Podcast

Reasonably Sound

A podcast about sound by Mike Rugnetta

Episodes

  • 45: The World Remade

    Aug 19 2019

    On flailing in the rising tides, as well as the ecological impact of vinyl records and digital music streaming. -- Find full show notes, with research links, at http://reasonablysound.com/2019/08/19/the-world-remade/ -- Thanks to Kyle Devine, whos book Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music is out in October 2019. You can learn more here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/decomposed The Cost of Music Project (https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_643297_en.html) was done in collaborat...more

  • 44: Vrooms And The Lack Thereof

    Feb 07 2019

    What if your car’s engine could sound like anything? -- Find full show notes, with research links, at http://reasonablysound.com/2019/02/07/vrooms-and-the-lack-thereof/ -- Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, without whom it would not be possible! Special thanks to Adam Neely, Andrew Carlos, Andrew MacLarty, Anthony Kirkpatrick, Antoine Flamant, Ayla Ounce, Benjamin, Bernhard Werner, Blake Kidd, Camilla Greer, Cassandra Durnford, Chelsea Whyte, Christopher McKitterick, Clarissa...more

  • 43: Hold, Please

    Sep 24 2018

    👕: https://cottonbureau.com/products/phonocloud -- -- Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line. A customer service representative will be with you shortly. Your call is important. -- Find full show notes, with research links, at http://reasonablysound.com/2018/09/24/hold-please/ -- Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, without whom it would not be possible! Special thanks to Adam Neely, Andrew Carlos, Andrew Groot, Andrew MacLarty, Anthony Kirkpatrick, Antoi...more

  • 42: The Oddest Thing in the Universe

    Jul 30 2018

    👕: https://cottonbureau.com/products/phonocloud -- Life, The Universe, and A Small, Yellow Leechlike Fish -- Find full show notes, with research links, at http://reasonablysound.com/2018/07/30/the-oddest-thing-in-the-universe/ -- Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, without whom it would not be possible! Special thanks to: Oscar Acton, Kathy Ahfid, Harry Brisson, Jack Britton, Keith Broni, Hans Buetow, Johnny C, Philip Campbell, Andrew Carlos, Jana Deppe, Cassandra Du...more

  • 41: A Not So Quiet Place

    May 14 2018

    RS TSHIRTS! https://cottonbureau.com/products/phonocloud -- Exposure to noise pollution has serious health risks, and disproportionately affects certain communities. But what if regulating it would accidentally do more harm than good? -- The Generation Gap by CBC's Podcast Playlist: https://bit.ly/2wAgJU6 -- Check out Seeker’s NOISE WEEK at http://YouTube.com/Seeker -- Find full show notes, with research links, at http://www.reasonablysound.com -- Thanks to all the show’s Patrons an...more

  • 40: Helpful Mom Voices

    Feb 27 2018

    On the pursuit of making machines talk, and the quality of digital assistants’ voices. Find full show notes, with research links, at http://reasonablysound.com/2018/02/27/helpful-mom-voices/ Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, without whom it would not be possible! Special thanks to: Adam Neely, Andrew MacLarty, Andrew Carlos, Anthony Kirkpatrick, Benjamin , Camilla Greer, Cassandra Durnford, Chelsea Whyte, Christopher McKitterick, Clarissa Redwine, Clayton Grey, Cole Sarar, D...more

  • 39: Automated Copywrongs

    Jan 15 2018

    Or: Do Androids Dream of Pitch Shifted Music? --- We talk about the algorithmic enforcement of copyright, how it works and why we have it. We talk to Parker Higgins, and speculate about a future beset by copyright robots. --- Find full show notes, with research links, at http://ReasonablySound.com --- Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, without whom it would not be possible! Special thanks to: Adam Neely, Andrew MacLarty, Andrew Carlos, Anthony Kirkpatrick, Benjamin , Brandon ...more

  • 38: Why Are There No New Christmas Songs?

    Dec 23 2017

    As of Recording, Wham’s “Last Christmas” was predicted to be the UK #1 Christmas single, but the honor officially went to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” (not a year end song, despite what the music video would have you believe) as of publish. --- LINKS --- http://patreon.com/reasonablysound http://d.rip/mikerugnetta http://twitter.com/reasonablysnd http://instagram.com/reasonablysnd http://twitter.com/mikerugnetta http://instagram.com/mikerugnetta --- SOURCES --- • From “Jingle Bel...more

  • 37: Boo Who?

