Benn Jordan dives deep into the “bats**t” software Aphex Twin has used throughout his career

Strap in for a masterclass on some of the most innovative electronic music of the ’90s.

When you purchase through affiliate links on, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more
Aphex Twin

Image: Edd Westmacott / Alamy

In his latest video, musician and YouTuber Benn Jordan takes a deep dive into the gear used by electronic legend Aphex Twin on some of his most important works.

The video – titled The Batsh*t Software Aphex Twin used – begins with a look at Metasynth, a piece of software that allows users to “paint” to sound: “Metasynth more or less allows you to use sound as your medium and then colour represents panning and once you manage to make a sonic image that you like you can sequence it among others in software called Xx,” Jordan explains.

The software, which is still being updated and sold 25 years later, was instrumental in the making of Aphex Twin’s 1999 Windowlicker EP.

Next, Jordan delves into the tools used by Aphex Twin to create the complex, layered sounds characteristic of tracks like Bucephalus Bouncing Ball from his 1997 EP, Come to Daddy.

“The sound that’s making up most of the crazy sounds in the rest of the song [is] a ball being dropped on a hard surface. The audio of this sample is eventually torn apart in ways that nobody had ever heard before and it’s recycled into new, completely batshit insane sequences,” he explains. “The thing is in 1997, there really wasn’t a graphical destructive wave editor that could do this.”

According to Jordan, what we’re hearing on Bucephalus Bouncing Ball is Composers Desktop Project (CDP), a powerful, command-line-based sound design software that “did not have a GUI or front end at the time”.

While the user interface will feel extremely dated by today’s standards, it “still has functionality that I’ve not seen in any other software,” says the musician.

Some of the other softwares discussed in the video include PlayerPro, an early tracker used by Aphex Twin, and Super Collider, a high-level audio programming language created in 1996 by James McCartney.

Watch the full breakdown below.


Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.

Join Our Mailing List & Get Exclusive DealsSign Up Now

The world’s leading media brand at the intersection of music and technology.

© 2024 MusicTech is part of NME Networks.