Podcast

Twenty Thousand Hertz

A lovingly crafted podcast that reveals the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds.

Episodes

  • #73 I Stradivarius

    Aug 12 2019

    Stradivarius violins are reputed to have an exquisite sound that cannot be replicated or explained. Why is that? And what, exactly, is a Stradivarius violin anyway? This episode features interviews with The Strad magazine’s managing editor, Christian Lloyd, and violin maker Joseph Curtin. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook.  Become a monthly contributor at 20k.org/donate....more

  • #72 | 808

    Jul 29 2019

    The 808 is arguably the most iconic drum machine ever made. Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve definitely heard it. It’s in dozens of hit songs -- from Usher to Marvin Gaye, Talking Heads to The Beastie Boys -- and its sounds have quietly cemented themselves in the cultural lexicon. In this episode, we try to understand how that happened and follow the unlikely path of the 808. Featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff and Paul McCabe from Roland. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of...more

  • #71 | Soundmarks®

    Jul 15 2019

    Companies spend a lot of time and effort perfecting the look of their brands. But now what a brand sounds like matters just as much. We trace the history from songs to jingles to what's called sonic branding, following the creative process that led to AT&T’s iconic four-note sound logo. And we'll explore what comes next: multi-sensory marketing. Can sound change how beer tastes? This episode originally aired on Household Name. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defa...more

  • #70 | Deaf Gain

    Jul 01 2019

    The last few decades have seen amazing improvements in cochlear implant technology. Professor Michael Dorman reveals what they really sound like, and how they can help out with more than just our hearing. But should we be advocating cochlear implants at all? We chat with deaf graphic designer Brandon Edquist about why he chooses not to use his implant, and why the Deaf community is up in arms against them.  Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound, and host...more

  • #69 | Plants that Sing

    Jun 17 2019

    Have you ever wondered what your dog or cat would say to you if they could talk? How about your plant? In this episode we explore the world of bioacoustics and cognitive ecology. Featuring MIDI Sprout creator, Joe Patitucci, and ecologist, Monica Gagliano, who is the author of Thus Spoke the Plant. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound, and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook.  Become a monthly contributor at 20k....more

  • #68 | Sonic Illusions

    Jun 03 2019

    What we hear is incredibly personal and we all hear things differently. Sometimes our ears can even play tricks on us. Sonic illusions put a spotlight on the unique function of our hearing and how our backgrounds and biology affect how we process sound. Psychologist Dr. Diana Deutsch and neuroscientist Dana Boebinger explain why our hearing is a unique sense and why sonic illusions can fool us. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound, and hosted by Dallas Taylo...more

  • #67 | Mother of Dragons(ounds)

    May 20 2019

    Game of Thrones is a global phenomenon that has redefined the fantasy genre. Viewers from around the world gather every week to anxiously watch what will happen next. The actors, writers, directors, and visual artists have all received well-earned recognition for their role in the show. But some heroes’ work goes largely unnoticed. Paula Fairfield is the sound designer behind the more fantastical elements in Game of Thrones. She’s given a voice to dragons, direwolves, white walkers, and mor...more

  • #66 | Sound Escapes

    May 06 2019

    Over his long career, Gordon Hempton has mastered the art of truly listening. He’s known as the Sound Tracker. Some people call him an acoustic ecologist. His recordings and books have made him an international expert on the beauty and importance of undisturbed, natural soundscapes — and the ways human beings have changed them. Now, Gordon Hempton is losing his hearing. But with that loss has come an intense urgency to share his life’s work — and his passion — with as many people as are willing ...more

  • #65 | Voyager Golden Record

    Apr 22 2019

    In the late '70s, NASA launched Voyagers 1 & 2 to explore the furthest reaches of our solar system and beyond. But something amazing was included on those space probes... a 90-minute time capsule of sounds, language, and music from Earth called The Golden Record. Its intended recipient? Any intelligent extraterrestrial life that might stumble upon it. What did Carl Sagan and his team put on the record to represent all of humanity? How would aliens decode it? For the first time ever, the albu...more

  • #64 | Birdsong

    Apr 08 2019

    When was the last time you stopped and really listened to birdsong? Ever wonder what they’re singing about? We chat to Kenn Kaufman and Dr. Irene Pepperberg about the extraordinary complexity to the avian arias, how they’re produced, what they mean, and how vocal acrobatics can reveal a surprising hidden intelligence. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound, and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook.  Become a monthly...more

  • #63 | Phone Tones

    Mar 25 2019

    We unpack how touch tone dialing changed communication forever. Join us on a deep, quirky dive into telephone history. We’ll also deconstruct these sounds and reveal their hidden brilliance. Featuring author Annabel Dodd and telephone aficionado Jim Hebbeln of the Telecommunications History Group. 20K is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook. Our website is 20k.org. Become a monthly contributor at ...more

  • #62 | The Booj

    Mar 11 2019

    Movie trailers have undergone a huge evolution. They’ve gone from those cheesy voice-of-God narrators in the ‘80s and ‘90s, to boojes and bwaas. Professor James Deaville delivers the history of trailers, and Youtuber Craven Moorhaus offers a hilarious takedown of the sounds and dialogue that are common in the modern trailer style. After you hear this episode, you’ll never be able to watch a blockbuster trailer the same way again.  Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defa...more

  • #61 | Dining on Decibels

    Feb 25 2019

    Have you noticed how loud it gets in restaurants these days? Have you found yourselves shouting just to keep a conversation going? Architecture critic Kate Wagner explains how changing design trends have led to dining experiences that aren’t just antisocial, but are negatively impacting our health as well.   Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced at the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook. Our website is 20k.org. Become a...more

  • #60 | Do Not Disturb

    Feb 11 2019

    Alarm sounds have been around almost as long as humans themselves. But as our world has transformed, so have they. Today’s alarms are having an unexpected effect on our minds and bodies, and can even be putting our lives at risk when we’re at our most vulnerable. Dr Judy Edworthy and Yoko Sen talk to us about our alarming sound environment, and how it can be improved.  20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Follow the show on Twitter & Fac...more

  • #59 | BLUE! 42!

    Jan 28 2019

    For decades, NFL strategy slowly evolved from each team running a dozen different plays, to rigid schemes with coaches sending in orders through codewords and secret signals. Then, one piece of audio technology revolutionized the game. Beginning in the early 1990's, the NFL allowed coaches to speak directly to their quarterbacks through radios in their helmets. What followed was an instant increase in excitement for the nation's most popular sport, spawning a high-scoring era of fast paced offen...more

  • #58 | Silence

    Jan 14 2019

    Our world is filled with sound. It exists in even the quietest corners of the planet. But what happens when all that sound is taken away? What is silence? There are very few places on Earth where silence actually exists, but in this episode, Dallas experiences it for himself thanks to a special room called an anechoic chamber. How do our brains process the complete nothingness of silence? Find out as Dallas locks himself alone inside the chamber. Featuring David Alvord and Nick Breen from the Ge...more

  • What is 20k? (2019 Trailer)

    Jan 11 2019

    Twenty Thousand Hertz is a lovingly crafted podcast that tells the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds. Subscribe now.

  • #57 | Space Remix

    Dec 26 2018

    What happens when we leave Earth's thin blanket of atmosphere, and what do other planets sound like? In this special episode, we have completely remixed one of our favorite shows! It's been re-written, re-edited, re-narrated, has new music, and even some new additional content. If you've heard the original, you'll definitely want to check out this remixed and remastered version. Featuring Dr. Lori Glaze, Dr. Keith Noll, Dr. Scott Guzewich from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. 20K is host...more

  • #56 | Boots 'n Cats

    Dec 10 2018

    Beatboxing began as an imitation of a drum machine, but over the decades it has evolved as a means to emulate any number of percussive sounds. Now beatboxing is being studied by scientists who are fascinated by the vocal dexterity of artists. By examining beatboxing scientists are hoping to unlock mysteries behind language formation, brain function, and the capacity of humans to recreate sound. Featuring Hip Hop Artist and Beat Boxer, Baba Israel and USC Engineering Professor, Shri Narayanan.&nb...more

