Finding an outlet

It has been an intense few months here in Amman with the growing pandemic, yet somehow I found a way to disconnect.

From the news, from the local gossip about the news. From the virus, the lockdown, and maybe the urge to be social. I even took a break from analyzing the human condition. Though extremely busy during the day with work, courses, and an online workshop I am running, I needed an outlet, a hobby, or what I call an obsession to justify the many hours of solitude.

I decided I wanted to start a podcast. Soon enough, it turned into building a home studio. Almost done in its first phase, from the first microphone all the way into a small podcasting station and finding many use cases for the iPhone and iPad I already own.

It has been such an entertaining outlet! The amount of research, the hundreds of YouTube videos I have been watching instead of tv shows, and articles I have been reading too. Trying to find the best budget quality is not an easy endeavor. More so in this time and age, you cannot buy such stuff without consuming extensive reviews. Even so, the learning curve is quite steep, you are ought to make a mistake here and there.

The short I made earlier this summer was done via a borrowed mic from a close friend and old footage I took from an iPhone while traveling over several years. I guess it ignited something, a form of self-expression not just through writing but also vocally and through a lens. The power of these forms combined when telling a story.

In essence, I am still catching up with the audio-visual world since 2004, the last time I made a documentary. The audio recorded was so bad then that I think it somehow deterred me from making any more, only some small videos here and there about family and friends. The idea that I screwed up recording the audio while filming the interviews in the documentary somehow stuck with me. Thus my new obsession with microphones and which one to use in whatever situation. Especially with the level of hoarseness in my own voice. I even have a document with 10 different setups to fit various use cases. From the equipment to the software, to the side of the room, to the lighting and so on, it's there!

I used to think that having a more relaxed budget is the ultimate umbrella to be under to accomplish a project of this sort, yet being on a tighter budget is the real driver to push you to find the minimum level of acceptable quality that justifies a purchase.

In the mid of all of it, I found myself fascinated by audio and how tricky it is to capture it well and then produce it even better. How sensitive the human ear is, much more so than our eyes, and the low tolerance it has for the least amount of noise.

Time and again, it's precisely within those moments of failure that lays the force  driving us to do it better the next time around.

Obviously, I’m super excited about this new journey and where it will take me, from podcasting to short films to online courses and maybe a YouTube channel?

We’ll see!

Razan Khatib

Razan Khatib

Playing at the intersection of culture, technology, and values. Trying to structure my thoughts and share experiences, learnings, and insights. Co-founder of @spring_apps
Amman, Jordan