Sample hunters are using Google Assistant to identify samples from Daft Punk’s music

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Daft Punk Performing

Image: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Savvy music fans have begun using Google Assistant to identify obscure samples from the music of artists like Daft Punk and Oneohtrix Point Never.

Sampling service Tracklib reports that the technique was pioneered by members of a Discord community named Sample Hunting. By running audio directly from their computers into Google Assistant, sample hunters have been able to identify previously undiscovered samples buried in those songs.

Some pretty impressive sample discoveries have been made since then, including those on Mobb Deep’s Hell On Earth (Front Lines), Madlib and Quasimoto’s Green Power, Modjo’s Music Takes Me Back, Oneohtrix Point Never’s Nassau, as well as Daft Punk’s notoriously sample-dense Face to Face.

Many of those have remained unknown for decades, with even the most seasoned of diggers failing in their quest to uncover them.

“Google Assistant can even detect samples less than a second long, and is usually able to detect samples that have been chopped or time-stretched,” said member DJPasta, who found the method during their search for some Todd Edwards samples.

“If the sample you are trying to find is part of a much longer drawn-out chord or texture, you can time-stretch or crossfade a loop to make the AI think it’s longer. You can also repitch the sample to form a chord progression if you guess it correctly.”

Tracklib also notes that while song identification apps like Shazam have long existed before Google’s AI virtual assistant software — the two even use similar audio fingerprinting methods — Google’s use of deep neural networks makes the tech behind their song recognition far more advanced.

“With Shazam, we usually had to try and match the tempo and structure near-perfectly to get a result,” said Sample Hunting founder lobelia.

“When Google Assistant helped me find South City Midnight Lady by The Doobie Brothers as a guitar sample in Face To Face in late 2021, I realised that this method could be huge,” she explained.

“Especially because, at that point, we didn’t even know that sound was a separate sample. We actually thought it was part of another sampled record.”


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