Midas MR18 Vs. Rode Rodecaster Pro II: Reviewed & Compared

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: Midas MR18 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 Midas MR18 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.

Midas MR18

After thoroughly testing the Midas MR18 for a few months, I'm ready to spill all the details – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. This mixer is a powerhouse in a compact package, perfect for both live sound and recording. Here's the full breakdown for anyone eyeing this mixer.

Sound Quality and Performance

Right off the bat, the sound quality is top-notch. The MR18 delivers a pristine audio experience with impressively low latency. Whether you're mixing live or laying down tracks in a studio, the clarity and warmth of the sound are remarkable. Plus, the variety of outputs offers immense flexibility, making it a versatile choice for various audio setups.

Build and Connectivity

The mixer is built tough with Neutrik connectors, ensuring robust and reliable connections. This is a big plus for anyone who's had to deal with flimsy ports in the past. The MR18's ease of configuration is another high point. It offers numerous signal routing options, catering to both planned and spontaneous audio needs. The price-to-quality ratio is exceptional, putting it ahead of competitors like the X-Air 18, especially with its superior Midas converters.

User Interface and Software

The software is intuitive and musician-friendly, not overly complicated like some gear designed with tech whizzes in mind. There's a wealth of online resources and user communities, which is a godsend for troubleshooting and getting creative with your setup. As an audio interface, it boasts 18 inputs and outputs, offering ample connectivity for most studio and live situations.

Challenges and Considerations

However, it's not all smooth sailing. While the MR18 is user-friendly, there's still a learning curve, especially if you're not used to digital mixers. It might take a bit of time to fully grasp all the features and make the most out of this mixer.

Also, while it works great as an audio interface, those who are looking for more integrated DAW control might find its capabilities a bit limited. It's more suited for live mixing and straightforward recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

Final Verdict

All in all, the Midas MR18 is a solid investment. It's especially great for live sound applications and straightforward recording needs. The sound quality is exceptional, and the flexibility in routing and connectivity is a major win. Just be ready to spend some time getting to know this mixer inside out. For its price point, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember, while it excels in many areas, it might not be the perfect fit for those needing advanced studio integration.

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: Midas MR18 or Rode Rodecaster Pro II

Midas MR18: A Powerhouse of Sound

Impressive Audio Clarity

Kicking things off, we've got the Midas MR18. This little beast punches way above its weight class in terms of sound quality. It's like a heavyweight champion fighting in the lightweight division – the competition just can't keep up. The audio clarity is crystal clear, and low latency makes it a strong contender for both live sound mixing and studio recording.

Robust Build and Versatile Connectivity

The MR18 doesn't play around when it comes to build quality either. With sturdy Neutrik connectors, it promises reliable connections that won't let you down when you need them most. In addition, the mixer offers an impressive amount of signal routing options, accommodating both planned and spontaneous audio needs.

Intuitive Software but with a Learning Curve

The software is pretty intuitive – not overly complicated like some gear that seems to have been designed exclusively for tech geniuses. But make no mistake, while it's straightforward to use, there's still a learning curve involved, especially if you're new to digital mixers.

The MR18 does have its limitations though. While it works great as an audio interface, those looking for more integrated DAW control might find it somewhat lacking. It's better suited for live mixing and simple recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

RØDECaster Pro II: Your Own Audio Production Studio

Expectations Met…Almost

Next up is the RØDECaster Pro II. This machine had high expectations to meet right out of the gate with features like multi-track recording with polywav files, one-button Bluetooth, USB in/out with mix-minus, and soundFX banks.

A Few Shortcomings

However, it wasn't a flawless victory. The lack of basic three-frequency EQ control was a bit of a letdown. Also, compatibility issues arose when using non-Rode mics, requiring tweaks in post-production.

Impressive Updates but Potential Hiccups

Despite these setbacks, the Pro II showed promise. After several months of use and a new software update that addressed earlier concerns, it's become quite the handy tool for podcasting. However, be ready for some potential hiccups along the way like power and USB issues which can be incredibly frustrating.

And the Winner Is…

When it comes to choosing between these two audio giants, it's not an easy decision. Both are powerhouses in their own right with remarkable features and capabilities. However, taking everything into consideration – sound quality, build quality, versatility and user-friendliness – one does stand out from the other. The clear winner here is the Midas MR18. This mixer offers top-notch sound quality, robust build and impressive versatility which gives it an edge over its competitor. The MR18 is particularly suitable for live sound applications and straightforward recording needs. It provides exceptional value for its price point and despite having a learning curve and being less suited for complex studio productions than the Rodecaster Pro II, its superior audio quality and flexibility in routing can't be ignored. In conclusion: if you're after a reliable mixer that delivers high-end performance without breaking the bank – go with Midas MR18. You won't regret it!