Getting Started with SoundQ

Welcome to SoundQ! If you haven't already, you can download SoundQ here.
Watch this quick walkthrough video to get up and running, and explore the full User Guide below.


SoundQ User Guide - Contents
  1. Getting Started with SoundQ Page 7
    1. Overview Page 7
    2. Download and Install Page 7
    3. Startup Page 8
    4. Sign Up/Sign In Page 8
      1. Launch the browser authentication window: Page 8
      2. Login to SoundQ account accordingly: Page 9
      3. Choose a SoundQ Subscription: Page 9
      4. Subscription Tiers: Page 9
      5. Launch the SoundQ app: Page 10
      6. Auto-Login: Page 11
  2. User Account Panel Page 11
    1. Auto-Logout Page 12
    2. Upgrade Subscription Page 12
    3. Adding Credits Page 12
  3. Preferences Panel Page 13
    1. Playback Page 13
      1. Hardware Page 13
      2. Audio Device Type (Windows Only) Page 14
      3. Output Page 14
      4. Active Output Channels Page 14
      5. Sample Rate Page 15
      6. Audio Buffer Size Page 15
      7. Options Page 16
    2. Search Page 16
    3. Export Page 16
    4. Remapper Page 16
      1. Remap vs. Relink Page 18
    5. Advanced Page 19
      1. Offline Mode Page 19
        1. Offline Keys Page 20
        2. Offline Mode Restrictions Page 20
        3. Offline Mode Synchronization Page 20
      2. External Drives Page 20
      3. Log Level Page 21
      4. Graphics Renderer Page 21
  4. Import Panel Page 22
    1. Import Panel Page 22
    2. Scanning Page 22
    3. Skipped Files Log Page 23
    4. Duplicate Files Page 24
  5. Collections Panel Page 24
    1. What is a Collection? Page 25
    2. Collection Icons and Buttons Page 25
      1. Collection Search State Button Page 25
      2. Expand Arrow and Nested Collection Count Page 26
      3. Collection Sync Status Icon Page 26
      4. Shared Collection Indicator Page 26
      5. Target Collection Button Page 26
      6. Add Collection '+' Button Page 26
      7. Customize Collection Three Dot Menu Page 26
    3. Collections Panel Sections Page 26
      1. My Collections Page 26
      2. Store Page 27
      3. System Collections Page 27
    4. All Button Page 28
    5. Collection Three Dot Menu Options Page 28
      1. Select Color and Icon Page 28
      2. Rename Page 28
      3. Set As Target Page 28
      4. Duplicate Page 28
      5. Sharing and Permissions Page 28
      6. New Collection Here Page 28
      7. Delete Page 28
      8. Unsubscribe Page 29
      9. Include In Search Page 29
      10. Exclude In Search Page 29
    6. Collection Syncing Page 29
      1. Current Limitations of Syncing Page 30
    7. Collection Sharing Page 30
      1. Invite Text Box and Button Page 30
      2. Individuals with Access Page 30
      3. Apply Permissions to All Child Collections Page 31
    8. Permissions Menu Page 31
      1. Transfer Ownership Page 31
      2. Remove Access Page 31
    9. Importing Sounds to Collections Page 32
    10. Reordering Collections Page 32
  6. File Info Panel Page 32
    1. Editing Metadata Page 33
    2. Editing Multiple Sounds at Once Page 33
    3. Metadata Permissions Page 34
    4. Embedding Metadata to the Actual Files Page 34
    5. Artwork Page 34
  7. Search Results Window Page 35
    1. Search Bar Page 35
      1. Search History Page 35
    2. Results List Page 35
      1. Results List Header Page 35
        1. Sorting Page 36
        2. Column View Options Page 36
    3. Filter Bubbles Page 36
      1. Clearing Filter Bubbles Page 36
    4. Editing Metadata Page 37
    5. Supported Metadata Fields Page 37
    6. Row Option Page 39
    7. Result Source Types Page 40
    8. Offline files Page 40
    9. Drag and Drop Results Page 40
  8. Waveform Panel Page 41
    1. Transport Page 41
    2. Gain Slider Page 41
    3. Speed Slider Page 41
    4. Waveform Display Page 41
      1. Display Errors Page 42
    5. Waveform Timeline Page 42
    6. Waveform Zoom Slider Page 42
    7. Loop Handles (Region Selection) Page 42
    8. Fade In Fade Out Page 43
