PEERS Perspectives is a blog series that offers thoughts and reflections from our staff and community members on mental health, current events, and the ways they affect our lives.

Today’s post on Audio Creation is written by Communications Coordinator Joshua Walters

My Times with Audio

There are many types of ways to learn: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. For me, I’m an auditory learner. I have not only a fascination with all things musical but all things sound. Audio is the way I enjoy experiencing the interesting world of information.  

You could say it all started with things I would overhear as a child. My dad would sneak down to the TV Room late at night, and I could hear movie and TV dialogue through the door. Very faintly, there was the sounds of voices and occasional soundtrack music that made it into my dreams. Words spoken of a serious nature, a scene was taking place in another medium, just in the next room. 

My first job was working for a radio station. I always wanted to be on the radio. Playing the music people listen too, getting on the mic and talking about one’s insights and opinions. Letting listeners know that they are being cared for as they drive along to work. 

As a college intern, I was never on the radio but I had a lot of behind the scenes duties as an Associate Producer. Setting up interviews, cutting, and editing tape, but the best part was interacting with the On-Air DJs and soaking up some of their musical wisdom and local folklore.

After graduating college, I eventually would get on the radio, as a Storyteller for a locally produced show in Oakland, that was broadcast nationally on NPR. Snap Judgment was a way to work as a writer and give voice to my own experiences. Stories that were musically scored for dramatic effect. Storytelling with a Beat.

In the last two years, I have produced a podcast for PEERS called Mental Health Minute, just my latest and greatest pursuit of the audio format. The episodes are in a hyper shortened format and contain a person’s name, their struggle, and the wellness tool they use for that struggle. Just a brief teaching moment, in the spirit of wellness. 

When I started working on this project I went through 3-4 different versions of what the format would look like. The name of the show changed a bunch of times, and I worked with PEERS Staff as well as my mentors at Snap Judgment to get the feedback I needed to make a finished product. 

The episodes are scored with music from composers I have contacted. I also increased my audio editing techniques while churning out episodes. This project has given me a good way to learn a new trade and hone in on a passion that was always there, but just needed polishing.

Recently I contacted an animator that was in our PEERS network and he has worked with us to animate 10 of the existing 12 podcast episodes. It’s been a fun evolution, creating the audio for this visual element and tailoring the details to where it all fits. I continue to enjoy the process of creating something meaningful, for our wellness brand, all while adding my own creative flair to the process.