SD29 17-Year Cicadas
SD29 17-Year Cicadas
SD29 17-Year Cicadas
SD29 17-Year Cicadas
SD29 17-Year Cicadas

SD29 17-Year Cicadas

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  • In 17-Year Cicadas, get a large collection of rare swarming insects. Hear visceral screeches and crackling wing flutters. Hear electric clicks and massive walls of swelling sound. Hear long ambiences of morning songbirds singing in counterpoint with droning cicadas and isolated screeches so close you can feel their ultrasonic energy. 
  • This library offers you the sounds of the natural wonder of Brood X. These 17-year cicadas won't be heard again until 2038! It was wild to experience this 90-100 dB sound in person. I hope you enjoy them too. Thanks for listening.



  • Isolated sound design clips of cicadas alone
  • Ambiences with cicadas and other wildlife
  • Close isolated cicadas
  • Distant swarms
  • Drones
  • Electric clicks
  • Melodic calls
  • Synchronized swells
  • Ultrasonic content up to 70 kHz – see spectrograms in file list below for reference.
  • 3 distinct species
  • Please note: the "Pitch Shifted Demo" was made to demonstrate the potential of the sounds in this library. However, 17-Year Cicadas does NOT include pitch shifted sounds, only mastered field recordings.


  • I spent 5 days recording cicadas in June 2021. It was my first time experiencing this lovely natural wonder and I'm excited to share the sounds. 
  • First off, there's more that one species of 17-year cicadas. Three species emerge at the same time!
  • Magicicada cassini (intense noise from 3 to 30 kHz). These sound similar to typical, yearly North American cicadas. These are by far the loudest and peak in the heat of the afternoon sun. 
  • Magicicada septendecim (droning from 1.2 to 1.5 kHz). This sound is created by millions of single "pharaoh" calls that combine into a lush cricket-like chorus. These calls start in the morning with an otherworldly drone. 
  • Magicicada septendecula (short pulsing from 6 to 9 kHz). This rhythmic species is the least common and seldom heard. 
  • 17-year cicadas only sing during daytime and usually peak in activity on hot sunny summer afternoons. 
  • The cicadas roost in the treetops for their mating dance, so I had to find a way to get close to them. This mostly involved climbing trees or using a long boom pole to get up into the canopy.
  • Luckily I found that the cicadas would land on the blimp furry and get slightly snared in the hairs for a few seconds. This made for some great close up screeches, clicks, and drones. The tricky part was finding a tree that was climbable or short enough to use the boom pole. Most of the Eastern US trees are over 30 meters and I couldn't easily get close to the singing cicadas. 
  • There are many broods of 17-year cicadas with offset cycles. So find a brood near your region, and mark your calendars for the next emergence. Here's a good resource: Cicadamania
  • If you want to dive deeper into the world of these fascinating species, I'd recommend the book Bug Music by David Rothenberg.  


  • View larger version or Download CSV.
  • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
  • Included Species: 17-year cicadas: Magicicada Septendecim, Magicicada Septendecula, and Magicicada Cassini


  • Stereo: Double Mid/Side decoded to Stereo (L/R)
  • Quad: Double Mid/Side decoded to Quad (L/R/Ls/Rs)


    • 81 sound design clips are delivered at 192 kHz. These only include cicadas. 
    • 14 forest ambiences are delivered at 96 kHz. These contains cicadas and other wildlife. 


      Stereo Specs: 7 GB – 192 kHz or 96 kHz / 24-bit – 95 stereo WAV files – 95+ sounds – Approx. 127 minutes (2.1 hours)
      Quad Specs: 14 GB – 192 kHz or 96 kHz / 24-bit – 95 quad WAV files – 95+ sounds – Approx. 127 minutes (2.1 hours)
      Metadata:  Universal Category System, CSV, Soundminer, BWAV
      Categories: ANMLInsc, 17-year cicada, Brood X, Species: Magicicada Septendecim, Magicicada Septendecula, and Magicicada Cassini
      Location: United States, Delaware – June 2021
      Mastering: read my Field Recording Mastering Rules for more info.
      Delivery: Instant - blazingly-fast - digital download
      License type: Single user, royalty-free - for a multi-user license, click here
      Sound Library Guarantee: If you're unhappy with my field recordings in any way, I'll give you store credit equal to the cost of the sound library. Read the full details – here.

      GEAR USED:

      • Sennheiser MKH8040 pair and MKH30 in Double Mid/Side
      • Sound Devices MixPre-3 II
      • Cinela Pianissimo Double Mid/Side Blimp

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