Above ground New York City is a constantly bustling metropolis riddled with tourists buried in maps, empty plastic iced coffee cups, and never-relenting taxi drivers laying down their horns every three seconds.  With more than eight million people packed in an incredibly tiny area, NYC is one of the most layered places on the planet. That said, life above the crumbling black pavement is only half the story. 

Although small sections of the MTA subway see the sunlight, a large majority of the miles and miles of track are hidden, accessible only by old, gum-covered steps and strange smelling tunnels. New Yorkers spend large chunks of their days waiting for their trains, whether it's riding to work everyday or coming home from the pub at 4 a.m.

The sights and sounds of the subway have created an entire culture within those wet, moldy walls. If you leave your earbuds out for the ride, you'll hear a colorful soundtrack of prying beggars, street musicians, monotone train conductors, and screeching animals. To salute those standing in the heat cellars that the subway stations become during the summer, we selected some of the most notable sounds that identify the true nature of the intricate train system. Check out the Complex NYC Subway Soundboard.