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. In this episode, we speak to Joe Herrington and Mike Fracassi, two Disney Imagineers who work to maintain the magic for guests of Disney Parks.
Halloween is a time for fright delights! Every television channel, streaming service, and movie theater is showing films that terrify audiences, and sound plays a huge role in every scare. In this episode, we uncover how Hollywood crafts those sound terrors and the evolutionary part of our being that those noises tap into to create fear. Featuring Formosa Group Senior Sound Editor/Sound Designer Trevor Gates and Dan Blumstein, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA.
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 deeper fundamental need as we grow older. In this episode, we discover the hard-wiring in our brains that reach across species, and how our tears into adulthood make us distinctively human. Featuring Dr. Susan Lingle, Behavioral Ecologist at the University of Winnipeg, and Dr. Ad Vingerhoets, Research Psychologist at the University of Tilburg.
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 ArenaNet Technical Sound Designer, Damian Kastbauer.
Watergate is one of the most widely-referenced scandals 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, Watergate is just a name, or an event that they speak about but may not know many details. What was the real scandal behind Watergate? Who was involved and why? How did an open reel tape recorder secretly planted in the White House basement lead to the demise of the 37th President of the United States? Featuring Luke Nichter, author of The Nixon Tapes, and founder of NixonTapes.org.
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 affecting how we interpret different tastes. In this episode, we consider the relationship between sound and taste, and the power certain sounds can have over our taste buds. Featuring Charles Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University.
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 anxiety disorders, and Tom Finnegan, a commercial airline pilot with more than 20 years in the air.
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, compact disc, MP3, and more? Go back in time with Sound Firsts! Featuring Patrick Feaster, co-founder of FirstSounds.org, three-time Grammy nominee, Ph.D. in Musicology and Lynn Novick, award-winning filmmaker, and co-directing partner of Ken Burns.