    Nov 22 2017

    RS Live at Caveat NYC, Dec 2nd 2017: http://caveat.nyc/event/reasonably-sound/ An examination of when, and why, we boo and some encouragement to maybe boo a bit more. SOURCES • Dan Rebellato, ‘B is for Booing’ - http://bit.ly/2hSGAjQ • Sound Symbolism - http://bit.ly/2hTgDjN • Did The Rite of Spring really spark a riot? - http://bbc.in/2hTLOeQ • On the Booing of La Sonnambula - http://bit.ly/2hThdht • On the Pleasure of Being Booed, Marinetti in Futurism: An Anthology - http://bit.ly...more

  • 36: Put 'Em Together

    Oct 20 2017

    “The custom of showing one's pleasure at music by immediately following it with a noise, usually by clapping but sometimes also by the drumming of feet, is perhaps as old as the art of music itself.” - The Oxford Companion to Music, Alison Latham SOURCES: • Laws, Plato - http://bit.ly/2gUDXtK • Applause: A Rest Is Noise Special Report, Ross - http://bit.ly/2gUlddZ • Getting Together and Falling Apart: Applauding audiences, Brandl-Risi - http://bit.ly/2gUmlyf • Effects of applause magnitu...more

  • RM02: A Reasonably Sound "Mission Statement"

    Jan 28 2017

    "Ruminations" (RM) are short[-er] episodes, lightly edited, on topics nonetheless worth discussing. In this Rumination, I talk for a few minutes about what I want to try to do with Reasonably Sound, and why I think sound is interesting and important. Double Extra Super THANKS to all of Reasonably Sound’s Patrons, who help keep the show afloat. Special shoutout to Andrew Carlos, Anthony Kirkpatrick, Brandon, Camilla Greer, Chelsea Whyte, Coral Kennelty-Cohen, Dale Jakes, Dylan Teague, Ellio...more

  • 35: What 2016 Sounded Like

    Dec 30 2016

    It's the end of 2016, so we'll do the thing one tends to do around this time of year: look back. In this episode, a few bits of audio revelry from the End of 2014 episode return, you can get some insight into what kinds of things I was trying to make for Reasonably Sound when Reasonably Sound wasn't allowed to make anything, and I share some stories about a few musicians, performers and composers that died this year. ---- Double extra super THANKS to all of Reasonably Sound’s Patrons, who ...more

  • 34: For Whom The Whistle Blows

    Dec 12 2016

    This episode contains offensive language. ---------- In this episode of Reasonably Sound we talk about how it is that through repetition, seemingly innocuous sounds come to be laden with meaning and can even guide the behavior of subjects exposed to them. ---------- Double extra super THANKS to all of Reasonably Sound’s Patrons, who help keep the show afloat. Special shoutout to Allie, Andy McMillan, Autumn, Brandon, Camilla Greer, Chelsea Herrington, Coral Kennelty-Cohen, Dale Jakes, Elliot...more

  • 33: The Braaam™

    Nov 21 2016

    An episode about the type of sound The Inception Sound is, the controversy surrounding that sounds authorship, and how it’s effectiveness is deeply rooted in a millennia plus of human culture ---------- Double extra super THANKS to all of Reasonably Sound’s Patrons, who help keep the show afloat. Special shoutout to Allie, Andy McMillan, Autumn, Brandon, Camilla Greer, Chelsea Herrington, Coral Kennelty-Cohen, Elliott, Hans Buetow, Jesse Gamble, Joachim, Joe Krushinsky, John Cifuentes, Kyle Adki...more

  • RM01: Slerd Speesh

    May 06 2016

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound A quick rumination on why people slur their speech when they're drunk, and a little thinking on what it means to slur, and its place in popular culture. Music by Will Stratton Visual Branding by Tida Tep Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/why-do-drunk-people-stumble-fumble-and-slur-their-words https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ataxia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebellum https://kin450-neurophysiol...more

  • 32: Light Dinner Conversation

    Nov 20 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound This week, it’s the sounds that surround holiday gatherings and rituals. Mike tackles several sonic phenomena and how they will function during your Turkey Day soiree. And how you can use their existence as fodder for conversations with your Uncle Alvin when you run out of weather to discuss. You’ll learn about the acoustic arms race that is the Lombard Effect. How the TV people record the sparkling sounds of football. And what being cooperative ha...more

