from Red has been a big name in pro audio since singers stand in front of microphones and pour their hearts out. The company’s NT1A is a classic for vocal performances, and the likes of Adele have captured iconic performances on Rode hardware. So the fact that they just launched a dedicated gaming subdivision, Red X, is kind of a big deal.
It’s not just a name either: Rode X announces the launch of a dedicated R&D department that looks specifically at gamers’ wants and needs, then applies all that professional audio heritage and know-how to it. The first products to come out of Rode X include a mixer and two microphones, but they are also supported on a software level by Unify, an all-encompassing solution for streamers looking for polished mix quality.
Essentially it’s a DAW, without all the bits streamers don’t need. This allows you to route and mix four different inputs, whether from microphones or other audio devices, along with six other audio sources. That gives you a handy virtual mixing console with the ability to customize game audio, chat, music, and browser resources.
Once the levels are set, you can also hit some plug-ins on the audio channels to make the mics sound even better, from compression to limiters. Anyone who has watched a FIFA pack opening video on earphones knows the value of a good limiter.
In terms of hardware, the XDM-100 and XCM-50 microphones seem to cover the basics of both studio-style dynamic sound reproduction with the former, and robust capacitor input like you’d use in a live setting in the XCM-50.
Place the XDM in front of you for a rich, ultra-detailed studio sound – ideal if you have some editing time before your content reaches the audience. When going out live, the XCM-50 is designed to take those volume changes, bumps and mishaps and smooth it all out to a polished broadcast.
It’s a genuine statement of intent from Rode, who seems determined to bring that professional audio standard to the gaming market and demystify studio-quality sound.