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Twenty Thousand Hertz
Twenty Thousand Hertz
Dallas Taylor

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

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Episodes

Nursery Rhymes

Many of the songs we sing to our children are hundreds of years old, with their original meanings obscured by... more

29 May 2024 · 41 minutes
Silent Sea

Whale songs are some of the most beautiful, cathartic sounds in nature. These extraordinary creatures use sound to socialize, to... more

22 May 2024 · 24 minutes
TikTok’s Boom-Bling

TikTok’s sonic logo is one of the fastest growing sonic logos in history. Today, that little sound is being heard... more

08 May 2024 · 23 minutes
Late Night

The sound of Late Night television is a complex beast with many moving parts. In this episode, we step inside... more

17 Apr 2024 · 26 minutes
Untranslatable Words

What do you call it when you’re homesick for a place you’ve never been? Is there a word for letting... more

03 Apr 2024 · 29 minutes
Hans Zimmer's Remote Control

Hans Zimmer is responsible for some of the most iconic film scores of the last 35 years. So how does... more

20 Mar 2024 · 47 minutes
Aural Obscura

All over the world, there are unique and breathtaking sounds that you can only hear in one specific place. In... more

06 Mar 2024 · 28 minutes
All About That Bass

If you listen to vintage music, one of the first things you’ll notice is the complete lack of bass. But... more

28 Feb 2024 · 26 minutes
Industrial Musicals

For more than three decades, it was common for American companies to put on “industrial musicals” for their employees. These elaborate... more

21 Feb 2024 · 31 minutes
Into the Huluverse

Today, virtually every streaming platform has a sonic logo, from HBO’s classic “Static Angel” to the iconic Netflix “Tudum.” For... more

24 Jan 2024 · 26 minutes
Welcome to Twenty Thousand Hertz

The world of sound is full of great stories. To get in touch with your sonic world, follow Twenty Thousand... more

17 Jan 2024 · 2 minutes
Tournament of Champions

For our fourth annual Mystery Sound Game Show, we pitted the winners from the past three years against each other.... more

13 Dec 2023 · 45 minutes
Tune Tech

From electric guitars to samplers to drum machines and beyond, the music we love is only possible thanks to the... more

29 Nov 2023 · 26 minutes
Headphone Handbook

The world of headphones is a deep rabbit hole. With thousands of options and endless technical jargon, it’s hard to... more

15 Nov 2023 · 25 minutes
Sounds That Sell

Since the earliest days of commercial radio, companies have been using sound to worm their way into our brains. And... more

01 Nov 2023 · 23 minutes
Auto-Tone

The sound of a roaring combustion engine is a fixture of modern life. But as electric vehicles become more and... more

18 Oct 2023 · 25 minutes
Wilhelm Scream Remix

For more than seventy years now, filmmakers have been using and reusing a particular scream. Without a doubt, this is... more

04 Oct 2023 · 21 minutes
Subtitles: On

In recent years, the dialogue in movies and TV shows has gotten harder and harder to understand. No one seems... more

20 Sep 2023 · 29 minutes
Mangini's Moments

Mark Mangini is one of the most prolific sound designers of all time. He’s been credited on over 150 films,... more

06 Sep 2023 · 25 minutes
The Voice Inside

Many of us talk to ourselves in our heads pretty much all day long. But it turns out that there... more

23 Aug 2023 · 28 minutes
Zelda: Tones of the Kingdom

The original Zelda game featured three melodies that would come to define the franchise: the Secret Unlocked Sound, the Treasure... more

09 Aug 2023 · 30 minutes
Zelda: A Beep to the Past

Music is a quintessential part of the Zelda series. And some of Zelda’s most iconic melodies go all the way... more

26 Jul 2023 · 24 minutes
From Cylinders to Streaming

The history of recorded sound stretches back over a hundred and fifty years, starting with a device that could “record”... more

21 Jun 2023 · 29 minutes
Seventh-Inning Stretch

Baseball fan or not, there’s one song that virtually every American knows… or at least, we think we do. “Take... more

07 Jun 2023 · 33 minutes
Vocal Stratosphere

Our vocal system is incredibly complex. What we call “the voice” starts with very precise movements of our vocal cords,... more

24 May 2023 · 37 minutes
Songbugs

Why do bugs make the sounds they do? And how do they make them? In this episode, we explore the... more

10 May 2023 · 27 minutes
Breathe Deep

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, we’ve revamped one of the most personal episodes we’ve ever worked on. To... more

28 Apr 2023 · 45 minutes
The Spatial Race

In the 1960s, stereo sound revolutionized the music industry. But it turns out, a pioneering engineer named Alan Blumlein had... more

19 Apr 2023 · 33 minutes
Found In Translation

Have you ever seen something so cute that you just wanted to squeeze it? Have you ever felt sleepy after... more

12 Apr 2023 · 22 minutes
Insurance Jingles... Why?

For decades, the jingle was king. But in the last twenty years, jingles have nearly gone extinct. Many brands have... more

22 Mar 2023 · 36 minutes
Soundalikes

“Soundalikes,” also called “voice doubles,” are voice actors who perform as characters that were originally played by someone else. They’re... more

08 Mar 2023 · 30 minutes
Golden

In a noisy, tumultuous world, how can we find inner peace? This episode features two stories about the transformative power... more

22 Feb 2023 · 34 minutes
Recalculating

The voices inside our navigation systems are with us nearly every day. They frustrate us when they lead us astray,... more

25 Jan 2023 · 31 minutes
Endless Hertz

In our third annual Mystery Sound Game Show, the crew from Endless Thread compete to guess the most sounds from... more

14 Dec 2022 · 53 minutes
Synth War II: Digital Doom

In the 1960s, Bob Moog and Don Buchla built synthesizers that changed the world. But by the early 80s, they... more

16 Nov 2022 · 24 minutes
Synth War

In the United States, the East Coast and West Coast have rivalries across food, sports, music and more. But there’s... more

02 Nov 2022 · 26 minutes
A Thousand Words

Audio description allows you to enjoy a movie or TV show without the need for any visuals. But how do... more

19 Oct 2022 · 29 minutes
The Booj Strikes Back

In the 80s and 90s, movie trailers were ruled by “voice-of-God” narrators who used stock phrases like, “In a world…”... more

05 Oct 2022 · 26 minutes
1-900-20K-HRTZ

In the late 80s and early 90s, 900 numbers were all the rage. For a couple bucks a minute, you... more

21 Sep 2022 · 36 minutes
Tokyo Rose

In World War II, the Japanese military operated a propaganda station called Radio Tokyo. Along with jazz music, the station... more

07 Sep 2022 · 26 minutes
TikTalk

In 2018, voiceover artist Bev Standing recorded 10,000 sentences for the Chinese Institute of Acoustics. Bev was told the recordings... more

24 Aug 2022 · 30 minutes
Ted Lasso's Dark Forest

Ted Lasso is about more than just an incompetent soccer coach—it’s about overcoming challenges by working together. And that’s exactly... more

10 Aug 2022 · 32 minutes
Handbook for Sonic Happiness

We spend a lot of time curating for taste, touch, smell, and vision. But too often, sound gets overlooked. We... more

27 Jul 2022 · 46 minutes
Shock Horror (A)

There’s a certain musical phrase that you’ve probably heard hundreds of times. It’s used to emphasize dramatic moments in movies,... more

13 Jul 2022 · 29 minutes
Sleight of Ear

What does a sound designer do all day? How do noise canceling headphones really work? And why do modern movie... more

06 Jul 2022 · 27 minutes
Breathe

What if you woke up one day, and found that you could no longer do the thing that gave you... more

22 Jun 2022 · 34 minutes
Relearning Boléro

In the same way that optical illusions can trick our eyes, auditory illusions can trick our ears. This raises a... more

08 Jun 2022 · 40 minutes
Ghosts in the (Hit) Machine

Many of today’s biggest songs are written and produced by people whose names don’t appear anywhere in the credits. They’re... more

25 May 2022 · 29 minutes
Windows_Logon.wav

Part 2 of our series on the Windows startup sounds picks up when Microsoft made the radical decision to kill... more

11 May 2022 · 34 minutes
Ta-da! It’s Windows

Over the years, Microsoft has made at least ten iconic startup sounds for Windows—from the triumphant “Ta-da!” of Windows 3.1,... more

27 Apr 2022 · 28 minutes
Liquid Terror

For nearly half a century, one eerie sound has been showing up again and again in movies and TV shows.... more

13 Apr 2022 · 26 minutes
Mind the Gap

The voices of subway and train announcements are deeply ingrained in peoples’ lives. Many of us hear them every day,... more

30 Mar 2022 · 34 minutes
Hidden Hitmakers

The names of pop and rock stars are known by millions of people around the world, but the people who... more

16 Mar 2022 · 33 minutes
Happy Little Episode

In the forty years since The Joy of Painting first started airing, Bob Ross has become a cultural icon. His... more

02 Mar 2022 · 44 minutes
Pirate Radio

In the 1960s, the BBC had a vise grip on British radio, and rarely played the pop and rock music... more

16 Feb 2022 · 35 minutes
Being Dallas Taylor

Your name is so much more than the sound that people call you by. It’s an entire human identity, distilled... more

02 Feb 2022 · 42 minutes
Sul Sul

When The Sims was first being developed, the creators faced a problem. They knew they wanted these characters to talk... more

19 Jan 2022 · 27 minutes
Aural Exam

For our second annual Mystery Sound competition, we’ve rounded up the 20 best sounds from the past year, and invited... more

15 Dec 2021 · 40 minutes
HBO 2.0

In part 2 of our series on HBO, we explore the tough questions that the company faced in the digital... more

01 Dec 2021 · 28 minutes
It's Not TV. It's HBO.

In the 1980s, every movie that aired on HBO began with a truly epic theme song—a sweeping orchestral piece that... more

17 Nov 2021 · 25 minutes
Zzzzzzzzzzzrr...

If you’re a human being, chances are, you know someone who is a big time snorer. You're falling asleep to... more

10 Nov 2021 · 42 minutes
Creature Speakers

To give voices to the frightening monsters in movies, TV shows, and video games, sound designers often start with animal... more

27 Oct 2021 · 29 minutes
Video(less) Games

In the past, video games were largely inaccessible to people with visual impairments. But these days, game makers are adding... more

13 Oct 2021 · 27 minutes
Blind Sports

Playing a sport without sight might sound impossible. But it turns out, there are blind athletes all around the world... more

29 Sep 2021 · 24 minutes
Listening to the Movies

When Matthew Shifrin was growing up, his blindness meant that trying to enjoy a movie or TV show was often... more

15 Sep 2021 · 29 minutes
Sonic Bubbles

For over a century, humans have been using technology to shape our sonic environment. White noise machines, nature recordings, noise... more

01 Sep 2021 · 26 minutes
Domestic Symphony

Not long ago, our home appliances made nothing but abrasive beeps and harsh buzzes. In recent years though, these devices... more

18 Aug 2021 · 24 minutes
The Windsor Hum

In 2011, residents of Windsor, Ontario started experiencing a strange rumbling hum that rattled dishes and kept people awake at... more

04 Aug 2021 · 16 minutes
The Buzzer

Since World War I, countries around the world have been broadcasting mysterious numerical messages via shortwave radio. Though concrete evidence... more

21 Jul 2021 · 33 minutes
Stay Tuned

Nearly a century after they first appeared, the Looney Tunes are back in an all-new series. To bring this iconic... more

07 Jul 2021 · 28 minutes
Prop 'til You Drop

In part 2 of our exploration of Foley, the Warner Brothers Foley team takes us into the all-important prop room.... more

23 Jun 2021 · 23 minutes
Foley Artists

When it comes to film sound, "Foley Artist" might be the most important job you've never heard of. These performers... more

09 Jun 2021 · 23 minutes
The Leaky Pipeline

In the late 80s, a small French company found a way to pair analog film with pristine digital audio. But... more

26 May 2021 · 27 minutes
Auditory Icons

We live in a designed world, and alert tones are no exception. Every beep and ping that your phone or... more

19 May 2021 · 17 minutes
Progression Obsession

There are a few specific chord progressions that show up again and again in popular music. Across hundreds of hit... more

12 May 2021 · 28 minutes
SM7

Since their founding almost a century ago, Shure has created some of the most iconic microphones ever made. In this... more

