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Old 20th February 2021, 09:41 AM   #1
crescent
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Crickets, Chorus of the Gods

Not sure which forum to put this in.

This is two recordings of crickets, overlaid. One is at real-time speed, the other has been slowed down.

Jim Wilson | God's Chorus of Crickets | crickets audio recording slowed way down

Apparently the recording has been around for some decades (Snopes writeup: God ‘s Chorus of Crickets).

Quote:
Though it may sound like a synthesizer or a chorus singing; it’s the crickets themselves slowed way down, creating the effect of a choir of human voices. The sound created is a simple diatonic 7-note scale chord progression and melody with a multi-layered structure.
Creepy but beautiful sounds.

Last edited by crescent; 20th February 2021 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 20th February 2021, 10:30 PM   #2
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I like the sound of the slower track in the background, and wish I could get a version that's just that without the normal one... but I'm not buying that it's just crickets slowed down. Real crickets stop & restart somewhere around once per second, and this doesn't seem to do so on any time scale.

Hmm... maybe the idea is that, although we only hear a few of them at normal speed, the slowed one is a large crowd of them I know that smooths out the effect a lot. (A valley full of zillions of both 13-year and 17-year cicadas in the same year, for example, maintains a constant level that sounds like a 1960s Star Trek phaser, instead of the up-&-down pattern of one or a few of them.)

Last edited by Delvo; 20th February 2021 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 20th February 2021, 11:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I like the sound of the slower track in the background, and wish I could get a version that's just that without the normal one... but I'm not buying that it's just crickets slowed down. Real crickets stop & restart somewhere around once per second, and this doesn't seem to do so on any time scale.

Hmm... maybe the idea is that, although we only hear a few of them at normal speed, the slowed one is a large crowd of them I know that smooths out the effect a lot. (A valley full of zillions of both 13-year and 17-year cicadas in the same year, for example, maintains a constant level that sounds like a 1960s Star Trek phaser, instead of the up-&-down pattern of one or a few of them.)
That's kinda why I put in the sciency forum. I'm guessing that there has been more manipulation than just slowing it down (the Snopes writeup hints at that), but I'm not certain. Still sounds pretty creepy thought.

I suppose in this day and age most anyone could replicate the process. There's gotta be an app for that.
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Old 21st February 2021, 12:18 AM   #4
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If you put "crickets slowed down" in Sound Cloud, you can also find some others that sound like they could be natural recordings, not music, and they sound different from this and from each other.
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Old 21st February 2021, 04:58 AM   #5
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1 am (one in the morning) in Auckland.
Going like the clappers.
Strange to read the thread and then notice with the back door open.
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Old 21st February 2021, 05:03 AM   #6
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I will record now then post when my techo an do it.
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Old 21st February 2021, 07:55 AM   #7
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Debunk: https://youtu.be/iFFtqEyfu_o
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Old 21st February 2021, 11:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hecd2 View Post
Interesting - but I have one nitpick. The analysis recorded their own cricket sounds and slowed them down. Except - they seem to have recorded cicadas instead. Rather than the chirp-chirp-chirp of crickets, they recorded the steady buzzing of cicadas.

The further analysis does support the conclusion that the "Chorus of the Gods" was manipulated. But their initial effort to replicate the process themselves seems faulty as they appear to have the wrong species.
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Old 21st February 2021, 12:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Interesting - but I have one nitpick. The analysis recorded their own cricket sounds and slowed them down. Except - they seem to have recorded cicadas instead. Rather than the chirp-chirp-chirp of crickets, they recorded the steady buzzing of cicadas.

The further analysis does support the conclusion that the "Chorus of the Gods" was manipulated. But their initial effort to replicate the process themselves seems faulty as they appear to have the wrong species.
I agree that the first example was ridiculous because it does not sound anything like crickets. It certainly does not sound like the crickets in the recording. The second effort was closer and did sound like crickets, but still was quite different from the crickets in the original recording.

He isolated the slowed down speed sounds from the regular speed chirping. He then played back the slowed down version at a higher speed. But he should also have played back the regular speed version at slower speed. That is really the claim. It would be interesting to hear what that actually sounds like.

Perhaps the chorus of angels only results with a certain type of cricket. Or maybe it is just this unique recording that has this effect. Of course, doing it in reverse proves that when the slowed down version is sped up it does not exactly match the regular speed version. It does sound like crickets, but there is clearly something else going on.

Also, it may be possible that the slowed down version may be made up of several layers of the chirping slowed down to different speeds so that when they are layered there is a musical effect. The video below has crickets played at different speeds; quite interesting how different the sound is at different speeds.

Maybe the recording is spliced together. Slow the chirping down. Find a section that sound a bit musical. Add then in. Then find another section and add that, and so on.

Or maybe he was manually shifting the pitch as it played to get different notes, which is a bit different than playing back slowed down chirping sounds through a keyboard.

