Each episode of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast requires 250 hours to produce. If that sounds like an exorbitant amount of time, it's because it is. Other podcasts, ones more focused on conversations, require about eight to ten hours. So what makes this show so different?
Twenty Thousand Hertz, as one can deduce from the title, is all about sound. Each podcast episode investigates the creation and ideation of pop culture phenomenons. Such are the introduction notes for HBO or Netflix. Others include the familiar McDonald's jingle, the Seinfeld opening credits, and the Siri voice. The podcast also explores natural noises, like birdsong or the humming of a river. It talks about how some people are sensitive to sound (misophonia), and others adore it (ASMR). It does all of that by using audio as the main storyteller. It brings the listener on a journey through the sense of hearing, with acute attention to detail.
The host of Twenty Thousand Hertz is a specialist in audio production. This explains the expertise behind the podcast. Dallas Taylor has made his career out of sound. He designed sound for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. This led to him founding his own company, Defacto Sound. With it, he supported the audio design of TV shows, marketing campaigns, trailers, and award-winning films. With the podcast, he shares the knowledge he acquired with these experiences.
Every episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz is a mini-documentary. For the span of about 30-40 minutes, Taylor follows the trail of a specific sound or sound effect. He speaks to people who thought of it, and those who engineered it. He explores how that combination of tones affected both industry and culture. The musical notes become dissected, and their meaning gets examined. All this happens amid a magnificent soundscape that draws the audience further in. Listening with headphones can help create an even more enjoyable experience.