from cylinders to streaming
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From Cylinders to Streaming

The history of recorded sound stretches back over a hundred and fifty years, starting with a device that could “record” a voice on a piece of paper. Today, we can enjoy lossless streaming anywhere we

seventh inning stretch
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Seventh-Inning Stretch

Baseball fan or not, there’s one song that virtually every American knows… or at least, we think we do. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is one of the top three most recognizable songs in the country, n

vocal stratosphere
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Vocal Stratosphere

Our vocal system is incredibly complex. What we call “the voice” starts with very precise movements of our vocal cords, and then goes through an entire “resonation system” that includes our throat, mo

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Why do bugs make the sounds they do? And how do they make them? In this episode, we explore the world of insect sounds, including crickets who craft tools to make themselves louder, an

breathe deep
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Breathe Deep

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, we’ve revamped one of the most personal episodes we’ve ever worked on. To create it, Dallas worked with the team from Meditative Story to tell a story from h

spatial race
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The Spatial Race

In the 1960s, stereo sound revolutionized the music industry. But it turns out, a pioneering engineer named Alan Blumlein had actually invented stereo a full three decades earlier. Due to tragic event

found in translation
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Found In Translation

Have you ever seen something so cute that you just wanted to squeeze it? Have you ever felt sleepy after a big meal? Or enjoyed bouncing on a puffy cushion? There are words for all of these, just not

insurance jingles why
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Insurance Jingles... Why?

For decades, the jingle was king. But in the last twenty years, jingles have nearly gone extinct. Many brands have now dropped their melodic earworms in favor of spoken word slogans. Today, there’s ju

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“Soundalikes,” also called “voice doubles,” are voice actors who perform as characters that were originally played by someone else. They’re used extensively by studios like Disney and Pixar, in order

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In a noisy, tumultuous world, how can we find inner peace? This episode features two stories about the transformative power of silence. In the first, the Lieutenant Governor of Washington State abando

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The voices inside our navigation systems are with us nearly every day. They frustrate us when they lead us astray, and guide us through our most memorable adventures. But who are the people behind tho

endless hertz
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Endless Hertz

In our third annual Mystery Sound Game Show, the crew from Endless Thread compete to guess the most sounds from this year’s batch. Get ready to listen along and test your knowledge of classic sci-fi m

update jessie unmasked
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Update: Jessie Unmasked

After months of speculation, the person behind TikTok’s current text-to-speech voice reveals her true identity. This is an update to episode #155, TikTalk.Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook, & Reddi

synth war ii digital doom
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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 faced a new challenger who threatened to bring it all crumbling down: the digital synthesize

synth war
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Synth War

In the United States, the East Coast and West Coast have rivalries across food, sports, music and more. But there’s another rivalry that’s less well known, but just as important. This standoff created

a thousand words
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A Thousand Words

Audio description allows you to enjoy a movie or TV show without the need for any visuals. But how do these narrators strike the right tone for a scene? How do the writers decide what needs to be desc

booj strikes back
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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…” Today, movie studios have a different trick up their sleeves: epic sound design. In

k hrtz
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In the late 80s and early 90s, 900 numbers were all the rage. For a couple bucks a minute, you could call and hear from Hulk Hogan and Freddy Kreuger, have a psychic predict your future, and even find

tokyo rose
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Tokyo Rose

In World War II, the Japanese military operated a propaganda station called Radio Tokyo. Along with jazz music, the station featured several female announcers, who became collectively

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In 2018, voiceover artist Bev Standing recorded 10,000 sentences for the Chinese Institute of Acoustics. Bev was told the recordings would be used for a translation app, but three years later, she was

ted lassos dark forest
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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 what the show’s sound team had to do when the pandemic hit just t

handbook for sonic happiness
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Handbook for Sonic Happiness

We spend a lot of time curating for taste, touch, smell, and vision. But too often, sound gets overlooked. We forget that we can get rid of sounds that annoy us, and surround ourselves with sounds tha

shock horror a
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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, cartoons, commercials and musicals, most often as a gag. But while thi

sleight ear
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Sleight of Ear

What does a sound designer do all day? How do noise canceling headphones really work? And why do modern movie trailers all sound the same? In this follow-up to our 150th episode, Dallas shares the sec

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What if you woke up one day, and found that you could no longer do the thing that gave you the most joy in your life? The thing that gave you purpose? The thing that defined your past, and was suppose

relearning bolro
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Relearning Boléro

In the same way that optical illusions can trick our eyes, auditory illusions can trick our ears. This raises a serious question: what is hearing, and how much of it is actually made up by our brains?

ghosts in hit machine
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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 called ghostwriters and ghost producers, and they’re a huge part of the music

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Part 2 of our series on the Windows startup sounds picks up when Microsoft made the radical decision to kill the startup sound in Windows 8. In this episode, we explore the forces that led to that dec

ta da its windows
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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, to the ambient chime that Brian Eno crafted for Windows 95, to the orches

liquid terror
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Liquid Terror

For nearly half a century, one eerie sound has been showing up again and again in movies and TV shows. It’s typically used when something spooky or mysterious happens—and it can be heard in Poltergeis

mind gap
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Mind the Gap

The voices of subway and train announcements are deeply ingrained in peoples’ lives. Many of us hear them every day, for years on end. And yet, hardly anyone knows who those voices belong to. In this

hidden hitmakers
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Hidden Hitmakers

Our vocal system is incredibly complex. What we call “the voice” starts with very precise movements of our vocal cords, and then goes through an entire “resonation system” that includes our throat, mo3


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