    9. Quick Drag and Drop Page 43
      1. Quick Drag and Drop Settings Page 43
    10. Channel Level Meters Page 44
    11. Channel Selector Page 44
  9. Send To Menu Page 45
    1. Prerequisites Page 45
    2. Send To Targets Page 46
    3. Target Options Page 47
      1. Audio Options Page 47
      2. Target Length Page 47
      3. Transfer Path Page 48
      4. Download Quality Page 48
      5. Drag and Drop Target Specific Page 49
      6. Premiere Target Specific Page 49
    4. Send Button Page 49
  10. Workflows Page 49
    1. Auditioning and Exporting Sounds Page 49
      1. Search Page 50
      2. Audition Page 50
      3. Export Page 50
    2. SoundQ/DAW Monitoring Setups Page 51
      1. Virtual Audio Devices Page 51
      2. Monitoring Options Page 51
        1. Windows or MacOS: Page 51
        2. ProTools on MacOS: Page 52
      3. Workflows Page 54
    3. Working with Shared Network Libraries Page 54
      1. Workflow Example Page 54
      2. Network Resource Organization Page 55
      3. Importing a Network Resource Page 55
      4. Sharing a Network Resource Page 57
      5. Mapping a Network Resource from SoundQ Page 59
    4. Backups and Downgrades Page 61
      1. Finding the Database Backups Page 61
      2. Finding the Old Installers Page 62
      3. Reinstating your Database Folder Page 62
    5. SoundQ Extensions Page 62
      1. Pro Tools Page 63
      2. Reaper Page 63
      3. Premiere Page 63
        1. Installation Page 63
        2. WorkFlow Page 64
        3. Multi-Project Support Page 66
        4. Support Matrix Page 67
        5. Known Issues Page 67
  11. References Page 67
    1. FAQs Page 67
      1. Q: I’m having trouble logging into SoundQ. Page 67
      2. Q: No Sound during playback of Sound Effect. Page 68
      3. Q: Sound pops or clicks intermittently during playback of Sound Effect. Page 68
      4. Q. Can I monitor SoundQ playback from my DAW? Page 68
      5. Q. Can I export more than one sound at a time? Page 69
      6. Q. SoundQ application starts with a blank, black or empty window? Page 69
      7. Q: Error: Can’t find Pro Tools/Premiere/Reaper. Page 69
    2. Troubleshooting Page 70
      1. Mac OS Permissions Page 70
        1. Overview Page 70
        2. Setting Permissions Page 70
          1. Automation Page 71
          2. Files and Folders Page 71
          3. Full Disk Access Page 71
          4. Accessibility Page 72
        3. Stale Permissions Page 73
      2. Database / MongoDB Page 74
        1. Background Page 74
        2. Technical Page 74
        3. Potential Problems and Solutions Page 74
          1. Firewalls Page 74
          2. Busy Port Page 75
          3. Lockups Page 76
          4. Corruption Page 76
      3. Internet Connection Page 76
        1. Download Manager Page 77
        2. Connection Troubleshooting Page 77
      4. SoundQ Extensions Page 78
        1. ProTools Page 78
        2. Reaper Page 78
        3. Premiere Page 78
      5. Contacting Support Page 82
        1. Log Files Page 82
        2. Screen Recording / Captures Page 83
          1. MacOS Page 83
          2. Windows Page 83
    3. Keyboard / Shortcuts Page 83
      1. Main Window Page 84
      2. Collections Panel Page 84
      3. Results List Page 84
      4. Waveform Panel Page 85
    4. Whitelisting URLs Page 85
    5. SoundQ App / Data Locations Page 86
      1. Installation Page 86
      2. Unhiding Folders Page 86
      3. Main Application Page 86
        1. Windows Page 86
        2. MacOS Page 87
      4. User Data / Logs Page 88
        1. Windows Page 88
        2. MacOS Page 88
    6. Support / Contact Page 88
      1. Support Inquiries Page 88
      2. Connect with the Community Page 88
      3. Sales, Licensing & Client Services Page 89
      4. Education Page 89
      5. Partnership or Business Development Opportunities Page 89

Getting Started with SoundQ

Welcome to SoundQ! If you haven't already, you can download SoundQ here.

Watch this quick walkthrough video to see how to get up and running.