  • #55 | Being George Clooney

    Nov 26 2018

    Hollywood films are huge internationally. But how are these films adapted for foreign languages? We delve into the not so talked about process of dubbing. Featuring the world's most popular voice actors, directors, and producers. Featuring: Andre Sogliuzzo, John Ptak, Shaktee Singh, Debra Chinn, Martin Umbach, Tamer Karadagli, Francesco Pannofino, Detlef Bierstedt, Marco Antonio Costa, Paul Dergarabedian, Rajesh Khattar, Christian Brückner, Emanuela Rossi, Chiara Barzini, Irene Ranzato, Cla...more

  • #54 | Xbox Startup Sound

    Nov 12 2018

    The Xbox startup sound is an audio logo that’s become synonymous with the game console. But its origins are rooted in solving a logistical problem; how to entertain gamers while they wait for their machines to finish booting up. Featuring Sound Designer and Composer Brian Schmidt and Sound Designer, Composer and Berklee Professor, Michael Sweet. Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Sign up for Musicbed Membership music.20k.o...more

  • #53 | Theater for the Mind

    Oct 29 2018

    The "golden age of radio drama" may have been a stellar period for storytelling -- but the stories weren't all golden bright. Sci-fi and horror radio dramas explored deep anxieties people felt from the Depression through the Cold War, and set the stage for later stories that couldn't be told yet without special effects. Eric Molinsky of the podcast Imaginary Worlds co-hosts this episode as we hear from historians like Neil Verma and Richard J. Hand, and radio drama veterans like Dirk Maggs and R...more

  • #52 | The Theremin

    Oct 15 2018

    If you've ever watched an old sci-fi or horror film, you've probably heard the hair-tingling, alien sounds of the Theremin. It's a spooky, strange instrument that's played without being touched, and has become a staple for classic horror movies. This is the story of the Theremin's mysterious journey. Featuring Thereminist Rob Schwimmer, Michelle Moog-Koussa, daughter of Bob Moog and Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation, and Albert Glinsky, courtesy of Moog Music. 20K is made out of...more

  • #51 | Classic Cartoon Sound Effects!

    Oct 01 2018

    Cartoon sound effects are some of the most iconic sounds ever made. Even modern cartoons continue to use the same sound effects from decades ago. How were these legendary sounds made and how have they stood the test of time? Featuring Oscar-winning sound designer Mark Mangini of the Formosa Group, and Advantage Audio’s Heather Olsen. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Help us make 20k - become a sustaining, recurring contributor.  Sig...more

  • #50 | Twenty Thousand Hertz

    Sep 17 2018

    50 episodes! When we launched this podcast two years ago, we never imagined our passion project would come this far. To mark the occasion, we’re taking a peek behind the scenes of the show. Join the Defacto Sound team as they take you into the inspiration, creation, and people behind Twenty Thousand Hertz.  Check out Defacto Sound, the studios that produced Twenty Thousand Hertz, hosted by Dallas Taylor. Get a free month of Splice at splice.com/20k and enter promo code 20k. C...more

  • #49 | Jingles

    Sep 04 2018

    Odds are if we asked you sing your favorite advertising jingle from when you were a kid, you’d be able to recall every single lyric. Yet we don’t hear many advertising jingles these days. Why is that? This is the story of the rise, fall, and brain science of the jingle. In this episode we talk to UCLA’s Timothy D. Taylor, author of The Sounds of Capitalism, and Durham University’s Kelly Jakubowski. 20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Get a free ...more

  • #48 | Sonic Branding

    Aug 20 2018

    We are constantly exposed to sonic branding in television, radio, and web commercials. We deconstruct some of the most impactful audio logos in history and explain how the brain interprets them. Featuring Scott Simonelli, CEO of Veritonic and Walter Werzowa, founder of Musikvergnuegen.  Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound. To find out how WeTransfer is proud of their privacy policy, click here.  Try ZipRecruit...more

