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Radiolab Ringtones

Friday, April 08, 2011 - 04:19 PM

Jad gathered up some of Radiolab's greatest sound effects for a sonic gallery put together by The New York Times Magazine. Then, a listener asked us to turn them into ringtones, so we did! Here they are, from the Big Bang, to Wriggling Sperm. Enjoy!

The Big Bang:

Pigeon Magnetism:


Sleeping Cat Brain:

Sound Is Like Touch:

Stretched Beethoven:

Whale Attack:

Wriggling Sperm:


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Comments [37]

Billie Morgan from California

I really love ringtones, your updates are quite fun. Ringtones express the personality of each person.

Apr. 24 2017 06:10 AM
Hannah Mack from Minnesota

I would appreciate it if you put up the sound clips from "This is your brain on love."the one I would love the most, because it is stuck in my head is..."OXYTOSEN!!! ahhhhh"

Oct. 17 2012 01:29 AM

These are AWESOME!!!
I think that the best one is the pilots one because it is such a weird noise. I will have it on my phone as soon as I can!!

Jun. 08 2011 05:08 AM

That would be great, if you could add the "OK? - alright" audio. OK?

Apr. 28 2011 04:39 PM
Christy Turner from Wilmington, NC

I want the one that says "Okay? Alright. Okay? Alright.".

I don't know why, but I LOVE that!

Apr. 28 2011 02:07 PM
Brian from Silverthorne

I second an emergence firefly sfx.

Apr. 26 2011 12:44 AM
Tori from AZ

Can't wait to secretly put the "pilots" ringtone on my husbands phone!

Apr. 25 2011 06:20 PM

LOVE the sounds. Anyone who doesn't can listen to "Musical Language" and realize they can love them too!! Jad, your composition skills are screaming to us through all the sounds, both in small phrases (moment to moment) and in larger phrases i.e. globally throughout each podcast. How about some dissonant/consonant neurons for us to Dload? They would make great msg/notification sounds. Or superimpose them over a phrase from Rite of Spring for an attention-getting ringer-tone.

Apr. 23 2011 01:28 PM
Bonita from OKC, OK

I love that I can play multiple bites. My favorite so far? Stretched Beethoven and Whale Attack ... Nice.

Apr. 17 2011 11:43 PM

Thanks so much for the ringtones! I suspect I'll never mistake "The Big Bang" for anybody else's mobile.

The LA show was FANTASTIC...we'll never 'look' at Symmetry the same way again.

Apr. 17 2011 02:07 PM
Jef Samp

I'd love the cerebellum/brain stem voice demanding chocolate cake from a few seasons back (was it the Choice episode?)

Apr. 17 2011 12:44 AM
lex from nj

The hookworm song MUST BE A RINGTONE....i've had it stuck/lodged/hooked in my earworm of a head since it first aired

Apr. 16 2011 09:40 PM
kris from Los Angeles

I'm with Juliane - first the cacophony of "Hello!" and then How YOU doin would make me so happy I might just roll on my back and pee like my dog.

Apr. 15 2011 10:13 PM

I so totally disagree with the "grating sounds" person. I usually listen to RL on my headphones while I'm walking in the woods, and I frequently find myself grinning like a banshee (yes, they grin) when a point that's just been made is suddenly punctuated by a sound that I'd never imagined could be made. I like to think that these sounds are directly a RESULT of Jad being just that bit smarter and better!

Apr. 15 2011 05:10 PM
John Bythrow from Philadelphia, PA

I'm in Philadelphia, PA. When and how can I hear your regular broadcasts. Or are you strictly on the web?
Thank you,

Apr. 15 2011 11:47 AM

No fireflies, huh?

Apr. 15 2011 09:41 AM
Juliane from Los Angeles

I have a soft spot for (gravelly, with arched eyebrow) "How ya DO-in'?". The stylings of Mr. Krulwich? My husband and I sometimes greet each other thus and crack up.

Loved the LA show. Night one, baby! When you took a picture of us, I wanted to shout "Next stop, Hollywood Bowl!"

