How We Record the Podcast or, What Equipment We Use

Many people are interested in starting a podcast and ask us questions like “How do I record my own podcast?” and “What equipment should I buy?” So we decided to answer those questions in the simplest way we can – by showing you what we used to record our long running podcast, Desperate Mothers. This is not an in-depth review of any of this equipment, it’s only what we use on a regular basis to record our show. This is equipment you can hear right now by listening to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever fine podcasts are distributed.

Recording Devices.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to start recording a great soudning podcast. We started out with a small amount of “relatively” cheap gear. I put relatively in quotes because the recorder was a little on the expensive side. I like to play musician (even though I’m terrible, fyi) and I really like to play with new toys. Of course I had to go overboard when given the opportunity! The Zoom R24 can handle 8 inputs at once, creating isolated audio tracks that allow me to individually tweak those tracks in post! So if I did not notice that someone was talking too softly during recording I could go back and boost their levels and make everyone sound like they are at the same volume (and then make a note to pay more attention during recording next time!).

Later I bought the Zoom H6 and the only problem I had was that I wished I had bought it sooner! As a recording device, it does everything the R24 does in a smaller package. It can run on batteries or usb power – I’ve used it with a power bank and a usb cord into an AC charger without added noise. It has been an awesome little device, and with the addition of the Zoom EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Capsule I can record 6 XLR tracks at the same time.


We started out with several dynamic microphones. Now a lot of people will opt for microphones like the Blue Yeti when they start their podcast but we really feel dynamic microphones are the way to go. Dynamic microphones are less sensitive than condenser mics, so you can use them in noisier environments without picking up a lot of sounds that you will have to edit out when you master your recording.

We used the Shure SM48, which is intended for vocal use (not singing or instruments). Overall, it is a great microphone for podcasting on a budget – or if you really don’t want to spend a lot of money just to mic up four podcasters!

Another great entry into the budget round of microphones is the Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Dynamic Vocal Microphone, Cardioid for about twenty bucks each. It is a beast, slightly hotter than the Shure SM48, but leaps and bounds better than the Pyles and other cheap microphones we tried. I’m not going to link to any of the cheap microphones that didn’t earn our seal of approval.
If I was starting all over again, I would start with these mics. If I were rich, I’d start out with the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone.


Microphone stands


I have used a lot of different table top or desktop microphone stands. There are a lot to choose from, but not many good, durable ones, it turns out. Truly, these tabletop stands are the only ones I recommend. The others have been too flimsy, either cheaply built or too light weight to stand up to frequent use. And you don’t want your guest knocking over the microphone during a show! These are really simple. Two parts: an adjustable pole and a heavy circular base that you screw/thread the pole in to connect the two.

XLR Cables

XLR cables connect your microphone to your recording device, and if you want a clean signal then you need a good, solid xlr cable. At least you don’t have to spend a lot of money! Short, long, black or one of many colors, XLR cables can be as expensive as you want them to be or as cheap as you can afford. The cables above are good and cheap, and that is all you realy need. No monster-ific cables that will break your wallet here!

I really like the multi colored pack from Seismic because it lets me easily trace sources to inputs when I am setting up and troubleshooting a live recording. You can pick those up here: SEISMIC AUDIO – SATRXL-M10-6 Pack of Muliple Colored 10′ XLR Male to 1/4″ TRS Patch Cables



Windscreens protect your microphone from excessive loud wind noises. Heavy breathing will not be erased, and heavy winds will be noticeable, but these little foam covers will help to mitigate some of the sound from any heavy breathers in your group. They don’t work magic, and mic eaters will still be heard even using dynamic mics.

Pop filters

Pop filters are not something you usually use for a group podcast, but if you are flying solo and popping your Ps like a popstar you may want to put one of these in between your mouth and your microphone. I’ve used them for narration, voice over, and additional dialogue recording. I noticed that a pop filter is more effective on my condenser mic than my dynamic microphones, however, so you may not always need one.

Memory cards and card readers

You need memory cards and you’ll need a usb card reader if your laptop or desktop does not have one built in, but they don’t have to break the bank. You’ve spent enough dough all ready, haven’t you?

I use these Samsung 128GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSD EVO Select Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME128GA/AM) for cheap, high quality recording speeds – and they can do double duty by working in your 4k camera, too!

I’ve gone through a ton of card readers – a lot of super cheap ones and some not so cheap, and almost all of them are dead now. Except these memory card readers from Sabrent!

Sound blankets or acoustic treatment?

So that’s our equipment, but sometimes we record in loud spaces. When we do, if we can control the environment, we’ll throw down a bunch of moving blankets, hang them on the wall and maybe even throw some over a chair to break up any annoying reverberation. Sometimes Harbor Freight has a sale, but I just get a dozen of these Sure-Max 12 Moving & Packing Blankets – Pro Economy – 80″ x 72″ (35 lb/dz Weight) – Quilted Shipping Furniture Pads Navy Blue and Black from Amazon.

That’s it for our Podcasting Equipment

Now that you know what I use to record the Desperate Mothers podcast tell us what use. Do you have any other questions? Do you want to know where we host the show? or would you like to see inside our studio? Let us know in the comments below! And remember to like and subscribe to the Desperate Mothers podcast and YouTube channel!