28 Apr 2021 · 22 minutes
Minecraft

Since its official release in 2011, Minecraft has grown from a small, experimental indie game into the best-selling video game... more

14 Apr 2021 · 26 minutes
20th Century Fox

The melodic fanfare that introduces every 20th Century Fox movie was first composed almost a hundred years ago. Since then,... more

24 Mar 2021 · 27 minutes
The Deterrent Tone

The Long-Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, was developed for the military for long-range communication at sea. But this ear-splitting device... more

10 Mar 2021 · 23 minutes
I'm Lovin' It

Since its introduction in 2003, the McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle has become one of the most recognizable melodies in... more

24 Feb 2021 · 25 minutes
Sound 101 with Bill Nye

What is sound, on a fundamental level? How did animals evolve to hear? And what happens when you go faster than sound... more

27 Jan 2021 · 25 minutes
Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a neurological condition where one sensory experience gets combined with another, meaning someone might hear sounds when they... more

13 Jan 2021 · 28 minutes
Sing Gently

After composer Eric Whitacre finished Virtual Choir number 5 in 2018, he thought the project might be done for good.... more

16 Dec 2020 · 35 minutes
Sounds Worth Saving

Alan Lomax believed that the culture of poor Americans was important and worthy of saving. So he spent decades traveling... more

09 Dec 2020 · 27 minutes
Conlang

Sci-fi and fantasy creators often use constructed languages (or conlangs) to help us believe that the characters come from ancient... more

02 Dec 2020 · 28 minutes
Space Audity

We've all heard the iconic recordings from the Apollo missions. But how exactly does NASA manage to run live audio... more

18 Nov 2020 · 24 minutes
Sonic Utopia

Technology has the power to transform the way our world sounds. It could even give us entirely new ways to... more

11 Nov 2020 · 27 minutes
Sound and Silence

Sound surrounds us, even in the quietest moments. But depending on how we hear, the world can be a different... more

28 Oct 2020 · 52 minutes
Dies Irae

For hundreds of years, composers have been using a specific four-note melody to evoke death. It's appeared in dozens of... more

21 Oct 2020 · 29 minutes
Perfect Pitch

People with perfect or "absolute" pitch hear every single sound as precise musical notes. Is this extraordinary talent a blessing... more

14 Oct 2020 · 29 minutes
Tyrannosaurus FX

When you imagine the sound of a dinosaur, you probably think of a scene from the Jurassic Park movies. How... more

07 Oct 2020 · 26 minutes
Napster

In less than two years, Napster became a global sensation... and then record labels and multi-platinum artists brought it crashing... more

30 Sep 2020 · 39 minutes
Vocal Discords

Musicians like Justin Timberlake, Adele, Björk and Rod Stewart have all had surgery to treat vocal nodes. Nodes are so... more

16 Sep 2020 · 24 minutes
Deepfake Dallas

Using artificial intelligence, someone can make an algorithm that sounds just like you. And then they can say... whatever they... more

02 Sep 2020 · 24 minutes
The City That Never Sleeps

When writer Paige Towers moved to one of the loudest cities in the world, she found herself overcome with anxiety... more

19 Aug 2020 · 25 minutes
Tudum! It's Netflix

The Netflix "Tudum" sound has quickly become one of the most iconic sound logos of our generation. I bet you... more

05 Aug 2020 · 24 minutes
McElroys, Mysteries and Me

Join Dallas and the McElroy brothers (hosts of My Brother, My Brother and Me) as they compete to see which brother... more

22 Jul 2020 · 44 minutes
Hamilton Remix

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... more

08 Jul 2020 · 31 minutes
Stop... Collaborate & Listen

Can you steal from yourself? Can you copyright a mood? We look back on some important copyright cases that could... more

24 Jun 2020 · 26 minutes
Copyrights & Wrongs

Most western music is built on the same 12 notes. Sometimes the arrangement of those notes sounds similar, which raises... more

10 Jun 2020 · 27 minutes
Twenty Thousand Hertz
McElroys, Mysteries and Me
Twenty Thousand Hertz
0:00
-0:00

Listen now on

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Podcast Republic
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Description

Join Dallas and the McElroy brothers (hosts of My Brother, My Brother and Me) as they compete to see which brother has the... more