Twenty Thousand Hertz

Twenty Thousand Hertz

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

Episodes

February 24, 2021 27 min
Since its introduction in 2003, the McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle has become one of the most recognizable melodies in the world. This is the story of how a catchy five-note jingle conquered the planet, from its humble beginnings at a German ad agency, to being sung by globally famous pop stars. Featuring interviews with "I'm Lovin' It" composers Tom Batoy and Franco Tortora of Mona Davis Beat. Follow the show o...
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January 27, 2021 26 min
What is sound, on a fundamental level? How did animals evolve to hear? And what happens when you go faster than sound itself? In this episode, we explore the physics of sound with the legendary Bill Nye. Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook, & Reddit. Subscribe to our Youtube channel here. Become a monthly contributor at 20k.org/donate. If you know what this week's mystery sound is, tell us at mystery.20k.org. Subscribe to...
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January 13, 2021 30 min
Synesthesia is a neurological condition where one sensory experience gets combined with another, meaning someone might hear sounds when they eat, or see colors when they listen to music. So what exactly is synesthesia? And what’s it like to go through life with these unique sensory connections? Featuring the voices of neuroscientist Dr. Richard Cytowic and five people with synesthesia. Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook, & R...
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January 8, 2021 2 min
A lovingly crafted podcast that reveals the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds. Subscribe now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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December 16, 2020 37 min
After composer Eric Whitacre finished Virtual Choir number 5 in 2018, he thought the project might be done for good. But 2020 was just around the corner, and the Virtual Choir was far from over. For our last episode of the year, we've re-edited and remixed our episode about the Virtual Choir, and added a brand new section to bring the story up to the present. Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook, & Reddit. Become a monthly...
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December 9, 2020 29 min
Alan Lomax believed that the culture of poor Americans was important and worthy of saving. So he spent decades traveling the American South and recording obscure musicians on their front porches, in churches, even in prisons. Today, he's considered an American icon, but the road to becoming a legend wasn't an easy one. Featuring Southern Historical Collection archivist Chaitra Powell, American Folklife Center curator Todd H...
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December 2, 2020 30 min
Sci-fi and fantasy creators often use constructed languages (or conlangs) to help us believe that the characters come from ancient times or distant galaxies. But what happens when a fictional language jumps off the screen and into the real world? This story comes from the Imaginary Worlds podcast. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the show on Twitter, Faceboo...
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November 18, 2020 26 min
We've all heard the iconic recordings from the Apollo missions. But how exactly does NASA manage to run live audio between Earth and the moon? And how might we chat with astronauts on Mars and beyond? Featuring Astronaut Peggy Whitson, NASA Audio Engineer Alexandria Perryman, and Astrophysicist Paul Sutter. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the show on Tw...
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November 11, 2020 29 min
Technology has the power to transform the way our world sounds. It could even give us entirely new ways to experience our surroundings. In this episode, we explore the sounds of the future, and how can we use the tools we already have to build a better sounding world. Featuring Rose Eveleth, Creator and Host of the podcast Flash Forward, Acoustician Andrew Pyzdek, and Architect Chris Downey. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out o...
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October 28, 2020 53 min
Sound surrounds us, even in the quietest moments. But depending on how we hear, the world can be a different auditory experience for each of us. This episode features four stories from the TED Radio Hour. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook, & Reddit. Become a monthly contributor at 20k.org/donate.  If you know what this week...
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October 21, 2020 31 min
For hundreds of years, composers have been using a specific four-note melody to evoke death. It's appeared in dozens of famous movies, and you probably never even realized it. But once you hear it, you'll start noticing it everywhere. Featuring musicologist Alex Ludwig and Strong Songs Host Kirk Hamilton. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the show on ...
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October 14, 2020 31 min
People with perfect or "absolute" pitch hear every single sound as precise musical notes. Is this extraordinary talent a blessing or a curse? In this episode, we dive into the neuroscience, pluses and pitfalls of absolute pitch. Featuring neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and Grammy-winning musician Jacob Collier. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the sho...
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October 7, 2020 28 min
When you imagine the sound of a dinosaur, you probably think of a scene from the Jurassic Park movies. How do sound designers make these extinct creatures sound so believably alive? And what does modern paleontology tell us about what dinosaurs REALLY sounded like? Featuring Jurassic World sound designer Al Nelson, and paleontologist Julia Clarke. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by ...
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September 30, 2020 41 min
In less than two years, Napster became a global sensation... and then record labels and multi-platinum artists brought it crashing down. But in its short lifespan, Napster transformed our ideas about how we consume music, and how much we're willing to pay for it. This story comes from the podcast Spectacular Failures. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor.  Follow the...
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September 16, 2020 26 min
Musicians like Justin Timberlake, Adele, Björk and Rod Stewart have all had surgery to treat vocal nodes. Nodes are so widely discussed, they've almost become a boogeyman in the singing community. But is this condition really as common as people fear? And when nodes do develop, is all hope truly lost? Featuring vocal coach Katie Talbot and Professor and Chairman of the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department at Drexel University of Me...
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September 2, 2020 26 min
Using artificial intelligence, someone can make an algorithm that sounds just like you. And then they can say... whatever they want you to say. We're entering a brand new era: One where you can no longer trust your ears. Welcome to the world of audio deepfakes. Featuring deepfake wizard Tim McSmythurs, cybersecurity expert Riana Pfefferkorn and a brand-new host: Deepfake Dallas. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the stu...
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August 19, 2020 27 min
When writer Paige Towers moved to one of the loudest cities in the world, she found herself overcome with anxiety and depression. She came to realize that the noise of the city itself, and the inability to escape from it, was making a huge impact on her mental health. With the help of the internet, Paige was able to discover a deceptively simple solution. But the negative health implications of noise pollution are anything but simp...
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August 5, 2020 26 min
The Netflix ta-dum sound has quickly become one of the most iconic sound logos of our generation. I bet you can hear it in your head right now. This sound is heard countless times, every single day, all over the world. But the Netflix sound was almost very different than the one we know today. Hear the story of how one of the biggest sound logos of all time was made. Featuring Todd Yellin - VP of Product at Netflix, Tanya Kumar - B...
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July 22, 2020 46 min
Join Dallas and the McElroy brothers (hosts of My Brother, My Brother and Me) as they compete to see which brother has the best ear. We dust off our old mystery sounds to test the McElroy's on their knowledge of pop culture, science, and the mundane. Which brother has the best ear? Find out, in this heated and hilarious game... of mystery sounds. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted ...
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July 8, 2020 32 min
Broadway’s award-winning, record-breaking, smash hit, Hamilton, is a musical unlike any other. In this special episode, we have re-voiced, remixed, and remastered one of our shows about our favorite broadway musical! Featuring 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 Tho...
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