Do you enjoy sound? You’re reading a podcast description right now, so chances are good that you do. Mike Rugnetta does, too. And on Reasonably Sound, Mike will provide context, explanation and a little celebration of the complexities and awesomeness of audio, and the various cultures which surround and have grown around it. Not just for audiophiles, Reasonably Sound will be your guide to the world of sound. Want to know more? Click.


Episode #32: Light Dinner Conversation

November 24, 2015 · Duration: 14:57 · Play

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 as fodder for conversations with your Uncle Alvin when you run out of weather to discuss. You’ll learn about the acoustic arms race that is the Lombard Effect. How the TV people record the sparkling sounds of football. And what being cooperative has to do with our ability to have conversations at all.

Episode #31: I Nonlinear Vocalization. You Nonlinear Vocalization

October 29, 2015 · Duration: 33:56 · Play

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 thing in human sound production. Mike explores the what and how, and that they aren’t like shouts or yells. Plus a deep dive into what they mean. And how they function in film. Especially as delivered by women.

Episode #30: Bits and Chips

October 15, 2015 · Duration: 30:45 · Play

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 familiar, even when used in unfamiliar compositional genres. Mike explores the anatomy of chiptunes sounds and composition, and looks into chiptunes’ relationship to hacking and the counterculture.

Episode #29: Acoustic Body

October 1, 2015 · Duration: 21:21 · Play

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 in medicine.

Episode #28: HBD™

September 17, 2015 · Duration: 26:30 · Play

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 song that we all know and … love (?). But the copyright clampdown might be loosening in light of dramatic new evidence found (as evidence usually is) in a basement.

Episode #27: Peace and White Noise

August 20, 2015 · Duration: 22:25 · Play

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. As white noise. As a tempering force for the other parts of our lives.

Episode #26: Little Night Muzak

August 6, 2015 · Duration: 7:08 · Play

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 the purposefully designed feelings that it is meant to evoke.

Episode #25: Fetish Character

July 23, 2015 · Duration: 22:09 · Play

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

Episode #24: KABOOM

July 9, 2015 · Duration: 23:39 · Play

Mike explores the sonic aspects of fireworks: What is an explosion, and why do they sound the way they do?

Episode #23: The Real Song of the Summer

June 25, 2015 · Duration: 20:31 · Play

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.

Episode #22: Echoic Memory

June 11, 2015 · Duration: 21:54 · Play

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.

INTERMISSION, incl. Some Thoughts on Vine

May 28, 2015 ·

There is no episode of Reasonably Sound this week. In lieu of a Reasonably Sound episode, I have written for you this blog post! Which I challenge you to read in my voice. For those interested in behind the scenes anything: a scheduling mishap entirely of my own creation has required that an episode in […]

Episode #21: Road Trip

May 14, 2015 · Duration: 40:05 · Play

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.)

Episode #20: The Drop

April 30, 2015 · Duration: 30:16 · Play

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.

Episode #18: Play It For All It’s Worth

April 2, 2015 · Duration: 28:31 · Play

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.

Episode #17: What Does the Universe Sound Like?

March 19, 2015 · Duration: 25:45 · Play

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.

Episode #14: Joe Hanson on Animals, Sound, and Semiotics

February 5, 2015 · Duration: 48:59 · Play

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.

Episode #13: Shopworn Sound Effects

January 22, 2015 · Duration: 33:17 · Play

Mike takes you on a tour of the most often heard sound effects. 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 Rocky movies.

Episode #11: What 2014 Sounded Like

December 22, 2014 · Duration: 23:50 · Play

Mike Rugnetta wants you to know what his 2014 sounded like. Get ready to hear audio from all of his Instagram videos from 2014, songs from his favorite records purchased this year, and a sonic interpretation of his Google calendar. Yup.

Episode #10: Auditory Illusions

December 11, 2014 · Duration: 18:39 · Play

Mike Rugnetta would like to talk to you about auditory illusions (not tricks), specifically the Shepard tone and binaural beats. Use your headphones for this one.