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This Page of the this User Manual is still in Progress to be updated for version 2024.

Getting Started

basehead uses a SQLite database format.  We suggest creating multiple ‘Imports’ per Database. 
You can have as many ‘Imports’  as you need in any database.

Importing files to the Database

Now you have BaseHead installed, it’s time to add sounds to the database. When BH is first launched a default database will be created for you. You can rename this from the Manage Databases (Ctrl/Cmd)+D.  You can also create a new one by pressing (Ctrl/Cmd)+N

NOTE:  Databases are created or copied to a master ‘Databases’ folder that you can view from the Manage Database Page.

To Import some files, just press Ctrl/Cmd+I to open the Import Window (Non-Lite versions)

You can also just drag and drop files direct from Explorer/Finder to the Results List and it will pop up the Import Window also with the dragged files and folders ready to import.

All options on this window have Tool Tips explaining what they all do so no need to describe them here beside a few.
One is choosing how to import local drives for PC users…

Drive Letters (PC Only)
Use this option if your files are on a fixed internal drive or if you clone your SFX drive and want to hook it up to another PC.
BaseHead will use the drives letter as the location for the files.

Hard Drive ID’s (PC Only)
Only use this option if you have your SFX on a removable USB/FW drive that you take with you from place to place.
BaseHead will use the drives ID as the location of the files and ignores the assigned drive letter.

If your files are on a server/network path then neither of the above settings matter, so just leave on the default setting of ‘Drive Letters’

Also, on this window you can name each ‘Import’ and they will appear in the left side NodeTree. You can also create ‘Groups’ or Import into ‘Groups’ from this window. These two features will be explained more later in the manual in the NodeTree section. ‘Imports’ are highly recommend to use always for every import to set BaseHead apart from other “rival” programs.


You should definitely watch the below Getting Started Video first before you continue to see how to Import and get going quickly!
Tip: If you watch this video you can skim thru the next few pages of this manual much quicker…8)

[Video] Importing Media Files


[Video] Getting Started


After Files have been Imported

Results List Fields

Now that you have some files in the database, you can right click the header on the Results List and you will get a list of available fields that you can show in the Results List with also options to Show All and Reset to Defaults

Search Bar

This is where all the magic happens!  There is one main search box and if using a Premium version you have the option to create unlimited Search and Filter Blocks.  All blocks can be edited and have their values changed to search to any field by clicking on them and changing the values.

To find Sounds simply type the words you wish to look for in the search boxes in the top SEARCH BAR area:
If you type more than one word (separated by a space) this will perform an AND search and will only find entries that match BOTH words. Prefixing a word with ‘-’ (minus) will tell the search to omit any results with that word in it
This is called a NOT search and would return results with the both the words ‘metal’ and ‘hit’ in them as long as ‘crash’ and ‘hollow’ weren’t also in the [description].
An EXACT search can be done by “putting the words in quotes like this”
An OR search can be done by putting a capital OR between the words.

The above search would return results with the both the words ‘metal’ and ‘hit’ in them as long as ‘crash’ and ‘hollow’ weren’t also in the [description]. These functions work in all of the 4 search boxes with any field selected.

Check the Search Bar page for a more in-depth look at how to use all the search features
This might be a good time to look at the different sections of the program to get the terminology down


BaseHead Terminology

Results List

This is where all the search results are filled.

Important: Any file dragged from the Result List will be referenced (does not go through processing and is referenced in place)

Basically, think of dragging from the Results List as the same as dragging from Explorer/Finder into your DAW.
If you want files to be copied always to the set Transfer Path and thru processing, then make sure to drag from the Drag-n-Drop Bar instead and make sure ‘Force Reference’ is OFF.

Left Side Bar Panel (E)

This panel shows the NodeTree  that include:
Collections, Categories, Groups, Imports, CloudPacks, Favorite and Recent Searches, Play History, Paths and X-fers

All these will explained more in depth on the NodeTree section

Info Strip

Here you have the Drag and Drop Bar and also a few other controls

  • Transfer Path Folder – this is where you Select where BH will copy non-referenced Files.
    Tip: Ctrl+Click of this folder will show you this location in Explorer/Finder.

DnD Bar (Drag-n-Drop)

The DnD bar is used to drag (copy) the selected file/selection to a desired location and the file is also ran thru processing unless ‘Force Ref’ is ON.




Right Side Bar (P)

This panel can display various panels depending on which Edition you have:
Details, Rename with Batch Renamer, Process, Markers, Metadata Viewer, Import/Export Text file and Burn In Panel.

Transport Controls


  • Record (Ultra) allows capturing Performances now that are added to the History Node in Red prefixed by a PERF
  • Loop Region (loops if a region or playback marker is set – (L)
  • Auto-Play
  • Reverse Playback (changes playback direction) – (R)
  • Continuous Play (skips to the next in the list once reaches an end point)
  • Shuffle Play
  • Volume and Pan sliders and
  • the pitchSlider has 3 different modes and a lock button.
  • M/S Stereo Decoder and basehead Connect (B.C.) button
  • FOLD (Used to downmix surround files to stereo)

TIP: SmartLoop will be engaged whenever you move a pitchSlider or pitchFX slider. This will be indicated by the Loop icons turning green.

FYI: to change Performance Recording settings right click the Record button.

Performance Recordings are placed in the History Node once completed and you need to transfer them to your DAW if you make one linked before you quit BH if set to record the default Temp Folder location since on next launch they will be cleaned up (deleted) automatically.

Selecting a Region:

You can trim the sound down if needed by clicking+wiping across the waveform to zoom in on. It will make a purple box like below…

To show all the waveform again you can hit (A) or to undo only one level of zoom you hit (Z)
You can also Hold Shift to select a Yellow Range that doesn’t zoom in when the mouse button is released.

Then you can do some of the following actions:

  • Add the file to the Taglist (T)
  • Toss the file to your main set wave editor by pressing (W)
  • Spot the sound to a track in your Target App by pressing (S)  (for supported apps)
  • Most commonly is dragging and dropping the sound to a Track, to the audio pool of your Target Application or to a folder via the DnD Bar.
  • X-fer any selected sound to the Pool or Bin of the Target App (X) or the whole Taglist (ALT+X)
  • The (C) key when pressed will copy the selected to your set Transfer Path.