Last week Basehead released a new version of their sound effect browsing software. While the latest version, Basehead 4, was previously available for PC users, the July 2 announcement was the first 4.x release of the sound clip management app compatible with the Mac platform (OS X 10.6 – 10.10).
I mentioned Basehead in an earlier article as one of the few “full-featured” apps that accomplishes all four main tasks of metadata apps:
- Manage sound libraries.
- Audition sound files.
- Use metadata.
- Transfer sound files.
That’s a feat not shared by many other metadata apps. Basehead 4 adds a handful of eagerly-sought enhancements to these tasks. Today’s article shares the main improvements featured in the new version, as well as details on a discount offered on the Basehead software.
What is a metadata app? How do you use sound fx browsing software? I wrote a number of articles about metadata and sound browsing apps in a “Metadata Month” series last year. Read those articles to learn more about metadata, how to use it, and an overview of metadata apps and what they do.
New Basehead 4 Features
So what’s new in Basehead 4? The software includes dozens of new features and refinements. I’ll share the most compelling ones.
VST support. Basehead 4 adds VST plug-in support. Now you can line up reverb, compression, EQ, or any other VST plug-in while auditioning your sound files. Up to 12 inserts can be configured, complete with saveable presets.
- Conversion. Now Basehead 4 is able to convert a sound file’s sample rate and bit depth upon transfer.
- Processing. VST plug-ins, pitch shifting, and reversing can be applied while transferring sound clips out of Basehead.
- Timeline spotting. Basehead 4 now has the option to spot multiple files inline (stacked in a timeline horizontally, one after another) or on different tracks (stacked vertically).
ReWire support. Basehead now uses ReWire to playback audio via your editing app.
Import Window. Basehead 4’s new Import Window interface saves time by completing bonus steps while importing sounds:
- Touch up imported text by removing duplicate words, or changing text case.
- Import sounds directly into a new playlist or database under “Imports” in the “Peek Tree” sidebar. This is helpful to segment imports into different databases to aid with organization.
- Image support. Add an image or “album cover” to sound files.
- Library playlists. Create a new type of “Library” playlist, complete with sub-folders. The Library area references sound files stored elsewhere, and allows exporting of just the clips stored in those playlists.
Groups. Sounds may be labelled in “Groups” by colour and name. These work like tags to help to visually identify sounds, for example by library, category, and so on.
Thesaurus. Basehead 4 now incorporates thesaurus synonyms in every keyword search. So, searching for “rock” may return results for “stone.” Basehead helpfully displays the appropriate synonyms below the search field. The thesaurus can be modified with your own custom terms.
- Group searching. I described how sounds can be labelled by coloured “Groups” above. Basehead 4 allows custom searches by one or many groups, by hiding groups, and so on.
- iXML metadata. Basehead 4 writes to the iXML metadata open standard.
- Batch editing. Metadata for many sounds can be edited and tagged at once, in batches.
- Authorization. Basehead 4 adds iLok 2, lock-to-hard drive, and USB Flash drive (coming soon) authorization options in addition to the existing CodeMeter USB dongle option. Read more about Basehead 4’s authorization options.
- Software support. Basehead 4 adds support to Nuendo 7, Cubase 8, Pro Tools 12, and Logic X.
Basehead 4 is offered in three versions:
- 4 Ultra. Designed “for power users,” Basehead 4 Ultra includes everything described above. It’s
$449, $429 until July 14.
- 4 Standard. Billed as the “standard edition,” Basehead 4 “vanilla” limits transfers to 48 kHz/24-bit resolution. It also lacks thesaurus searching, the “Library” organization section, destructive editing, and batch metadata editing features. It’s
$299, $279 until July 14. 4 Standard seems suitable for broadcast work, but lacks features sound designers and indie sound library publishers would need.
- 4 Lite. Described by Basehead as “for people not needing all the fancy bells and whistles,” 4 Lite includes the limitations described above, as well as lacking description naming, the file browser, and the “spot to timeline” feature. This version is
$169, $149 until July 14. 4 Lite is best seen as a simplified sound library browser. Basehead notes it is “targeted towards Avid and Final Cut Pro video editors.”
This chart shows the feature breakdown between versions:
This YouTube video describes the features in Basehead 4 Ultra:
Learn more about Basehead 4 for Mac.
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