Difficulty using Rode Podcaster mic

I’m using Audacity 2 on a MacBook with a MXL V63M condenser mic in my home studio and it works wonderfully. I travel a lot so I just purchased a Rode Podcaster USB mic. The instructions say you merely need to go into Preferences and select the Rode as the input and output device - but I found this did NOT work. Despite having made these changes my computer continued to default to the onboard built-in mic. I tried the Rode in Garage Band and found the same thing. I then stumbled upon the option in Garage Band to ALSO select the Rode WITHIN THE SOFTWARE as the input/output device and finally it worked in Garage Band.

Assuming the same to be the problem with Audacity I again found where I can select the input/output device as the Rode in Audacity. But - it does not work. 1) I’m allowed only to select mono — there’s no 2 track stereo option? 2) FAR MORE IMPORTANT - I get an error message (apologies I dont’ recall it exactly now) but it has to do with the sampling rate (set at 44.1). I’ve tried changing the sampling rate to every other rate offered in the pull down menus and still get the same error message.

I found I can use the Rode to record my vocal track (for a podcast) in Garage Band and then import it into Audacity for editing and mixing but I’d rather skip that step - should not be necessary.

Only thing I can surmise, I notice using the MXL mic at home, it connects thru the computer’s line in input and thus works and records in stereo with no issues. The Rode connects via USB and does not work???

I’m wondering if that might be the problem? Anyone else have experience like this or know of a solution? I’m wondering too if there is a USB to line in adapter that I could use with the mic that might fix the problem???

Ensure that the microphone is connected and recognised by the computer before you open Audacity. The USB option should then be available in the Device Toolbar Recording (Input) selector. http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Device_Toolbar

Have a look at this page: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/User:BillWharrie/OSX_and_USB_input_devices

– Bill

Thanks for the post Steve - it was very helpful and you’ve got me 99% of the way there. Not sure what I did wrong before cause the mic works fine now — Except… it’s recording only a mono track. The instructions you included say you can select 2-stereo even if only to produce a ‘dual mono’ track but that option is not available - my only choice is 1-mono. As my podcast is often listened to in automobiles I’d prefer at a minimum a dual mono recording, if not stereo. Again, I don’t have this issue when using my MXL mic here at home. I note in the instructions there is a workaround for this in Windows but no mention is made for Mac.

So how can you produce a stereo or at minimum a dual mono track using the USB Rode Podcaster mic???

With a mono track, the sound card/CD player/amplifier or whatever uses the same signal for both left and right speakers.
With dual mono you split the microphone signal to produce 2 identical channels so that the sound card/CD player/amplifier or whatever has 2 identical channels for left and right speakers.

Either way the net result is identical.
The only difference is that dual mono requires more “bits per second” so compressing to MP3 will give either worse sound quality or larger file size for dual mono than for single channel mono. For a mono microphone recording, stick with mono, it’s better for voice podcasts.

Edit > Duplicate (Command-D)
From the Drop-Down menu on the left of the track, Make Stereo Track.

If you make a Music CD in iTunes, iTunes will “force” a stereo disk anyway, no matter if you started out mono or not. Tracks properly (internally) labeled “Mono” play to both speakers in most if not all stereo systems, they “know” what a mono track is, and the quality and clearness of the voice doubles if you make an MP3 out of a mono track instead of stereo.

You do need to make sure you’re not recording just the Left track of a stereo show. That’s not Mono. The little message to the left of the track needs to say Mono.

The internal microphone in your MacBook Pro is an oddity in that you can force it to record stereo even though it’s only one microphone. That’s a convenience that’s not extended to external microphones.

By the way, the "preferences’ they were talking about are Apple > System Preferences > Hardware > Sound > Input, not Audacity Preferences. If the microphone doesn’t appear in the Apple System, you can go for coffee. It will never appear anywhere else.

Your turn. Post where we can listen to some of your work. Didn’t think we were going to ask that, did you?


Love for you to listen to my work - it can be found at aero-news.net. Select the small MP3 icon at top right of the page, then Daily Aero-News network podcast top of right column on next page, That will open a page with a day to day list of the podcast I do - a daily show of aviation news. The most recent is from the home studio. The one for the 30th was done on the road using the Podcaster in Garage Band and then importing to audacity. I think it’s the one that plays in only one channel? 23rd to 29th really suck - I thought I was using the podcaster but in fact it was defaulting to the onboard mic and quality is terrible.

I’m Ok with a mono track so long as it’s true Mono — what I don’t want is like one of the recent (I think the 30th) shows where it plays in just one channel. As I recall only the left channel VU meter was working so perhaps I was, as you suggest, recording just the left side of a stereo track.

I’m a radio DJ/news reporter from way back in the 70s but the engineering is giving me fits.

Thanks for the help!

I didn’t find any of the shows that played on one side. I’m playing the MP3 tracks you pointed to.

I personally think you’re using too much compression. The voice is a little too honky and restricted for my taste. I couldn’t listen to Sirius Satellite Radio for the same reason. If it’s the only thing available then OK, but if I have a choice, I’m for much better theatrical fidelity.

Assuming you’re starting life with a mono voice track (nice voice, by the way), what did you choose for your bitrate compression? It sounds like you’re bumping into the 30 to 40 kbps range – or worse yet, double compression. DO NOT compress for the show until you post. Keep the show in WAV or other very high quality format while you’re editing. MP3 is a delivery, not editing format.

Do you run the server? Can you post five seconds of show in a “hidden” place and tell us where it is? Do that five seconds with MP3 compression of 320. I bet it sounds a lot less like you’re recording in a bathroom.

Of course, you may be recording in a bathroom…


I don’t see any mp3 links and I can’t be bothered to wade through a mass of adverts to find one.
If you’d like us to listen to your recording please see here: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1

Sorry Steve. If you logged on to aero-news.net it’s pretty simple. In the top right corner of the page are three small icons — one says RSS Feeds, then MP3 Podcast, then Subscribe. The MP3 podcast link takes you to a 2nd page with two columns - Aero-News Feeds and Aero-Cast Feeds (right column). Top of the right hand list is the “Daily Aero News Podcast” easily discernable by the “Add to iTunes” logo just below it. A click there takes you to the page with the list of daily podcasts for the past several days where you can select any one you like to listen to.

Or, you can simply go to iTunes and search “aero-news.”

We are a comercial operation supported by advertising so I’m not going to apologize for that. I can’t attach one cause they run generally about 5-6MB and it seems the size of attachments is limited to 1MB if I read the rules correctly.

I do appreciate your help.

True, but if you re-read https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1 it lists free file transfer services at the bottom of the page. You can upload any file to one of those services, then post the link here.