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That's (not) a stretch, it's a bunch of bugs - part 3

A couple days after Christmas, we went to our local National Park - Minnamurra Rainforest. Catherine had been the week before, and said that the lyrebirds were singing up a storm, so even though I knew it was Christmas holidays, and the park would probably have a lot of noisy visitors, I decided to pop my little portable digital sound recorder into my handbag, just in case. When we got to the park, I realized, as soon as we opened the windows, that recording lyrebirds was out of the question. Not because of humans, but cicadas. The cicada, which sings its noisy song in the summer, can be quite deafening if heard up close. If an entire rainforest is filled with them, all singing at once, the sound is incredible. Even though there were, as I thought, a lot of people there, I was able to find stretches of up to a minute with no human sounds present. I brought the recordings home and tried stretching them in various ways. None of the methods of stretching contributed anything to the sound. The sound of thousands of cicadas was sufficient on its own. This two minute segment cross fades three recordings - first a recording made above the main cicada action, starting with the (normally) dominant sound of the Minnamura river - the cicadas fade in here, taking over. After about 30 seconds, a recording made by the river, but lower down, in the middle of the cicada action, still has the growing and decaying sounds of the cicadas. This lasts about a minute. The final 30 seconds is made with the microphones pointed up right into a grove of trees full of cicadas going full tilt. Even though this was made only a few meters from the visitor centre and the outdoor cafe, no human sounds are heard. The cicadas are just too loud, and continuous here, for anything else to get through. To get the full cicada experience, play this one LOUD.



Three cross-faded cicada recordings made 27 December 2009 by Warren Burt, Minnamurra NSW Rainforest park

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