Aphex Twin Shares New “Samplebrain” Sample Matching App

Aphex Twin has launched a new sample matching app called ‘Samplebrain’ – find all the details and check it out for yourself below.

In a blog post, Aphex – aka Richard James – revealed that the software, created by himself and Dave Griffiths, had been in development for two decades and was originally inspired by the emergence of Shazam.

Samplebrain is described as “a custom sample shuffling app” that “chops samples into a ‘brain’ of small interconnected sections called blocks, which are networked together by similarity.

“He processes a target sample, cuts it into blocks in the same way, and tries to match each block with one in his brain to play in real time.

“It allows you to interpret one sound with another. As we worked on it (in 2015 and 2016), we gradually added more and more editable parameters until it got slightly out of control.

Try ‘Samplebrain’ yourself here.

Explaining the origins of the idea, Aphex wrote: “This idea was born a long time ago, I don’t know exactly when, 2002, but when mp3s started to become a thing, when for the first time there had a ton sitting on my hard drive and the brilliant Shazam had recently launched.
“I started thinking hmm all that music sitting there maybe it can be used for something other than just playing or djing [hi Atomixmp3 & rudimentary max/msp patches]I had originally reached out to the founders of Shazam to discuss other creative uses for their awesome idea, but they were busy creating an automatic DJ program, I still think Shazam could be repurposed for something amazing, but in meanwhile, we have Samplebrain.
Questions he asked himself included: “What if you could reconstruct the source audio from a selection of other mp3s/audio on your computer?”

“What if you could build a 303 riff out of just a cappella sounds or bubbling mud?

“What if you could sing a silly tune and reconstruct it from classical music files?

“You can do it with Samplebrain.”

The explainer continued, “We soon realized after Dave started pushing things along that with a few tricky sliders you could actually redo anything from a single source file, so all the options are there to play with. Since funding this project, it seems to me that I have found very little time to properly explore it and now is the time to leave you a lot
tinker with it.

Aphex Twin performs live at Field Day Festival 2017. CREDIT: © DavidJensen

Last year, a host of articles, including old NME magazine covers featuring Aphex Twin were released to mark the producer’s 50th anniversary.

The “AFX50” product line sold by retailer Unified Goods was launched in August 2021 to celebrate the producer’s historic anniversary.

Among the items are old show tickets, original record pressings and promotional posters. There is also a series of hats, joining other accessories from the 2018 “Windowlicker” beach towel and umbrella collection.

2021 also saw Aphex Twin announce that it is partnering with UK tech company ODDSound to deliver a pioneering new synthesizer plugin.

The producer works under his birth name Richard D. James for the MTS-ESP plugin, which is capable of becoming the main tuning device for synth setups.

The device has been praised for its international capabilities, as the programming equipment has traditionally centered on the Western tuning system – commonly referred to as the 12 Tones of Equal Temperament (12 TET).

However, the MTS-ESP is said to allow programming to become more flexible for the first time – allowing other international musicians to take advantage of the tools.

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