  • #47 | Loop Groups

    Aug 06 2018

    Invisible actors create worlds of sound in everything you watch - from Jaws to The Wire. With special guests, Carl Gottlieb, screenwriter and author of "The Jaws Log"; Dann Fink, loop group director and co-owner of Loopers Unlimited; Stuart Stanley, Sound Supervisor; loop group members Eboni Booth, Dennis Carnegie, Axel Avin, Jr., Shannon Burkett, Daphne Gaines, and Rashad Edwards; and Will Ralston, supervising sound editor for The Wire, The Deuce, and Treme. 20K is made out of the studios ...more

  • #46 | Slot Machines

    Jul 23 2018

    What do you hear when you walk into a Casino? It can feel like chaos, but each sound is carefully curated to draw you in and make you stay. One collection of sounds are scientifically and artistically designed to keep the gambler, gambling. Slot machines. This episode features interviews with Willie Wilcox, Chief Sound Designer at Scientific Games in Las Vegas, Laura Taylor, composer and sound designer for a number of slot machines across the US, and Karen Collins, who has led extensive research...more

  • #45 | Misophonia

    Jul 09 2018

    The way our brains process sound affects the way we respond to sound. This episode is about why that happens in those who suffer from misophonia, the hatred of certain sounds. Featuring researcher Dr. Phillip Gander, psychologist Dr. Ali Mattu, and misophonics Meredith Rosol and Josh Furnas.  Check out Defacto Sound, the studios that produced Twenty Thousand Hertz, hosted by Dallas Taylor. Check out wetransfer.com for all of your file sending needs! Go to forhims.com/20k for ...more

  • #44 | THX Deep Note, Part 2

    Jun 25 2018

    Whether you're 6 years old, or 96 years old, one of the most memorable parts of going to the movies for the last three decades has been the THX "Deep Note" trailer. Unfortunately, they lost the original sound file. What happened? Also, what do sound designers & musicians think about it? Featuring Andy Moorer, creator of “The Deep Note” and global director of marketing for THX, Rob Cowles. The episode also features Musician, Producer and Professor Thomas Dolby, and Scott  Simonelli, the ...more

  • #43 | THX Deep Note, Part 1

    Jun 11 2018

    Since 1983 one of the most memorable parts of going to the movies has been the THX certification played during the previews. The accompanying sound logo called “The Deep Note” has fascinated, terrified, and mystified audiences for over three decades. What is THX really?  How was “The Deep Note” created?  And why does it elicit such a reaction from those who hear it?  Featuring Andy Moorer, creator of “The Deep Note” and global director of marketing for THX, Rob Cowles.  ...more

  • #42 | Amen Break

    May 29 2018

    There’s a sample of music that’s been heard in over 2,000 songs. Odds are you’ve heard it many times and didn’t even realize you were listening to the same breakbeat. The amen break might be the most sampled piece of music in history. Where did it come from? This episode features interviews with artist Nate Harrison and Grammy-winner Richard Louis Spencer. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Check out wetransfer.com for all of your file sending ...more

  • #41 | Ultrasonic Tracking

    May 14 2018

    Did you know your phone is a really good listener? Apps on your phone might be sending and receiving data over ultrasound. Ultrasonic communication is used for everything from tracking your daily habits to enabling light shows at music festivals. We hear from Yale Privacy Lab's Sean O’Brien and Michael Kwet, and privacy and technology counsel Katie McInnis. We also discuss the more positive uses of data over sound with LISNR CEO and co-founder Rodney Williams.​​​​​​​ Twenty Thousand Hertz i...more

  • #40 | ASMR

    Apr 30 2018

    Do certain sounds give you the head tingles? If yes, this episode is full of ear candy for you! In this episode, we learn all about the phenomenon called autonomous sensory meridian response—or ASMR for short. This soothing episode features researchers Giulia Poerio (University of Sheffield), Craig Richard (ASMRuniversity.com), and ASMR artists Gentle Whispering, Jellybean Green, and Somni Rosae - as well as the team at Defacto Sound! Check out Defacto Sound, the studios that produced Twent...more

