As well as being passionate music producers, we’ve also been known to play the odd video game in our time. Those worlds don’t normally collide – aside from in the much underused copy of Guitar Hero we still have kicking around somewhere – but Roland’s Bridge Cast could well be the ‘bridge’ between the two that we didn’t know we’d been waiting for. And the new all Ice White edition certainly looks the part, too.
Bridge Cast is Roland’s ‘pro audio solution for serious streaming’, a dual bus interface aimed at gamers, but with decent enough connectivity to potentially double-up as your main audio interface.
It features a high-quality mic input with a 75dB Roland mic preamp that allows any dynamic or condenser mic to be connected without the need for external preamps. There’s also a 3.5-mm input for use with those call centre-type headsets so popular with streamers.
Several audio effects are built in specifically for your vocals, so you can sound chipmunky, deep or reverberated, for example. An aux input completes the connectivity, and will take audio from devices including musical instruments, iPhones and tablets.
The angled front panel is dominated by a four-channel mixer with cool-looking, fully customisable, coloured dials that mix between those mic and aux inputs, your game audio, or your mates getting involved on the chat channel.
On a basic streaming level, then, you’d typically use the dual audio bus Bridge Cast to deliver separate mixes to you and your audience. Use it to talk over gameplay footage, live playing, or other video playback, with that aux in making it possible to bring in extra audio segments or your own musical instrument playing.
You can even add royalty-free background music tracks and sound effects via Roland's AI-powered BGM Cast service – a free account gives you 36 such background tracks and 16 sound effects to use.
A separate Bridge Cast app enables extra mix routing and tweaking so a streamer could, for example, play a game without the music but still send that music out on another mix to their audience. The app also has several EQ and compressor controls, with settings for popular games including Call of Duty.
The latest addition to the Bridge Cast lineup is Roland’s new Ice White edition. The unit features exactly the same features as the standard black edition, but all behind a lovely Ice White fascia. Roland says you can also customise the Bridge Cast front panel with your own designs, although we're not sure we'd go this far.
Bridge Cast costs around £215/$229 and you can get more information from the Roland website. It's already available to purchase from Sweetwater if you're in the US and PMT for those of you reading in the UK.