If you care to read them, huge tomes exist detailing where every sample on a particular album comes from, including this 34-page treatise on the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. There has to be a better way, thought Cameron Adams, a.k.a. The Man In Blue.
To highlight the origin of each sample in his mash-up of Daft Punk’s entire catalog, Adams created a fantastic-looking web app that provides a colorful, real-time visualizer of where each sample in the remix came from. You can let the whole thing play out in real time, or click on any of the samples at the bottom to jump to that particular spot.
Either way, you get to watch each sample play as a labelled, circular waveform in the middle of the screen. Adams explains:
In order to explain the layering and interplay that goes into something like a Girl Talk album or The 139 Mix Tape, I decided to take my own mashup of Daft Punk’s discography — Definitive Daft Punk — and reveal its entire structure: the cutting, layering, levels and equalisation of 23 different songs. By dividing up the sound data for each song and computing its appearance in real time, the resulting visualization gives you an understanding of the unique anatomy of this particular mash-up.