Podcasts have taken off in popularity over the past 5 years or so, particularly with the pandemic helping out. More people have been creating and consuming podcasts than ever before. 100 million people listened to a podcast once every month in 2020 and this number is projected to reach 125 million in 2022 according to Forbes
The rise of podcast productions presents the need for the podcast mixing studio and at the centre of creating a podcast is the mixer. Many audio mixers might seem overkill for podcast creation, hence the evolution of a new style mixer, the podcast mixer. The podcast mixer is a focused mixing interface that allows anyone to mix and record their podcast, without the need for an over resourced full audio recording facility costing the earth! Rode, Behringer and Zoom, to name a few, have all released podcast mixers. These mixers share many similarities: multiple microphone inputs and headphone outputs for numerous guests, pads to play sound bites, vocal processing tailored to recording speech, dedicated phone input channel with mix-minus function to take guest phone calls without them hearing themselves and more.
Tascam have just released their Mixcast 4. At first glance, the Mixcast 4 has a solid metal chassis with 8 smooth channel faders and a large colour touch screen, including 8 colour-coded sound pads that can be loaded with music or audio cues of your choice to add some sonic flair to your podcast. The sound pads can also access audio from an SD card. Physically it looks the part and feels nice and sturdy. The Mixcast 4 also provides plenty of output options: 5 headphone outputs (with 4 individual volume control pots), stereo TRS output and a stereo 3.5mm output. It can also output to a computer via USB when acting as an audio interface.
Spec-wise the Mixcast shares the same ultra-HDDA pre-amps as Tascam’s US-HR series interfaces and Model mixers so we know the sound quality is no slouch. The studio-grade pre-amps are accompanied by a healthy selection of processing such as dynamics and equalisation, vocal processing such as de-ess and noise compression, reverb and delay effects, high and low pass filters and even a handy pitch shifter so you can manipulate or hide the identity of your guests. The Mixcast 4 has an SD card slot and content can be recorded and stored directly to the SD card as individual tracks.
All the processing is able to be applied individually per channel, and within the Podcast Editor software you can stack up to 6 processes (or plugins) per channel. This gives ultimate flexibility when it comes to mixing a podcast with the Mixcast 4.
The Podcast Editor allows control of the Mixcast via your computer with access to record, edit and processing. The GUI is extremely user friendly with all the editing capabilities you’d expect to find in other DAWs. The same processing available on the Mixcast 4 hardware is also available via the Podcast Editor as plug-ins (VST). The editor combined with the features found in the Mixcast 4 itself makes for a one-stop recording and mixing workstation for podcast creation.
Considering podcast creation has exploded in recent times, the need for tailored podcasting interfaces has grown with many brands releasing new products. Tascam have built a great reputation with audio professionals over many years, and they continue to use their legacy to their advantage when they create new products. Tascam’s Mixcast 4 may have set a new benchmark in the podcast mixer and we love it!
Stay tuned for our video review coming very soon!
- 4 XLR/Combo inputs (Ultra HDDA Preamps)
- 1 TRRS 3.5mm input (for phone-in guests)
- 1 Stereo line input (for external instruments)
- USB stereo input (for inputting audio from a computer)
- Stereo input for sound pads
- 1 Stereo line output
- 1 stereo 3.5mm output
- Stereo USB output (to computer)
- 48 kHz/24 bit max resolution
- USB type C (for interface)
- Accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards (up to 512 GB)
- PC, MAC, iOS and Android compatible
- Bluetooth 2.0 streaming
Expect to pay AUD $899.00