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Creating a Home Studio by Paul Papadimitriou – Selected

By mid-March, my mind was set: this would totally disrupt travel for at least 2 years, if not more.

Whilst I had prepared my business for a recession, I hadn’t expected a pandemic — I needed to urgently ramp up my ability to virtually continue all my lines of business, no interruption. I wanted to be future-ready by end-March, I hibernated the costs I knew could be (aka, I activated my recession contingency planning), and went all in for a remote, travel-less work.  

The experience is everything

I always believed that the experience, whether delivering on stage as a speaker, or during an on-site client meeting, is key. I’ve thus always kept pushing the quality, and design, of my deliveries, giving up presenting with slides a long time ago for instance, preferring full-on immersive movies matching my speech, and position on stage.

supercut of my Frontiers NEXT cinema screen movie

My goal was then simple for this COVID era: translate the high production value, online — the only way to keep the customer, the audience, highly engaged, and myself ahead of the curve. It needed to be a movie experience, the race to better production values was on, and the pandemic would only accelerate it (and, heh, with hindsight, look at what Apple did with their awe-inspiring keynotes!).

Start with the gear you’ve got

I’ve been producing podcasts for a decade —’Layovers‘ being the most well-known of them, #1 for aviation in 15+ countries, from Japan to India— so the sound part of things was pretty much nailed down already: the fabulous Shure S7MB microphone, feeding into a dbx 286s Preamp/Compressor (to create a warmer sound, fitted to my voice), feeding into a MixPre-3 audio USB mixer for my Mac Pro desktop to record. Perfect sound, I was ready for my worst nightmare, webinars.

“webinars” (they’re usually bad, convince me otherwise).

On the video side, I only had one webcam, a Logitech Brio 4K (still the best webcam out there). What else? My Leica SL2 had been my most recent travel companion, and, as an extremely versatile video camera, became my first COVID companion.

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