Having spent the past 50 years focusing on musicians, Roland is now entering a different market with Bridge Cast, a new USB-C audio streaming interface and mixer for online gamers.
This neat-looking desktop box enables you to create two mixes - one for you and another for your online audience - and features vocal transformer effects derived from Roland’s VT series. There’s also an aux input for music playback, sound effects and an XLR input for high-quality mics. All processing takes place on the hardware, potentially freeing up your computer’s power so that it can deliver better gaming and streaming performance.
The dual mix functionality means that you can have a pure gaming mix in your own ears while viewers get additional background music and effects. There are dedicated volume knobs and mute buttons for the mic, aux input, chat and game audio, so you can make instant adjustments without having to dive into a software mixer. You can select mic effect and EQ presets directly from the unit, too.
That said, there is also a companion software app that enables you to dive deeper into the Bridge Cast’s features. Here, you can tweak the audio processing and voice transformer settings, select game EQ presets, re-assign the hardware controls and save/recall different setups for specific games and audiences.
There’s also the intriguing prospect of upcoming compatibility with Roland’s Cloud service. Arriving in the second quarter of the year, this will enable you to access thousands of royalty-free backing music titles, sound effects and more. You’ll be able to customise your mixer with alternative faceplates, too.
Bridge Cast connects via USB-C to PC, Mac and mobile devices, and is also said to be compatible with the PlayStation 5. In the case of Sony’s console, though, you lose the option to individually control the voice chat and game audio separately. If you want to connect to Xbox or Nintendo Switch, you’ll need to do so via the 3.5mm aux jack.
The Bridge Cast will be available this month priced at $300. Find out more on the Roland website.