  • 31: I Nonlinear Vocalization. You Nonlinear Vocalization

    Oct 24 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound THIS WEEK IT’S ALL ABOUT SCREAMS (AAAAA!!!!) Horror and fear screams. It’s not just talking with some extra juice. There is much, much more at work. Physically and psychologically, a scream is a unique thing in human sound production. Mike explores the what and how, and that they aren’t like shouts or yells. Plus a deep dive into what they mean. And how they function in film. Especially as delivered by women. -- SOURCES -- The Hard Work of Sc...more

  • 30: Bits and Chips

    Oct 08 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound It’s all about nostalgia and limitation as Mike chips away (ahhh?!?!?) at the world of chiptunes music. If you played video games years and years ago, you’ll hear a set of sounds that will be completely familiar, even when used in unfamiliar compositional genres. Mike explores the anatomy of chiptunes sounds and composition, and looks into chiptunes’ relationship to hacking and the counterculture. PLUS: lots of clips of music from the video games o...more

  • 29: Acoustic Body

    Oct 01 2015

    It’s the stethoscope and the sampler as Mike leads us through “the alien nature of [our] own interiors.” In this journey into the sounds of the body, he explores the work of corporeal sonification as music, as well the history and meaning of sounds in medicine. There are lots of sound puns that are sure to resonate (HA!), and the pleasure of hearing Mike work his way through European names of the 19th century. Also the word “auscultation.” Music Intro: My Body by Perfume Genius from Too B...more

  • 29: Acoustic Body

    Sep 27 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound It’s the stethoscope and the sampler as Mike leads us through “the alien nature of [our] own interiors.” In this journey into the sounds of the body, he explores the work of corporeal sonification as music, as well the history and meaning of sounds in medicine. There are lots of sound puns that are sure to resonate (HA!), and the pleasure of hearing Mike work his way through European names of the 19th century. Also the word “auscultation.” And a...more

  • 28: HBD™

    Sep 17 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound Originally published September 17, 2015 It’s the birthday episode for Reasonably Sound! Celebrating 1 year, Mike dives into why he can’t lead us all in a rousing chorus of that famous Happy Birthday song that we all know and … love (?). But the copyright clampdown might be loosening in light of dramatic new evidence found (as evidence usually is) in a basement. PLUS … an exciting new birthday announcement: We are launching a Patreon! Now you can...more

  • 27: Peace and White Noise

    Aug 17 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound Mike is on a brief vacation on Cape Cod. At the beach. Where he considers why the point of the beach isn't really the beach, but instead the strange draw of waves, water and the ocean. The ocean as Muzak. As white noise. As a tempering force for the other parts of our lives.

  • 26: Little Night Muzak

    Aug 02 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound It's convention season and Mike is on the road for three weeks straight, spending a LOT of time in centers and major hotel chains. And he's noticed how much of his life has become underscored by Muzak and the purposefully designed feelings that it is meant to evoke.

  • 25: Fetish Character

    Jul 19 2015

    Support RS at patreon.com/reasonablysound Mike explores audience, taste, morality, subjectivity, commodity, and so much more in a pastiche of readings from Theodor W. Adorno, Gawker, Taylor Swift’s Tumblr, Fashionista, Noisey, NME and Pitchfork. The text of this episode of Reasonably Sound is entirely found. The sources are: On the Fetish-Character in Music and the Regression of Listening By Theodor W. Adorno Sacred Vows, Lies and Morphine: Nuns Detail Fight Against Katy Perry on Gaw...more

  • 24: KABOOM

    Jul 06 2015

    Mike explores the sonic aspects of fireworks: What is an explosion, and why do they sound the way they do? These questions lead to a breakdown of combustion versus detonation; low explosives versus high explosives; the phrase “the boom is sort of like a pop with a diploma;” and a fascinating tangent about trying to learn card tricks in the ’90s. Plus: The joys of taping a ref’s whistle to the hood of your car. -- SOURCES -- Celebrate the independence of your country by blowing up a sma...more

  • 23: The Real Song of the Summer

    Jun 22 2015

    It’s the ice cream truck jingle. Even Mike’s hated Mr. Softee one. Mike provides the secret origin of the jingle, touching on the Great Depression, the growth of the American middle class, the Good Humor Man, refrigeration, and bobsled bells. -- Sources -- Ice Cream: A Global History by Laura B. Weiss http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-Global-History-Reaktion/dp/1861897928 Ding, Ding!: The Commodity Aesthetic of Ice Cream Truck Music by Daniel T Neely http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/vie...more

  • 22: Echoic Memory

    Jun 07 2015

    Echoic memory, how it differs from other kinds of memory, and the definition of sound itself, all on this episode of Reasonably Sound. Plus: Jamiroquai.

