In this article, we’ll show you how to set up the Rode PodMic with the Rodecaster Pro audio mixer. We’ll also discuss whether or not you need to use a Cloudlifter with this popular podcasting setup.

Quick Answer: Connect the PodMic to the Rodecaster and position the mic a fist away from your mouth. Set the appropriate level and activate any audio processing features that suit your voice/situation. We think 95% of people will be fine without a Cloudlifter.

Rodecaster Pro Set Up

For the purpose of you being able to follow along, let’s kick things off by explaining the initial state of our Rodecaster Pro. We’ve carried out a factory reset to return all settings to their default state.

The only other thing we have done is turn off all of the audio processing features for the channel we’ll be working with. We believe that you should set some other things before you turn them on. More on that later.

Headphones For Podcasting

There are three common approaches to using headphones for podcasting. We love the Beyerdynamic DT990 and DT770 Pro headphones, but they’re 250 Ohm models that require a lot of power. Check out our linked article to see if the Rodecaster can power 250 Ohm headphones.

  1. No Headphones
    Some people prefer not to use headphones at all. They rely on the Rodecaster Pro’s level meters instead.
  2. Closed-Back Headphones
    These have better isolation, preventing the PodMic from hearing the headphones.
  3. Open-Back Headphones
    They are lighter, cooler, and generally more comfortable to wear for long periods.

Rode PodMic Pop Filter

We recommend using the foam windshield-style pop filter with the Rode PodMic. It improves plosive protection and things generally sound much better with it attached, in our opinion.

Rode PodMic Microphone Positioning

Before you start connecting everything, it’s essential to get your microphone positioned correctly. It’s the foundation for everything you’ll do next.

Place the mic a fist away from your mouth, slightly off to one side, and angled towards your face. The distance gives a good balance of proximity and background noise rejection. The angle helps to reduce plosives and breath noises.

Connect The PodMic To The Rodecaster Pro

PodMic > XLR cable > Rodecaster Pro

There’s nothing complicated here; simply connect one end of the XLR cable to the PodMic and the other to the channel 1 input on the Rodecaster Pro.

We recommend using a Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR cable. They’re the highest quality cables we’ve found that come in various colors with black Neutrik connectors. Click the link to read our in-depth review.

Rodecaster Pro Fader Set Up

Push the channel 1 fader up to the thicker checkmark near the midpoint. This leaves you some headroom to increase the volume during a podcast.

It would be a mistake to push it to the highest value and then set your mic level as you’ll have no easy way to increase the volume if the person speaking goes quiet for some reason.

Rodecaster Pro & Rode PodMic Microphone Setting

Rodecaster Pro PodMic Setting

The Rodecaster Pro has pre-defined settings for some of the most popular Rode podcast microphones. The Rode PodMic is one of them, and you can select it from the “Microphone” menu.

  1. Press the “1” button above the fader.
  2. Tap the back arrow on the screen.
  3. Select “Microphone.”
  4. Select “Rode PodMic.”

Rode PodMic & Rodecaster Pro Level Set Up

Rodecaster Pro PodMic Level Setting

Select the “Level” option from the channel menu, and you’ll see a level meter appear on the screen. A pair of green bars highlight the area you should be aiming for with your mic level. Increase the level until your mic is comfortably peaking in this zone.

With the Rodecaster, we don’t recommend increasing the level above 40. Beyond this point, you’ll start to get noticeable hiss from the preamp. If you have a very quiet voice, you might need to use an inline preamp like the Cloudlifter.

Do You Need A Cloudlifter For The Rode PodMic & Rodecaster Pro?

We think that 95% of people will be fine using the PodMic and Rodecaster Pro without a Cloudlifter. It’s not really necessary unless you have a particularly quiet voice.

Does your voice peak somewhere inside the target on the meter with the level set to 40?

  • Yes – You don’t need a Cloudlifter.
  • No – We recommend using a Cloudlifter as the preamp gets noisy when pushed over 40.

