I was a high school Freshman in 1981, when the worst of the outbreaks happened in New England. Our home, in northern Massachusetts near the New Hampshire boarder, sat right on the edge of a Mass. State Forest which went on for five miles behind our house (and where my siblings and I primarily spent our playtime, needless to say).
That worst-ever year, the noise was literally nonstop. Between the sound of the billions upon billions of caterpillars chewing, and the sound of their constant pooping raining down on the ground, our neighborhood went from almost completely silent to a noise volume of living near a manufacturing plant, with motors running constantly - it was literally that loud and continuous, for weeks on end.
The forest was entirely denuded - nothing but twigs and branches left. It got so bad that once they'd eaten all the leaves off the trees they even started ate the needless off the pine trees.