In The Walking Dead TV show, I noticed that every time there is a cricket noise that gets louder. Walkers are almost always nearby. Can somebody confirm or deny this? Is it related to anything?

2 Answers 2


The Walking Dead is shot in Georgia, in different towns according to the season. That cricket noise you are hearing is being generated by cicada. It's almost impossible to scrub from outdoor shots due to the large amount of frequencies the sound covers. As the first three seasons were shot in the summer when the cicada are at their peak. Here's a video that can show you how loud they they are and how sustained it is.

The reason that it seems to get more prevalent is the lack of back ground noise for it to contrast with. The Walking Dead often has the music and other sound effects go quiet for the scare value. That means that the normal background noise surges to the forefront.

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    Man...cicadas are annoying when they're in season. Don't they come out once every 13 or 17 years or something like that? They come out in DROVES though when they're around. According to Wikipedia it's a technique called predatory satiation. Basically, there are so many, the birds are too full to eat them all. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 16:19
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    @MikeBrown In some parts of the country, they live for 17 years. They only swarm every so often, but down south they are constant during the summer. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 16:29
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    That, my friend, is what hot and humid sounds like. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:17
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    I grew up in an Atlanta suburb that bordered some more rural area, there was definitely a lot of insect noise. You naturally tune it out, but it can be oddly comforting or disturbing. That region gets a lot of rain and sunshine, which I think plants and insects love. Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 15:40
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    A friend of mine hosted someone from overseas for a while who had never heard of cicadas before. The "screaming trees" really creeped him out ;-)
    – Matt
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 15:42

The reason for the wave effect of the ambient sound is to do with the network processing the sound before broadcast, probably to compensate for the ridiculous sound found in most commercials. It will be a combination of compression and expansion on the original audio track. I would wager the DVD sound will be substantially better, or even if viewed on a different network.

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    It's not clear to me how this answers the question. Please try to make it more obvious to us dumb folks. I haven't watched Walking Dead in awhile, and I'm not familiar with the cricket noise, I assumed it was a literal cricket chirp. If it is an audio artifact, or even just used to cover up the transition from commercials, please say so more plainly.
    – John O
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 15:09
  • Can you give us some references to back this up? Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 16:30

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