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Posted by on Oct 14, 2009 | 6 comments

Sound Design Essentials: Software (I) – Database & Organization


Some people asked me about the third part of Sound Design Essentials, so here is it: Software (4 parts).

  • Part 1: Database & Organization
  • Part 2: Editing Software
  • Part 3: Advanced Transformation Tools
  • Part 4: Noise Reduction and Restoration

I clarify that I’m not gonna talk about DAWs. It’s something that has been discussed a lot in many different blogs, forums, etc.. and it still seems silly; It’s simple: everyone has their preferences for work and know that is what best fits their needs. In this special I’ll only name several “special” applications that offer great tools for sound designers.

As you can see, in this first part I’m gonna show you several tools for organizing your library, sound database, etc. There are a lot of people who feel the need to organize a sound database and/or search on their sound library, and can not find software to use for that.

Some DAWs have a library/database application integrated, such as MediaBay on Nuendo, Media Browser on SONAR, etc, but… if you don’t like that integrated function, you have anotther options of dedicated software with special features for that job. Let’s check some of the best choices:


An advanced search engine, a highly advanced conversion engine, an integrated metadata management tool, an advanced sound design tool, a DSP processing host, a scalable product line that includes server, enterprise and web portal options, and it is designed to work directly with the most popular production tools in the industry.

Soundminer is used by both large companies like Ascent Media (includes Soundelux and Todd-AO), Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Paramount Studios, and Sony Pictures as well as many award winning editors and thousands of every day editors worldwide. Soundminer is supported by the largest music and sound effect libraries in the world.

Plataform: Mac & Win


  • Miniminer for Mac – $199
  • Soundminer for Mac V4 – $599
  • Soundminer for Mac V4PRO – $899
  • Soundminer for Windows – $499

NetMix Pro

Sophisticated cross-platform software for advanced music and sound fx library management. With NetMix Pro, users can organize, search, audition, and transfer music and sound fx directly in Pro Tools, AVID, Final Cut Pro, and other professional production tools.

“NetMix Pro is the reason we were able to finish ‘War of the Worlds’ on a very rushed delivery schedule. The powerful search, application integration and project management features provided a seamless workflow and unprecedented production efficiency.” – Richard King, Academy Award Winning Sound Supervisor.

Plataform: Mac & Win

Price: $990


An audio asset management system, and music production hub. AudioFinder gathers all the most useful tools in one quick and intuitive application, enabling you to be more creative by handling all the time consuming tasks that slow down your music production.

AudioFinder can build a catalog of every sound on your system, save it, and search it instantly to find the sounds you need when you need them. Use AudioFinder to create custom sets for sound categories and specific projects, with fast file browsing to audition, analyze, process, convert, and move or copy the samples in your library.

Plataform: Mac

Price: $69,95


Great tool for earching and finding your Sound Effect and Audio Files in your library. It makes it easy to Add and Scan through 1000’s of Audio files on your hard drive or network drive. Then Filter the Results/Audition and Transfer directly into your Target App like Nuendo or Copy to a Specified Directory.

Plataform: Win

Price: $259


The Finder best friend! When you select an audio file in the Mac Finder, Snapper immediately appears right beneath the current window, showing you the waveform and gives you many options.

Plataform: Mac

Price: $79

Filemaker Pro

The leading, easy-to-use database software to help you quickly manage and securely share information through a network or over the web.

How did FileMaker Pro get to be the world’s leading easy-to-use database software? For one simple reason – it helps anyone with any type of task get things done faster. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a Mac or Windows user – you can create and share database applications with each other through a network, over the web, or in popular formats such as PDF. Millions of people just like you rely on FileMaker Pro every day to effortlessly manage and share their information.

Plataform: Mac & Win

Price: $299

Filemaker Sound Database Example: Sound Ideas SuperSearch

Do you use any of these? What would you recommend?


  1. iTunes can do a pretty good job if your source materials are limited to 16/44 (ripped CD audio to lossless ALAC) and MP3.  It provides useful tagging, searching, grouping with smart playlists etc .

  2. where can i read part 2-4?

  3. They’re coming on the next year, with more! Stay tuned ;)

  4. Is it possible to install 2 separate versions of iTunes and have separate library xml files?

    • Sorry for the 5 year late reply, but you can have separate XML files with the same version of Itunes by holding down SHIFT when you boot the program

  5. Miguel! no encuentro las demás partes, todavía no las publicaste, no?

    Gracias por TODO

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