Pro Audio

How Kase Avila Used a Basketball Court to Create a Sample Pack

Strapping on kicks and heading down to a Basketball Court in Western Sydney, Producer Kase Avila had a different agenda — to make a Somewhere Sounds Sample Pack.

Avid basketballer and music producer Kase Avila merged his two passions on the court as he sampled all the sounds that one might expect (and not expect) to hear when shooting hoops.

Every sound imagined in an outdoor, Western Sydney Basketball court was recorded, sampled and processed from net swishes, to sneaker squeaks, to the poles that hold up the ring to make a well-curated sample pack from one of Sydney’s best music producers.

Working with some very simple field recording equipment and Ableton in his home studio, Kase Avila was able to get a lot of drums and percussion, and some found-sound synths that will make your production far more interesting that using the usual suspects. We’re going to go through how he recorded the sounds and how he processed them, just for you to download.


Recording the samples

Strapping on a Zoom F6 field recorder, and plugging in a shotgun and dynamic mic — Kase started shooting hoops and recording all the usual sounds. There was lots of basketball bounces, backboard hits, and net sounds along with ball hits and recording throwing the basketball at various fences, poles and walls. We also captured him on film showing off with a few B-Ball tricks.

Getting creative with the rest of the space, Kase grabbed a stick and hit a few various poles — looking for a pitch or tone — with the idea of making a synth out of them. Something he might not have expected to record was the noisey birds and heavy winds. However, these things were very useful in the final Somewhere Sounds sample pack creation process.

Moving away from the court, Kase explored the area and found a few other interesting sounds from the playground and fences that surrounded the area. More poles, more weird sounds — like a dome, and just more sounds for his Somewhere Sounds sample pack!

basketball samples

Processing the sounds

Heading back to Kase’s home studio — and meeting his beautiful cat King Neptune — he started importing and processing the sounds. It was very easy to start a drum rack with all the expected basketball sounds, including some big kicks and dirty snares, but there was some real magic in those poles with a musical pitch that could be turned into a synth.

Simply finding the right moment and adding some subtle reverb, EQ and compression, a pole was transformed into the main harmonic instrument — Court Pole Synth. You’ll have a bunch of fun using this instrument, it’s just eerie enough to be intriguing and it’s got enough body to hold your track together. Call it a hollow flute-inspired Rhodes if you like.

somewhere sounds sample pack
Kase Avila’s Pole Synths

Turning out attention back to the drums, you might think you know what’s gonna be in here but it’s far more interesting that that. The main drum rack has a deep Bounce Kick that hefty punch to it, a Pole Snare that attacks married with a musical tone and a Net Hat that cuts through with it’s interesting sound character.

The Basketball Percussion drum rack has a very tasty Swish from a metal net, a percussive low pitched Sneaker Squeak, a Pole Triangle and Fence swipe that you might think of as a low tonal string tree.

ableton drum samples
Kase Avila’s Drum Racks

As well as the Pole Synths — both a choral synth and a melodic synth — there’s a big warm bass taken from striking a pole called Court Pole Bass. It’s got some serious warmth to it, and holds that low end down in Kase’s beat.

More environmental samples are littered throughout the track making it feel like you are outside on the court. There’s Birds, Air sounds and Dome Synth hits, that are all mapped across MIDI to make your own musical choices.

ableton sample pack
Kase Avila’s Sounds from the Outdoor Court

It’s great to see how simple yet effective Kase Avila kept his sample processing to make a dope beat. The real magic is in the synths he made from striking the poles with a tree branch, and of course, a bunch of sounds from a basketball court never go astray in a healthy sample library.

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