Crickets’ Singing Slowed Down Sounds Like A Human Choir

cricketsVia Enpundit the unsettling realization that the sound of insects resembles our singing, if you know how to listen:

Composer Jim Wilson has recorded the sound of crickets and then slowed down the recording, revealing something so amazing. The crickets sound like they are singing the most angelic chorus in perfect harmony.

The recording contains two tracks played at the same time: The first is the natural sound of crickets played at regular speed, and the second is the slowed down version of crickets’ voices.

“I discovered that when I slowed down this recording to various levels, this simple familiar sound began to morph into something very mystic and complex……..almost human.”

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  • Calypso_1

    Anyone who finds this a topic of interest would do well to read
    Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise by David Rothenberg

  • echar

    Wow!

  • Deliz
  • johnnyabnormal

    There’s a huge buzz (no pun intended) regarding this recording:

    https://soundcloud.com/acornavi/robert-wilson-crickets-audio

    The beautiful harmonies are said to be made from 100% cricket sounds that were slowed down on tape. Slowing down tape effects both pitch and speed together. So, let’s listen to these field recordings of crickets:

    http://www.johnnyrandom.com/crickets/crickets-original-vs-slowed-tape.zip

    Cricket solo original recording.mp3
    Crickets multiple A original recording.mp3
    Crickets multiple B original recording.mp3
    Crickets multiple C original recording.mp3

    I then took these and slowed them down tape-style in octaves:

    Crickets multiple A minus 1 octave.mp3
    Crickets multiple A minus 2 octaves.mp3
    Crickets multiple A minus 3 octaves.mp3
    Crickets multiple A minus 4 octaves.mp3

    The minus 4 octaves examples sound less like “God’s Chorus” and more like “Hell’s Demons”! As shown through evidence (mp3 examples) crickets do not create complex choral harmonies. As a professional composer and sound designer, this is what I hear on “God’s Chorus of Crickets”:

    There is a (real speed) field recording of crickets. Under that field recording is a recording of a (human) choir that has been slowed down, reversed and run through some reverb. It’s a beautiful technique to get harmonic texture, but most definitely human in harmonic structure and cadence.

  • Conspiracy Carrot

    Way cool. Found my new holiday music mix.

  • echar

    Either way, it’s still awesome in my opinion.

  • kowalityjesus

    I came across a website that seems to imply that there is some human-vocal element mixed in with this recording. I won’t hate though. I once harmonized with a swamp of frogs with my viola outside a Sears repair shop when my car broke down in Indiana. There was an enthusiastic response!!

    • echar

      There is another recording with an opera singer. If you go to the soundcloud page, there are some interesting links. One is a podcast that talks about Paul’s extreme sound stretcher. This tool uses an algorythm which creates some interesting results.

      I think Jim Wilson likely layered the slowed down recordings to create some interesting results.

      • johnnyabnormal

        Echar, from the quotes I’ve read, the claim is only “slowed down tape recordings, no other effects”. Slowing down tape slows time and pitch together (listen to my examples above). The only other way of “stretching” sound is digitally, using software. Digitally, you can effect time and pitch separately, although back when this song was made, the technology for this was VERY underdeveloped. When you stretch a sound digitally, the software is literally filling in the blanks. So if I time stretch a recording enough, only a small percentage of the sound you hear is the original source.

        • echar

          I’ve been geeking on this all day. I love this kind thing, and odd music. I am no expert. With my limited experience, which is almost exclusively what I read through the soundcloud page, I offered what seems possible to me. If it is as claimed or not, it doesn’t bother me.

          • johnnyabnormal

            I have no criticism of the music itself… But I do get irked by false claims. As a professional composer and sound designer, I can assure you that the claims about this recording are not true. Crickets don’t do choral harmonies, at any speed. Either way, if you want to hear a really cool piece of music using crickets (for rhythm) you should check out Money Mark’s “Insects Are All Around Us”.

          • echar

            Thank you for clearing that up. The Money Mark song is funky.

      • johnnyabnormal

        I might also add: Digitally time stretching field recordings of crickets do not yield the sound of a choir either. It sounds quite horrible, in fact.

  • GregForest

    Have some pretty sophisticated equipment and software in our recording studio and have been unable to replicate Wilson’s results. Its not that hard to replicate the recording but not by merely slowing it down. We did find some very similar “choir sounding” recordings in our stock sound effects library that could be easily layered into a cricket recording. Just about any sample library will have some. Anyhow everyone knows crickets sing in minor keys :)

  • Aaron Ong

    if you think its not true cause of the crickets chirping with the song, click at the time: 40 seconds, someone explains that… T_T

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