Rode Rodecaster Pro II Vs. Tascam DP 32SD : 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: Rode Rodecaster Pro II vs. Tascam DP 32SD.

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 Rode Rodecaster Pro II and Tascam DP 32SD. 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.

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.

Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio

Now the Tascam DP-32SD, let me draw some comparisons to its cousin, the DP-24SD, and delve into what makes it stand out. The DP-32SD steps up the game with its enhanced preamps and 32-track recording capability, minus the hard drive noise, since it runs on an SDHC card.

Key Features:

First off, think of the DP-32SD as a 20-track recorder with 8 mono tracks and 12 additional stereo or mono tracks. The absence of MIDI and S/PDIF inputs (found in its predecessor, the Tascam 2488Neo) might limit some, but it's not a deal-breaker for those focused on analog inputs. Its punch-in and out functions are tight, and the layout of the menu and LED buttons has been thoughtfully improved from the Neo model.

Tascam DP 32SD Review

Recording Quality

The recording quality is a massive win for the DP-32SD. Users rave about the stellar job it does, especially in multi-musician setups. With its ability to record at 24bit 48kHz without clicks, pops, or stutters, it’s a reliable choice for those seeking to avoid the complexities of a DAW.

Usability and Workflow

In terms of workflow, this machine is a powerhouse. For those who prefer to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously without a PC or MAC and don’t need MIDI sync, the DP-32SD is your go-to. It’s great for live band recordings too, being easily portable and capable of handling numerous simultaneous inputs.

Learning Curve

There’s a learning curve, especially if you're transitioning from a simpler recorder or a different brand. However, with resources like YouTube tutorials, you can get up to speed relatively quickly.

Build Quality

The build quality of the DP-32SD is impressive. It feels heavy and sturdy, indicative of a machine built to last. Though some knobs might feel a bit flimsy, this doesn’t detract from the overall solid construction of the unit.

Integration with DAW

While it's primarily a standalone recorder, the ease of transferring files to a DAW for further editing and mixing is a major plus. It's an excellent solution for those looking to blend analog recording with digital editing.

Head 2 Head: Rode Rodecaster Pro II or Tascam DP 32SD

Stepping into the Audio Arena: Rode Rodecaster Pro II vs Tascam DP 32SD

Rode Rodecaster Pro II: Promises Versus Reality

Talk about a box of tricks! The Rode Rodecaster Pro II teased us with polywav files, Bluetooth connectivity, USB in/out with mix-minus, and soundFX banks. It looked like the audio interface equivalent of a superhero. And for the most part, it lived up to expectations – but it's not without its kryptonite.

Sure, it was a bit of a bummer that the EQ adjustments were missing from this podcasting mixer. Like showing up to prom without your dance shoes. But let’s not get too hung up on that; after all, we have seen many an update since then. Speaking of updates – yes, they did bring some much-needed onboard compressor controls and such. That's like finally getting those dance shoes – only they're half a size too small.

Now, there's no denying it has some compatibility issues – like trying to play an Xbox game on a PlayStation console. My Heil PR40s didn’t exactly feel at home here unlike they do with my Mackie mixer. But let’s be fair; this is more of an issue for us non-Rode microphone users out there.

Plot Twist: An Update Changes Everything

Fast forward several months and quite a few software updates later and we're starting to see some real character development in this piece of studio equipment comparison. The added controls have really upped the ante for this digital recorder and made it more versatile.

However, life isn't all rainbows and unicorns. There were some power and USB issues that left a sour taste in my mouth. It felt like ordering a gourmet meal and finding a hair in it – yuck! But despite these hiccups, the Rodecaster Pro II remains an impressive audio production tool.

Tascam DP 32SD: The Analog Titan

Switching gears to the other contender, let's talk about the Tascam DP 32SD. This digital recorder is like that old reliable friend who you can always count on to come through when you need them.

The absence of MIDI and S/PDIF inputs might have some people raising their eyebrows, but for those who appreciate analog inputs, this isn't much of an issue. The sound quality here is top-notch – like listening to Mozart on a vinyl record. No clicks, pops or stutters, just pure, unadulterated audio.

Workflow Warrior

When it comes to workflow and recording capabilities, this audio interface doesn't mess around. Whether you're recording a solo track or jamming with your bandmates live, the Tascam DP 32SD handles it all with aplomb.

Sure, there's a bit of a learning curve involved – but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day! Once you've mastered its unique quirks (and trust me, there are many YouTube tutorials out there for that), this multitrack recording powerhouse really shines.

Solid Build Meets Seamless DAW Integration

This machine feels solidly built – like it could survive an apocalypse (or at least a few accidental drops). And the fact that it can easily transfer files to a DAW for further editing and mixing makes it the perfect fusion of analog recording and digital editing.

Time to Crown the Winner…

So, who's taking home the trophy in this studio equipment comparison? Drumroll, please… The winner is the Tascam DP 32SD!

Why? Well, while the Rode Rodecaster Pro II has a ton of great features (and trust me, they are great), it does have its fair share of quirks. The Tascam DP 32SD, on the other hand, delivers consistent quality, stunning sound quality, and an efficient workflow that makes it hard to beat. It’s like choosing between a sports car with all the fancy features and a reliable SUV – sometimes you just need something that can handle any terrain with ease. That's why the Tascam DP 32SD wins this round.