Getting Started

Adding files to the Database
Now you have BH 4.x 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 Database Menu OR you can create a new one by pressing (Ctrl+N)(Command+N on Mac)

IMPORTANT: Mac users!!
You should ONLY create Databases on Local Mac Volumes drives UNLESS using the BaseHead Server also.
SQLite databases for Mac on network drives can be painfully slow for some strange reason.

Quick Start Guide:
To Import some files, just press CTRL+I or COMMAND+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 new Import Window also with the dragged files and folders ready to import.

All controls on this window have Tool Tips explaining what they all do.
The one that might need a bit of explaining is choosing how to import local drives…
(Mac users don’t have these setting since drives are stored with Volume names instead)

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

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.

If your files are on a server then neither of the above settings matter, but maybe best to leave on the default setting of ‘Drive Letters’

Also, on this window you can name your ‘Imports’ and they will appear in the left side PeekTree.
You can also create ‘Groups’ or Import into ‘Groups’ from this window.
These two new features will be explained more later in the manual in the PeekTree section.

Watch the Getting Started Video first before you continue to see how to Import and get going quickly!
Tip: If you watch this video you can probably skip a ton of reading on the next few pages of this manual…8)

(Mac users) If you have old ancient files that have NO extensions on them like SD2’s from back in the day, then you might want to turn ON “Import files Without Extensions” on the Import Window for files that didn’t have .wav and .aif on the end of them.
BUT this option should be left off when scanning folders that are known to have extensions cuz importing will be way slower and possibly un-stable also.
We highly recommend converting these files to the industry standard BWAV files since SD2 is a dead format and in the future we might be forced to drop support for them.

—After Files have been Imported—-
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 this page with options to Show All and Reset to Defaults

Choosing what is displayed:
In the Database menu there are 3 options for what is displayed globally after a search.

We will get more into Hiding/Showing records later on in the manual. 
For now, just make sure you don’t turn ON the ‘Display Hidden Records’ setting by accident yet cuz the Results List will ONLY show records that have been set to hidden and you will be left scratching your head wondering where all your files are at……..8)
(Note: Records that are set to hidden will show as orange in the Result List when visible)

Search Bar
this is where all the magic happens! …8)
4 search bars that can be changed to any searchable field in the database or combination your want to search for.
All the search boxes can have their values changed to search to any field by clicking on them and selecting a new one from the pull down list.

to find Sounds simply type the words you wish to look for in the search boxes in the top SEARCHBAR 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.

This might be a good time to look at the different sections of the main page to get the terms down.


Results List
this is where all the search results are filled.
SUPER IMPORTANT!! Any file dragged FROM the Results List will be Referenced!
Basically consider dragging from this list the same as dragging from Explorer/Finder into your DAW
If you want files to be copied always to the set Transfer Path then make sure to drag from the DnD Bar instead and make sure to turn OFF ‘Reference Files when Possible’ if you want files to always copy.

PeekTree Panel (E)
Shows multiple trees that include:
Libraries, Imports, Groups, Favorite and Recent Searches, Playlist, Paths and X-fers
All these will explained more in depth on the Results Page/PeekTree section

Info Strip
Here you have the Drag and Drop Bar and also a few other controls
The DnD Bar should be used most for dragging files out of BaseHead if you want files copied to the Transfer Path.

  • Database Hot swap Combo Box – Let’s you switch between databases that have already been loaded previously.
  • Database Folder – Click to Open a new DB file.
    Tip: (Ctrl+Click) of this folder will show you the DB location in Explorer/Finder
  • 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 You can also set the Transfer Path by dragging and dropping a folder onto this folder directly OR by dragging a .npr .cpr .ptf or .ptx file direct to the Results List to change it to the session’s audio files folder of Nuendo/Cubase or Pro Tools.

Transport Controls

  • Cycle (loops if a region is zoomed or a Playback Marker is set) – (L)
  • Auto-Play
  • Reverse Playback (changes playback direction) – (Q)
  • Continuous Play (once the end of a file or End Marker is reached it skips to the next in the list)
  • Shuffle Play
  • Volume and Pan sliders
  • M/S Stereo Decoding button (Non-Lite Versions)



Also, if you want to re-trigger playback of a file from the start, press the tilde key (~) that is located below the ESC key on most keyboards.

Selecting a Region:
Once you find a sound that you like you can trim the sound down if needed by clicking+wiping across the waveform where you want to zoom in on. It will make a purple box like below……..


When you let go of the mouse it will ZOOM in on the selection
To show all the waveform again you can hit (A) or to undo only one level of zoom you hit (Z)

When you are happy with your choice then you can either:

  • 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.
  • 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.



Drag and Drop from BaseHead is best done by grabbing the DnD Bar that is directly to the left of the waveform. 
(see main page image)
Then dragging it to the desired application or folder.
Also, you can just grab the results directly from the Results List but keep in mind those files will always be referenced when dragged from the Results List.
Another option is, you can tag many sounds using (T) and then (Ctrl+Drag) from the DnD Bar to drag the whole Taglist without having to look at it.
(This same function is (Option+Drag) on Mac)

If your a Pro Tools user here is a nice video to watch to get familiar, but will benefit many other users also.

and another one by new BaseHead convert Jonah Guelzo that is a great watch also!


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