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Aphex Twin Unveils Sound Design Software, Samplebrain
Christian Eede , September 26th, 2022 14:51

The project, which was originally conceived around two decade ago, was designed by Richard D. James with help from engineer Dave Griffiths

Aphex Twin, AKA Richard D. James, has unveiled a free sound design software programme called Samplebrain.

Designed by James and built by engineer Dave Griffiths, the software is described as a "custom sample mashing app." In a detailed blog post about the project, James said the initial idea for it "came about a long time ago, not sure exactly when, 2002-ish, but when MP3s 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."

His explanation about the software continued: "Started thinking, 'Hmm, all this music sitting there, maybe it can be used for something else other than just playing or DJing'. 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 programme. I still think Shazam could be re-purposed for something incredible, but in the meantime we have Samplebrain.

"What if you could reconstruct source audio from a selection of other MP3s/audio on your computer? What if you could build a 303 riff from only acapellas 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. 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 too."

In a separate post about the project, Griffiths said: "Richard mentioned an idea he had about something like a giant brain that you could feed samples to. If you gave it enough, it would be able to take all the right bits to recreate a new sound you fed it."

You can experiment with the programme for yourself here.