There certainly does seem to be some type of manipulation. In any event, it is very cool piece of work.
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Old 21st February 2021, 01:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
The analysis recorded their own cricket sounds and slowed them down. Except - they seem to have recorded cicadas instead. Rather than the chirp-chirp-chirp of crickets, they recorded the steady buzzing of cicadas.
Chirping sounds steadier when there are more chirpers together... especially if none of them are a lot closer to the microphone than the rest.

Another oddity is that they later allowed the slowing to shift the pitch down, whereas it was obvious that, for the original to have been based on slowed-down crickets in any way, it must have not been with the pitch shifting down (at least not that far)... a very strange oversight, given that they must have not allowed the pitch to shift up when they sped up a sample earlier in the same video.

Anyway, back to the original two-track piece: it almost seems like the normal-speed track was added just to be an obstacle to anybody simply speeding it up and finding out that it wasn't what it was claimed to be. To really hear the slowed-down part sped back up again, you needed to get rid of the second track, which not as many people can do.

I do also wonder, though, given how simple his method of removing the second track was, if he might have also taken out part of what was actually the main track.

Last edited by Delvo; 21st February 2021 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 21st February 2021, 04:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Creepy but beautiful sounds.
The English art band Wire, had a B-Side single "Go Ahead" that uses a weird slowed down intro sound. It sounds very similar to the slowed down crickets. (Another Wire song was used for the movie Silence of the Lambs, when we first see the serial killer)

Intro that sounds like the slowed down crickets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoVOwwL7Cic
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Old 21st February 2021, 04:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hecd2 View Post
Hmmmm.... that's a good video. There probably is some sort of phasing modulation added to the original sound, and possibly some pitch shifting with delay added. .

The Wire version is from 1982. The cricket recording is from 1992 when samplers are common.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 02:39 AM   #13
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Dead in the water

The slowed down signing crickets as evidence of god (1990's) was a stolen sample from a B-Side of a 1982 Wire single. It has the same quantisation sampling error in the same spot.

I might be old, but I know my music. Here is my brother in 1980's doing early sample music where he had a top 20 in the UK electronic charts using an early video synthesizer by Steve Jones from Fairlight (Australia).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1Grs5HDXyE
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Old 22nd February 2021, 10:28 AM   #14
DevilsAdvocate
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
Dead in the water

The slowed down signing crickets as evidence of god (1990's) was a stolen sample from a B-Side of a 1982 Wire single. It has the same quantisation sampling error in the same spot.

I might be old, but I know my music. Here is my brother in 1980's doing early sample music where he had a top 20 in the UK electronic charts using an early video synthesizer by Steve Jones from Fairlight (Australia).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1Grs5HDXyE
Where do you get the 1982 date? Go Ahead was released in 1979, but the intro for that version is clearly just synthesized sounds. The release in 1994 has what sounds like the cricket chorus. I'm not finding a 1982 release to determine which intro that version may have had.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 09:00 PM   #15
Matthew Ellard
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Where do you get the 1982 date?
From memory....which explains the mistake. I didn't have the single but a recording on cassette.

Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
but the intro for that version is clearly just synthesized sounds.
I don't think so. It's a heavily processed sample, possibly by Mike Thorne or the band, like the vacuum cleaners on the 154 EP. Wire did use a lot of samples. Both the Wire intro and God's chorus have obvious phasing, tuned samples and signal processing.

What synth would create that sound from scratch in 1979? It isn't FM synthesis or analogue. It may be an Early Fairlight from 1979?


Go ahead Wire / 1979
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoVOwwL7Cic

God's Cricket Chorus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP6JGlv32nw
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Old 22nd February 2021, 11:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
From memory....which explains the mistake. I didn't have the single but a recording on cassette.

I don't think so. It's a heavily processed sample, possibly by Mike Thorne or the band, like the vacuum cleaners on the 154 EP. Wire did use a lot of samples. Both the Wire intro and God's chorus have obvious phasing, tuned samples and signal processing.

What synth would create that sound from scratch in 1979? It isn't FM synthesis or analogue. It may be an Early Fairlight from 1979?


Go ahead Wire / 1979
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoVOwwL7Cic

God's Cricket Chorus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP6JGlv32nw
You linked to the 1994 version again. Here is the 1979 version.

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Old 24th February 2021, 04:20 PM   #17
Matthew Ellard
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
You linked to the 1994 version again. Here is the 1979 version.
That's the live version from the Notre Dame Hall London 1979 live concert. You can hear the backing tape ("sample") slip at the beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-qTqPoOmTg
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Old 24th February 2021, 04:39 PM   #18
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Well the best way to learn is to ask.

I posted a question on the Wire "Pink Flag" forum. Last time I did that Colin Newman responded, which caught me off guard.

They did use a lot of samples. Here is Colin Newman and Mike Thorne's 1980 album ("A to Z") first track, full of sampled loops.


(My brothers band, Severed Heads, supported Wire in Europe in 1986)

"I've Waited Ages / 1980 / Colin Newman & Mike Thorne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-eH45_Xq9Q
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