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Search Bar

The Search Bar is where all the magic happens! You can search through all your files metadata and the results of a search are displayed on the Results Page.

There is also a “Simple Search” mode you can enable if you prefer a more simplified single search box, details on this mode are further down.

For a quick intro into the search bar see the Getting Started section

Search Boxes (Advanced Search)

NOTE: If you do not see 4 different search boxes check the “Advanced Search” setting in the OPTIONS menu

There are 4 search boxes that that can be combined to search your collection. Each search box can be set to search any field in your database and all 4 boxes can be changed to any available fields in your database.

Searches are performed from top to bottom so the top search box will query for results, then the next field will search within the returned results for matches to narrow things down. You can use any search box on its own tho allowing for multiple custom search boxes.

The bottom 2 search boxes offer extra “Browse Arrows” that will list all the available results for you to select from for the selected field category :

Linking of the bottom two browse arrows to filter off each other is also possible. Just click the link icon that is between them now to enable this new mode.

This below image show the difference when clicking the Browse Arrows when linked compared to un-linked.

In this case when while browsing [directories] linked (the bottom image) it only shows values with records that also have “GR2” in the [category] field also.

The top image is un-linked hence it showing many more Directories when browsing. Also…the Browse Arrow are linked now to ‘Imports’ & ‘Groups’ starting in version 5.x so if one of these is focused or hidden the values will reflect the same in the Browse Arrow popup boxes also.

In the top left corner to the left of the “Description” field is the Green Back/Forward that works similar to a web browser quickly showing previous/next searches.

You can also press the Backspace button to cycle back and when you see the search you want you can press Ctrl/Cmd+Enter to search it to avoid too many mouse clicks. Also Ctrl/Cmd+Backspace will cycle forward thru the list.

You can still of course CLICK on it also to go back or Ctrl/Cmd+CLICK to go forward.

Deep Character Search

As of BaseHead v2020.12 a new “Deep Character Search” toggle option has been added to assist with improving searching performance on larger libraries along with a new “Full Text Search (FTS)” database feature that allows your searches to be done on a word-by-word basis instead of the traditional character-by-character (or deep search) function that BaseHead has always used. 

On the right of the search boxes is the “A” toggle button which will switch between the 2 searching modes:

Deep Char. Search OFF

When DCS is OFF BaseHead will use the new super fast word based searching method for your queries.

This is best suited if you have a more “modern” library where your metadata and files are labelled with single words and spaces rather than CamelCase wording. Search queries will be matched by word so will not analyze every word for matches within strings which helps to speed up queries a LOT and also reduce the amount of “noise” in a search to find more applicable sounds only. 

Deep Char. Search ON

When DCS is ON the search will be performed the “classic” BaseHead way where combinations of characters are matched in any string. This may result in a search such as “rain” finding “train” so can find more unrelated matches. 

This search method is best used if you have a library that has a lot of joined words without spaces or delimited characters. if you have older libraries that UseCamelCaseFileNames instead of spaces and need to search filenames for matches then this is the best search mode for these cases. 

Indexing Options

To assist with the blazing speed improvements a new feature called “Full Text Search” has been implemented which will update your library database with a new “FTS Table” which simply holds searchable words to create matches to your results. We don’t need to know how this magic happens, only that it exists and can be fine tuned depending on how you like to search. 

If you use combo searches you can choose to build an FTS table that is suited to your most common searches. Just select the type of searches you do most often and click the “Rebuild Index” option. For more info on this check the Basic Functions/Menu section

Search Operations

You can use typical Boolean searches to filter your search results.

“AND” Search

If you type in a search term with Spaces the search will perform an “AND” search and look for results that contain all of the words entered. It will not search for an exact match for the sequence you type, only if ALL words are found in the field

“NOT” Search

You can exclude a word match by prefixing a minus (-) to the word. This will exclude any result that has this word as a match.  In this example, results will be listed if metal AND hit are found but only if crash and hollow were not found in the description.

“OR” Search

You can perform an OR search that will return results when either word is found by adding a capital OR between words


“EXACT” Search

If you need to search for an exact match, place your search “within quotes” 

Cloud Search

A new feature of v2021 is the ability to easily see search results from the BaseHead Cloud Pack library.


Anytime you do a search in your database this icon will display the results BaseHead has also found within all the available CloudPack libraries for you to check out. The number of results is displayed in the cloud icon (limited to 2000 results max) and you can simply click this icon to switch between your local library and the cloud library.

All files in the cloud library can be previewed right within BaseHead and you then have the option to purchase the CloudPack if you do not already own it by using the “Buy Now” button in the details panel to open the CPM Store browser and get details on the sound and library you selected with option to preview the whole library and purchase.

The cloud display will reset on each new search and default to showing your local library.

The icon will change to the following colors:

Dim = No search active
Dim Blue = More results in your local db than the cloud
Orange = No local matches but found cloud matches
Green = More matches found in the cloud than your database
Light Blue = Shows when viewing cloud library

NOTE: On first run of BaseHead the CPM application will launch automatically in  the background and download an online master database used to provide the cloud search results. if you have just installed or updated BaseHead and have zero results from the cloud search, give BaseHead 5 minutes to sync the database then try and restart the program and see if the search results appear.



(Ultra only)

The Thesaurus is available in Ultra versions of BaseHead and opens up the ability to search for “like” terms using a comprehensive inbuilt word library specifically curated for sound designers.

In addition to searching an internal word database, users have the option to exclude or add their own words to the database.

Enable the Thesaurus feature by pressing the green T icon to the right of the search bar.

As you enter a word in the top search box, matches will be displayed in the second search box. You can choose to modify the thesaurus match if you need to add/remove a word from the search.

Each word you enter will show the root word you have entered and any thesaurus matches found within ( ) brackets. Boolean searching still applies.

Terms from the thesaurus are separated with the double pipe || characters which indicates an OR condition

If you wish to edit the thesaurus library see the Thesaurus Options


[Video] using The Thesaurus

Simple Search Mode

You can switch to a simplified search mode which offers a single search box that will search the following fields: [description] [filename] [category][subcategory] [comments] [notes]

Simple search mode is perfect when you need to just find sounds without the need to do linked searches or thesaurus searching in favor of quick searching of most common fields. You can still use “Search Operations” in your searches (AND/NOT/OR etc)

NOTE: BaseHead will automatically switch to this simplified searching mode when the GUI is resized into a smaller windowed mode or running on a smaller display.


In the OPTIONS menu, deselect “Advanced Search Mode” to switch to the simplified search box.

NOTE: When you resize the BaseHead application down smaller this will automatically switch the search mode to Simple Search mode if there is not enough space.

Search Specific Libraries

When you perform a search your entire database is searched for results which will display in the Results List.

You can simply click on any library in the PeakTree to apply the current search to only that library.

To revert back to searching all libraries just click the first search box and click enter to use the same search term or clear all search boxes, select the first search box and press Enter to clear the search and display all results.

Hold Ctrl/Cmd + Click multiple libraries to perform searches only in the selected ones (these will be highlighted) and repeat this to deselect the libraries again. You can also Right-Click and select the option “Focus/Unfocus Search”

Favorite / Recent Searches

(Ultra only)

In the PeakTree you will find a “Favorite Searches” and “Recent Searches” node available. If you do not see these and are using the Ultimate version of BaseHead, check the PeakTree options to see if these nodes have been hidden from view:

Recent Searches lists a history of previous searches that you can reload the results by simply clicking. Each query stores all the search box parameters that were set for the search when pressing Enter.

Favorite Searches is a place to put the searches you use all the time.
You can add them to this node by pressing the green plus icon from the Recent Searches node.