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Does anyone have any tricks for designing a sound like a cricket or crickets? I live in Scotland and recording actual crickets obviously isn't an option!

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@graeme should i send you some? –  Filipe Chagas Feb 7 '11 at 14:09
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There are really no crickets in Scotland? That's fascinating. –  Utopia Feb 7 '11 at 19:25
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6 Answers

Hi Graeme, I like crickets and I'm designing a cricket machine on puredata. I've made a good cricket so far but it still lacks some frequencies. My puredata bible for sound design is here: http://obiwannabe.co.uk/tutorials/html/tutorials_main.html

First I made a recording with some real crickets so I studied the waveform and the harmonic spectrum. A chirp is made by 4 impulses (20ms each every 30ms). The dominant frequency is 4170Hz with some 8340, 12480, 16680Hz (a flat C note). Now I'm working on the resonance. I didn't try it but I'm sure you can do a great cricket with the Operator (Ableton Live instrument) and with many other vst synths. The advantage with pd is that you can simulate the strange tempo/nontempo of the nature. I can give you the puredata patch if you like but I don't know how to attach files here.

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+1 on obiwannabe... Andy Farnell FTW!! –  Julian Feb 7 '11 at 17:48
    
How long have you been using PD? Do you have previous experience with languages? –  Chris Feb 7 '11 at 18:18
    
When I started with pd two years ago I already knew some max/msp stuff, not very much though. Now I'm using pd a lot and I love it. –  fabio_iaci Feb 7 '11 at 20:26
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If you're any good with your own voice try this: http://www.ehow.com/how_4702844_chirp-like-cricket.html

and if you're not try a synth! Base the sound on a white noise hiss and fiddle around with other pre-sets (those that sound like a ringing phone) until you have something clear and resonant. There's plenty of free cricket sound effects on-line if you need inspiration/a reference point.

Failing that- go to your local reptile supply shop and buy a box of crickets!

Happy noise making!

Helen @LenSound

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answering a question with a question: If you live in a country that does not have crickets are you aware of when/how/why their presence occurs?

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If you like I have two cricket recordings from Australia that I could send your way. First is a shotgun mic on a single cricket chriping loudly and constantly with lttle variation. The other is a stereo recording which features a group of crickets chriping at regular intervals. Into the recording a second group of crickets joins in. Send me an email to kyle [at] cannedgeek.com if those are useful to you.

I really should have more. There have been some great varieties of crickets I have been hearing this summer in my area. I am happy to just send those to you fo free - although if you have something to trade from Scotland in return that would be even better. ^^

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I know it's not a cricket, but to get a good synthesized cicada sound I'd try taking a recording of a baseball card being flipped by the spokes of a bike tire and pitch it up like 2 octaves to get that cool cicada sound effect. I'd also experiment with different types of material - like an old plastic credit card or plastic spoon.

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Just noticed this on Music of Sound:

http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/cicadas-meet-pitch-shift

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