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Social Science

Reasonably Sound

Reasonably Sound

+13 FANS
A podcast about sound by Mike Rugnetta

40:47 | Dec 12th, 2016

This episode contains offensive language. ---------- In this episode of Reasonably Sound we talk about how it is that through repetition, seemingly innocuous sounds come to be laden with meaning and can even guide the behavior of subjects exposed t...Show More

51:17 | Aug 19th

On flailing in the rising tides, as well as the ecological impact of vinyl records and digital music streaming. -- Find full show notes, with research links, at -- Thanks to Kyle Dev...Show More
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40:20 | Feb 7th

What if your car’s engine could sound like anything? -- Find full show notes, with research links, at -- Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, without whom it would n...Show More

43:10 | Sep 24th, 2018

👕: -- -- Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line. A customer service representative will be with you shortly. Your call is important. -- Find full show notes, with research links, ...Show More

42:04 | May 14th, 2018

RS TSHIRTS! -- Exposure to noise pollution has serious health risks, and disproportionately affects certain communities. But what if regulating it would accidentally do more harm than good? -- The Gene...Show More

34:41 | Feb 27th, 2018

On the pursuit of making machines talk, and the quality of digital assistants’ voices. Find full show notes, with research links, at Thanks to all the show’s Patrons and supporters, with...Show More

33:47 | Jan 15th, 2018

Or: Do Androids Dream of Pitch Shifted Music? --- We talk about the algorithmic enforcement of copyright, how it works and why we have it. We talk to Parker Higgins, and speculate about a future beset by copyright robots. --- Find full show notes...Show More

31:44 | Dec 23rd, 2017

As of Recording, Wham’s “Last Christmas” was predicted to be the UK #1 Christmas single, but the honor officially went to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” (not a year end song, despite what the music video would have you believe) as of publish. --- LINKS -...Show More

35:20 | Nov 22nd, 2017

RS Live at Caveat NYC, Dec 2nd 2017: An examination of when, and why, we boo and some encouragement to maybe boo a bit more. SOURCES • Dan Rebellato, ‘B is for Booing’ - • Sound...Show More

34:57 | Oct 20th, 2017

“The custom of showing one's pleasure at music by immediately following it with a noise, usually by clapping but sometimes also by the drumming of feet, is perhaps as old as the art of music itself.” - The Oxford Companion to Music, Alison Latham ...Show More

18:17 | Jan 28th, 2017

"Ruminations" (RM) are short[-er] episodes, lightly edited, on topics nonetheless worth discussing. In this Rumination, I talk for a few minutes about what I want to try to do with Reasonably Sound, and why I think sound is interesting and importa...Show More

33:35 | Dec 30th, 2016

It's the end of 2016, so we'll do the thing one tends to do around this time of year: look back. In this episode, a few bits of audio revelry from the End of 2014 episode return, you can get some insight into what kinds of things I was trying to make...Show More

38:51 | Nov 21st, 2016

An episode about the type of sound The Inception Sound is, the controversy surrounding that sounds authorship, and how it’s effectiveness is deeply rooted in a millennia plus of human culture ---------- Double extra super THANKS to all of Reasonably ...Show More

11:14 | May 6th, 2016

Support RS at A quick rumination on why people slur their speech when they're drunk, and a little thinking on what it means to slur, and its place in popular culture. Music by Will Stratton Visual Branding by Tida ...Show More

15:45 | Nov 20th, 2015

Support RS at This week, it’s the sounds that surround holiday gatherings and rituals. Mike tackles several sonic phenomena and how they will function during your Turkey Day soiree. And how you can use their existence a...Show More

35:04 | Oct 24th, 2015

Support RS at THIS WEEK IT’S ALL ABOUT SCREAMS (AAAAA!!!!) Horror and fear screams. It’s not just talking with some extra juice. There is much, much more at work. Physically and psychologically, a scream is a unique thi...Show More

31:50 | Oct 8th, 2015

Support RS at It’s all about nostalgia and limitation as Mike chips away (ahhh?!?!?) at the world of chiptunes music. If you played video games years and years ago, you’ll hear a set of sounds that will be completely fa...Show More

21:24 | Oct 1st, 2015

It’s the stethoscope and the sampler as Mike leads us through “the alien nature of [our] own interiors.” In this journey into the sounds of the body, he explores the work of corporeal sonification as music, as well the history and meaning of sounds i...Show More

22:47 | Sep 27th, 2015

Support RS at It’s the stethoscope and the sampler as Mike leads us through “the alien nature of [our] own interiors.” In this journey into the sounds of the body, he explores the work of corporeal sonification as music...Show More

27:35 | Sep 17th, 2015

Support RS at Originally published September 17, 2015 It’s the birthday episode for Reasonably Sound! Celebrating 1 year, Mike dives into why he can’t lead us all in a rousing chorus of that famous Happy Birthday son...Show More

22:28 | Aug 17th, 2015

Support RS at Mike is on a brief vacation on Cape Cod. At the beach. Where he considers why the point of the beach isn't really the beach, but instead the strange draw of waves, water and the ocean. The ocean as Muzak. ...Show More

07:08 | Aug 2nd, 2015

Support RS at It's convention season and Mike is on the road for three weeks straight, spending a LOT of time in centers and major hotel chains. And he's noticed how much of his life has become underscored by Muzak and ...Show More

22:04 | Jul 19th, 2015

Support RS at Mike explores audience, taste, morality, subjectivity, commodity, and so much more in a pastiche of readings from Theodor W. Adorno, Gawker, Taylor Swift’s Tumblr, Fashionista, Noisey, NME and Pitchfork. ...Show More

25:02 | Jul 6th, 2015

Mike explores the sonic aspects of fireworks: What is an explosion, and why do they sound the way they do? These questions lead to a breakdown of combustion versus detonation; low explosives versus high explosives; the phrase “the boom is sort of lik...Show More

22:00 | Jun 22nd, 2015

It’s the ice cream truck jingle. Even Mike’s hated Mr. Softee one. Mike provides the secret origin of the jingle, touching on the Great Depression, the growth of the American middle class, the Good Humor Man, refrigeration, and bobsled bells. --...Show More

21:39 | Jun 7th, 2015

Echoic memory, how it differs from other kinds of memory, and the definition of sound itself, all on this episode of Reasonably Sound. Plus: Jamiroquai.