095 – Podcast Like Nobody’s Listening

Attending Los Angeles Comic Con and character inspired clothing, crossplaying suggestions for Jack, Los Angeles Comic Con, hours and after parties, line management and attending panels, our most popular podcast subjects, nerdbait controversies and subjects, nerdbaiting, supporting cosplayers and content creators, Twitch and Twitch Prime care of Amazon, the mad orange man himself is one of our most popular subjects, not winning the presidency two consecutive terms in a row, Trump and Kanye versus the 13th ammendment, nicknaming the name-caller-in-chief, discussing Gitmo, Stan Lee’s longevity, vip upgrades, Craig “Big Poppa” Chenoweth and his new streaming channel Into the Derbyverse,, interesting things this week, puppert news, The Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. Please like, subscribe, and comment below!

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094 – Breaks, Purges, Kitchens, and Cocktails

CJ and Jack are back from our summer break and discuss upcoming episodes. Subscribers please comment and vote for the name of the upcoming cooking show on the Desperate Mothers. Will it be Cook Stupid, CJ’s Crazy Kitchen, or Chronic Kitchen? The taco juice video that started a blender cocktail binge. Upcoming nugget series of videos. We also wax whimsically about the poor timing of our video releases. Will Stan Lee be at LA Comic Con this year? Ant Man & Wasp Infinity War spoiler! Comment below!

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093 – Infinity Spoilers

Spoiling Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War. Nerdgasms galore! X-Men’s status in the MCU is discussed. How can the Marvel Cinematic Universe be put back together again? After the credit spoilers. The biggest opening weekend of all time. Bemoaning the lack of cosplayers at the local movie opening. Thanos the Eco-Terrorist. More mumbo jumbo. Subscribe to us today. Leave comments and ratings using your favorite podcast app.

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092 – Stealing Stan Lee’s Blood

Is Stan Lee being abused by his handlers? Who is profiting off the living legend? Did someone steal Stan Lee’s blood and use it to sign comic books? The Talent’s Twitch channel is Ketchin_Games subscribe now! Jack berates CJ for doing RPGs wrong. No spoilers for Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War!

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091 – What Should Have Blend

CJ and Jack talk about the final cut of That Blender Guy porg video, key characteristics, editing down the footage to a final short video, CJ’s car will turn 21 and be allowed to drink legally, convention loop reels, attention grabbers, Tomb Raider, future episode ideas, DC movie openings and disappointing dark and gray climactic battles, Superman’s air sac, fist fights at terminal velocity, Black Panther movie, Wakandan Americans, magic mumbo jumbo defying the laws of physics, porg part deux, pop up video ideas and porg revisions.

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90 – Foibles, Faux Pas, and Porgs

The Mothers miss Emerald City Comic Con, and upcoming plans to attend the event. Cj Discusses the errors, foibles and faux pas of shooting That Blender Guy with a Star Wars porg. Purchasing safety gear purchased from Harbor Freight. The potential of using vertical video on youtube. They also consider publishing the outtakes and a blooper reel. The cost of advertising on the internet and the merits of attending comic conventions. Live streaming upcoming pods on YouTube. Wondercon tickets selling out. Attending San Diego International Comic-Con for the atmosphere. Subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and YouTube. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. #theDesperateMothers @thedesperatemothers @cjwatson

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088 – Flat Track Roller Derby and the Convention Experience

Flat Track Roller Derby and the resurgence of the full contact sport with Craig Chenowith, WFTDA, upcoming season of the local roller derby league, photographers Chuck Gay, Mike Weiss, Tristan King, roller derby photography, community involvement, the roller derby season starts this week, #NoBeerForCJ, comment below, porg ideas, cease and desist letters, why CJ is not allowed to have a PayPal account, Disney annual pass prices increase, SDCC prices, outlaw con-goer, Long Beach Comic Expo, alternate comic conventions, anime expo, Gallifrey One convention, Strategic Con, Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con, personalities signing autographs, The Stan Lee Experience, CJ’s Truly Authentic and Trustworthy Comic Grading Company, the 30 second pause, Dashiki denied, cultural appropriation, movies that have fallen out of favor, montages are a must for modern movies, this week’s homework assignment is to watch the new Marvel Black Panther movie. Click like, subscribe, leave a comment, and hop on!

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088 – That Blender Guy

YouTube channel. Unfounded dislike of Star Wars porgs. Porg traumatic stress syndrome. Planned video shoots that may not make it to our channel. Planned future podcast guests. Crickets. Yngwie Malmsteen show in Beverly Hills. Peepshow Menagerie and the Fais Do Do Club. Cherry Potter and the Wizards of Burlesque. Magic Castle. Bree Larson in the new Captain Marvel movie takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe into unchartered territory. Leave a comment and don’t forget to subscribe!

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We’ve got some interesting things coming up and they involve our favorite new Star Wars character – the porgs! So get yours now before they are gone!!!

076 – Trumpocalypse Now

Sammie joins CJ in podcasting, Star Wars awakens something, crickette roulette, grumpy cats votes libertarian? grumpy cat people getting plastic surgery, CJ might be lying, bug eyed evolution, going grumpy, missing Comikaze, Stan Lee might live forever, hot girls from Spider-Man, The Trumpocalypse, The Apprentice winners get their appointments, what went wrong for Hillary, Don’t Trump this up!, Kanye West is a member of the Bey Hive, picture frames, buried by flab, American versus British pints, how many effs does grumpy cat give?, NFG,  challenges in making videos, camera angle use in green screen technology, Hobitses can trick the camera, Shiva the tiger puppet from The Walking Dead, That Blender Guy, Arby’s Meat Mountain Shake, Meatshake Monday, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chips review, Pumpkin Pie kettle cooked potato chips by Boulder Mountain, looking forward to the next four years with Donald Trump. 

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