Twenty Thousand Hertz

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

Arts
Design
Music
1
1-900-20K-HRTZ
The rise and fall of 900 numbers.
34 min
2
Tokyo Rose
How a Japanese-American radio host became one of the most despised voices of World War II.
24 min
3
TikTalk
Meet the voices of TikTok.
23 min
4
Ted Lasso's Dark Forest
The winning sound design behind Ted Lasso.
30 min
5
Handbook for Sonic Happiness
Practical tips for making your world sound better so that you feel better.
42 min
6
Shock Horror (A)
Dun dun duuun!
27 min
7
Sleight of Ear
Dallas reveals the tricks of the trade.
24 min
8
Introducing MicroHertz
A new show on Twenty Thousand Hertz+.
3 min
9
Breathe
A story from Dallas’ former life.
32 min
10
Relearning Boléro
Can we really trust our ears?
38 min
11
Ghosts in the (Hit) Machine
Inside the secretive world of ghostwriting and ghost producing.
27 min
12
Windows_Logon.wav
The death and rebirth of the Windows startup sound.
31 min
13
Ta-da! It’s Windows
Start me up.
26 min
14
Liquid Terror
The sound that haunts Hollywood.
24 min
15
Mind the Gap
Stand clear of the closing doors, please.
32 min
16
Hidden Hitmakers
Who writes the hits for the pop stars?
30 min
17
Happy Little Episode
How a soft-spoken, poofy-haired painter changed the world, one gentle word at a time.
41 min
18
Pirate Radio
How a group of scrappy radio pirates changed the course of music history.
33 min
19
Being Dallas Taylor
What’s in a name?
40 min
20
Sul Sul
The secrets of Simlish, the gibberish language of The Sims.
25 min
21
Welcome to Twenty Thousand Hertz
Uncovering the secrets of the sonic world.
2 min
22
Aural Exam
The hosts of Underunderstood go head to head in our annual Mystery Sound game.
37 min
23
HBO 2.0
How HBO reconciled its analog past with its digital future.
25 min
24
It's Not TV. It's HBO.
How HBO crafted two of the most iconic pieces of sonic branding in history.
23 min
25
Zzzzzzzzzzzrr...
If you live with a snorer, it can be tricky to roll out of bed after a night of little sleep.
40 min
26
Creature Speakers
How do you voice over 200 monsters?
26 min
27
Video(less) Games
The ins and outs of gaming without sight.
24 min
28
Blind Sports
Keep your ears on the ball.
21 min
29
Listening to the Movies
Hearing is believing.
27 min
30
Sonic Bubbles
Self-control through sound control.
24 min
31
Domestic Symphony
What happens when dryers and dishwashers get the sound design treatment?
22 min
32
The Windsor Hum
Cracking the case of a sonic mystery.
13 min
33
The Buzzer
Tuning in to spy radio.
31 min
34
Stay Tuned
The new voices of the Looney Tunes.
25 min
35
Prop 'til You Drop
The secret tools of Foley Artists.
21 min
36
Foley Artists
The secrets behind the subtle art of Foley.
20 min
37
The Leaky Pipeline
A story within a story about pioneering women in audio.
25 min
38
Auditory Icons
Why are some device sounds pleasing, while others stress us out?
16 min
39
Progression Obsession
From Pachelbel's Canon, to the Ice Cream Changes, to the Four Chords, we examine the most-used chord changes in pop music.
25 min
40
SM7
How the Shure SM7 became one of the most game-changing vocal microphones of all time.
22 min
41
Minecraft
Crafting the music and sounds of Minecraft.
24 min
42
20th Century Fox
The history and future of the 20th Century Fox fanfare.
24 min
43
The Deterrent Tone
What happens when you get hit with a “sound cannon?”
20 min
44
I'm Lovin' It
Ba da ba ba ba.
23 min
45
Sound 101 with Bill Nye
Listen up! It’s time to go back to basics on the physics of sound.
22 min
46
Synesthesia
What’s it like to see sounds and taste names?
25 min
47
Sing Gently
How an internet choir connects singers around the world at a time when they can't sing together.
