Rode NT-USB Mini Mic Bundle and Connect Software: Hands-On Review

Podcasters are used to mixing and using audio interfaces. Some people prefer software to tactile buttons and knobs. This is especially true if you have limited recording space or are constantly on the move. Imagine if you could get free software which is a smaller version of Rodecaster Pro that can handle your basic needs. The Rode NT–USB Mini Mic Bundle, and RodeConnect come in to help.

Rode is today’s most innovative audio company. Rode is a pioneer in audio technology and continues to inspire millions with its innovative products. Rode was founded in Australia, but is now a worldwide household name, especially when it involves podcasting and content creation. Let’s take an in-depth look at the Rode bundle.

The Rode NT – USB Mini Mic Bundle ?

  • 2x NT-USB Mini Microphones
  • USB-C to USB Cables
  • 2x Rode Colored Cable Caps and Cable Clips COLORS
  • 2x Broadcast Arm and Internal Springs
  • Rode 2-year Limited Warranty
  • 2x H&A Studio Monitor Headphones

NT-USB Mini

Although the NT USB Mini has the same audio quality and is smaller than its larger brother, the NT USB, the Mini delivers a much better experience. This makes it ideal for mobile users who need to record anywhere they go. The mic is made of steel and reinforced nylon resin, with a matte black finish. It is small but looks professional despite its size. It is solidly built and does not feel light.

The headphone level adjustment dial is located on the front of this device. The back has a USB-C as well as a 3.5mm headphone socket. The desktop stand is weighted to absorb any bumps on the table while recording. The microphone stand is magnetically attached to a 360 degree swiveling mount. It can be detached and mounted on a boom arm or mic stand. Rotating the mount can be used to adjust the position of the microphone until you find the perfect spot.

The built-in pop filter will soften the room reverberation, and reduce plosives. The directional cardioid pickup pattern of the NT-USB Mini picks up sounds right in front. It does reduce background noise but not completely.

Rode’s NT USB Mini makes recording simple. It’s as simple as plugging it into your computer or laptop’s USB port. Once the Mini has been connected, it can be used immediately with any tablet or computer. Rode Connect allows for firmware updates and drivers do not need to be installed.

Microphone Arms, H&A Headphones

A well-built microphone arm makes podcasters a better choice. There are two microphone arms in this bundle that can be mounted to flat surfaces such as tables or desks. When you’re ready to record, swing it toward you and then move it away once you are done. It not only frees up space on your desk but also makes you look more professional. It also allows you to choose the most suitable orientation for your microphone placement.

H&A Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones provide a balanced sound and comfort, even when worn for extended periods. You will enjoy a better bass response and noise isolation thanks to the housing. It also provides excellent isolation from outside noise, which can be useful when editing or monitoring your mix. You can feel like you are right there with your subject.

Rode Connect

Rode Connect, a free Windows and macOS app that is perfect for podcasters, is available for download. You can record and stream from multiple microphones simultaneously — all from one computer. This bundle is only compatible with Rode NT USB Mini Mic.

Key Features for Rode Connect:

  • You can connect up to four podcasters on one computer with no complicated routing
  • Processing onboard: compressor, noise gate, compressor, APHEX aural exciter, Big Bottom
  • Fully-featured recording interface with meters and faders
  • Remote guests can be connected seamlessly, integrating streaming apps and adding music beds
  • Automatic mix-minus ensures crystal clear sound on all channels
  • Complete soundpad section, with eight banks of sounds and three playback options

Rode Connect UI allows you to integrate multiple audio devices with no additional hardware. You can adjust the volume of up to four NT USB Mini microphones from one screen. Podcast hosts will appreciate the ability to add fades and compression and set up separate channels for “Virtual”, and “System”.

These can be used to simultaneously record sound and pad clips from the same computer. You can also stream audio from your phone over Skype or Zoom. Hosts can apply controls for microphones just like local microphones using the fader control. You can play audio from any source, such as YouTube and Spotify, through the System channel. All types of creators will love the Virtual channel for video chats.

The sound pad also has a trash talk or swear function. The swear button will mutes all sources and produce the classic beep sound. The trash talk feature will silence your virtual sources so that dial-in users cannot hear you. The latest software update includes a solo feature that allows anyone who is assigned microphone 1 the ability to isolate and monitor specific sources during recording.

Appendix: Onboard controls

You can set up your machine immediately and manage the post-production processes using the onboard controls. These are great to have in your arsenal to save time and if you don’t have time. You can simply get everyone to talk through their microphones and adjust the gain and volume of each guest individually. Finally, decide if compression is desired.

The app supports single- and multitrack recording, despite the absence of audio editing. The app allows you to export files as.mp3 or.wav files with a sample rate up to 48kHz. This is enough to import the files into a DAW and then process them. It can be sent straight to Spotify via your linked accounts, which are optimized for specific streaming platforms. You might be able get by with the optimization of file format and loudness measurement.

My Rode NT USB Mini Mic Bundle experience

Rode Connect was new to me and I didn’t know what to expect. The initial setup was easy. I downloaded the Rode Connect official website. Set-up and launch of the program were easy. It took less than a second for the computer to start up. After configuring the virtual audio system and updating the firmware of the NT USB Mini, I was ready to go. I was ready to hit Record in less than three minutes

The UI is clean, simple, intuitive, easy to use, and easy-to-use. To get the right sound from my voice, I began a test recording of my talking head by pressing the Record button on the top panel. The NT-USB Mini cannot be pushed as far as it can. However, it produces a clear sound and a low-end bump that are more than enough for most. It was great fun to play with the pre-installed sounds on the board, and it was easy to integrate with Zoom.

There are many drop-down menus available after recording. There are also options for file formats. I chose a.wav file export at -16lufs, and then downloaded it to my DAW choice, Logic Pro. It was like importing any other file. When I played the recording back, there were no artifacts or glitches. Only a few adjustments were needed since the audio was already optimized for -16lufs export from Rode Connect. This saved me a lot of time and effort in mastering the loudness.

Wrapping up

Rode Connect, besides being completely free, is a fully-featured program that will do the job. Podcasting has been a difficult and costly business for years. It’s now easier than ever to podcasting with Rode Connect and Rode NT USB Mini Mic Bundle.

Rode NT USB Mini Mic Bundle and Rode Connect are a great combination for podcasters, content creators, streamers, and new podcasters. Streaming apps will be easier for everyone with dedicated output controls. You will find everything you need to get started with podcasting right out the box.