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Search via Audio Analysis based on Similarity  


Topic starter

Hi everyone, long-time Basehead user, and would like to request a major feature.

Here's a typical, daily scenario I think many of us struggle with...

  1. Spot a video and figure out I need some specific source element, for example metal ping with a particular timbre.
  2. Search basehead for 'metal ping', get 5000+ results.
  3. Click the first one and start pressing the down arrow to listen to the results one at a time.
  4. A few mins later I find one that's close to what I want, but still not quite right.
  5. Realize I'm only at sound 271 out of 5000+ and it will take me quite a long time to finish auditioning them all.

This scenario is super, super common. It probably encompasses a majority of the time I spend doing sound design, hunting through my vast library that isn't always consistently tagged by the recordists and contains over 230,000 records, looking for a particular type of element for a sound I'm creating. The other day I realized that I have some much older libraries that contain thousands of useful footstep foley sounds, but none of them are tagged with metadata in a useful way and never show up in my searches (not even the filenames make sense). I simply stumbled onto them by accident and realized they would have been really great for a few previous projects.  The longer a person works in this field the larger their personal library collections become, and the problem just keeps getting more time consuming to work around.

I think an amazing solution to this problem would be having Basehead analyze the waveform content and allow us to search for sounds with similar waveform content.  For example if I find a sound that close to what I'm looking for, but still not quite right, I can choose to search for other sounds in my library with similar harmonic or timbre properties regardless of file name or metatags.  There's a program called Sononym that does this fairly well but it's aimed at music producers and not sound designers.  I think having an ability like this inside Basehead that's geared towards a sound designers workflow and search needs would be absolutely incredible, and directly translate into massive amounts of saved time on every single project I work on.

Anyone else like to see this?  Thoughts?

3 Answers
Topic starter

Awesome, thanks for the response.  Good to know that I don't have to convince the developer it's a worthwhile feature!  🙂

Thankfully I haven't noticed business slow down that much.  I'm guessing that because people are stuck inside via self-quarantine, they're consuming media (games, movies, tv shows) at an unprecedented rate.  I know that tv and movie production has taken a hit and lots of filming has been paused, but I think games and some smaller animation productions are still moving forward as per usual.  I hope sales of Basehead haven't been affected too much!

If it helps you decide how to prioritize it, hopefully people will chime in here and comment on how valuable this feature would be for them.  Personally, I could see myself buying a new license if this feature required it... that's how much time I think it would save me.  Maybe it could be an addon feature sold separately?  Or it could be a totally new license like "Basehead Ultra+" or something.   I haven't seen any other sound effects database software with this feature, and surely it would convert users of other software?



My "rivals" have had something like this for years.  I have been asked 20+ times to add this into BH over the years but when I ask some buddies that use that "rival" software they usually say "Yeah I used it once....It was cool"  I then asked if they have used it since and every single one of them said "Nope...never again! but it was cool that one time" 
Which leads me to believe they did not implemented it correct or missed the boat completely.  hahaha
I won't be making that mistake and what is already planned will completely take it to the next level!    😉

FYI: it will be an Ultra Edition exclusive feature with maybe and addon option of the other two versions.

Excellent -- good to hear!  When I played around with Sononym it only worked reasonably well for music based samples (what it was designed for) but when I tried it with sfx files it just failed miserably at finding similar sounds.  I think you're right, I think it will be challenging to add this feature, but I think if it's done correctly it will be highly valuable and used often.

Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing this feature in the Basehead email updates.  And in the meantime if you need a beta tester let me know.  🙂 👍 



Yes this is a MAJOR MAJOR feature!
Got a spare $10,000 lying around to make it? hehe

Cuz that is what it will cost to do this feature right and the way I want to do it!  

BUTTT...actually we already do have something like this in development started back in January and then the Pandemic hit and we had to put it on pause cuz it will take a ton of money to complete and no one is spending now to give us the seed money needed to complete it.

Hopefully next month we can continue on this and put it back on track so it drops before the end of the year.  8)



I think this will be THE MAJOR feature that can make the difference between one audio search software and another...Sure Sound Designers we want this feature as soon as possible. In terms of developer must decide how much money they want to spend depending on how advanced (and how much it costs) AI is. AI is really making giant steps but maybe for a audio search engine can be so much expensive in relation with the $ incoming...
But sure: the first developer getting this done will beat all the others up!

I'm sure that doing this from zero could be really close to suicide. Maybe you need a collaboration with other companies with experience with deep learning audio AI.

Good luck and really interested in seeing what this will be.

¿How can I vote a request?