Disquiet Junto Project 0561: Samplelicker

This post popped up at disquiet.com/0561 (thanks to the powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on September 29, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was asleep at the time.) The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto later in the morning (after I woke up), and then I posted them here.

Disquiet Junto Project 0561: Samplelicker
The Assignment: Rework environmental sound recordings with Aphex Twin’s new software.

Step 1: There’s a new piece of freely available software called Samplebrain. It was designed by Aphex Twin and developed by Dave Griffiths of Then Try This. Download Samplebrain and read up at:


Step 2: Create a piece of music using Samplebrain. For source audio, only use sounds tagged “bird” or “rain” or “night” from freesound.org. Use as many as you like. Be sure to credit the source material when posting your finished track.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0561” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0561” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0561-samplelicker/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to marc@disquiet.com for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, October 3, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 29, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0561” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 561st weekly Disquiet Junto project – Samplelicker (The Assignment: Rework environmental sound recordings with Aphex Twin’s new software) – at: https://disquiet.com/0561/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0561-samplelicker/


And the project is now live.


searching for ‘rain beat’ on freesound, i found this:
and used it as a ‘target sound’(since it was tagged ‘rain’ it fit the disquiet project’s instructions), and used other sounds tagged ‘rain’, ‘night’, and ‘bird’(which were more like sound-design/field-recordings:
“531947__straget__the-rain-falls-against-the-parasol”) for the ‘brain contents’ of samplebrain(then tweaked the params in real-time while recording, from samplebrain output stereo files to Logic for proper stereo-interleaved bounce for the soundcloud upload)
:boom: :brain: :boom:


Kept it weird and loose with this one. I did a few variations in Samplebrain using three samples in different configurations and layered them in Ableton at a few different speeds.

These are the samples I used:
march warbler DeNoise 1149AM 210702_0300.wav by klankbeeld
Exotic Creature Song, 01.wav by InspectorJ
04845 andean flute short melody.wav by Robinhood76

The flute sample is cheating since it didn’t contain the specified tags but it was used as the target sound with the brain contents containing bird samples or in another instance as the brain content with a bird sample as the target sound. I think it still fits in with the spirit of the project though?


The playlist is rolling:


Hey All, This looks very simple. Why can I not get it to work on me mac? I read the directions but I don’t exactly follow. I have the app running it is the getting a sound part that is the problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Hugh

Did you do this part from the directions?

  1. Load a bunch of short wav files into the brain
  2. Click (re)generate brain
  3. Load a short loop sample into the target
  4. Click (re)generate blocks
  5. Press play
  6. Tweak brain

I jumped in too quick at first and wasn’t getting any sound. This did the trick for me.



running into a problem with this one - download speeds from freesound are deathly slow here, just a few kb/s. something that would normally take a few seconds to download estimates many minutes if not over the hour mark for longer sounds. this doesn’t appear to be reported on their forums, so it might be some issue on my end; however it’s the only site that’s giving me this problem.

anyone else encountered this? i wanted to download a whole bunch of sounds to make something quite elaborate and it’s just not really possible to do so currently.

also @disquiet can you please clarify, is the piece this week supposed to be entirely the unaltered output of samplebrain, or can we take that output (or potentially multiple outputs) and play around with them? i will still adhere to only having the source sounds as those tagged ‘bird’, ‘rain’ or ‘night’.

Sorry for the hassle regarding download speeds. That can happen on freesound.org sometimes. Worst case, maybe locate sounds elsewhere or create your own (my students sometimes fake rain by running the shower, for example, or record a sequence from a nature show, or let the audio from freesound.org play in a browser and then record into another device).

The short-ish answer is that the prompts are developed (whether I write them myself or craft them from the input of someone else) with the understanding that they’re up for interpretation. I do intend them to be taken literally — that is, I intend that the creative constraints a prompt proposes are the constraints — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that additional options can’t be layered in. Sometimes, for example, the instructions explicitly define scope by saying what isn’t allowed. This project, for example, says to “only use” these sounds, as you noted. It doesn’t say whether subsequent production is or isn’t allowed. I think it’d be great to just stick with the output — I’d say that is the spirit of the project — but certainly go where your creative efforts take you.


I decided to use only two samples for this samplebrain composition: “Rain.wav” from idomusics as my ‘brain’ sound and the delightfully named “French men in the deep night.wav” from satoration as my ‘target’.

Having been listening to a lot of Rolf Julius’ small music lately, I’m impressed with the variances in pitch and dynamic to these textures and how interesting they might sound broadcast at very low volumes or with the stereo field separated out. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with the app!


I got sound after pressing the Stop-button once (and then Play, of course)


If anyone can get it to work on Windows 10, let me know. Thanks :slight_smile:

I’ve already tried the following:

Load a bunch of short wav files into the brain
Click (re)generate brain
Load a short loop sample into the target
Click (re)generate blocks
Press play
Tweak brain
1 Like

i clicked give me a random sound until i got ones tagged or titled rain/bird/night
didnt take long, surprisingly!


used some snippets of those and fiddled around in samplebrain
slowes down in audacity, supermassive, echo
other layers with paulstretch, more delay, ddly, vinyl, pitch shift, reverb

@undermulden this was on win10. i used 3 samples of ~5 seconds length, and i used one of those same samples as the target



Thanks, folks, for your patience and perseverance — and those who’ve managed to make tracks, thanks for sharing. If you see someone asking for technical help and can provide some assistance based your experience, please do pitch in. Meanwhile, the Samplebrain software has been updated to 0.18.3: “fixes wav file loading with long paths and a few other stability things.”


Cheers Jamie :slight_smile: I’m using an external interface and there might be an issue with samplebrain choosing the wrong output on my system. Dave the Dev is working on a solution atm. I’ll provide a thread update if a solution is found.

Update: with some workarounds I got it to work using my machines onboard soundcard :+1:


For this week’s prompt, I first of all uploaded the following short found sound wav files (of robins and rain) from Freesound:

Short Rain Freesound - "Short Rain.wav" by shelbyshark
Gentle Soft Rain Freesound - "gentle soft rain night.WAV" by mshahen
Bird Whistling, Single, Robin, A. Freesound - "gentle soft rain night.WAV" by mshahen
Bird Whistling, Robin, Single Freesound - "Bird Whistling, Robin, Single, 13.wav" by InspectorJ
Robin Freesound - "Robin.WAV" by Sparrer
Robin Slown 10 times 456440 Freesound - "robin slown 10 times 456440.wav" by klankbeeld

Handily, I’d been playing with the preset audio loops on Garageband earlier this week so had a sample loop to upload to the software.

I then recorded 1:11 minutes of the results and put into stereo, fading in and out, on Audacity.

Et voila.


freesound gave the most peaceful sounds:

  1. 237729__flathill__rain-and-thunder-4
  2. 608154__geri92__open-window-and-birds-singing-in-the-morning
  3. Corona spring city 5am NL 200314_0119

then came samplebrain…
that’s evil

Thanks Aphex!


Ok, so I liked this idea because I’m an Aphex Twin fan. Then I tried using Samplebrain, and I hated what I was getting. But then I messed with it some more and found sounds I liked. So I chopped it up in Audacity, then put it into FL Studio and (hope this isn’t cheating) added a piano part that I messed with.

Audio samples used (from Freesound):
Coyotes running during the night in the woods felix.blume
Goose passes.wav straget
Heavy rain lebaston100
City terrace night 2 Sotiris_Laskaris
Bird whistling, robin, single, 13.wav InspectorJ
Birds in Spring (Scotland) BurghRecords


And thanks, FreeSound creators, for these shared source materials: