Twenty Thousand Hertz

Twenty Thousand Hertz

www.20k.org
The stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds.
#28 | Disney Parks
Nov 13 • 21 min
Theme parks have a way of transporting us to magical places, and sound is crucial in maintaining the illusion. From the most action-packed attractions to the background music playing between park areas, theme park sound designers have thought of it all.…
#27 | Spooky Sounds
Oct 30 • 25 min
We uncover how scary sound effects are created in horror films as well as dissect how sound triggers the fear mechanisms in humans. Featuring Formosa Group Senior Sound Editor/Sound Designer Trevor Gates and Dan Blumstein, professor of Ecology and…
#26 | The Acoustical Umbilical Cord
Oct 17 • 21 min
Many animals, humans included, are natural-born criers. It’s the most basic form of communication from right when we come into the world. But us humans are unique: we keep on crying until the day we die. What was born as a survival mechanism, develops a…
#25 | Level Up
Oct 3 • 22 min
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…
#24 | Watergate
Sep 19 • 25 min
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?…
#23 | Sonic Seasoning
Sep 5 • 18 min
Taste is one of our most subjective of the five senses. A flavor that elicits delight in one individual may evoke strong disgust in another. And while we all have a basic understanding of flavor, we rarely think about the other sonic factors that may be…
#22 | Fight or Flight
Aug 22 • 25 min
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…
#21 | Sound Firsts
Aug 8 • 28 min
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…
#20 | Noise Pollution
Jul 25 • 18 min
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…
#19 | 20,000 dBs Under the Sea
Jul 11 • 22 min
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…
#18 | Evolution of Accents
Jun 27 • 25 min
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…
#17 | Forensic Audio
Jun 13 • 18 min
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…
#16 | The Wilhelm Scream
May 30 • 19 min
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…
#15 | Voice Acting
May 16 • 18 min
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…
#14 | Hearing Loss
May 2 • 19 min
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…
#13 | The Good, the Bad & the Irritating
Apr 18 • 19 min
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. Episode transcript, music, and…
#12 | Foley
Apr 4 • 16 min
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…
#11 | Space
Mar 21 • 21 min
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…
#10 | Dolls That Talk… And Some That Listen
Mar 7 • 16 min
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…
#9 | Cars
Feb 21 • 16 min
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,…
#8 | Audio Descriptions
Feb 7 • 15 min
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…
#7 | What Makes up a Movie Soundtrack?
Jan 24 • 16 min
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…
#6 | From Analog to Digital
Jan 10 • 16 min
Did we lose anything when we transitioned from analog to digital? Learn about the Jedi skills old radio DJs had to have to spin vinyl on the radio, and meet a man who’s found himself trapped in a digital world and learn what he does to escape. Featuring…
#5 | The Sound of Extinction
Dec 27, 2016 • 15 min
When was the last time you heard a dial-up modem? A dot matrix printer? A CD dropping into its plastic tray? Did you know it would be the last time? We talk to Rick Adams, a British reporter, about the impact of Big Ben being silenced for repairs next…
#4 | The Mystery Hum and its Government Coverup
Dec 13, 2016 • 12 min
There’s this place right at the border between Detroit, MI, and Windsor, ON where there’s this hum… It rattles dishes, makes people sick, it’s even making people move away. And the government does not want you to know what’s making it. Explore the mystery…
#3 | 8-bit Sounds
Nov 29, 2016 • 14 min
Primitive, yet iconic, 8-bit audio defined a generation through video game sounds and music. Discover the history and innovation behind those audio marvels that still fascinate today. Featuring Microsoft Sound Designer, Zachary Quarles, and David Murray,…
#2 | The NBC Chimes
Nov 15, 2016 • 14 min
NBC’s three little chimes didn’t just define a television network, they defined a generation. Where did they come from and what is the surprising impact they have had on current and future media? Featuring the last person to play the NBC chimes on the NBC…
#1 | The Voice of Siri
Oct 31, 2016 • 13 min
When Siri launched in 2011, she permanently changed the way people interacted with their technology. What was it like to be the voice behind that voice? And how did they make that voice come to life? Featuring the original voice of Siri, voice actor Susan…
#0 | Trailer
Oct 31, 2016 • 2 min
The stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds.