Getting your shit together with sample management tool Cosmos from Waves

Free tool from Waves for managing billions & billions of samples...

Is the DAW you’re using much better than it was three years ago? How about five? With more software companies being gobbled up by private equity funds, innovation among the big DAW developers seems devoted less to making a better product than to figuring out how to convert their customers into paying monthly subscription fees, now and forever.

But there have been some fascinating releases in what we might call the “music utilities” space — software that doesn’t make music itself, but makes making music easier.

One we were really impressed by is called Cosmos. More of a computer hack than a software extension for a DAW, Cosmos (made by Waves) is a neat little free music utility that helps manage a producer’s sample library. Using AI (which here probably really means “machine learning”), Cosmos will scan your drive for music samples and then tag and organize them in the way you choose. Tags include instruments (snares, flutes, vox, whatever) or however it helps you remember where things are and what they sound like.

We tried Cosmos and it did pretty well: it’s a vast improvement over a computer operating system’s native search function, or any ad hoc tagging we’d done over time. If you’re like us, it also helped you remember some folders of samples that were downloaded and forgotten (and it offers a few more: 2,500 more samples are included for free).

Weirdly, Cosmos does not detect MP3 files. They admit this as a limitation but it’s still an odd one. (Samples should not be saved as MP3s but it’s kind of a fact of life that some of yours probably are.)

The basic version of Cosmos is free, and that’s what we used here. They also have a “CR8 Creative Sampler” which has more options and offers sound manipulation.

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