, it isn't a new idea LOL) to be able to show it off a little bit. We also included a good bit of setup instruction. And – as a special bonus, there are outtakes at the end!
As you saw from the video, setup may not be totally obvious to the new user (or maybe it is just me ha!).
Usage after the initial setup is simple and easy – especially with the desktop arm mount. Tho it is obviously much more bulk than a simple mic, if you want good audio (as with making a movie) you've got to go the extra mile. You won't see many of the top podcasters using basic mics, you'll find they're all using higher end mic setups.
I did try out a Marshall USB-77 mic last fall (which I really liked because it looked like an old time microphone) and it gave very good results in terms of audio. I'm no microphone expert and I don't have them both to test side by side to compare the audio quality. However, the lesson I learned with the Marshall was that it was set up to be purely a desktop mic – it didn't mount to an arm and therefore, for my needs, it just wasn't suitable. There are many people who don't have a keyboard in front of them and the desktop mount works great for them. I have a corner desk and there was just no way to get the Marshall close enough to my mouth and to get it off the desk where keyboard clicks were transmitted to the mic.
The mic is much more sensitive (if that's the right word here) than using the computer's internal mic – that is designed of course to pick up everything around the room. With the podcaster, you really want your mouth within 6-10 inches or the sound will be very muted. Which is exactly what you want. You will pick up noises from outside the room, but they aren't as loud as you'd get with just the internal mic.
I don't have any real negatives to report from usage… it does what I expect it to do. The shock mount helps a great deal, but it doesn't totally eliminate every sound if you grab the mic and move the whole setup. However, it is MUCH better than not having the shock mount!
The arm is also a must have for anyone doing any kind of podcast or video from your desk. The freedom it provides is well worth the monstrosity sitting on your desk – tho beware, you may hit your head often – at least I do haha – when I don't move it completely out of the way. You do have to have a way to clamp it to something – or you have to have a hole in your desk. It does come with two mounting options and I used the clamp because I had a shelf to mount it to. And, the clamp has to have some place sturdy – all of this is not light – in one location on my desk it was unstable because the shelf itself wasn't sturdy. Not a fault of the equipment, but just be aware of this requirement.
Overall, it is a quite well built and sturdy setup for a podcaster. The whole kit will cost you under $400 – but if you're planning on doing some serious broadcasting, you'll want to have a proper setup and a very good mic and the Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone fits the bill well. My father always told me “Son, you get what you pay for” – and most of the time that is true. You may find lower cost mics, but there's a reason why you want to have a quality mic if you're serious about your audio.
Blogger's Disclaimer: Again, we thank Scott Emerton of Rode for sending us this equipment in return for a review. I did try to find something really negative to say just to prove that I'm not a total patsy, but really, unless you're a pro audiophile, you're not going to find much wrong with this either.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)