Output volume from Røde Podcaster USB audio device

System configuration, maintenance and utilities
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Joined: 04 Jan 2021, 12:31

Output volume from Røde Podcaster USB audio device

Post by ratkins » 04 Jan 2021, 12:58

I bought a Røde Podcaster so I could sound better to my colleagues over Zoom et al, and use my custom in-ear monitors plugged into its zero-latency monitoring port for “passive noise cancelling” while I’m trying to work in the corner of the lounge room with my kids running around.

In macOS (Big Sur, 11.1) Sound preferences I have Input set to the Podcaster, with the gain at 75%. This gives me peaks around -24 to -18, with a SNR of ~30 dB RMS according to Audacity. I have Output also set to the Podcaster, and apparently “The selected device has no output controls”.

With the volume dial on the mic turned right down, I can still hear every single thing happening in the room through the in-ear monitors. With the volume on the mic turned all the way up, I can hear everything somewhat louder. But the problem is, when the computer plays any sound at all, it is *earsplitting*. Some apps have a volume control built into their player widget that I can use to reduce the volume to listenable levels (like the Soundcloud web app) but some don’t (like the Google Meet web app.) Also it’s *noisy as hell*. There’s a relatively loud hiss under everything, plus occasionally a high pitched digital whine, which changes tone depending on what app has been outputting audio last.

So, questions:

1) How can I control and/or limit the maximum volume output through the USB audio device built into the Podcaster, preferably using the standard macOS audio controls on my keyboard or in my menu bar?

2) Why, with the volume knob on the Podcaster turned right down do I hear *anything at all* through the headphones, and why, with it turned right up, is the sound from the mic loud-but-comfortable but any sound coming from software running on the computer earsplitting?

(The mic is plugged into a USB-A port on the back of a 27” Cinema Display which is plugged into a DisplayPort to USB-C dongle which is plugged into the 13” M1 MacBook Pro running Big Sur. I don’t have a USB-B to USB-C cable so I can’t plug it in directly. I’ve tried a different set of headphones—Bose QC 25s—and got exactly the same result, the IEMs aren’t too sensitive.

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