33 min
48
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
49
Conlang
From Klingon to Elvish, what makes a good constructed language?
26 min
50
Space Audity
The mind-boggling technology behind space communication.
21 min
51
Sonic Utopia
What can we expect the future to sound like, and how can we build a sonic utopia?
25 min
52
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
53
Dies Irae
How a four-note melody from the 13th century became a movie soundtrack superstar.
26 min
54
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
55
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
56
Napster
The stunning rise and fall of Napster, and how it transformed the music industry in a few short years.
36 min
57
Vocal Discords
A diagnosis of vocal nodes is every singer's worst nightmare. But when nodes develop, is all hope truly lost?
21 min
58
Deepfake Dallas
Is your voice your own? Maybe not anymore.
22 min
59
The City That Never Sleeps
The link between chronic noise and chronic anxiety may be closer than we realize.
23 min
60
Ta-dum! It's Netflix
The never-before-told story behind the iconic Netflix sound.
21 min
61
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
62
Hamilton Remix
How the sound design of Hamilton draws the audience into the story.
28 min
63
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
64
Copyrights & Wrongs
Theft or inspiration? Part one of a deep dive into the complicated world of Copyright.
24 min
65
Makin' Whoopee!
The history and science behind our favorite fart sound-maker, the whoopee cushion.
26 min
66
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
67
That's All Folks!
The story of Mel Blanc, Part 2. The accident, recovery, and passing of the torch.
20 min
68
Ehh... What's Up, Doc?
The early life and career of Mel Blanc.
24 min
69
Twenty Parts Per Thousand
The stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting smells.
21 min
70
Cremona
The story of a town that stayed quiet to preserve an instrument they love.
23 min
71
Satanic Panic!
Warning: Listening to this episode might entice you to worship the devil.
28 min
72
Noise "R" Us
A nostalgic history of toy sounds.
25 min
73
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
74
4′33″
The story behind one of the most controversial, and influential, pieces of music of the 20th Century.
31 min
75
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
76
Sonic Wonderland
Take your ears on a mini vacation as we celebrate the sonic wonders of the world.
18 min
77
Historically Speaking
How we shape language to our needs, and how it shapes us in return.
26 min
78
Vroom Vroom
A song of fuel and fire - what’s happening inside your car engine?
26 min
79
Baby Shark
The history and future of one of the biggest viral sensations ever.
36 min
80
Virtual Choir
The story of the internet choir connecting people from around the world to share the joy of singing.
25 min
81
The Price is Right (Yeah, Yeah!)
The story behind one of the most recognizable TV show themes ever.
18 min
82
The Loudness Wars
We take a deep dive into the Loudness War, and look for signs of hope in the modern age.
32 min
83
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
84
You've Got Mail!
The most recognizable 3 words of the early internet age + the birth of a whole new musical instrument.
20 min
85
Speak Easy
How to find your voice.
18 min
86
Hear Here!
The story of how acoustics changed our history, and how we might use it to better our world today.
19 min
87
Stradivarius
The story behind the most valuable violins in the world.
22 min
88
808
The story of the drum machine that (accidentally) changed music forever.
23 min
89
Soundmarks®
How sonic branding shapes a brand.
26 min
90
Deaf Gain
The story of how a revolutionary implant sparked a human rights movement.
22 min
91
Plants that Sing
For plants and the people who love them.
20 min
92
Sonic Illusions
Our hearing can be deceiving.
20 min
93
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
94
Sound Escapes
Sound Tracker Gordon Hempton gives us a masterclass on how to listen.
28 min
95
Voyager Golden Record
The most epic album of all time isn’t even on Earth. It’s over 11 billion miles away.
31 min
96
Birdsong
The story of how birdbrains produce the most complex sounds in the natural world.
24 min
97
Phone Tones
The touch tone sounds from our phones might be slowly going extinct.
22 min
98
The Booj
The story of the sounds you always hear in movie trailers, but never noticed... until now.
22 min
99
Dining on Decibels
The story behind how restaurants became so darn loud.
21 min
100
Do Not Disturb
The story of how alarms and alerts came to rule, and endanger, our lives.
24 min