How Charlotte Adelle Used Her Local Beach to Create a Sample Pack

Music producer Charlotte Adelle went to her sanctuary Maroubra Beach, but this time to capture the ambience to make the year’s first Somewhere Sounds Sample Pack.

Sydney music producer Charlotte Adelle holds Maroubra Beach (AKA the Bra) special in her heart. It’s where she goes to chill after a long day working on music, letting a feeling of tranquillity wash over her as she’s immersed in sound.

The sounds of the environment like the fizz of the waves, the birds, and the wind were high on her agenda to record and transform into snares, percussion and ambient loops. She wanted to use these textures from the beach and its surroundings to create a beat that’s a sensory experience.

Using a field recorder and a shotgun microphone (with a good wind sock), Charlotte headed down to her local beach to explore the area more than she normally would. Heading back to her home studio she dived into Ableton to start creating some samples. We’ll show you how she recorded the sounds, processed them, and made a beat from them.


Recording the samples

Battling with the elements of a noisy beach and unpredictable winds, Charlotte armed herself with a Zoom field recorder and a Sennheiser shotgun mic starting by recording the usual sounds. Getting as close as possible to the ocean without ruining the equipment, she was able to capture that fizz of the water as it ebbs and flows.

Using some found objects — like stones and twigs — she played on the rails and rocks to find either a percussive strike or a tone that might turn into a synth later. Taking one of those stones and heading over to Mahon Pool (a rock pool located on the north side of Maroubra Beach) she dropped it into the water, which later become a big feature both in percussion and melody in her sample pack.

Ableton free samples

There were so many sounds captured by simply having the microphone on — birds, beach buggy, ocean sounds and wind — so these all made their way into the sample pack, whether in their raw form or processed into an unrecognisable pad or synth.

Before leaving the beach, there was one more place to record — the beach’s street book library. You’ll enjoy some ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) from the Book Library instrument she made.

found sound

Processing the sounds

While Charlotte works at a lot of recording studios around Sydney, she has a home space that’s just hers to create, mix and edit either her own music or the artist’s music that she’s working on. She dived into the percussive sounds to create a complete 16-part drum rack. It’s percussion from the Mahon Pool, a ‘Rock’ snare (not the genre), a kick from stomping on the sand and lots of different tonal percussion from the twigs, rails, boardwalk and water.

The individual drums and percussion have some serious processing on them. Lots of auto filtering, saturation, heavy EQ and more Drum Buss processing over everything. One example of this is her Mahon Pool Drop Sample. It’s got a modulated delay into EQ into another delay in more EQ and a final Ableton Compressor.

ableton drums

Taking different water drops and slicing them up, she made a percussive instrument called Water Taps. Taking 6 different moments of the stone dropping into the water — triggered by MIDI — each water tap has its own pitch. What’s interesting about this instrument is that there’s absolutely no processing, just a straight sample.

The main chordal instrument of her demo beat is called the Rock Pool Synth. It’s a heavily processed sample of a stone being dragged along a rock. We’d advise you to grab a MIDI controller and play with this one. The audio effects are packed into a rack so you can easily turn it on and off, and it’s a chain you might even want to use for another instrument. It’s reverb into delay into an auto filter into a saturator into a chorus ensemble and some gentle EQ on the end.

ableton synth

Charlotte nailed her agenda of capturing the feeling of being at Maroubra Beach with loads of sounds and samples within a group called ATMOS. It’s got seagulls, pedestrians and people, ocean sounds and a loop of people walking.

It’s a main element that starts from the top of her beat that evolves with automation and blooms. The samples have some heavy processing on it from phaser-flanger to reverb to delays to auto filters, saturation and chorus ensemble. Even with the audio effects chain off, it’s a great sample.

ableton found sounds

Charlotte Adelle did a great job at creating the sound of the beach, making you feel like you are standing on the sand with the breeze in your hair. There’s so much inside the pack you can use in your own work and learn from — her FX chains and creative slicing really opens up the sound palette. She even snuck in a tasty deep 808 style bass from U-he’s Diva synth for you to use.

We could keep deep-diving into this Somewhere Sounds sample pack, but best you go and explore for yourself and make some interesting and creative discoveries yourself and even add to this.

Download this pack and more from the other Somewhere Sounds series here such as Kase Avila, IJALE, Setwun, Liyah KnightJontiChelsea Warner and Mr. Rhodes, and you can also download packs from our previous series, Sydney Sounds here.