20,000 Hertz: Dallas Taylor on Storytelling and Sound


Our Valentine’s animal this year is the North American river otter, a species that sometimes mates for life. (Last year’s Wandering Albatross couple sure captured some hearts.) XOXO, PM Daily

PodMov Daily: Friday, February 12

Episode 371: Week Download Complete

20,000 Hertz: Dallas Taylor on Storytelling and Sound

Dallas Taylor, founder and host of 20,000 Hertz, tells the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds. In conversation with documentary podcaster Doug Fraser (What We Do), Taylor illustrates what makes sound essential — and why his show wouldn’t have made it without Roman Mars.

“As a sound designer, it always feels like I'm banging my head up against the wall, trying to get people to care about sound,” Taylor says. The story behind an iconic sound, like the Tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park, deeply connects people to what they hear. Four years in, creative freedom is built into his work’s identity.

Highly produced podcasts like Radiolab tend to need “a very huge, clear human story to get us from point A to point B,” Taylor says. “There are times where we need that human story. But because our mission is about hearing, we can go, oh, the Windows 95 sound. What's up with that? Let's do a show about it.”

Africa Podcast Day Celebrates an Expansion of Voices

Today, Africa Podfest hosts the second Africa Podcast Day. The half-day virtual event celebrates the growth of podcasting across the continent. Naira Davlashyan spoke to co-director Josephine Karianjahi about the African podcasting scene, its challenges, and how creators have transformed the role of audio.

“A lot of our rich diversity, our culture, our stories, our context will be completely different from other parts of the world,” Karianjahi says. Podcasting has made important, unfiltered conversations accessible that radio can’t. Toward that goal, in-depth audience research is underway at Africa Podfest.

Karianjahi emphasizes that the expanding industry is primed for advertising. “We’re open for direct injection of capital so that the people who are mostly podcasting, which is young people under thirty-five, […] can actually make a livelihood out of their talent and the content and the way that they are raising the bar.”

If podcast panel discussions, trivia, and podcast-themed drinks are your thing, tomorrow’s your lucky night.

A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Dream gear: Next week, PM and RØDE are sharing the love. Each time you refer a friend to this fine newsletter, you increase your chances toward one of four RØDE NT-USB microphones. The grand prize, a RØDECaster Pro, will go to the reader with the most referrals by Friday.
  • Reply all: “The idea that Pro Tools proficiency is some kind of dark art, beyond the comprehension of all but a select few, is ludicrous,” writes an audio engineer identified as M.F. Luder. In their wide-ranging rebuttal to recent articles, they address industry norms and inequality.
  • Stage right: Pacific Content shares acclaimed radio producers’ best practices for live audio. Clubhouse aside, tips like this one from Dan Misener will polish any podcast interview: “Great guests deliver what audio is best at: action and emotion. Look for guests who ‘talk in stories.’”
  • Power tools: Hindenburg is hosting several live trainings tomorrow. A complete skills workshop is at 11:00 am, followed by “Advanced Audio Editing Techniques” at 3:30 pm. “An Introduction To Audio Editing” has sessions at 2:00 and 7:00 pm. All times are CT. Registration required.

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