I recently came across an episode of WNYC‘s Radio Lab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich delving into the making of their acclaimed program that melds science, philosophy, and psychology into a sonic mash-up of mind expanding fun. Somehow, even as an avid listener, this podcast “short” from November, 2007 slipped through the cracks for me until now.
One of the things that attracted me to Radio Lab in the first place was the emphasis on sound design. In every episode creative, and experimental audio production techniques are used to build soundscapes that color and pace the interviews and conversations in a musical fashion, transfixing the ear as the stories unfold.
In Making Radio Lab Jad and Robert discuss their approach to sound design on the program with some excellent examples of spoken phrases from interviews with and without the audio manipulation applied. The phrase “Sound is Kind of Touch at a Distance”, coined by Dr. Anne Fernald on the Musical Language episode, occurs as a theme throughout the program illustrating the importance of sound design to the production of the show.
Making Radio Lab