Twenty Thousand Hertz

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

Arts
Music
Design
1
#114 | Synesthesia
What’s it like to see sounds and taste names?
25 min
2
Introducing Twenty Thousand Hertz
2 min
3
#113 | Sing Gently
How an internet choir connects singers around the world at a time when they can't sing together.
33 min
4
#112 | Sounds Worth Saving
Legendary music archivist Alan Lomax made it his life's work to preserve and promote the sounds of local culture.
24 min
5
#111 | Conlang
From Klingon to Elvish, what makes a good constructed language?
26 min
6
#110 | Space Audity
The mind-boggling technology behind space communication.
21 min
7
#109 | Sonic Utopia
What can we expect the future to sound like, and how can we build a sonic utopia?
25 min
8
#108 | Sound and Silence
The way we each experience sound depends on so many unique factors, from tiny receptors in our ears to the way we were taught to communicate.
48 min
9
#107 | Dies Irae
How a four-note melody from the 13th century became a movie soundtrack superstar.
26 min
10
#106 | Perfect Pitch
What's it like when every sound you hear—from the whir of the coffee grinder to the beep of the microwave—all sound like musical notes?
27 min
11
#105 | Tyrannosaurus FX
The sound design wizardry behind the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, and how these sounds compare to what dinos REALLY sounded like.
23 min
12
#104 | Napster
The stunning rise and fall of Napster, and how it transformed the music industry in a few short years.
36 min
13
#103 | Vocal Discords
A diagnosis of vocal nodes is every singer's worst nightmare. But when nodes develop, is all hope truly lost?
21 min
14
#102 | Deepfake Dallas
Is your voice your own? Maybe not anymore.
22 min
15
#101 | The City That Never Sleeps
The link between chronic noise and chronic anxiety may be closer than we realize.
23 min
16
#100 | Ta-dum! It's Netflix
The never-before-told story behind the iconic Netflix sound.
21 min
17
#99 | McElroys, Mysteries and Me
The McElroy brothers, hosts of My Brother, My Brother and Me, compete in a heated and hilarious game of mystery sounds.
41 min
18
#98 | Hamilton Remix
How the sound design of Hamilton draws the audience into the story.
28 min
19
#97 | Stop... Collaborate & Listen
Theft or inspiration? Part two of a deep dive into the complicated world of copyright, sampling and the ability to own a song.
23 min
20
#96 | Copyrights & Wrongs
Theft or inspiration? Part one of a deep dive into the complicated world of Copyright.
24 min
21
#95 | Makin' Whoopee!
The history and science behind our favorite fart sound-maker, the whoopee cushion.
26 min
22
#94 | Pew Pew
The story behind the sound design of Star Wars: How legendary Sound Designer Ben Burtt helped transport audiences to a galaxy far, far away.
29 min
23
#93 | That's All Folks!
The story of Mel Blanc, Part 2. The accident, recovery, and passing of the torch.
20 min
24
#92 | Ehh... What's Up, Doc?
The early life and career of Mel Blanc.
24 min
25
#91 | Twenty Parts Per Thousand
The stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting smells.
21 min
26
#90 | Cremona
The story of a town that stayed quiet to preserve an instrument they love.
23 min
27
#89 | Satanic Panic!
Warning: Listening to this episode might entice you to worship the devil.
28 min
28
#88 | Noise "R" Us
A nostalgic history of toy sounds.
25 min
29
#87 | Good Vibes
We know music can affect our moods, but its influence over us goes even deeper, and has the power to heal, harm, and manipulate us.
25 min
30
#86 | 4′33″
The story behind one of the most controversial, and influential, pieces of music of the 20th Century.
31 min
31
#85 | Seinfeld
A theme song about nothing: how it was created, what makes it so unique, and how it became one of the most iconic theme songs in TV history.
26 min
32
#84 | Sonic Wonderland
Take your ears on a mini vacation as we celebrate the sonic wonders of the world.
18 min
33
#83 | Historically Speaking
How we shape language to our needs, and how it shapes us in return.
26 min
34
#82 | Vroom Vroom
A song of fuel and fire - what’s happening inside your car engine?
26 min
35
#81 I Baby Shark
The history and future of one of the biggest viral sensations ever.
36 min
36
#80 I Virtual Choir
The story of the internet choir connecting people from around the world to share the joy of singing.
25 min
37
#79 I The Price is Right (Yeah, Yeah!)
The story behind one of the most recognizable TV show themes ever.
18 min
38
#78 | The Loudness Wars
We take a deep dive into the Loudness War, and look for signs of hope in the modern age.
32 min
39
#77 | The [COMPRESSED] History of Mastering
A look at the mystical art of mastering from its analog beginnings to the digital world of today.
27 min
40
#76 I You've Got Mail!
The most recognizable 3 words of the early internet age + the birth of a whole new musical instrument.
20 min
41
#75 I Speak Easy
How to find your voice.
18 min
42
#74 I Hear Here!
The story of how acoustics changed our history, and how we might use it to better our world today.
19 min
43
#73 I Stradivarius
The story behind the most valuable violins in the world.
22 min
44
#72 | 808
The story of the drum machine that (accidentally) changed music forever.
23 min
45
#71 | Soundmarks®
How sonic branding shapes a brand.
26 min
46
#70 | Deaf Gain
The story of how a revolutionary implant sparked a human rights movement.
22 min
47
#69 | Plants that Sing
For plants and the people who love them.
20 min
48
#68 | Sonic Illusions
Our hearing can be deceiving.
20 min
49
#67 | Mother of Dragons(ounds)
Hear from the sound designer who gave a voice to the dragons, direwolves, white walkers, and more in Game of Thrones.
