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I really struggle with filling out the category and subcategory field in Basehead, because I have no way of keeping track of the categories I use (except a clumpsy workflow where I need to look through at a spreadsheet each time I have to make an entry.

Would REALLY love to see some sort of preset/list/user definable dropdown for these fields!

I know you don't like comparisons with rival programs, but they have a way of doing it like this:

slack imgs

Here's an article explaining the workflow there:


@contact would love this feature! Anything to speed up the workflow and consistency of metadata is very helpful. 

18 Answers

It's an interesting idea to have a standard to work from, not something I like to get into the debate about because people like to have their own ideas on the matter, but it's almost the same as having a standard for musical Genre that everyone must agree upon. No matter how much you try and constrain it, someone will always feel that something tagged as "Alternative Rock" is actually "Grunge" or want to reinvent things or make additions etc. Every tagging system suffers from this and unfortunately, human nature throws spanners in the works with this kind of thing becasue everyone is different and everyone wants it to work the way they do. 

There is also language and culture considerations when making anything a standard and then the question would be, is it an "open standard" that others can contirubute to or would allowances be made to allow some custom ability in the case where things don't fit? Or is it created by a specific few people and then expected to be followed as much as possible? 

I've had this same discussion with companies like Native Instruments and other VST vendors when the NKS system came out and was driven around an organised tagging scheme. It was initially far too restrictive in what they chose as tag options for instruments and sounds and since I develop NKS for a massive range of instruments I decided myself their tagging format was far too limited and designed my own tagging scheme which was eventually mostly changed and merged in an update to the tagging system which is now what is available but still, users all over disagree with how some things should be labelled such as "is a Bell a mallet or a percussion instrument" since it uses a mallet but only has a single tone likening it more to a percussive instrument?

One thing to keep in mind is that sound management software is used in many different industries and there is a differing of terms for instance between managing samples and content for music production as opposed to sound design when considering tagging. For instance, I watched the YT vid on Tims overview of it and instantly I picked out of the Ambience category off the bat, nothing that would fit my own category for Electronic/Synth ambience sounds as it is from the mindset of a sound designer, not a producer, so a lot of things to consider to try and design such a broad standard. 

I would certainly welcome the ability to have a selection box to select the categories and the ability to easily edit any of the categories and have it apply to all records. Having a standard for this that all companies would adhere to seems like a mammoth task to get everyone on board but maybe a basic "starter" list with the ability to add some additional tagging for ones own needs would be an advantage. I highly doubt we will see any standard fully adopted tho. 

@jasona Thanks for the reply Jason, these are some really good points!!

I think a system like this definitely should be optional, and the user should be able to modify it – exactly like the Thesaurus in BaseHead. A universal system will never be perfect for everyone, but it could be a good starting point for having a more unified use of categories across sound libraries, which is something I sense many people want.

Tim is a least trying to be inclusive, and make polls in this Facebook group, to get people's opinions on the categories in the system:

However, I do think adding the Universal Category System to Basehead would be a great benefit for a lot of people, and it would fit right in the spirit of keeping things open and shareable BaseHead already has 🙂 I know other people like and Soundly are working implementing the system, so it would be great if BaseHead could work with the system as well.

A managed category system that allows selection using dropdowns is a great idea, I have upvoted this thread as it's something I would love to see. Would probably have to see how the "UCS" idea pans out since it's still in a draft stage and would need input from some of the larger content providers.


@jasona Thought this video might be interesting for the BH team:

This unlisted video is meant as a first look for vendors and programmers to get a sneak peak at the Universal Category System v8.0 Public Release. It was shown as a zoom meeting to a handful of vendors and database software programmers. It is fine to share to other vendors.



The excellent "UCS Reaper Renaming Tool" here might also be an inspiration for how this could be implemented in BaseHead. It works really smoothly 🙂

Just rambling in the void here - hope someone is listening 😛


Yeah - I really hope we will. Haven't heard too much from the BaseHead team about it yet, but I keep my fingers crossed 🤞

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