Twenty Thousand Hertz

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

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