Introducing Sydney Sounds, a free sample pack for Ableton Live users. Curated by Sydney-based artist Lupa J, this package is bustling with urban, industrial sounds that are iconically ‘Sydney’.
The product of a day’s field recording near Lupa J’s childhood home in Asquith and the local train station, the pack includes ambient recordings of freight trains passing by, a 16-sample drum rack etched out of percussive train sounds, and of course, the ding of your Opal card being denied.
Lupa J, real name Imogen Jones, has been producing music since the age of 15. Now 21 years old with their third album on the way, Lupa J has carved out a reputation for making dark and intricate pop, consistently being name-dropped as an artist to watch by a score of Australia’s leading tastemakers.
They’re also totally independent; managing, producing, and releasing their music themselves – often creating their own album artwork too.
“I am a solo artist, and I produce all of my music and currently perform totally solo. I really need to be involved in every element of creating the music because I think the production element is what’s most special to me, it’s really where I can express myself completely.”
When approached to create a Sydney Sounds sample pack, Imogen’s mind went straight to their childhood home in Asquith. Surrounded by nature and industry in equal parts, it captures the dichotomy many love Sydney for. One moment you’re walking through a serene national park, the next you’re witnessing the passing-by of a Centrelink train or watching a commercial airliner fly overhead.
“The sounds I’m really hoping to record today would be an industrial freight train,” Imogen shared.
“They’re super long and have heaps of carriages that are all kinds of sizes and materials, and sound different as they go by. They go forever so you could probably get a whole drum rack out of one – if you’re lucky.”
“There’ll be a bunch of metal-y, clunk sounds that I can use for snares or hi-hats, and then some thudding noises you could make into a kick drum, especially by adding some distortion and compression.”
Once the day’s field recordings had been completed, Imogen sat down to package the sounds for Ableton Live. “I’ll probably cut them up heaps and run them through a lot of different effects,” they explained.
The resulting Sydney Sounds sample pack is a boon for any producer who wants to add a touch of iron to their projects. Thundering 100-tonne trains, the metallic trills of telephone boxes and vending machines, and the beep of Opal card readers are all ripe for the picking.
The Sydney Sounds pack is totally free, coming with full recordings of all samples, a 16-instrument drum rack, and a demo beat crafted by Lupa J. Download the pack for yourself below.