Shaping Waves Sound Effects Library Releases "Insects & Swarms"

January 25, 2017 11:01am

From massive swarms in different densities and activity levels to individual passby sounds and landings, this insect sound library covers pretty much all variants of insect wing buzz sounds.


14 long takes (up to 9 minutes in length) of bee swarm sounds, recorded beehives containing more than 10.000 bees. Close sounds were captured by placing the tiny DPA 4060 microphones inside the wooden containers housing the beehives. For other takes the Sennheiser MKH microphones were positioned at the entrance and between containers, creating detailed passes of worker bees entering and leaving the hive, taking off and landing. A few recordings were made a bit further away from the swarm, resulting in a more distant “garden” perspective. We also made a very close recording of bees aggressively defending the hive, while a honeycomb was removed by the beekeeper and replaced with liquid sugar for feeding purposes.


The collection includes 19 fly swarm sounds featuring different species, and varied swarm densities and activity levels. These swarm sound recordings range from 1 to 6 minutes in length. In addition, there are 51 other sounds of flies (single insects, different species) flying and landing, captured in a controlled environment.


The isolated sounds of cicadas were captured outdoors in remote pine forests in Greece, while the cricket sounds were recorded in a studio environment. You’ll find various chirping sounds of individuals and small groups in this insect sound library.


I got access to the Max Plank Institute for Infection Biology and recorded mosquito sounds in their laboratories. During the recording session I recorded mosquito swarms in an insectary, covering different sized groups and single insects in isolation. In addition, this insect sound collection includes seamless loops of continuous, designed mosquito wing buzz sounds.


In order to complement the insect recordings we synthesized continuous sounds for different species from scratch where recording them did not make sense. The advantage of creating a very constant buzz sound is that it allows the sound designer to precisely adapt the source audio to the flight path of an insect in a given scene, – however complex the movement might be – or use it as a loop in a game engine and attach it to a moving sound source. The designed sounds will be useful to mimic the sound of many flying insects such as bees, flies, mosquitoes, bugs, moths, wasps and “fantasy” creatures. We also designed a wide variety of insect flybys in different speeds and flavors to complement the “real” recordings making “Insects & Swarms” the most comprehensive sound collection of flying insects in existence today.


Recorder: Sound Devices 633, Sonosax SX-R4+
Mics: 2 x Neumann TLM 103 cardoids, 2 x DPA 4060 omnis, 2 x Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardoids.