Disquiet Junto Project 0494: Insect Menagerie

Enhanced recorded sound.


I accidentally did it? Thanks to @jasonw22 for pointing it out.

I bought a Roland Gaia in a package deal yesterday with a Minilogue. I wanted a Minilogue but for $300 more the guy threw in the Gaia. I figured, “hey, it has a lot of knobs and sliders, it’s 3 osc / 3 envelope, lots of voices, I’ll give it a shot.” I know it had some flop reviews as “The Beginner Synth” but, c’mon, don’t you want a synth with D-Beam too?

Anyways, within 30 minutes of noodling with it, I had made this patch, and anything that can make this kind of noise is cool by me.

two supersaws, ring mod, built-in fuzz + slight reverb, 12dB highly resonant peak filter

some finagling that I hope makes a Dropbox link work


I discovered this bumblebee on our balcony feasting comtemplatively on meadow sage. A very close-up recording reveals sounds which could be created by the Hauschka toolset (my favourite virtual instrument at the moment). The wings sounded like heavily processed helicopter recordings.


I used a knitting needle and ebow on the pedal steel with a power drill running as an agitator. It’s all recorded direct with no post-processing and no stompboxes or effects. I can post a video in a bit that’ll give an idea of what I mean. I tried to imagine an insect heard but not seen, so the trilling, chirping noises seemed appropriate. Then I just made up a fake scientific-sounding name.


What if the military started to build mechanical cicadas, which attack in swarms? What would it sound like?

Contains a field recording [Freesound - "Cicadas " by dethrok]from freesound.org by dethrok.


This creature escaped from the robotics lab of a local uni and was caught trying to suckle the blood of the innocent with its gnarly proboscis! We were able to trap the thing in a box but it has escaped and is thought to be headed in the direction of Bern, Switzerland! I’ve recorded here a dramatization of events.

The ingredients were a cymbal and assorted noisemakers in a box, mixer feedback, and a coffee can banjo played with a slide. These were sent to delay pedals, Borderlands granular and RE-1 space echo on the iPad. Several minutes of audio were then edited in an attempt to emulate the sound and movements of this alarming creature. I spent many a painful click, squinting, trying to duck background noise where the frontal sounds come in, when a sidechain between the two groups would have done the trick straight off.

I need to figure out simple wave editing and mixing on the iPad before I leave aside the DAW. If anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears!


Visualize a world where humans have wiped most insect species out of existence. Now Earth is full of insects created by self replicating robots. These self replicating automatons complete tasks to maintain the balance of the Earths ecosystem. This is the sound of one of these “insects”.
These sounds were created with the Rollz5 made from Ciat Lonbarde’s papercircuits available at Rollz-5


hi everyone. long time no see but i’m glad to be able to submit yet another contribution to the pool of soundscapes for the musikfestival bern 2021. it was a lot of fun immersing myself in fictitious insect soundscapes whilst trying to create something which seems somewhat possible after all……couldn’t quite decide in which realm this insect is meant to be residing but i think, by the sounds of it, it might be living under water…….

this is ¶radio hummingbird’s contribution to this week’s disquiet junto with the serial number 0494. in short, the requirement for this contribution was to create an imaginary sound of an insect.

i utilised a little 100hp eurorack system to inter-mangle three different oscillators and process and mix the results in a slight fashion. furthermore, the field kit operated a little solenoid along with the chirps i created for additional clicks which i fed straight back into the modular synthesizer for filtering. nothing else.

a daw or computers were only used for a little mastering in ableton live. easy.

please enjoy and listen loud.

edit: as practiced in the past, here’s a little visual insight into the process of creating the above sound:


I’ve recently been bitten by the Eurorack bug again (pun intended) so this seemed like a fantastic opportunity to do some sound design using the newly-expanded rig.


Just as I decide to withdraw from the Disquiet mailing list, owing to my failure month after month to participate in a single junto, a truly irresistible theme materialises. I’m quite chuffed finally to have taken part!

A newly discovered member of the scarab family, Eriolatus allostridor (‘woolly-sided and stridulating strangely’) is a beetle notable particularly for the dense bristles clustered around its lateral spiracles; these bristles are used for defensive stridulation. Moreover, it is believed that rhythmic, spiracular ejection of air is partly responsible for the peculiar ‘modulations’ audible in this insect’s stridulatory performance.

One oscillator (Mungo w0) playing back a custom waveform and subjected to v/oct and FM from a looping envelope (Cosmotronic Delta-V) and NLC ARSEq into GENiE. Mixed in NLC Clump, including a copy sent through NLC 329 Phase/Flange, with VCA envelopes sequenced from a Gotharman’s Little DeFormer 3 mkII. Mixed in Ableton with a window field recording.


Hopefully this video is worth a few words, because I was doing a crummy job trying to explain how I made this. The direct sound on soundcloud is much better, but the shoddy pickup still captured the drill whirrs in a way that I liked.


Source material from my contribution to Naviar Haiku Project 374. Improvised on a violin, processed in Straylight and edited with Audacity.


Couldn’t help myself and had to imagine a big, intimidating insect from a far away planet near a distant star that is so much larger than our sun. Created the sound through a combination of Pigments, some sample, metallic reverb and some stereo effect to recreate it flying around your head.


The Planck Fly loves electromagnetic waves and therefore usually lives in particle accelerators, where it feeds on cables. Due to the prime number order of its spin, however, it moves at an alternative Planck length, which is particularly noticeable in acoustic recordings like this one. Its seemingly discontinuous movement through space and sound should not blind us to the fact that we also move discretely, just at a different scale. Their sting is harmless, by the way, and is usually described as invigorating.

I instantly wanted to do something funny with quantum physics. The original idea was “Schroedingers Fly” but I though it could be too obvious. It is mainly virtual modular stuff with little FX.


The playlist is up to date as of 9:15am Sunday the 20th, Pacific Time. If I’ve missed your track, lemme know.


Here is my insect for the week. Fun to do such a short little project :slight_smile:


Instead of creating the sounds of a single insect, it turned out to be a swarm already. so, having kind of missed the point of the assignment, I take the liberty to share two tracks.

All sounds created using Aalto.

Due to a special foot material, this insect collects static charge while moving around and therefore has to discharge its body very frequently, leading to tiny flashes whenever it touches something.

This insect communicates using a special mouth apparatus, what we hear here is the mating call.


I went through some of my old mixer-feedback recordings, looking for the right combination of clicks and high tones. I ended up choosing a recording of the output routed through headphones, which had a more ‘sound in the room’ feel than the direct-line-out recordings: appropriate for a little creature. I cut a few sections out, adjusted their speeds, and did a bit of level and EQ work to make something that felt suitably insectoid. Small sounds from an insect that lived in the dusty circuits of one of my mixers five years ago.


The sound of 88 HexBugs© toys (one for each key of the piano) on a wooden floor:


"I bought some new effects plug-ins tonight – W. A. Productions’ “Orchid” chorus and “Satyrus” distortion, and wanted to try them out. Rather than simply record random sounds and audition the plug-ins, I thought, “why not compose a piece?” I remembered I hadn’t participated in the ‘junto’ for a few weeks, so checked this week’s assignment out: “Compose the sound of a single imaginary insect.”

Well … I missed the word, “single,” and, instead, recorded a whole swarm, as per the working title of the assignment.

I laid down a single synth pad note, and changed random sections of its pitch upward to mimic the ‘singing’ of an “imaginary insect.” I then copied and pasted several copies, and tended to time-expanding them all by different ratios (anywhere from 163% to 700%). I ran them through my new plug-ins, distortion first.

Pondering how an insect typically makes noise (by rubbing external body parts), I then took two [or three] different samples of squeaky and creeky doors, and layered them alongside the synth pad notes. I time-expanded the doors by a similar range of ratios, and took (cut-and-pasted, and, yet, more time-expansion) the most insect-like sounds that were interesting, and tried to construct a single pattern from them.

I spent about 4 hours aligning the tracks to rival an insect-like sound pattern.

Oh, and it’s intended to be a swarm, and not a single insect, but that should not matter: the disquiet junto progenitors and members and participants have fine imaginations, and will probably forgive me, instead granting the 24-second sound I composed, in effect, a single insect."

~ Michael