The Shades Cahaba Oral History Project is my first podcast, but I have been producing videos for years. Dealing with audio, while important, was never a priority. As long as it didn’t sound like the actors were in a tunnel, it was good enough for the projects I was working on. Producing an audio-only podcast has been an education — one that will continue with every show and every situation. 

I learned a lot from other podcasts that posted their equipment and processes. I plan to do the same for other people hoping to learn from my successes and failures.

From day one I needed equipment that was portable, inexpensive and still good quality


I purchased a Zoom H4N with points from my American Express card some years ago. I used it for my video production, and it is the perfect item for my portable studio. The H4N is excellent for recording two people, and you can get another person on a third channel if needed. The Zoom H6 is a six-track recorder and is what I will choose if I need to upgrade. Having each person on their own channel is helpful when editing the show.

At the same time I bought my H4N, I purchased the Sony MDR7506 Headphones. These are workhorses of the audio/video production world. They fold up and are the right price.

I have used these so much the ear pads started to fall apart. I replaced them with ear pads by Wicked Cushions.

Some time back, I had purchased a Monoprice Dynamic Vocal Microphone (600020). It was cheap and just what I needed at the time. When it came time to assemble my mobile podcasting studio, I decided to get a second one and see how it went. I have been pleasantly surprised. These are great sounding microphones, especially for the price. If I was flush with money, I might buy higher quality mics, but for the moment, these are perfect. 

While I was at Monoprice, I purchased some of their Premier Series XLR Male to XLR Femail 16AWG cables. The cables are various sizes, but they are pretty short since my interviews are done sitting around a table.

I also have an old Olympus DS-30 Digital Voice Recorder that I bought years, maybe decades ago. I turn this on and put it in the middle of the table as an emergency backup. I am scared to listen to what it sounds like. I can’t believe how expensive it is online and if I didn’t have it already, a great backup would be the Zoom H1N. One other backup option is to use your mobile phone and record with it. A Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone would make a huge difference.


My studio is a home office and I record directly to my Mac Mini using Adobe Audition. My original studio mic was a Blue Yeti with a USB cable which I bought back in 2013. I originally bought a screen to handle the plosives but found it was kind of awkward. I purchased a foam cover which I was very happy with. The Blue Yeti served me well over the years but I felt I needed something a little better.

After a lot of research, and I settled on the Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic microphone with the Rode PSM1 Shock Mount. I mounted this to an existing desktop stand which was too short. I purchased the Rode DS1 Table Top Desk Stand which brought the mic up to the right height for me. Even though the Podcaster has a built-in windscreen, I needed another screen, I settled on a foam screen similar to the one I have on my Blue Yeti.

I chose a tabletop stand instead of a boom mic purely based on the layout of my desk and various items on the desk. The tabletop option works best for me. I also have the option to use it with my laptop and move the recording session to an isolation booth in my basement. I have to do this if the lawn crews invade the neighborhood with their arsenal of leaf blowers. This happens way too much. If I did purchase one, I would choose the RODE PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm. The internal springs seem to make all the difference on this boom arm.


I am pretty comfortable in Final Cut, and I almost decided to use this video editing software to take care of my podcast editing.

I looked at Garage Band, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what is so wonky about it. I never felt comfortable with it. The same goes for the “free” version of ProTools. 

I had planned on using the free Audacity program. I have used it in the past and It is pretty nice for free software.

I use the Creative Cloud Suite of apps and Audition was part of that. The first time I opened it up. It was a little overwhelming. I figured it was like the video program Premier which I hate so I moved on. I finally came back around to it, and after a very short time, I came to realize it is pretty easy to use. I produce all the shows using Audition, and since I never know what recording situation I may be in, I have come to realize it help salvage a poor recording. Creative Cloud is a monthly plan. You can get Audition alone for $21/month or all the Apps for $53/month. 


I have three foldable microphone stands from Bearstar. They are small, lightweight, and easy to setup. I keep a screwdriver in my case to keep the legs tight. After a couple of times using them, I used Locktite blue on the screws to keep them from coming undone.

I have a couple of Weymic butterfly clips for handheld microphones in case I need more gripping power. 

The small stands are perfect in almost every case. I interviewed one older gentleman who needed to lean back, and he talked quietly. That day I ordered the Samson MZB1 mini boom stand. The next time this happens, I can let him stay in a comfortable position and still get the mic close to him. 

I have a Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod, Black (MTPIXI-B) that I purchased for photography. I use this to mount my Zoom H4N. It keeps the screen in a place I can view it without moving cords around creating background noise.

I had my equipment in a couple of boxes, and I decided I needed one box to carry it all. I found the Husky 22-inch plastic toolbox with metal latches at Home Depot. At $15 it was cheap, big enough to hold all my equipment and rugged.


There are a lot of great options to chose from and a lot of different options at different price points. I am not even going to get into it. I really didn’t know which to chose but for some reason, I decided to go with So far they have been perfect. Easy to use, nice to navigate and they have plenty of helpful blog posts. 


I am a graphic designer by profession and I design a lot of websites. I build them all using WordPress. For my clients, I use the Divi builder. But for this site, I wanted to buy a podcast specific child theme. I chose the Tusant Theme from and have been very happy with it so far. It uses the Elemental builder which is similar to Divi. If I want to go in and really customize this child theme I can. So far I see no reason to.

My host is and you can’t beat the price and the service.


The internet is our friend. There are people doing God’s work on YouTube. When I go to an interview, I never know what the room is going to sound like until I get there. And in most cases there is no turning back. Using Audition and the help of my new online friends, I can bring a bad recording back to life. Here are a couple of my favorite videos.

Mike Russell has some really great tutorials:

If you have a Skillshare account, check out :

  • Alejandra Tello’s Adobe Audition 101 for Podcasters: How to Apply Effects and Make Your Podcast Shine.
  • Michael Murphy’s Adobe Audition CC 101: For Podcasters is great if you are brand new to this. 

I tend to find great tutorials based on the problems I have had. Needing louder sound and removing room echos have been the two big one so far. 

I hope this helps you as you produce your podcast. 

Some links may be affiliate links. We get money if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these links on our site, your purchase may provide me with funds to keep this podcast going. Thanks!

Edited on November 10, 2019 to reflect the purchase of my Rode Procaster