Apr. 15 2011 01:07 AM
Matt from Raleigh, NC

How about some 1-2 second pips and pops and squigglies for text/email alerts?

Apr. 14 2011 05:01 PM
Coffeehouseloser from PDX


Apr. 14 2011 12:35 AM

honestly I wouldnt be able to hear my phone ring with any of these- maybe the show intro would be cool

Apr. 13 2011 11:21 PM
Lili from KS

I really want to use the Stretched Beethoven (<3) as a ring tone, does anyone know how to for an iphone?
Oh and thank you Jad and Robert, Radiolab is not only amazing because you guys make such complicated concepts easy to understand, but it cheers me up no matter what.

Apr. 13 2011 11:03 AM
batgrl from San Diego

Just wanted to add that for every person who finds the sounds "awful interruptions" there are those of us who really enjoy them. Not that I'd make the more jarring ones a ringtone, but I find it interesting to try and listen to see if I can figure out what sounds are used and how it's supposed to support the storyline. Having done some audio editing myself I totally understand how much time and effort goes into those short clips, and they're really entertaining. It's also interesting to note how a short clip lasting only a few seconds really pulls at the attention - even if that clip has a negative effect, seems the listener is even more aware of the content. (There's a cog. psych. experiment in there/been done, I'll bet.)

Apr. 12 2011 08:46 PM
Tre from Colorado

Sorta' a side comment: I like how the sperm episode on Itunes is starred out like it's an expletive. It took me quite a while for me to figure out what the episode was about. I was thinking it was on cursing... nope, sperm. :D

Apr. 11 2011 03:39 PM

all together is nice.

Apr. 11 2011 02:21 PM
RZM from Houston, TX

"jaggedy sounds, little plurps..." Really? That's what you call them in NYTimes? How about, "Grating sounds that are awful interruptions, sometimes so bad that we leap for the radio dial to turn it down, or even OFF." Yeah. That's a better name for these sounds. I'm sad to see that some people like them enough to make ringtones out of them. The past couple of episodes had been SO much better--so fewer AWFUL, GRATING, interruptions that RUIN the show. I fear this bodes ill for future episodes. PLEASE, PLEASE, Jad...leave the noise gimmicks alone! You're so much SMARTER and BETTER than that!

Apr. 11 2011 10:47 AM
Erin from Dallas

Sometimes Behave So Strangely and Quantum Cello are the two stickiest sounds you've ever done. PLEASE consider these as ringtones.

Apr. 11 2011 10:40 AM

Comon guys!? What happened? I thought we were bioengineers, you told us ...."WE'RE BUILDING STUFF!"...... Yea, you know what im talking about.

Apr. 11 2011 10:08 AM

Does anyone know why the intro has that pronunciation of "and" that sounds like "andge" (see below ringtone suggestion). I have always wondered...was it a mistake later thought too endearing to edit out?

Apr. 11 2011 12:02 AM
tom from Montana

try them all at the same time...very interesting

Apr. 10 2011 11:00 PM
Vlasta from ACT, Australia

Just wanted to say that people are crazy for Radiolab in Australia. You will always be welcome if you decide to come and visit us.
I was wondering if you had a list of books that you discuss in the episodes, posted on the website somewhere? Thank you

Apr. 10 2011 10:14 PM

I love RadioLab but I gotta be honest, these would make for terrible ringtones.

Apr. 09 2011 02:57 PM

Another vote for behaving strangely! That choir was great.

Apr. 09 2011 12:58 PM
Vidya from Ventura, California

How about the singing mice?

Apr. 09 2011 12:19 PM

Agree with Jessica, SBSS was my favorite.

Apr. 09 2011 11:40 AM
Ben from East Coast, Florida

Awesome ringtones Jad. How about the introduction "....double-yewww ennnn whyyy ccccc andge en pee are..."

Apr. 09 2011 11:25 AM

How's about Diana Deutsch's sing-songy "Sometime behave so strangely"?

Apr. 09 2011 10:55 AM
Rachelle from Chicago, IL

These are great, but I'm longing for a ringtone from the "Hello, Monkey" (with the juice slurping) from Stochasticity.

Apr. 09 2011 10:33 AM

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