Twenty Thousand Hertz-logo

Twenty Thousand Hertz

239 Favorites

You may not think about the sounds you hear every day… but somebody has. The voice in your phone… the effects in your video games… that drum machine in your favorite song. There are people – and stories – behind every one of them. Join your host, Dallas Taylor, on an exploration of the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds.

You may not think about the sounds you hear every day… but somebody has. The voice in your phone… the effects in your video games… that drum machine in your favorite song. There are people – and stories – behind every one of them. Join your host, Dallas Taylor, on an exploration of the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds.
More Information


United States


You may not think about the sounds you hear every day… but somebody has. The voice in your phone… the effects in your video games… that drum machine in your favorite song. There are people – and stories – behind every one of them. Join your host, Dallas Taylor, on an exploration of the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds.








#25 | Level Up

Video games are a growing industry and every play-controlled experience is defined by its harmony of music, sound effects, and voice acting. In this episode, we reveal how these elements of a video game's soundscape are crafted and come together to tell an interactive story. The most sophisticated sound design in video games allows those without the ability to see a chance to engage with some of our greatest modern entertainment. Featuring Microsoft Sound Designer, Zachary Quarles, and...

Duration: 00:22:22

#24 | Watergate

Watergate might be the most widely-referenced scandal in our nation’s history. The actual word itself has been appropriated in order to name many later scandals. But for a new generation of Americans, the word Watergate might not mean much. What was it? Who was involved and why was it important? Featuring Luke Nichter, author of The Nixon Tapes, and founder of

Duration: 00:33:45

#23 | Sonic Seasoning

Can sound influence our taste buds? Featuring Charles Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University. For more information, credits, and links visit

Duration: 00:18:18

# 22 | Fight or Flight

Are you afraid to fly? Does even the thought of boarding an airplane make you anxious? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from clinical aviophobia. While some manage to distract themselves long enough to endure a flight, countless others avoid flying altogether. What are those mysterious sounds that trigger our fears on airplanes? And how do we keep our anxieties from interfering with our lives? Featuring Dr. Devika Fiorillo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in...

Duration: 00:25:19

Sound Firsts

What is the oldest recorded sound in history? For over 100 years researchers thought they knew until a mind-blowing discovery by historians found something new - and technological advances allowed it to be played back for the first time in history. What is the oldest recording of a musical performance, president, battlefield, television broadcast, cell phone call, and more? Featuring Patrick Feaster, co-founder of, three-time Grammy nominee, and Ph.D. in Musicology as well...

Duration: 00:28:40

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is something we’ve all experienced. Road construction, motorcycles, passing aircraft - the list goes on and on. Other than being just plain annoying, what effect does noise pollution have on our lives? In this episode, we take a look at the physical and psychological effects of noise pollution on humans, as well as the wider and equally devastating environmental repercussions. Featuring Les Blomberg, executive director of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, and Rachel...

Duration: 00:20:30

Video: 20,000 dBs Under the Sea w/ Vox

We often think of the ocean as a quiet, peaceful place, filled with animals that don't make much noise. So when Christophe Haubursin from Vox went diving in the ocean for the first time, he was surprised at how rich the soundscape was: he could hear fish nibbling on coral and squid swimming. But more than anything, he could almost always hear the hum of a boat engine. It's part of a big problem in the ocean right now — ship noise has doubled every decade since 1970, wreaking havoc on...

Duration: 00:09:29

20,000 dBs Under the Sea

71% of the Earth is covered by water. And most of us imagine it to be a serene, almost silent world. But why should we have all the fun up here? Discover what sound is like just below the surface and all the way down to the ocean's depths. And see how mankind might be making it unpleasant for everyone and everything that calls the oceans home. Featuring underwater acoustician Al Jones, Professor John Hildebrand from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Christophe Haubursin from...

Duration: 00:25:20

Evolution of Accents

This episode was written and produced by Kevin Edds. When you describe yourself to others you might mention your height, hairstyle, or maybe your build. But one of the most telling things about you is something you can’t even see, yet it defines you more than you realize. Your accent tells others where you’re from, who you identify with, and maybe even where you’re going. How did accents evolve and why are American accents so different from British accents? Featuring Hollywood Dialect...

Duration: 00:25:41

Forensic Audio

You might not realize it, but audio can be just as crucial to solving a case than video or eyewitness testimony. But understanding how to interpret audio evidence, or having the ability to enhance it to a point of intelligibility, requires highly-specialized training and expensive software. Meet Kent Gibson, one of the country's leading forensic audio experts, who's done audio analysis for the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, among many others, and get his...