19 min
50
#66 | Sound Escapes
Sound Tracker Gordon Hempton gives us a masterclass on how to listen.
28 min
51
#65 | Voyager Golden Record
The most epic album of all time isn’t even on Earth. It’s over 11 billion miles away.
31 min
52
#64 | Birdsong
The story of how birdbrains produce the most complex sounds in the natural world.
24 min
53
#63 | Phone Tones
The touch tone sounds from our phones might be slowly going extinct.
22 min
54
#62 | The Booj
The story of the sounds you always hear in movie trailers, but never noticed... until now.
22 min
55
#61 | Dining on Decibels
The story behind how restaurants became so darn loud.
21 min
56
#60 | Do Not Disturb
The story of how alarms and alerts came to rule, and endanger, our lives.
24 min
57
#59 | BLUE! 42!
How headsets revolutionized American football.
23 min
58
#58 | Silence
Dallas is locked into an anechoic chamber to experience how our brains process complete silence.
21 min
59
#57 | Space Remix
A completely remixed version of our favorite episode, where we explore what other plants sound like.
19 min
60
#56 | Boots 'n Cats
The evolution & science of beatboxing.
21 min
61
#55 | Being George Clooney
Explore how Hollywood films are adapted for foreign languages.
30 min
62
#54 | Xbox Startup Sound
How the designers of the Xbox startup sounds overcame tight parameters to come up with an iconic audio logo.
21 min
63
#53 | Theater for the Mind
The stories behind the golden age of sci-fi and horror radio dramas.
29 min
64
#52 | The Theremin
The story behind this infamous, spooky-sounding instrument.
25 min
65
#51 | Classic Cartoon Sound Effects!
How were old cartoon sounds made, and how did they become so iconic?
27 min
66
#50 | Twenty Thousand Hertz
A behind the scenes look at the inspiration and creation of Twenty Thousand Hertz.
31 min
67
#49 | Jingles
What is the story behind these unforgettable earworms?
28 min
68
#48 | Sonic Branding
The story behind audio logos and what makes them so powerful.
24 min
69
#47 | Loop Groups
We go behind the scene with the actors responsible for bringing your TV and film backgrounds to life.
25 min
70
#46 | Slot Machines
The sound design and science behind today's slot machines.
16 min
71
#45 | Misophonia
The hatred of sound.
16 min
72
#44 | THX Deep Note, Part 2
What happened after THX lost its iconic "Deep Note"?
25 min
73
#43 | THX Deep Note, Part 1
What was the point of the THX "deep note" and why do we love it so much?
23 min
74
#42 | Amen Break
The history of what might be the most sampled piece of music ever.
21 min
75
#41 | Ultrasonic Tracking
Your phone might be eavesdropping on you.
21 min
76
#40 | ASMR
We explore the autonomous sensory meridian response, a phenomenon where certain sounds can trigger a pleasant physical reaction.
22 min
77
#39 | Live Theater
Sound design's critical role in theater and concerts.
20 min
78
#38 | The Music in Speech
Your voice is an instrument, and the way you choose to sing your words can communicate a lot.
15 min
79
#37 | Seizure Sonification
Brant Guichard hears music every time he has a seizure.
26 min
80
#36 | Hamilton
Find out how sound design draws the audience into the story.
27 min
81
#35 | Emergency Alert System
Explore the history of the notification system that keeps us safe.
23 min
82
#34 | Muzak
The company that changed the way public spaces sound.
16 min
83
#33 | Six O'Clock Soundtrack
How television news got its score.
23 min
84
#32 | 3149146093
What does Twitter sound like when it comes to life?
22 min
85
#31 | The Gift
In this special Holiday Edition, we uncover an incredible gift to sound and research.
21 min
86
#30 | The Bleeps, the Sweeps, and the Creeps!
We explore user interface sounds.
22 min
87
#29 | Let It Beep
Who was behind the infamous Mac sounds that have become part of your daily routine?
16 min
88
#28 | Disney Parks
How does sound design shape our theme park experience?
19 min
89
#27 | Spooky Sounds
How does Hollywood create the terrifying sounds in our favorite scary movies, and why does our brain react to those sounds with fear?
23 min
90
#26 | Acoustical Umbilical Cord
Why do we cry? ...and how do our tears in adulthood make us distinctively human?
20 min
91
#25 | Level Up
Games are often defined by their graphics. How does sound for games work?
20 min
92
#24 | Watergate
How did an open reel tape recorder secretly planted in the White House basement lead to the demise of the 37th President of the United States?
23 min
93
#23 | Sonic Seasoning
How does our sense of hearing affect our taste buds?
16 min
94
#22 | Fight or Flight
Does flying make you nervous? You’re not alone. Dive into the psychological aspects of how sound can trigger these fears, and find out what all of those sounds really are.
23 min
95
#21 | Sound Firsts
What are the oldest sound recordings in history?
26 min
96
#20 | Noise Pollution
Airplanes, construction, motorcycles - How have these everyday sounds affected our lives and what are the environmental and health repercussions?
17 min
97
#19 | 20,000 dBs Under the Sea
How has increased ocean traffic affected underwater life? ...and what can we do to reverse these effects?
21 min
98
#18 | Evolution of Accents
You may not realize it, but your accent is a window to who you are and where you come from. How do accents evolve?
23 min
99
#17 | Forensic Audio
Deciphering audio has become crucial to solving cases, but how do specialists interpret audio evidence?
15 min
100
#16 | The Wilhelm Scream
A history of the most iconic scream in movie history that you’ve definitely heard, but might not have heard of.
17 min