Pro Audio

How Chelsea Warner took a walk down memory lane to create a sample pack

Artist and producer Chelsea Warner literally took a walk down memory lane to collect samples at the Art Gallery of NSW and The Sydney Conservatorium of music.

Chelsea Warner is no stranger to found sounds and sampling, as she leans heavily on creating interesting and new sounds in her own productions both for herself and for other artists she produces or collaborates with.

Looking back on her childhood, she was inspired by two places for her Somewhere Sounds sample pack: The Botanic Gardens and the Art Gallery of NSW. Fond memories of trips to the Art Gallery and an encouraging mother inspired the obvious location choice.

Her goal for the sample pack was pretty simple — find sounds with a tone or pitch so she could make a synth or keys rack to start the beat, and find some percussion from hard objects and foliage to make her drum sounds. The results were inspiring to say the least.


A stroll around the Art Gallery of NSW and the Conservatorium of Music

Chelsea’s day began armed with a Zoom field recorder (F6) and a Sennheiser shotgun mic (MKH 8060). Using a shoulder bag and boom arm (like you see in the movies) Chelsea was able to easily move around, collect sounds high and low, and even chase an ibis.

From jumping on clumps of dead leaves to recording flowing water from a water fountain, Chelsea quickly found the keys and percussion samples she was hoping for.

Starting at the Art Gallery of NSW right in the heart of the city Chelsea started collecting samples from the surrounding areas outside. Tempted to go inside and grab some ‘art’ samples, Chelsea and the team moved on from there over to the Sydney Conservatorium of music.

Sitting in a beautiful location right near Sydney’s harbour it was here that she got a few extra sounds that really excited her to get back and start processing the found sounds.

sample pack
The water fountain sample was kept fairly clean, but hard to pick out inside Chelsea’s beat

Processing the Sounds

Knowing that Chelsea would already warp, stretch and mess with the samples in the Ableton sampler Chelsea got stuck into the sound creation straight away. Importing wind, lawn mower and metallic pitch samples into the sampler Chelsea quickly created 3 different synths that varied in their timbre and tone.

In her beat you can hear them all in use from the start, playing stab chords and melodies before a lo-fi beat starts made from leaves, pole and statue taps and slaps and sound taken from a hedge.

Kudos to Chelsea for giving us (and you!) super clean sounds that you’d never know where a sound is taken from in a noisy environment in the heart of the city of Sydney. One of our favourite transformations is what she’s called ‘Table 808’. A sample made from one of her hits of an outdoor table.

ableton samples
Chelsea hitting a table turned into an 808 bass after some warping and stretching in Ableton

You’d never know each sound in her pack was taken from the surrounds of the Art Gallery of NSW and the Sydney Conservatorium of music, but with labelling like Acorn Kick, Tree Root (a kick drum sound), Statue Snare and Leaves Riser your imagination can picture where the sound came from.

I highly recommend diving into this pack, especially for the keys and synth sounds Chelsea Warner created.

Download the pack, and while you are there you can download packs from last month’s Somewhere Sounds with Mr. Rhodes and from our previous series, Sydney Sounds.