40:58 | May 11th, 2015

Mike and Molly (not the TV show) take a road trip and consider Spotify, MTV2, and how we discover music now. (Also: Cover versions, N.W.A., and the undeniable perfection of Pony.)

31:30 | Apr 27th, 2015

That part in dance music, where the music builds and builds and builds and BUILDS before the tension finally, FINALLY, gets relieved? That’s “the drop.” Mike talks about its origin, construction, and application, and tells you what P.L.U.R. means. ...Show More

27:30 | Apr 13th, 2015

Misophonia is, literally, “the hatred of sound.” Molly Templeton has it, and talks to Mike about the noises that trigger it. -- Molly Online -- -- Sources -- “Misophonia: Diagnostic Criteria...Show More

29:23 | Mar 30th, 2015

How much is a song worth? How do you even calculate it? And what do DJ Shadow, Tom Waits, and the Wu-Tang Clan have to do with it? Mike Rugnetta answers these and other questions. -- Sources -- The Spotify Calculator More

26:46 | Mar 16th, 2015

Mike explains how pigeon-lovers Arno Penzius and Robert Wilson found evidence to prove the Big Bang. Find out about hisses, #starstuff, photons, poop, and more to get a full picture of what the universe actually sounds like. -- Universe Sounds --...Show More

58:25 | Mar 2nd, 2015

Mike navigates the streets, subways, and pizza shops of NYC, and as you listen, ponder whether listening to this episode makes you an active listener, an eavesdropper, or a spy.

38:18 | Feb 16th, 2015

On this installment of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta covers subliminal messages and their (lack of) effectiveness with help from BrainCraft’s Vanessa Hill. Chandler Bing is referenced. -- Find Vanessa -- More

50:14 | Feb 2nd, 2015

When an animal makes a sound, does that sound have meaning? Mike talks to Dr. Joe Hanson, a biology expert and curator/host of It's Okay To Be Smart, and you’ll get a glimpse into the world of animals, sound, and semiotics. -- SOURCES -- The sem...Show More

33:48 | Jan 19th, 2015

Mike takes you on a tour of the most commonly heard sound effects. And fair warning, when you hear them on this episode, you’ll start hearing them EVERYWHERE. Plus, Mike tells you why sides of beef and planks of wood were integral to the making of ...Show More

24:37 | Jan 5th, 2015

What explains the difference between English and American accents? On this episode of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta explains that this spoken phenomenon starts with the written word. -- On American versus English Spelling -- Why Do Brits an...Show More

18:14 | Dec 8th, 2014

Mike Rugnetta would like to talk with you about auditory illusions (not tricks), specifically the Shepard tone and binaural beats. Use your headphones for this one. (ALSO: art school college story time!) The submarine film soundtrack work Mike m...Show More

30:39 | Nov 23rd, 2014

It's a Thanksgiving travelogue with Mike Rugnetta, who, like a bazillion other people, is on the road for the holiday.

27:36 | Nov 10th, 2014

A440 is not a steak sauce, nor is it a tax form. Rather, A440 hz is the standard tuning for musical pitch. Why is that? The reasons include, but are not limited to: The oboe, church versus secular music, and the difficulty of France. Mike Rugnett...Show More

22:31 | Oct 27th, 2014

Taylor Swift accidentally released eight seconds of white noise to iTunes, and it went to number one in Canada. Mike Rugnetta offers his take on it, as well as a helpful explanation what white noise actually is. Baseball and cooking metaphors are u...Show More

41:56 | Oct 13th, 2014

Mike Rugnetta and Atlas Obscura‘s Dylan Thuras have a fascinating discussion on the use of sound in war and at what point sound becomes a weapon. Among the topics covered: - World War I “sound mirrors” (giant concrete parabolas that ineffectively...Show More

28:33 | Sep 30th, 2014

Do you have a favorite sound? Mike Rugnetta has a few: - A Snapple bottle opening - An orchestra tuning, with a couple instruments clearly off-key - A breaking incandescent light bulb In this episode, Mike explores the phenomenon of ASMR, or...Show More

24:47 | Sep 17th, 2014

Mike would like to talk with you about snikt. And sploorp. And butcher some French while he’s at it. Today’s subject is onomatopoeia and the visual representation of sound, particularly in comics. AMONG, BUT NOT ALL, THE THINGS MENTIONED: - ...Show More

28:54 | Sep 2nd, 2014

On this episode of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta considers noise-canceling headphones, whether you use them for cross-country flights or to mute your Simply Red-listening neighbor. He tells you how they work (and don’t work), why the notion of neu...Show More

17:22 | Aug 23rd, 2014

Why does your voice sound like your voice? A lot of reasons, but Mike's interested in the dispersive mediums that impact it. This also leads to the first Reasonably Sound special guest, musician Jason Oberholtzer, and the first Reasonably Sound Cont...Show More

16:00 | Aug 23rd, 2014

Mike Rugnetta opens the inaugural Reasonably Sound podcast with an appreciation of the ear, especially the floppy, weird-looking part of it on the side of your head. Turns out it has a purpose besides stabbing holes in it!