Brood X
Cicada Noise Generator
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See you in 17 years!

Ed Bennett – a fan of myNoise – shares one of his most memorable audio memories with us: "It was the summer of 1987 in Chicago, Illinois, and we had a cicada emergence. It happens once every 17 years. That day, I walked deep into the forest to experience the event and stood surrounded by millions of singing insects. Waves of sound rose and fell as cicada groups synchronized into a huge chorus. It was overwhelming."

Ed never forgot that experience and looked forward to this year, as end of May/early June 2021 saw the resurgence of Brood X (Brood 10) – one of the 15 broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the eastern United States. Ed even bought a surround-recording device for that special occasion and was kind enough to share his recordings will us.

Ed: "These recordings were made in locations near my current home in Ellicott City, Maryland, including my back and front yard, neighbors' trees, and the 300 wooded acres of Centennial Park – which had the densest concentrations of cicadas."

Thank you so much, Ed!

It is fascinating how the cicadas of Brood X manage to emerge all at the same time, after spending 17 years underground! Why did they wait for so long? The answer might come from natural selection.

Cicadas' predators, creatures like birds and rodents, have a typical life cycle of two to six years. While these predators gorge themselves and reproduce like mad when cicadas emerge in huge numbers, their growth is limited in time, since a whole generation of predators will die before the next cicada emergence will arise. If cicadas had a shorter evolutionary cycle, they would constantly feed their predators, whose population would then become a threat to the cicada population.

Cicada cycles often coincide with prime numbers - say, every 13 or 17 years. This allows them to minimize the chance of two broods waking up simultaneously, which would carry the risk of both broods disappearing forever, if there were a large number of predators that year.

The noise you hear consists of two components: a narrow-band frequency distribution located at around 1.2 kHz and a wider band at 6 kHz. The lower distribution corresponds to thousands of males producing their mating call, which sounds like "eeeeeeeeeehooo" when you are close enough to hear an individual specimen. At large scale and from a distance, the superimposition of all these individual calls just produces noise, as illustrated by the first slider. The second frequency distribution is the regular cicada noise, which often comes in waves. These waves are illustrated in the right-most sliders.

This generator excels at masking tinnitus. Have a try if you suffer from high-frequency tinnitus.

Testimonials - write yours here

Tip : click the blue dots to load their associated settings.

  This is what summer in Southern Italy sounds like! I've spent so many hours floating in the sea, listening to the cicadas sing the perfect summer soundtrack from dusk till dawn.

  I love this! It masks my ear ringing perfectly!

  I remember playing with cicadas when I was still in preschool, back in Virginia. This sound generator brings back so many fond, nostalgic childhood memories!

  This is great! It calms me down and helps me to focus on my work. Thank you for sharing this beautiful sound of cicada.

  This makes me so happy!! Cicadas are one of the biggest things that I miss about Chicago after having moved to Seattle, so this generator makes me feel a little better about having missed the Big Brood's emergence. (Incidentally, myNoise also helps me with the other thing that I miss the most, which is thunderstorms!)

  I live in Washington, DC in the United States, and my nine-year-old son, my wife, and I soaked up every minute we could of Brood X's stay with us. They're beautiful creatures, and the sensation of being in an area with a lot of trees and being enveloped in a cloud of sound is something I hope never to forget. I'm so grateful for a way to remember them.

  Great recording, and brings back visuals of camping back in the day! Also reminds me of flying saucers in The Outer Limits!

  Cicadas for me are the sound of summer and the sound of my childhood spent outdoors. Brood X is an especially large one, but for those who might live where cicadas don't, different broods of cicadas emerge every year. So every year I get to hear that distinctive buzz that says "lazy summer day". I'm so glad that myNoise took advantage and added this generator!

  Real unique recordings, fantastic job. Nice spatial sounding with headphones. They sound so alien.

  Hi! I recorded these files and Stephane has done an amazing job recreating the experience. Once you get tuned into the the sound, it becomes rich and nuanced. This mix is what it's like to be deep in the forest with millions on Cicadas in full song. My peak was 95 decibels! (Find this mix along the presets as well).

  I first heard the Brood X cicadas when I was living in MD, 11 years old, fascinated. This year, 17 years later, I went back to experience it again. It's an amazing phenomenon, soaked in nostalgia and childhood summer memories for me. I desperately hoped myNoise would release a cicada sound to take me back home so I'm DELIGHTED by this, especially since Centennial Park is right by my childhood home!

  This is an incredible natural tonal drone. How it has been generated makes it even more fascinating.

  Brood X prevented me from opening my windows for almost two months because their collective sound reached over 90 decibels in my area. Despite this, something about this sound generator is soothing. It's great to have this noise to remember this Spring and drown out all other noises around.

  Absolutely amazing and very peaceful, despite all that's going on! Perfect for working, it masks all other noises around.

  There is no question that this generator helps mask my tinnitus--a number of tones, the most prominent of which sits around 15kHz, like an old TV set.

Current Settings

Save in URL
Save as Cookie > Load
Clone as a Mini-Player
Order as an Audio file    

Presets

Male Chorus OnlyCicada ChorusWith LoveMale CallAlertSound WavesSlow Waves95 Decibels! Surprise!

Tape Speed Control

SlowerFasterShuffle!Reset

Animation Control

Start A B C

  iEQ • Calibration

NoneBalancedFull

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Usage

Each slider controls a particular audio stream; adjust sliders to taste and mood. The animation button turns the soundscape into an slowly evolving texture. Use this feature if you intend to listen to the generator over a long period of time!