How CoSo’s breakthrough AI tech makes it easier to stay inspired

We’re always thinking of ways to improve your music-making experience, whether you’re an early-stage creator, a passionate weekend warrior, or a multi-platinum star.

This article features an older version of our app—learn more about all of the latest features, and download the new Splice mobile app here.

With our latest tech—the music creation app CoSo—we’re giving you instant inspiration, billions of musical outcomes, and guaranteed flop-proof beats, all at your fingertips on iOS or Android.

Under CoSo’s hood is AI technology that listens to an audio source in real time, and then serves up ‘complementary sounds’ from across the vast and legendary Splice catalog. The result? A seamless sound discovery flow that lets you stop digging and start creating, using samples that sound great together—from every style, key, and BPM.

When music, sound discovery, and AI collide

What CoSo’s AI brings to the table is a new take on sound discovery. It’s not here to make music for you. Instead, it automatically matches sounds that just work well together, so that you can find great-sounding samples quicker, while maintaining your creative focus.

CoSo does what it does without any hard-coded rules or prior knowledge about a sound, relying only on your musical creations as its input source. With a huge catalog of sounds, CoSo can identify the most compatible candidates in milliseconds, independently of key or BPM, enabling billions of musical outcomes and making it the most powerful AI-assisted music-making engine in the world.

“Historically, the process of finding the right sounds has been an obscure, fragmented, and hard-to-replicate ritual.”

—Alejandro Koretzky

Alejandro Koretzky (Head of AI and ML at Splice) first started developing CoSo in-house at Splice in 2017. He explains his vision for CoSo by identifying an age-old problem. “Historically, music making has presented high barriers of friction, even to the most proficient songwriters, producers, and composers,” Alejandro says. “From idea to completion, the process of finding, crafting, and combining the right sounds towards something that sounds great is, in most cases, an obscure, fragmented, and hard-to-replicate ritual. At the end of the day, however, like with any good recipe, it all comes down to identifying those ingredients that, when brought together, create a magical experience that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”

Alejandro continues, “With CoSo, the ubiquitous process of finding sounds and then figuring out how, where, and when to use them is past history. CoSo introduces a new paradigm where the lines between discovery, curation, and creation get blurred. These states, which have always been disconnected, now become part of an interconnected flow, enabling a frictionless experience for the discovery, generation, and completion of musical ideas.”

Splice’s goal with technology like CoSo—and its sibling, SiSo, which debuted in 2019—is rooted in a passion to empower creators with technology, while keeping creative decision-making in their hands. The CoSo team were laser-focussed on this throughout the development process, as Splice co-founder and CEO Steve Martocci comments. “The team has built a beautiful unlock for creativity, and it speaks to the heart of Splice’s future,” he says. “The feedback so far has been deeply motivating for us, with talk of empowerment, inspiration and joy—from a little app with no waveforms, no knobs, and definitely no shift key.”

The technology in play

We’ve covered the engine powering CoSo, but what’s it like to use the app? Well, put simply, it’s super intuitive.

Upon first opening CoSo, you’re prompted to create a Stack by choosing a style. A Stack is a collection of up to eight looping layers. Layers in the Stack can be muted and soloed, but where the AI comes into play is when adding layers and selecting new sounds. Swiping right on a layer substitutes a new sound from the highly curated selection made on-the-fly by CoSo. And every time you swipe to choose a new sound, CoSo serves up sounds that belong together by flipping loops from every style, key, and BPM, based on what it’s hearing. The pathways to these sounds aren’t fixed, so you’re not being fed anything predictable or inevitable—they’re just great sounds that work with each other, one after the next.

“With CoSo, you can create as you discover, and discover as you create.”

—Alejandro Koretzky

Once you’re happy with your Stack, you can save it, duplicate it, and make more music from the same original spark. This sounds simplistic, but using this method, you can create alternative sections to complement other Stacks—a verse and a chorus, for example, or variations on the same beat.

You can also share a preview of your creation with friends and collaborators, and download the sounds from the Stack to your Splice library. From there, you can drag-and-drop into your DAW for further refinement.

Tackling skepticism

The fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning are ripe with detractors. And let’s be honest—the idea of AI taking over the actual process of making music is definitely icky. So, this is the part where we point out that CoSo has been designed deliberately to keep the power of creation in your hands.

What CoSo does is streamline the discovery process. The music you make in CoSo is entirely yours, and most likely completely unique, thanks to the theoretical billions of musical outcomes. It’s also here that we make a pledge to continue the development of CoSo—there are several exciting things already in the pipeline that we think will be transformational for music makers, especially those new to the DAW world.

As we look forward to the future with CoSo, we envision communities of humans creating, exchanging ideas, sharing, and collaborating using the universal language of music, through the frictionless mechanics of CoSo. With CoSo, you can discover sounds and you can create music. But, uniquely, you can create as you discover; discover as you create.

What will you create today?

This technology is now also available on our web experience via Create:

May 4, 2022