Pursuit of a soundproof podcast

Photo Credit: Alex Blăjan

We’ve begun a journey of a lifetime, one that is pushing us out of our comfort zones in order to grow and improve Cultivate Connection. Not only has this journey opened up the door for our very first live workshop on December 8th, it has and continues to push us to try to improve the audio quality of the weekly podcasts.

Before setting out to live in a RV full-time, each weeks meditation podcast was recorded from the comfort of our living room. We were renters, and being so had neighbors above us. It took some time to figure out their schedule to choose the best time, i.e. most quiet, to record the 30 minute podcast thousands listen to each week. Although we’ve always wanted to up the level of professionalism in our podcast audio, recording each week became predictable and fairly easy.

Predictable and fairly easy

Those two words, predictable and fairly easy no longer apply; life has a different pace for us now. Last weeks podcast for instance, was recorded in the Solano Beach public library in Solano Beach, California. I thought it would be the best place as libraries are usually quiet and this one, like many, have private study rooms for you to use. While this particular library was quiet, there were a few unexpected things that caught us off guard.

The first was the fact this study room had floor to ceiling glass walls, one of which was shared with the adjoining room. It just so happened that in the middle of the podcast a Spanish teacher entered the room next door and began to give two young boys language lessons. While I didn’t catch this in my editing of the audio file, I did edit out the noisy air conditioning system. The second thing was the aforementioned air conditioning system. Every several minutes it would come on with a loud ‘click’ and then run like a semi truck sitting next to the room. I did my best to edit this one out and while I’m glad I did, it hasn’t gotten us to our goal of improved audio quality.

Fast forward to this week. We’re spending time in Louisiana while visiting my parents. Their home is not a quiet place by any means. At any given moment there are at least two televisions on, both competing for equal volume, as well as lots of talking. Suffice to say the house is not the ideal place to record a podcast, not even in the middle of the night. Without a proper sound recording booth at our disposal we’re left with the exciting adventures of finding quiet places to record.

The best place to record

Once again I had a great idea. Since my parents neighborhood is quiet and I spent the previous morning in the RV, reading my devotional and Bible, I told Amy that outside in the RV would work great. After getting everything setup, she began to record. Moments later a helicopter flies low overhead, then a noisy truck drives past followed by the loud beeping of a larger truck backing up the street. If that weren’t bad enough, the Diesel engine of a excavator (delivered by the truck) fires up and begins to dig a trench in the yard of the house next door. The only thing that could’ve topped all this were if a fire truck pulled in next to our RV with all of its sirens on!

Feeling defeated, frustrated, and as if all the powers that be were conspiring against the recording of this meditation, Amy quits and comes back inside. We quickly decided to go and find a more suitable location to record in. I briefly considered another library because surely it couldn’t be as bad as last time right? The idea was immediately rejected. We decided to drive to the end of a lake road and back into an empty lot. After shutting off the engine and listening for a few seconds we thought this would have to do for now.

The recording location on 15 November 2018

Persevering in the face of obstacles

As Amy recorded the meditation I sat outside in the warm morning sun and began to write this very post. It feels good to express the ups and downs of this recording adventure. There is something deeply satisfying about persevering in the face of obstacles. I believe it is making us stronger and more resilient. If we had remained in that comfortable place of predictable and easy what would there be to push us to improve? Truth be told, Amy and I are inclined to laziness. As much as I’d like to wave a magic wand and become mighty in character, real go-getters, the best we can muster up at this point is to throw ourselves head first into situations that cause discomfort. In the end, it is often the uncomfortable places that cause the most growth.

Where do you want to grow? What is standing in your way? What kind of stories do you have of ridiculous things trying to derail your plans? When they’re overcome, they just make your story that much more interesting.

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