Kentucky Cricket Chorus

During a visit to Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky in early October of 2009, I was impressed by the rich and varied insect chorus. Crickets and katydids dominated the nighttime soundscape and I worked hard to find a nice combination of singing crickets, free of the incessant harsh rattles of true katydids. It was a cool night, around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. I began recording the cricket concerto and was thrilled when coyotes sounded off in the distance, followed by a pair of barred owls hooting:

Several species of crickets singing with Coyotes and Barred Owls sounding off in the background. 10pm, 2 October 2009, Land Between the Lakes Kentucky. Recorded by Lang Elliott.

I’m curious as to how everyone reacts to this recording (please don’t play it too loud!). It sounds good to my ears, but my high frequency response is pretty poor, so maybe you will find the insects a little overwhelming.

Listen for the different insect songs. A Broad-winged Tree Cricket (I believe) trills loudly at around 1600 Hz. At 3000 Hz, another cricket (not sure which one) gives repeated buzzy trills. Above that is a chorus of continuous-trilling tree crickets. Other insects can be heard as well. The reverberation of the distant coyotes is impressive, their howls echoing across the landscape.The owls are quite a bit closer, with less echo.

What does everyone think? Is this a restful soundscape? Is it easy on the ears? I’m relying on you to tell me what sounds good and what doesn’t. If you don’t like the insects, tell me which ones annoy you, so that I can lower their volume to improve the listening experience.



  1. Lang I am such a fan of yours and so appreciative for all the beautiful work that you do. Thank you for inspiring me and bringing me meditative rest.

  2. Love This! I love the echoes of the owls and the coyotes. I always love to listen to crickets on a cool fall night.

  3. Loved it …

    but to my ears i find a bit to much the continuous sound of the insects … not the crickets but the katydids …. they form a continuous mass of sound that i find very overwhelming … it’s a bit to much.

    I confess i was never a fan of the katydids sound because i don’t find it soothing but overwhelmingly annoying. Funny thing is that at day i do like the sound of Cicada, not as a soothing sound, but i like it ’cause it reminds me of hot summer days.

    Other than that other posters already said everything … amazing record well done =)

  4. I really like the recordings. I just want to know how on earth you got all that. I record using my digital recorder, I’m a bit of a cheapscate, and cannot afford all the fancy microphones, but do have an olympus that I use. with this, I have no complaints. the other writer is right about the mournful sound of the coyotes, but the feeling conveyed to us by the recordings is, unfortunately, no reflection on what the animal is feeling. I think the narrowmouth toad sounds like it’s screaming in pain. I doubt it is, though.

  5. the sound of the coyotes made me sad it sounded like they were in mourning, like they had just lost a valuable member of their pack. I have heard the coyote’s howl before but this time it was sad.

    • It is difficult to say what the coyotes were feeling, but I think it’s stretching it to say they are sad only because their howls “sound sad” to us and seem to have a mournful quality For example, the “wail” call of the Common Loon sounds very mournful indeed, yet it has been shown to be a contact call that allows mates to know each others whereabouts at night. There is no evidence whatsoever that loons making this call are sad.

  6. I really enjoy listening to your Kentucky Cricket Chorus however, I can’t play it on my ipad. Is there any way to convert this so that I could?


  7. I think the level and balance of insect sounds are just right. The coyotes make a great focal point, as do the owls. The owls are a slight bit too loud in the context of this recording. The coyotes are fine.


    • Bob – it might be tricky to lower the Barred Owls because they don’t have a nice trailing echo (in comparison to the coyotes). But I have been known to perform greater miracles. . .

  8. There is nothing I would want you to change in this recording. To me everything is balanced perfectly and I don’t think anything is to loud or annoying. This is great to listen to in the middle of winter. Keep these great recordings coming.

  9. The coyotes distance is perfect. I love the crickets, night sounds in general, I can’t find faults with it, well it’s not long enough, it is preventing me from working, but it is very relaxing.

    • Kirk: The actual recording is about 7.5 minutes long. The Barred Owls go on for quite awhile. When I come out with actual soundscape titles that will be for sale (this will happen within a couple of months), nearly all tracks will be 6-7 minutes long, sometimes even longer. That will provide plenty of time to experience immersion, and you’ll have the option of looping tracks. iTunes and amazonMP3 make it difficult to create titles with long tracks. I could certainly do it, but a 15+ minute track might very well end up selling for 99 cents, which is not good from my point of view. The standard model will be to produce a 70 minute soundscape title comprised of about ten tracks.

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