Aphex Twin has launched a new sample matching app called ‘Samplebrain’ – find all the details and check it out for yourself below.
In a post on his blog, Aphex – aka Richard James – revealed that the software, created by himself and Dave Griffiths, had been in development for two decades, and originally inspired by the emergence of Shazam.
Samplebrain is described as “a custom sample mashing app” that “chops samples up into a ‘brain’ of interconnected small sections called blocks, which are connected into a network by similarity.
“It processes a target sample, chopping it up into blocks in the same way, and tries to match each block with one in its brain to play in realtime.
“This allows you to interpret a sound with a different one. As we worked on it (during 2015 and 2016) we gradually added more and more tweakable parameters until it became slightly out of control.”
Dave Griffiths and @AphexTwin launch ‘Samplebrain’ – free sound design software, available now.
— Warp Records (@WarpRecords) September 24, 2022
Explaining the origins of the idea, Aphex wrote: “This idea came about a long time ago, not sure exactly when, 2002 ish but when mp3’s started to become a thing, when for the first time there were a ton of them sitting on my hard drive and the brilliant Shazam had recently launched.
“Started thinking hmm all this music sitting there, maybe it can be used for something else other than just playing or dj’ing [hi Atomixmp3 & rudimentary max/msp patches]I had originally contacted the founders of Shazam to discuss further creative uses of their genius idea but they were busy making an automatic dj program, I still think Shazam could be re-purposed for something incredible but in the meantime we have Samplebrain.”
The questions he asked himself included: “What if you could reconstruct source audio from a selection of other mp3’s/audio on your computer?
“What if you could build a 303 riff from only a cappella’s or bubbling mud sounds?
“What if you could sing a silly tune and rebuild it from classical music files?
“You can do this with Samplebrain.”
The explainer went on: “We soon realised after Dave had started to get things going that with a few cheaty sliders you could actually re-make anything from just one source file, so the options are all there to play with. Since funding this project I seemed to have found very little time to explore it properly and the time has now come to let you lot have a
fiddle with it to.”
Last year, a host of items including old NME magazine covers featuring Aphex Twin were released to mark the producer’s 50th birthday.
The ‘AFX50’ merch line sold by retailer Unified Goods was launched in August 2021 to celebrate the producer’s landmark birthday.
Among the items are old show tickets, original record pressings and promo posters. There is also a series of hats, joining other accessories from the 2018 ‘Windowlicker’ merch collection of beach towels and umbrellas.
The producer is working under his birth name Richard D. James for the MTS-ESP plugin, which is capable of becoming the master tuning device for synth set-ups.
The device has been lauded for its international capabilities, as programming equipment is traditionally centred around the Western tuning system – commonly known as the 12 Tones of Equal Temperament (12 TET).
However, it is said that the MTS-ESP allows the programming to become more flexible for the first time – allowing other international musicians to take advantage of the tools.