Allen & Heath ZED 12FX Vs. Rode Rodecaster Pro II: Compared And Rated

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX vs. Rode Rodecaster Pro II.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Allen & Heath ZED 12FX and Rode Rodecaster Pro II. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Allen & Heath ZED-12FX

After using the Allen & Heath ZED12FX for about six months, I think it's a solid piece of gear, especially for those transitioning from basic to more advanced mixing needs. The sound quality is notably clean and clear, making it a reliable choice for both studio and live environments. Working with it, I've found that the preamps deliver a crystal-clear sound, and there’s an impressive amount of gain available, which is a step up from some lower-priced mixers I've used in the past.

Learning Curve and Usability

Although the mixer is fairly user-friendly, I believe beginners might find it a bit challenging at first, mainly due to the underwhelming instruction manual. It's more about trial and error unless you're already familiar with mixers. However, once you get the hang of it, the layout and controls become intuitive. The faders and knobs are smooth and responsive, adding to the overall ease of use.

Effects and Features

The ZED12FX stands out for its effects. The range and quality are commendable for a mixer in this class. It adds significant value, especially if you're into experimenting with different sound textures. However, the dedicated send and returns being 1/8 jacks is a bit puzzling. It's an odd choice considering the rest of the board adheres to industry standards. This might limit some traditional uses, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Reliability Concerns

One of the downsides I've noticed is the question of long-term reliability. I've heard about issues like pre-amps failing just after the warranty period, which can be a major concern if you're planning to use this mixer heavily. While I haven't faced this issue personally, it's something to keep in mind.

Overall Experience

In terms of overall experience, the Allen & Heath ZED12FX has mostly been a positive journey. The sound quality, ease of use (once you get past the learning curve), and the additional effects make it a worthy investment for someone looking to upgrade from a basic setup. Just be wary of the potential long-term reliability issues and ensure you have a backup plan in place.

Rode Rodecaster Pro II

Real Talk: The RØDECaster Pro II Experience

High Expectations Met

When I first got my hands on the RØDECaster Pro, I was expecting something phenomenal. The multi-track recording with polywav files, one-button Bluetooth, USB in/out with mix-minus, and soundFX banks – it seemed like a complete package. It's like having your own audio production studio.

Initial Shortcomings

Lacking EQ Adjustments

However, it wasn't all perfect. The lack of basic three-frequency EQ control was a letdown. I thought the beautiful touchscreen would be perfect for this, but no luck. Not having these fundamental adjustments was a bit of a disappointment, especially considering its user-friendly design.

Microphone Compatibility

Not Just for Rode Mics

I don’t use a Rode mic – I’ve got Heil PR40s, which sound incredible with a Mackie mixer. So without onboard EQ, I had to tweak things in post-production. It’s a workaround, but not ideal. I’m curious to see how a Rode mic would fare, given their tuned presets.


Still Worth It?

Would I recommend the Rodecaster Pro? Absolutely. Despite some quirks, its potential is undeniable. It's a bit frustrating that I have to spend more time in post, which I hoped to avoid. But, I'm planning to test it with a Rode mic eventually.

Update: After Extended Use

Impressed by the Updates

After several months of use and with the release of the new software update, my view has shifted. The update addressed my concerns, adding controls for the onboard compressor, noise gate, de-esser, and more. It’s become a reliable workhorse for my podcast.

Power and USB Issues

A Frustrating Experience

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. There were power and USB issues that were quite troublesome. At one point, I couldn’t get the USB 1 to connect to anything, which was incredibly frustrating. This kind of issue is not what you expect from a premium product.

Final Thoughts

Great, But With Caveats

Overall, the RØDECaster Pro II is a powerful tool, but it comes with its own set of challenges. It's packed with features that any podcaster or content creator would love, but be prepared for some potential hiccups along the way.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX or Rode Rodecaster Pro II

The Allen & Heath ZED 12FX and the Rode Rodecaster Pro II are two pieces of high-quality podcasting equipment that anyone would be lucky to have in their audio arsenal. They both pack a punch in terms of capabilities, but each has its own unique features and quirks. Let's dive into the details of these two digital audio interfaces and see which one stands out.

The Allen & Heath ZED 12FX: A Trusty Workhorse

This live sound console is a gem for those looking to level up their studio recording gear. The sound quality is clean as a whistle, thanks to the effective preamps, and the faders and knobs put you in control like a puppet master with his marionettes. The learning curve might be steeper than your auntie's driveway, but once you've conquered it, the ZED 12FX becomes an extension of your hands. It's like riding a bike – tricky at first, but soon you'll be doing wheelies down the street. The effects of this audio mixer are like an artist's palette – lots of colors to play with and blend together. But hold on cowboy, there’s a catch: those pesky 1/8 jacks for send and returns can put a damper on your parade. A shadow looms over this otherwise bright picture – reliability concerns. Some users have reported pre-amps failing after the warranty period ended, which is about as welcome as a skunk at a garden party.

The Rode Rodecaster Pro II: A Powerhouse With Personality

Ladies and gents, this piece of broadcast studio equipment is like owning your own personal audio production studio! But hold onto your hats because it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Initially missing three-frequency EQ control, the Rodecaster Pro II left some users scratching their heads. But wait! An update swooped in like a superhero and added onboard compressor controls, a noise gate, de-esser, and more. Talk about a plot twist! One thing to keep in mind is that this console isn't picky about mics – it plays well with others. But if you don't use a Rode mic, you'll have to fiddle around in post-production like a DJ at a silent disco. Despite its charms, the Rodecaster Pro II isn't without hiccups. Power and USB issues have been reported, which can be as frustrating as trying to peel an orange with boxing gloves on.

And The Winner Is…

After going back and forth like a seesaw at the park, I'm ready to crown the winner. With features that make your heart race and performance that's as reliable as your granny's apple pie recipe, it's clear that the Allen & Heath ZED 12FX takes the cake. Yes, it has its quirks (I'm looking at you 1/8 jacks), but once you've gotten past the initial learning curve and factored in potential warranty extensions for peace of mind against any reliability concerns, it offers an exceptionally clean sound quality that’s hard to beat. The Rodecaster Pro II is undoubtedly an impressive piece of gear too, but those power and USB issues can be quite daunting for those who need their equipment running smoothly at all times. So there you have it! The Allen & Heath ZED 12FX wins this round by offering excellent sound quality and user-friendly features once mastered. It's perfect for anyone seeking versatility in their mixing and looking to spice things up in their audio production.