Pro Audio

How Jonti created a sample pack inside his favourite venue, Phoenix Central Park

Musician, Artist and Producer Jonti loves found sounds: watch as he creates a sample pack inside his favourite music venue.

Heading into Phoenix Central Park, without his guitars and synths, Jonti wandered around the remarkable venue armed with a field recorder and a microphone ready to create his free Somewhere Sounds sample pack.

Having performed in the musical playground that is this venue, Jonti already had his heart set on this space to collect found sounds for his Somewhere Sounds sample pack.

Phoenix Central Park is not just an empty space with a PA, it’s an alluring music venue that is also the host to two insanely cool and highly regarded pianos, a Fazioli grand piano and Blüthner PH grand piano and a chair that has a harp built into it!


Recording the samples

When Jonti stepped inside he was armed only with a Zoom field recorder (F6) and a Sennheiser shotgun mic (MKH 8060). Using a shoulder bag for the Zoom and boom pole for the Sennheiser, Jonti was able to record anywhere. Even the switch of a hidden powerpoint and a powerboard would end up being turned into very important drum elements.

Jonti knew the pianos would be a great ‘sampling’ starting point to later process in Ableton and create some really interesting sounds. What he didn’t know was just how many other weird and wonderful sounds he could record on the day that would make it into his Somewhere Sounds sample pack.

phoenix central park chair
Jonti samples the chair with the in-built harp at Phoenix Central Park

With a little help from our crew, Jonti got stuck into recording the pianos. He found some great chord voicings and single notes that could be manipulated later.

There was more magic in the capture as Jonti found a staircase to sing in and sample, feature walls, bathroom doors, a lift and the aforementioned chair with the in-build harp. That was a fun moment, and it ended up featuring as two instruments in the final beat.


Heading back to his home studio, Jonti started loading up the recordings and making some decisions on the processing. He started getting drum sounds happening, using those power points and power board samples, and getting a huge drum rack together from the spaces around the Phoenix Central Park.

The drum rack is one of the bigger rack we’ve seen lately and it’s amazing to hear what Jonti has left natural and what he has processed heavily.

ableton sample pack
A powerpoint and powerboard were turned into drums

Jonti’s instruments created from the recordings — chordal and melodic — are really interesting to listen to and it’s amazing to know they are based around the piano and the chair harp.

For one instrument in the Somewhere Sounds sample pack a C major Seventh chord from the Fazioli piano which was then heavily edited in Ableton and then automated it so that it sounds more like a choppy synth than a stunning Italian grand piano. It’s a great effect, and very original.

ableton automation
Jonti used heavy automation on the Fazioli piano to create an interesting instrument

Jonti found a heavenly reverb in the staircase so he sang a note and captured that. Processing that sound in his studio, he turned it into a really cool soft pad like synth that he triggered with MIDI.

Throughout the beat Jonti made there is so much processing like this, and a lot of MIDI clips triggering the recorded samples from Phonenix Central Park. You should open it up have a good look around at how he made instruments from these samples.

ableton sampling
Jonti made a reverbed vocal sang in a staircase into an instrument

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, and you can download packs from our previous series, Sydney Sounds.