  • #39 | Live Theater

    Apr 16 2018

    Amazing concerts, Broadway musicals, Cirque du Soliel performances, and other live shows live and die on their sound design. This is the story of how sound design for live performances went from zero to speakers in the seats and where the industry might go next. This episode features interviews with sound design legends Abe Jacob and Jonathan Deans. 20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Get a 4 week trial plus a digital scale at Stamps.com. Type i...more

  • #38 | The Music in Speech

    Apr 02 2018

    The way you speak has rhythm, timbre, and pitch. It’s more like music than you might think. We chat with The Allusionist host Helen Zaltzman, Martin Zaltz Austwick from Song by Song, Music Psychologist Dr. Ani Patel of Tufts University, and Drum Composer David Dockery on how musical our speech really is. Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Get $50 off select Casper mattresses at casper.com/20k. Consider supporting the ...more

  • #37 | Seizure Sonification

    Mar 19 2018

    Brant Guichard has heard "The Music" for as long as he can remember. Brant has a particular type of epilepsy where he hears what are called "musical auras" whenever he has a seizure. Brian Foo, aka the Data Driven DJ, introduces a different musical element to Brant's experience of seizure. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Get a 4 week trial plus a digital scale at Stamps.com. Just click on the Radio Microphone at the top of the homepage and t...more

  • #36 | Hamilton

    Mar 05 2018

    Broadway’s award-winning, record-breaking, smash hit, Hamilton, is a musical unlike any other. Get the story from people in the room where it happens of how sound helps tell the musical’s story eight times a week. We talk to Nevin Steinberg, Hamilton’s Tony-nominated sound designer, Benny Reiner, Grammy-winning Hamilton percussionist, Anna-Lee Craig, Hamilton on Broadway A2, and Broadway sound design legend Abe Jacob. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and...more

  • #35 | Emergency Alert System

    Feb 19 2018

    When people in Hawaii were falsely alerted of a Ballistic Missile threat, the first thing they heard was the sound of an emergency alert. For decades, this tone has alerted us to local weather emergencies and other important events, but it has never been used for its original purpose. In this episode, we explore the history of the Emergency Alert System and its predecessors. Featuring Kelly Williams, from the National Association of Broadcasters, Frank Lucia former EAS advisor for the FCC, and W...more

  • #34 | Muzak

    Feb 05 2018

    “Elevator music” was once the sound of restaurants, offices, and elevators in mid-20th century America. But ironically these bland, string-driven instrumental tracks are never heard in elevators anymore. In this episode, we speak with Joseph Lanza, the author of “Elevator Music,” and Julian Treasure, chairman of The Sound Agency, about the sound of Muzak -- the company that changed the way we think public spaces should sound.  20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios ...more

  • #33 | Six O'Clock Soundtrack

    Jan 22 2018

    Ever wonder how the music on your favorite news stations is created? Dive in with news music appreciator + journalist Victor Vlam; Composer Matthew Kajcienski, Composer Irad Eshel, Composer Adarsh Thottetodi, Composer David Lowe, Musicologist James Deaville, Film and TV studies Professor Deborah Jaramillo to find out. Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript,...more

  • #32 | 3149146093

    Jan 08 2018

    A mysterious Tweet from one of the most famous people on Earth: A single phone number, zero context. What does it mean? Why was it posted? Would you call it to find out? For commercial director Duncan Wolfe, this hypothetical became a very real social experiment when his cell phone number was accidentally posted on a very public Twitter account—Former First Lady Michelle Obama! 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at ...more

  • #31 | The Gift

    Dec 25 2017

    The science behind sound reproduction has been studied for centuries. But what will research uncover in the centuries to come? One man made it his life’s mission to find out, and a gift he made to the world will continue that mission for the foreseeable future. Explore the extraordinary life of Dr. Amar Bose in this special holiday episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz. Featuring Ken Jacob from Bose. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylo...more

  • #30 | The Bleeps, the Sweeps, and the Creeps!

