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SoundBasket was the first product developed by Raw Material Software, the software design company set up by Julian Storer and Philip Meehan in 1999.

The initial idea for SoundBasket was to design a network- based sound effects server for use in professional post-production studios, utilising low-cost PCs, hard-drives and networks.

SoundBasket's Import/Export Trolley Within 3 months, a fully-working version of SoundBasket was up-and- running at a top London film sound facility, and by the summer of 2000, there were several SoundBasket installations, with a total capacity of over 1000GB (approaching 1 million digitised sound files!)

Uniquely, SoundBasket took a different approach to searching for sound effects, by utilising a complex algorithm that analysed what you typed in, rather than did simple 'string matching'. This resulted in an intelligent system which would find the sound of thunder if you typed in 'lightning', a sound effect named 'children playing' if you just typed in 'kids', coped with American spellings and/or foreign-language terms, non-standard plurals, synonyms, brand names and even common misspellings. All this was presented in an ergonomically-designed single-screen interface, optimised for the way that sound designers and editors work.

Here were some of SoundBasket's more interesting features:

  • Software-only solution
    Uses existing studio hardware/infrastructure for ease-of-installation, low cost and ease of maintenance

  • Intelligent Search Algorithm
    Complex synonyms database for fast, accurate retrieval

  • Intuitive User-Interface
    Single screen interface - no drop-down menus, no pop-up windows

  • Sound Categorisation System
    Effects grouped by library, name, keyword or type

  • Real-time Locate & Play
    Instant retrieval/playback of sound effects from hard-disk

  • Multi-Configuration
    Standalone, portable or networked multi-user versions available

  • OPTIFEX Sound Effects Library
    Supplied as standard on all systems

  • Uncompressed sound quality
    Uses industry-standard WAV and AIFF for full compatibility

  • Effects Export Option
    With 48kHz sample rate conversion, and WAV/AIFF file format option

  • AMS AudioFile import option
    Export any effect to AMS AudioFile SC audio workstation with a single keypress (requires AMS SAM card option)

  • Looks good, doesn't it! Yep, we thought so - and so did the dozens of studios who all wanted to buy one...

    SoundBasket's Basket So what happened to SoundBasket? Well, after literally two years of discussions, meetings and business plans with five different UK distributors, it became rapidly obvious that the UK pro-audio industry is made up of 'box shifters' - people who simply want to buy a boxed product from a manufacturer, double the price, and sell it on. We wanted SoundBasket to have the full support and backup of a professional UK-based pro-audio company, but to this day... we simply haven't found one who was up to the job...

    Oh well, we don't care. There are, as of now, over 50 SoundBasket terminals in constant use each and every day, and we still support upgrades and library additions and for those happy, happy customers.

    So, dear reader, let this be a lesson to you.

    Legal Notice: the views expressed on this page are not necessarily those of either Julian Storer or Raw Material Software, but are, instead, those of Philip Meehan who wasted what seems like the best years of his life typing in thousands and thousands of sound effect descriptions for essentially nothing. To this day he still can't sleep properly and even though SoundBasket has him made a fair old wodge of cash, he still can't go into any London pro-audio shop without throwing some sort of fit and attempting to attack the staff. If anyone would like a confidential list of the names and addresses of the useless pro-audio distributors who have reduced him to this, please send us an email, making sure you include the phrase 'time-wasting bastards' in the Subject line. Thank you

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