  • 21: Road Trip

    May 11 2015

    Mike and Molly (not the TV show) take a road trip and consider Spotify, MTV2, and how we discover music now. (Also: Cover versions, N.W.A., and the undeniable perfection of Pony.)

  • 20: The Drop

    Apr 27 2015

    That part in dance music, where the music builds and builds and builds and BUILDS before the tension finally, FINALLY, gets relieved? That’s “the drop.” Mike talks about its origin, construction, and application, and tells you what P.L.U.R. means. -- Sources -- Stefan Sagmeister on Storytellers (VIDEO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlkIVIau1Nk “Waiting for the Bass to Drop” by Ragnhild Torvanger Solberg https://dj.dancecult.net/index.php/dancecult/article/view/451 “Detecting Dr...more

  • 19: Molly’s Misophonia

    Apr 13 2015

    Misophonia is, literally, “the hatred of sound.” Molly Templeton has it, and talks to Mike about the noises that trigger it. -- Molly Online -- twitter.com/mememolly instagram.com/mememolly -- Sources -- “Misophonia: Diagnostic Criteria for a New Psychiatric Disorder” by Arjan Schröder, Nienke Vulink, Damiaan Denys. PLOSOne. “Decreased Sound Tolerance and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy” by Margaret M. Jastreboff AND Pawel J. Jastreboff. The Australian And New Zealnd Journal Of Audi...more

  • 18: Play It For All It’s Worth

    Mar 30 2015

    How much is a song worth? How do you even calculate it? And what do DJ Shadow, Tom Waits, and the Wu-Tang Clan have to do with it? Mike Rugnetta answers these and other questions. -- Sources -- The Spotify Calculator http://time.com/3590670/spotify-calculator/ That Chevy Ad with the DJ Shadow track https://www.ispot.tv/ad/7sTc/chevrolet-attract-attention-song-by-dj-shadow Tom Waits on musicians allowing their work to be used in commercials http://dangerousminds.net/comments/tom...more

  • 17: What Does the Universe Sound Like?

    Mar 16 2015

    Mike explains how pigeon-lovers Arno Penzius and Robert Wilson found evidence to prove the Big Bang. Find out about hisses, #starstuff, photons, poop, and more to get a full picture of what the universe actually sounds like. -- Universe Sounds -- Big Bang Hiss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu7nKWa8hSM Dawn Chorus http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/rbsp/news/emfisis-chorus.html#.VQj9FhDF880 Black hole http://heasarc.nasa.gov/docs/xte/learning_center/listen.html Sound of the Bi...more

  • 16: Active Listening, Eavesdropping, and Surveillance

    Mar 02 2015

    Mike navigates the streets, subways, and pizza shops of NYC, and as you listen, ponder whether listening to this episode makes you an active listener, an eavesdropper, or a spy.

  • 15: This Episode Has Subliminal Messages

    Feb 16 2015

    On this installment of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta covers subliminal messages and their (lack of) effectiveness with help from BrainCraft’s Vanessa Hill. Chandler Bing is referenced. -- Find Vanessa -- youtube.com/braincraft twitter.com/brain_craft twitter.com/nessyhill -- Sources -- Is there an effect of subliminal messages in music on choice behavior? by Hauke Egermann, Reinhard Kopiez, Christoph Reuter.Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis Vol. 4, No. 2 S...more

  • 14: Joe Hanson on Animals, Sound, and Semiotics

    Feb 02 2015

    When an animal makes a sound, does that sound have meaning? Mike talks to Dr. Joe Hanson, a biology expert and curator/host of It's Okay To Be Smart, and you’ll get a glimpse into the world of animals, sound, and semiotics. -- SOURCES -- The semiome: From genetic to semiotic scaffolding http://philpapers.org/rec/HOFTSF -- Find Joe at -- http://youtube.com/itsokaytobesmart twitter.com/jtotheizzoe twitter.com/okaytobesmart

  • 13: Shopworn Sound Effects

    Jan 19 2015

    Mike takes you on a tour of the most commonly heard sound effects. And fair warning, when you hear them on this episode, you’ll start hearing them EVERYWHERE. Plus, Mike tells you why sides of beef and planks of wood were integral to the making of the Rocky movies. -- Sources-- Audio-Vision by Michel Chion In Search of a Concrete Music by Pierre Schaeffer The Wilhelm Scream by Elena Passarello 10 Ridiculously Overused Movie Sound Effects http://whatculture.com/film/10-ridiculously-o...more