Rode PodMic & Rodecaster Pro Cloudlifter Set Up

PodMic > XLR Cable > Cloudlifter > XLR Cable > Rodecaster Pro

If you need to include a Cloudlifter or other inline preamp in your setup, it fits between your PodMic and Rodecaster. It takes phantom power from the Rodecaster and gives you 25 dB of clean gain in return. There are two ways to activate phantom power on the Rodecaster Pro.

  1. Press the phantom power toggle on the level settings screen.
  2. Switch to condenser microphone mode.

Once everything is set up, you’ll be able to set your mic level. You should find that you can reach the green target area with a level setting well below 40.

Rodecaster Pro Audio Processing Settings

Rodecaster Pro PodMic Audio Processing

Now that you have your level set up correctly, we can turn our attention to the Rodecaster Pro’s audio processing settings.

We’ll work through each of these features to explain what it does and how/when we would use them.

  • Compression – ON – The compressor will narrow the dynamic range of the PodMic, squeezing it into a tighter window. You can think of it a little bit like an auto mixer. If you’re dynamic and fluctuate between being loud and quiet, it’ll save you from constantly having to adjust the fader.

    We recommend turning it on as it will help to keep your voice in a more predictable range. One thing to note is that compression can remove a bit of the personality from your voice.
  • High-Pass Filter – OFF – We would generally recommend using this for every vocal mic. However, we don’t suggest you use the high-pass filter with the Rode PodMic as it’s already built into the mic’s EQ frequency response.

    A high-pass filter rolls off the lower frequencies to remove your mic audio from the listener’s subwoofer. This eliminates any distracting low rumbling and cleans up your voice.
  • De-Esser – ON – The de-esser does precisely what its name suggests; it gets rid of S sounds and other mouth noises. We like having it turned on, but it’s worth testing it for each person you record as it doesn’t suit every voice.
  • Noise Gate – VARIABLE – The noise gate automatically mutes and unmutes your microphone when you’re not speaking. As soon as you start talking, you exceed the threshold, and the microphone unmutes.

    This is really good if you have multiple guests on your podcast. However, it’s not as helpful if you’re doing a talking-head video or a solo podcast. This is because you can hear the noise gate clicking in and out, which can be distracting. This is masked when you have more than one voice.
  • Aural Exciter – OFF – We would recommend trying this setting if you have a guest whose voice just isn’t popping or shining through. It adds a boost to the PodMic’s upper frequencies to help add a bit more character to the voice.

    It won’t work on all voices and can make some sound a little grating, especially if they already have a strong presence in the upper-frequency range. We generally leave it turned off.
  • Big Bottom – ON – We recommend turning this on for the Rode PodMic as it has a weak response down in the low frequencies. This fattens up the sound of the mic a little bit and gives the speaker more presence.

    It essentially does the opposite to the high-pass filter, so there’s no point turning them on at the same time as they will cancel one another out.

Rodecaster Pro Voice Settings

The Rodecaster Pro has two voice settings that give you loose control over how the mixer treats your voice. These come in the shape of tone and strength options. 

  • Tone Mode
    Apply pre-defined EQ settings based on the pitch of your voice. We leave it set to medium most of the time.
  • Strength Mode
    We believe that this affects the compressor settings. If you’re softly spoken, it will increase the make-up gain. Selecting the strong option will apply more aggressive settings to keep your voice under control.

Rode Rodecaster Pro & Rode PodMic Pricing

Rode Rodecaster Pro & Rode PodMic Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:22 – Pricing & Specs
  • 0:40 – Rodecaster Pro Setup
  • 1:00 – Microphone Info
  • 1:16 – Headphones For Podcasting
  • 1:52 – Rode PodMic Pop Filter
  • 2:05 – Mic Positioning
  • 2:20 – Connect PodMic To Rodecaster Pro
  • 2:50 – Fader Setup
  • 3:41 – Microphone Setting
  • 3:51 – Level Setup
  • 5:00 – Cloudlifter Setup
  • 7:18 – Audio Processing
  • 7:29 – Compressor Setup
  • 8:00 – High Pass Filter
  • 8:47 – De-Esser
  • 9:00 – Noise Gate
  • 9:50 – Aural Exciter
  • 10:24 – Big Bottom
  • 11:06 – Voice Tone
  • 11:23 – Voice Strength
  • 11:50 – Final Thoughts