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!

  • @graeme should i send you some? Feb 7, 2011 at 14:09
  • 1
    There are really no crickets in Scotland? That's fascinating.
    – Utopia
    Feb 7, 2011 at 19:25

7 Answers 7


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.

  • How long have you been using PD? Do you have previous experience with languages?
    – Chris
    Feb 7, 2011 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, 2011 at 20:26

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


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?


I'm pleased to announce that I've just published a new tool called the Cricket Chirp Tool, as well as some videos on this topic of Cricket Chirp SFX. An extensive written tutorial is found here on my blog, which includes some background and analysis techniques.

To introduce a very basic technique:

  1. Apply Ring modulation to a Sine Wave. Tune the main Osc to a high Octave like C7, which is 2khz.
  2. If you can change the Ring Mod wave, change it to a Triangle, and tune it in a low octave so that it's between 35hz - 70hz. This creates a nice buzzing, with sidebands in a very narrow frequency range.
  3. Then modulate the chirp syllables how you like, I prefer to use a pulse-wave LFO, but custom Envs also work, they just need to be very fast.

A number of other techniques are demonstrated in the following video:

And thank you Andy Farnell, I love your work!


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. ^^


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.


Just noticed this on Music of Sound:


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