    Dec 11 2017

    There are sounds we interact with every single day and never give a second thought. Our phones, computers, cars, and other devices are constantly communicating with us through user interface sounds and it’s their job to be heard, but not distracting. In this episode, we speak with Will Littlejohn, Facebook’s Director of Sound Design, and Conor O’Sullivan, Sound Design Lead at Google, about the sounds they create that help connect families, friends, and communities. Check out Defacto Sound, ...more

  • #29 | Let It Beep

    Nov 27 2017

    For over two decades, every time you turned on a Mac, you were greeted by a familiar sound. It’s appeared as a punchline in The Simpsons, and in movies like WALL•E. It’s a sound some of us tried to hide from our parents as we turned on the computer in the middle of the night. It’s a sound that’s transcended technology; the sound that makes a Mac feel like a Mac. But no longer; the iconic Mac startup chime is going away. But, while we all recognize the sound, we rarely think of who made it. ...more

  • #28 | Disney Parks

    Nov 13 2017

    Theme parks have a way of transporting us to magical places, and sound is crucial in maintaining the illusion. From the most action-packed attractions to the background music playing between park areas, theme park sound designers have thought of it all. In this episode, we speak to Joe Herrington and Mike Fracassi, two Disney Imagineers who work to maintain the magic for guests of Disney Parks. Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound...more

  • #27 | Spooky Sounds

    Oct 30 2017

    We uncover how scary sound effects are created in horror films as well as dissect how sound triggers the fear mechanisms in humans. Featuring Formosa Group Senior Sound Editor/Sound Designer Trevor Gates and Dan Blumstein, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript, music, and credits can be found here. 

  • #26 | Acoustical Umbilical Cord

    Oct 17 2017

    Many animals, humans included, are natural-born criers. It’s the most basic form of communication from right when we come into the world. But us humans are unique: we keep on crying until the day we die. What was born as a survival mechanism, develops a deeper fundamental need as we grow older. In this episode, we discover the hard-wiring in our brains that reach across species, and how our tears into adulthood make us distinctively human. Featuring Dr. Susan Lingle, Behavioral Ecologist at the ...more

  • #25 | Level Up

    Oct 03 2017

    Video games are a growing industry and every play-controlled experience is defined by its harmony of music, sound effects, and voice acting. In this episode, we reveal how these elements of a video game's soundscape are crafted and come together to tell an interactive story. The most sophisticated sound design in video games allows those without the ability to see a chance to engage with some of our greatest modern entertainment. Featuring Microsoft Sound Designer, Zachary Quarles, and ArenaNet ...more

  • #24 | Watergate

    Sep 19 2017

    Watergate might be the most widely-referenced scandal in our nation’s history. The actual word itself has been appropriated in order to name many later scandals. But for a new generation of Americans, the word Watergate might not mean much. What was it? Who was involved and why was it important? Featuring Luke Nichter, author of The Nixon Tapes, and founder of NixonTapes.org. 20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Consider supporting the show at do...more

  • #23 | Sonic Seasoning

    Sep 05 2017

    Taste is one of our most subjective of the five senses. A flavor that elicits delight in one individual may evoke strong disgust in another. And while we all have a basic understanding of flavor, we rarely think about the other sonic factors that may be affecting how we interpret different tastes. In this episode, we consider the relationship between sound and taste, and the power certain sounds can have over our taste buds. Featuring Charles Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at...more

  • #22 | Fight or Flight

    Aug 22 2017

    Are you afraid to fly? Does even the thought of boarding an airplane make you anxious? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from clinical aviophobia. While some manage to distract themselves long enough to endure a flight, countless others avoid flying altogether. What are those mysterious sounds that trigger our fears on airplanes? And how do we keep our anxieties from interfering with our lives? Featuring Dr. Devika Fiorillo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety ...more

  • #21 | Sound Firsts

    Aug 08 2017

    What is the oldest recorded sound in history? For over 100 years researchers thought they knew until a mind-blowing discovery by historians found something new - and technological advances allowed it to be played back for the first time in history. What is the oldest recording of a musical performance, president, battlefield, television broadcast, cell phone call, and more? Featuring Patrick Feaster, co-founder of FirstSounds.org, three-time Grammy nominee, and Ph.D. in Musicology as well as Lyn...more

  • #20 | Noise Pollution

    Jul 25 2017

    Noise pollution is something we’ve all experienced. Road construction, motorcycles, passing aircraft - the list goes on and on. Other than being just plain annoying, what effect does noise pollution have on our lives? In this episode, we take a look at the physical and psychological effects of noise pollution on humans, as well as the wider and equally devastating environmental repercussions. Featuring Les Blomberg, executive director of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, and Rachel Buxton, acou...more

  • #19 | 20,000 dBs Under the Sea

    Jul 11 2017

    71% of the Earth is covered by water. And most of us imagine it to be a serene, almost silent world. But why should we have all the fun up here? Discover what sound is like just below the surface and all the way down to the ocean's depths. And see how mankind might be making it unpleasant for everyone and everything that calls the oceans home.Featuring underwater acoustician Al Jones, Professor John Hildebrand from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Christophe Haubursin from Vox.com on...more

  • #18 | Evolution of Accents

    Jun 27 2017

    When you describe yourself to others you might mention your height, hairstyle, or maybe your build. But one of the most telling things about you is something you can’t even see, yet it defines you more than you realize. Your accent tells others where you’re from, who you identify with, and maybe even where you’re going. How did accents evolve and why are American accents so different from British accents? Featuring Hollywood Dialect Coach Erik Singer and Linguistics Professor Dr. Walt Wolfram.&n...more

  • #17 | Forensic Audio

    Jun 13 2017

    You might not realize it, but audio can be just as crucial to solving a case than video or eyewitness testimony. But understanding how to interpret audio evidence, or having the ability to enhance it to a point of intelligibility, requires highly-specialized training and expensive software. Meet Kent Gibson, one of the country's leading forensic audio experts, who's done audio analysis for the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, among many others, and get his take o...more

  • #16 | The Wilhelm Scream

    May 30 2017

    When it comes to movie screams, what’s the first one you think of? Is it a scream that evokes a sense of fear, pain, or maybe even… humor? Perhaps you immediately think about a famous “Scream Queen” or a specific scene from a movie. But you may not realize that the most famous scream in Hollywood has a name—and it’s been used over and over and over in countless films, television shows, and commercials. What makes it so good? And how did it become a filmmaker favorite? Featuring Steve Lee, sound ...more

  • #15 | Voice Acting

    May 16 2017

    We hear disembodied voices all the time, in everything from cartoons and anime to commercials and trailers. It seems easy, but it's actually an intricate craft involving a great amount of training. What does it take to create multiple, unique personalities using only a voice? Featuring voice actors Christopher Sabat (Dragonball Z, One Piece) and Cissy Jones (Firewatch, The Walking Dead). Check out Defacto Sound, the studios that produced Twenty Thousand Hertz, hosted by Dallas Taylor. ...more

  • #14 | Hearing Loss

    May 02 2017

    Our ears are sensitive, but we often don’t treat them that way. We are born with the ability to hear up to 20,000 Hz. As we age, our hearing range diminishes. On top of that, the more exposure we have to loud sounds, the greater the impact it has on our ability to hear. Find out what happens once we start to lose our hearing. Featuring Lindsay Prusick and Shaheem Sanchez (Instagram). 20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Consider supporting the sh...more

  • #13 | The Good, the Bad & the Irritating

    Apr 18 2017

    Some sounds are like rug burn for your ears, while others are pleasant and soothing. We explore these sounds and get to the bottom of why we might interpret them as “good” or “bad”. Featuring Tommy Edison and David Poeppel.  Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript, music, and credits can be found here. 

  • #12 | Foley

    Apr 04 2017

    When you listen to a movie, everything the actor touches sounds crisp and clean. However, none of it was recorded on the movie set. Go behind the scenes with some of the unsung heroes of our movie experience. Featuring Fred Newman and Skywalker Sound’s Foley Team, John Roesch, Shelley Roden, and Scott Curtis. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript, music, and credits can be foun...more

  • #11 | Space

    Mar 21 2017

    When we think about sound, our only reference is what it’s like here on Earth. What happens when we leave this thin blanket of atmosphere, and what do other planets sound like? Featuring Dr. Lori Glaze, Dr. Keith Noll, Dr. Scott Guzewich from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript, music, and credits can be found here.&nb...more

