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Sounds as Words: A Theory of Sound Design for Everyone with Jeff Emtman

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Do you want your podcast to be rich with layers of sound, but you don't know where to start?

In this three-hour workshop, Jeff Emtman (host of KCRW's Here Be Monsters) will break down his fundamental principles of sound design. Here Be Monsters, a podcast about fear and the unknown, is known for its use of richly atmospheric sound design. Episodes often spiral off into deep collages of sound that evoke that which words alone cannot. Jeff will teach you how to repurpose common literary devices (e.g., allegory, symbolism, and foreshadowing) to create entire worlds of sound in your radio stories and podcasts.

For the final hour of the workshop, the group will work with short clips of raw tape (provided by you!) and sound-design them collaboratively, demonstrating the process from start to finish.

We recommend this workshop for intermediate producers interested in adding more sonic elements to their stories or new producers who are curious about the theory of sound design.


Jeff Emtman is the creator of KCRW's Here Be Monsters Podcast.  He now lives in Cambridge via Seattle via Boulder via Bellingham via a little town squashed between a field of wheat and a field of lentils.

Our programming is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit