Pro Audio

How IJALE used African percussion and his home to create a sample pack

For the first time in the Somewhere Sounds series, we headed to Melbourne to meet with producer IJALE. He created a sample pack inside an African Percussion store and from curious objects around his home — like his partner’s impressive loom.

To start creating his sample pack IJALE chose the Melbourne music store African Drumming. Being very familiar with African percussion instruments, he was very clear on what he wanted to sample at the music store from goat’s toes shakers to Dunun drums (West African drums) to deep low Djembes.

Leaving behind the music store, he then took inspiration to sample objects around his home like lamps, a huge array of books, singing bowls, some of his partner’s trinkets and her loom — a device used to weave cloth and tapestry.

IJALE’s Somewhere Sounds sample pack is one of the biggest we’ve seen in a while, and it’s a huge world of interesting sounds for you to dig into. We’re going to go through how he recorded the sounds and how he processed them, just for you to download.


Recording the samples

Armed with Sennheiser gear — shotgun mic (MKH 8060), dynamic mic (e906), and headphones HD 300 Pro — IJALE got stuck into the recording popping the mics on a boom pole and plugging into a field recorder. He had a strong agenda at his first stop, sample the expensive instruments too pricey to justify buying!

The musical instrument store African Drumming in St. Kilda is one of IJALE’s favs, as he’s been there many times since 2018 to try out and pine over the huge collection of instruments they have there. Knowing they have mainly percussion instruments, they have heaps of African centric instruments.

He was sampling for you…but also for him. These instruments are very important to the music that inspires him, and this store is one of the only places in Melbourne he can get these things.

Processing the found sounds

Starting with that amazing collection of percussion, IJALE made an impressive drum rack aptly named ‘Percs’ with over 40 one-shots. There’s another drum rack called ‘Shakers’ with over 20 one-shots and a ‘Percussive Loops’ drum rack with 9 loops you can warp, sample, crop and play with.

The sounds you find in here are Seed Pod Shakers, Book Flips, and a Krin (an African log drum). There’s really not much processing on these percussion samples apart from a stock Ableton compressor.

sample pack
IJALE’s Ableton Live Set: Percs Drum Rack

As well as the huge amount of percussive samples, IJALE has a Textures drum rack that has various loops. This features more Seed Pod samples, a Cane shaker, a Singing Bowl loop and a Weaving Texture loop among other things. It’s here you will find some gold, either using the loops or cropping out one-shots.

These aren’t specifically percussive samples, so we see why he’s called it ‘Textures’. Again, there’s not much processing on here, just a great sample capture. Credit to the Sennheiser microphones I’d say.

IJALE’s Ableton Live Set: Textures Drum Rack

Moving onto his instruments, here’s where the heavy processing and Ableton integration comes in. He’s got a Singing Bowl turned into a synth as MIDI notes trigger a pitch before it goes into EQ, Auto Filter, Delay and Ableton’s new Hybrid Reverb. Take this off and the sound becomes very different.

The singing bowl was recorded at IJALE’s home with the Sennheiser shotgun mic, and they are not easy to play. Try it out if you get a chance, but you will probably find yourself giving up and diving back into this excellent sample.

singing bowl sample
IJALE’s Singing Bowl Synth

Using two Thumb pianos — one from the African Drumming music store and another that he had at home — he’s mapped them out across Ableton’s Key Map editor. There’s some serious time and effort gone into this, so thank you IJALE!

The Thumb Pianos also have some heavy processing on them with a Wide Stereo plugin, Auto Filter, Delay and Hybrid Reverb. Again, turning any one of these plugins off collapses the sound.

IJALE’s Thumb Pianos

Once back in his recording studio, IJALE fleshed out a beat using the samples with a big subby Sine Bass from Ableton, a simple drum beat with Kick, snare and hats and a Rhodes keyboard.

While these aren’t samples from the music store or his home, these are brilliant loops you can use. Get in there and crop, warp, whatever you please to these.

IJALE’s Extra Production

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 Liyah Knight, JontiChelsea Warner and Mr. Rhodes, and you can also download packs from our previous series, Sydney Sounds here.