  • #10 | Dolls That Talk... And Some That Listen

    Mar 07 2017

    Talking dolls have been around for over a century, but the fascination with making inanimate objects seem human reaches back into our early history. What is it about creating a companion that can interact with us, especially for a child, that fascinates us so? And what will that look like as our technology continues to advance? Featuring Carlene Stephens, Curator for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Claire Gartland of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Check o...more

  • #9 | Cars

    Feb 21 2017

    Some car sounds are more obvious like the horn or engine... but what about the not-obvious-until-you-point-them-out sounds like the hollow thud of a trunk or the click of a latch? The sounds a car makes are so closely associated with quality, so how, exactly, do car makers handle this aspect of the driving experience? Featuring Car Enthusiast & Sound Mixer Brian Garfield, David Zenlea from Road & Track, and Tom Teknos from Ford. 20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the stu...more

  • #8 | Audio Descriptions

    Feb 07 2017

    Did you know there might be a track of audio on your favorite movies and television shows that describe all of the actions on screen? This technology was designed for the visually impaired, but it could be used for the masses. It’s still not as widely provided as some would hope. Meet the consumers and activists fighting for a better-described tomorrow. Featuring Tommy Edison, Robert Kingett, and Colleen Connor. Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studio...more

  • #7 | Movie Soundtrack

    Jan 24 2017

    When you think of a movie soundtrack, you probably think music. And sure, that’s one of the many, many things going on there. What else goes into making a scene sound “natural”? It isn’t what you’d think. Meet a major motion picture sound designer who unpacks all the layers of sound that go into your favorite movies and a woman who gets tigers to sing... on tape. Featuring Sound Designers, Chris Aud and Ann Kroeber. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor...more

  • #6 | From Analog to Digital

    Jan 10 2017

    Did we lose anything when we transitioned from analog to digital? Learn about the Jedi skills old radio DJs had to have to spin vinyl on the radio, and meet a man who’s found himself trapped in a digital world and learn what he does to escape. Featuring Rick Adams and Craig Crane. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript, music, and credits can be found here....more

  • #5 | Sound of Extinction

    Dec 27 2016

    When was the last time you heard a dial-up modem? A dot matrix printer? A CD dropping into its plastic tray? Did you know it would be the last time? We talk to Rick Adams, a British reporter, about the impact of Big Ben being silenced for repairs next year and Madeline Ashby, a futurist, who has some pretty wild ideas of what sounds we’re about to lose... and have already lost but haven’t realized it yet.  Check out Defacto Sound, the studios that produced Twenty Thousand Hertz, hosted...more

  • #4 | Mystery Hum

    Dec 13 2016

    There's this place right at the border between Detroit, MI, and Windsor, ON where there's this hum… It rattles dishes, makes people sick, it's even making people move away. And the government does not want you to know what's making it. Explore the mystery of the Windsor Hum with the man who is working to get to the bottom of this strange government secret. Featuring documentarian Adam Makarenko. 20K is hosted by Dallas Taylor and made out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Consider suppo...more

  • #3 | 8-bit

    Nov 29 2016

    Primitive, yet iconic, 8-bit audio defined a generation through video game sounds and music. Discover the history and innovation behind those audio marvels that still fascinate today. Featuring Microsoft Sound Designer, Zachary Quarles, and David Murray, The 8-Bit Guy. Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org  Episode transcript, music, and credits can be found here. ...more

  • #2 | NBC Chimes

    Nov 15 2016

    NBC’s three little chimes didn’t just define a television network, they defined a generation. Where did they come from and what is the surprising impact they have had on current and future media? Featuring the last person to play the NBC chimes on the NBC radio network, broadcaster Rick Greenhut, and radio historian, John Schneider. 20K is made out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Episode transcript, music,...more

  • #1 | Siri

    Nov 01 2016

    When Siri launched in 2011, she permanently changed the way people interacted with their technology. What was it like to be the voice behind that voice? And how did they make that voice come to life? Featuring the original voice of Siri, voice actor Susan Bennett, and Director of Speech to Text Technology for Nuance, Dr. Andrew Breen. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.org Ep...more