Papers We Love Conf 2022

September 22, 2022 / St. Louis, Missouri

Jason Hockman

Birmingham City University

photo of Jason Hockman

Give the Drummer Some More: Advances in Breakbeat Analysis/Synthesis

In the late 1980s, popular electronic music emerged at the critical intersection between affordable computer technology and the consumer market, and has since grown to become the one of the most popular genres in the world. Ubiquitous within electronic music creation, digital sampling has facilitated the incorporation of professional-quality recorded performances into productions; one of the most frequently sampled types of recordings used in these genres are short percussion solos from funk and jazz performances—or breakbeats. While these samples add an essential energetic edge to productions, they are generally used without consent or recognition. Thus, there is an urgency for the ethical redistribution of cultural value to account for the influence of a previous generation of artists. This presentation will present an overview on the topic of breakbeats and their relation to modern music genres as well as current approaches for breakbeat analysis, synthesis and transformative effects developed in the SoMA Group at Birmingham City University.


Jason Hockman is an Associate Professor of Audio Engineering at Birmingham City University (United Kingdom), where he leads the Sound and Music Analysis Group in computational analysis and generation of sound and music. Jason is a music information retrieval researcher, a professional music producer and performer, and an owner of an award-winning independent record label. His interests have led him to conduct research related to a diverse set of topics, including music transcription, digital musicology, rhythm and metre analysis, neural audio synthesis, best practices for recording and archival, and interactive and performance music systems.