Duration: 00:19:12

The Wilhelm Scream

When it comes to movie screams, what’s the first one you think of? Is it a scream that evokes a sense of fear, pain, or maybe even… humor? Perhaps you immediately think about a famous “Scream Queen” or a specific scene from a movie. But you may not realize that the most famous scream in Hollywood has a name—and it’s been used over and over and over in countless films, television shows, and commercials. What makes it so good? And how did it become a filmmaker favorite? Featuring Steve Lee,...

Duration: 00:20:02

Voice Acting

We hear disembodied voices all the time, in everything from cartoons and anime to commercials and trailers. It seems easy, but it's actually an intricate craft involving a great amount of training. What does it take to create multiple, unique personalities using only a voice? Featuring voice actors Christopher Sabat (Dragonball Z, One Piece) and Cissy Jones (Firewatch, The Walking Dead). MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE Coding - Steven Gutheinz Crutch - Instrumental - John...

Duration: 00:19:37

Hearing Loss

Our ears are sensitive, but we often don’t treat them that way. We are born with the ability to hear up to 20,000 Hz. As we age, our hearing range diminishes. On top of that, the more exposure we have to loud sounds, the greater the impact it has on our ability to hear. Find out what happens once we start to lose our hearing. Featuring Lindsay Prusick and Shaheem Sanchez (Instagram). MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE On the Mountain by The Sea by Utah In Slow Motion by Utah SFSG by...

Duration: 00:20:17

The Good, the Bad & the Irritating

Some sounds are like rug burn for your ears, while others are pleasant and soothing. We explore these sounds and get to the bottom of why we might interpret them as “good” or “bad”. Featuring Tommy Edison and David Poeppel. MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE Gimme that Good Stuff by Kaleigh Baker Far by Steven Gutheinz Eroica Symphony by Beethoven Directions by Steven Gutheinz Purple7 by Tangerine Ineffable Act IV by Dexter Britain Hello Honey by Ivory Hours Washedway by evlov...

Duration: 00:18:38


When you listen to a movie, everything the actor touches sounds crisp and clean. However, none of it was recorded on the movie set. Go behind the scenes with some of the unsung heroes of our movie experience. Featuring Fred Newman and Skywalker Sound’s Foley Team. MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE A Great Mess by Watermark High This Place by Watermark High Brighter by Roary A Fresh Start by Wildwood Something Beautiful by Tim Halperin Merry Folk by Generdyn Flower Upon Dirt by...

Duration: 00:15:21


When we think about sound, our only reference is what it’s like here on Earth. What happens when we leave this thin blanket of atmosphere, and what do other planets sound like? Featuring Dr. Lori Glaze, Dr. Keith Noll, Dr. Scott Guzewich from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE The Way Home by Tony Anderson Unseen Entity by Convolv Sirens by Jordan Critz Our Sky by One Hundred Years Survive by Watermark High The Traveller by Matthew D...

Duration: 00:19:05

Dolls That Talk... And Some That Listen

Talking dolls have been around for over a century, but the fascination with making inanimate objects seem human reaches back into our early history. What is it about creating a companion that can interact with us, especially for a child, that fascinates us so? And what will that look like as our technology continues to advance? Featuring Carlene Stephens, Curator for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Claire Gartland of the Electronic Privacy Information...

Duration: 00:15:56


Some car sounds are more obvious like the horn or engine... but what about the not-obvious-until-you-point-them-out sounds like the hollow thud of a trunk or the click of a latch? The sounds a car makes are so closely associated with quality, so how, exactly, do car makers handle this aspect of the driving experience? Featuring Car Enthusiast & Sound Mixer Brian Garfield, David Zenlea from Road & Track, and Tom Teknos from Ford. MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE "A Million Years" by...

Duration: 00:14:41

Audio Descriptions

Did you know there might be a track of audio on your favorite movies and television shows that describe all of the actions on screen? This technology was designed for the visually impaired, but it could be used for the masses. It’s still not as widely provided as some would hope. Meet the consumers and activists fighting for a better-described tomorrow. Featuring Tommy Edison, Robert Kingett, and Colleen Connor. MUSIC FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE Washedway by Evolv Unspoken by Am...

Duration: 00:13:43

What Makes up a Movie Soundtrack?

When you think of a movie soundtrack, you probably think music. And sure, that’s one of the many, many things going on there. What else goes into making a scene sound “natural”? It isn’t what you’d think. Meet a major motion picture sound designer who unpacks all the layers of sound that go into your favorite movies and a woman who gets tigers to sing... on tape. Featuring Sound Designers, Chris Aud and Ann Kroeber. Music featured in this episode: Washedway by Evolv Spark by Eric...

Duration: 00:14:49

See More