Field Report: Rode Procaster

November 1, 2008

The Rode Procaster is a broadcast quality mic. It has a similar look to the EV RE-20 that's been the standard for the last 35 years in both AM and FM on-air studios and production rooms. The Procaster's claim is “a no compromise performance for applications in broadcast environments,” not to mention the production rooms with its dynamic high output capsule. And it has a internal pop filter.

Over the last several years, Rode has come up with a line of several mics for every type of recording. The Procaster is Rode's answer to a new mic for radio's on-air studio. Most radio stations and satellite radio stations still use a non-condenser mic for on-air purposes. This is the new version of that mic. With a familiar end-fed design, announcers will easily embrace it. It has a tight polar pattern with a design for ambient noise. Plus it comes with a 10-year warranty, which is kind of unheard of in the mic business.

Being a dynamic mic, the Procaster needs no external power, just the industry-standard three-pin XLR output. With the built-in wind screen, the mic is one of the ultimate broadcast quality mics for the 21st century. With no phantom power and no battery, it's a plug-in-and-go mic.

Performance at a glance
High output dynamic capsule
Cardioid pattern
Frequncy response 75Hz to 18kHz
Internal shock mount and pop filter
320 ohm output impedance
10-year warranty

The mic is shipped with the RM2 stand mount, which secures the mic with a screw-on assembly at the base. An optional shock mount, the PSM1, attaches in a similar way and uses a spider-cage design commonly seen on other studio mics. The bands on the shock mount are not proprietary like some other mic shock mounts. While I doubt the bands will break, they can be easily replaced with generic alternatives found at local music and pro audio stores.

This is a relatively heavy mic, not wimpy at all. The optional shock mount holds it securely in the intended position.

The Procaster is made by Rode in New Wales Australia. Ken Sparkes, the voice of Australia, says, “The Rode Procaster is one of the few microphones to come on the market in recent years that I believe will become an industry standard for on air excellence.” Time will tell if this will come true, but I agree that the mic has the potential to become the radio industry standard with time.

And it's true, it does have that on-air radio sound. For the price — about half the street price of the popular choice with a similar look — it's a good choice for a dynamic mic. It's bright with a full body sound of a high-quality broadcasting microphone.

Specht is the creative services director of KCFX-FM and the image voice for 17 TV stations and four radio stations.


Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.

These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.

It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.

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