Rapper, producer, wrestling fan: watch as Mr Rhodes gets creative in the ring and makes a fresh sample pack.
Hailing from Lismore, rapper and producer Mr Rhodes made a move down to Sydney in early 2022. He shares a bond with his cousin over wrestling and he used this as inspiration for his free Somewhere Sounds sample pack.
When Mr Rhodes signed up for Somewhere Sounds, his passion for wrestling and sound sampling collided as he found a gym in Forest Lodge, Sydney, called Padded Gloves. Inside was a full-sized ring, boxing bags, slam balls, and skipping ropes.
His imagination ran wild with percussion samples from body slamming, hitting boxing bags, sounds from the ring, and Mr Rhodes even found a few unsuspecting sounds in skipping ropes and the chains that suspend items from the gym’s ceiling.
The fun began in this completely padded room as Mr Rhodes armed himself with a Zoom field recorder (F6) and a Sennheiser shotgun mic (MKH 8060). With the Zoom recorder in a shoulder bag and the Sennheiser shotgun mic on a boom, it was easy for Mr Rhodes to capture his movements and make his way around the gym collecting samples.
From the bottom-heavy stomps and slam ball drops to the chains on the boxing bags and whips of skipping ropes, all of these sounds were captured raw with a grin from ear to ear on his face as he seemed eager to get home and process these.
There was no shortage of percussion and drum one-shots when Mr Rhodes got home and dropped the samples into Ableton Live. After some exploring around the samples on his Ableton Push 2, he found that he could create some synths from some of the various higher-pitched sounds from around the boxing gym.
In the track, you can hear his found sound synths called Twinkly Bells and Skipping Rope Stabs that a reminiscent of high pitched floating sounds down to his bass line within the synth he created called Ring Synth.
There’s no shortage of creative effects on these instruments. Twinkly Bells has Resonator, Shifter, Grain Delays and Diffused Long Cascades with EQ Eight on the end to calm it all down, while most of the Drums have Compression, Redux, Saturator and Drum Buss on them.
Mr Rhodes has created some really interesting effects via Sends with a Ping Pong Wide and a Dirty Synth Room that sees various elements feeding into these.
It was also really interesting to hear what Mr Rhodes did with the Skipping Rope Tuned Percussion. He’s used Ableton 11’s new Chance feature to create almost panning and fluctuating velocity across this track. It helps move the track around and create interest, especially in headphones.
On that note, the way Mr Rhodes transformed a boxing ball into a glitchy hi-hat was very impressive and creative. He transposed the sample up 36 semitones — or 3 octaves — cranked the drive, and resonance on the filter, and added Redux and Saturator. The result is the hi-hat element you can hear that glues the drum part together.
We could keep deep-diving into the way Mr Rhodes processed the sounds, but best you go and explore for yourself and make some interesting and creative discoveries yourself.
Download the pack, and while you are there you can download our packs from our previous series, Sydney Sounds.