  • 12: The Printing Press and the Great Vowel Shift

    Jan 05 2015

    What explains the difference between English and American accents? On this episode of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta explains that this spoken phenomenon starts with the written word. -- On American versus English Spelling -- Why Do Brits and Americans Spell Words Differently? http://www.livescience.com/33844-british-american-word-spelling.html Americanize, Anglicise: Why Do Brits And Yanks Spell Words Differently? http://io9.gizmodo.com/americanize-anglicise-why-do-brits-and-yanks...more

  • 10: Auditory Illusions

    Dec 08 2014

    Mike Rugnetta would like to talk with you about auditory illusions (not tricks), specifically the Shepard tone and binaural beats. Use your headphones for this one. (ALSO: art school college story time!) The submarine film soundtrack work Mike mentions is here: https://mikerugnetta.bandcamp.com/track/guitar-shephard-tone Sources: - Demonstration 27 – Circularity in Pitch Judgment http://asa.aip.org/demo27.html - Scelsi: Cello Music (review) http://www.medieval.org/music/modern/sc...more

  • 9: On The Road with Mike Rugnetta

    Nov 23 2014

    It's a Thanksgiving travelogue with Mike Rugnetta, who, like a bazillion other people, is on the road for the holiday.

  • 8: A440

    Nov 10 2014

    A440 is not a steak sauce, nor is it a tax form. Rather, A440 hz is the standard tuning for musical pitch. Why is that? The reasons include, but are not limited to: The oboe, church versus secular music, and the difficulty of France. Mike Rugnetta explains. Special Thanks to Nicole He and Proprietous for their help with oboe details. Sources: – History of Performing Pitch: The Story of “A” by Bruce Haynes https://www.amazon.com/History-Performing-Pitch-The-Story/dp/0810841851 – ...more

  • 7: Taylor Swift’s White Noise

    Oct 27 2014

    Taylor Swift accidentally released eight seconds of white noise to iTunes, and it went to number one in Canada. Mike Rugnetta offers his take on it, as well as a helpful explanation what white noise actually is. Baseball and cooking metaphors are used.

  • 6: Sound as a Weapon

    Oct 13 2014

    Mike Rugnetta and Atlas Obscura‘s Dylan Thuras have a fascinating discussion on the use of sound in war and at what point sound becomes a weapon. Among the topics covered: - World War I “sound mirrors” (giant concrete parabolas that ineffectively tracked incoming planes) - Project Disperse - The Mosquito - “Tunnel chicken” - LRAD - So-called “less than lethal” technology - Humankind’s unintentional sound war on the animal population

  • 5: Whisper Quiet

    Sep 30 2014

    Do you have a favorite sound? Mike Rugnetta has a few: - A Snapple bottle opening - An orchestra tuning, with a couple instruments clearly off-key - A breaking incandescent light bulb In this episode, Mike explores the phenomenon of ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Or, as some call it, a “head orgasm,” brought on by certain sounds, like whispering. There are even YouTube channels dedicated to triggering these responses. How does this all circle back to American telephon...more

  • 4: Snikt!

    Sep 17 2014

    Mike would like to talk with you about snikt. And sploorp. And butcher some French while he’s at it. Today’s subject is onomatopoeia and the visual representation of sound, particularly in comics. AMONG, BUT NOT ALL, THE THINGS MENTIONED: - Proust - Magritte - Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics - http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X/?tag=infguest-20 - Roy Crane - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Crane - The fadeout on the coda of Queen’s immor...more

  • 3: The Cadillacs of Quiet

    Sep 02 2014

    On this episode of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta considers noise-canceling headphones, whether you use them for cross-country flights or to mute your Simply Red-listening neighbor. He tells you how they work (and don’t work), why the notion of neutral technology is a bunch of hooey (sorry, Chomsky), and that silence is a lie. ALSO MENTIONED: - Weird warbles - Rare factions - Oculus Rift - Weirdly racist film stock - Harvard’s anechoic chamber - John Cage’s 4’33” - Wearing noise-ca...more

  • 2: The Voice

    Aug 23 2014

    Why does your voice sound like your voice? A lot of reasons, but Mike's interested in the dispersive mediums that impact it. This also leads to the first Reasonably Sound special guest, musician Jason Oberholtzer, and the first Reasonably Sound Contest.

  • 1: The Ear

    Aug 23 2014

    Mike Rugnetta opens the inaugural Reasonably Sound podcast with an appreciation of the ear, especially the floppy, weird-looking part of it on the side of your head. Turns out it has a purpose besides stabbing holes in it!