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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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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

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

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,” 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Player FM
Podcast Republic


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