SoundQ is sound library software that helps creators deliver better sound on every project - faster than ever.

With SoundQ, you get unlimited access to a curated selection of high-quality sound effects and music tracks to use royalty-free in your creations. You can also use SoundQ to organize your own local library. Search, audition, and drop any sound from the cloud right to your timeline in your editing software of choice.

SoundQ is free to use, with an additional monthly or yearly subscription available for unlimited access to the SoundQ Sound Effects and SoundQ Music collections. If you need a sound outside of what comes with your SoundQ plan, you can purchase credits to download additional sounds from the entire Pro Sound Effects library of 1 million+ sounds. If you purchase sound libraries from Pro Sound Effects, you get free cloud access to those libraries within SoundQ.

Download and Install

  • Download the latest version of SoundQ at
  • Open the downloaded .pkg (macOS) or .exe (Windows) file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • (Optional) If you are a Reaper or Adobe Premiere user, make sure the corresponding SoundQ Extension is selected in the installer when prompted:


  • macOS: In Finder, go to your /Applications folder and double click the
  • Windows: Find the SoundQ application in Explorer or the Start menu, or double click the SoundQ shortcut on your desktop.

Sign Up/Sign In

When SoundQ is launched for the first time, the SoundQ login screen is presented:

Launch the browser authentication window:

  • Click the ‘Sign In / Create Account’ button to open the browser login window:

Login to SoundQ account accordingly:

  • For new users, click the ‘Sign up now’ link to create a new SoundQ account.
  • For existing SoundQ users and current PSE accounts from, manually enter the user and password associated with your account, or choose one of the SSO options (Google or Facebook) if that’s what you used to create your account.
  • For existing PSE customers with a legacy Pro Sound Effects account created via Shopify (, please click "Sign up now" to create a new SoundQ/PSE account using this same email address. This way, your library purchases from will sync with SoundQ (you will get unlimited cloud access to these libraries).
  • If you have already created an account using a different email address and would like to sync your purchases to your new SoundQ account, please reach out to for assistance.

Choose a SoundQ Subscription:

After successfully logging in or creating a new account, the browser will load the SoundQ Subscription Tiers landing page:

Select the appropriate SoundQ plan:

  • New users can purchase a SoundQ subscription, or simply click the ‘Try it Now’ link to continue trying the free version.
  • Existing free users will see this page each time you log in. To continue to the app, just press “Try It Now” to confirm you want to continue with the free version. If you are already a subscriber this page will be skipped.

Subscription Tiers:

When logging in for the first time, you will be prompted to select a SoundQ tier. For more information about pricing and the tiers, please visit If you continue with the Free tier, you can upgrade your subscription at any time.

SoundQ Free

SoundQ Subscription

SoundQ Teams

Free Forever

No Credit Card Required




SoundQ Sound Effects Library

2,000 Sound Effects

Selected from the PSE Library

100,000+ Sound Effects & Growing

Selected from the PSE Library

Customized to fit your team's needs

SoundQ Music Library

100 Music Tracks/Stems

20,000+ Music Tracks/Stems

Local File Database



Cloud Access to Purchased PSE Libraries Integration (CC0)

Royalty Free & Copyright Safe

Launch the SoundQ app:

After providing credentials and (optionally) selecting a subscription Tier, the browser will redirect to the SoundQ URI (soundq://) and prompt to open the SoundQ application:

  • Check ‘always allow to open links of this type in the associated application’ option to launch SoundQ automatically next time.
  • Click the ‘Open SoundQ’ button to launch the native SoundQ application.


By default, SoundQ will cache the currently logged in users credentials so that subsequent launches of the application will log in automatically, bypassing the app login screen and browser authentication entirely, and loading the application directly.

User Account Panel

The User Account Panel is accessible via the User icon in the top right corner of the application:

The user icon shows the initials of the currently logged in user, as well as a connection status bullet in the top right corner of the user icon:

  • Connected: While green, everything is good to go.
  • Disconnected: When red/orange, the application has lost connection with the API server. If SoundQ cannot reestablish a connection with the PSE API on its own (remains disconnected for more than a minute), please check the internet connection. 📓Note that while ‘offline’, cloud collections are disabled and cannot be browsed or searched. See also: Offline Mode.

Depending on the subscription level and user type, the account panel may also contain the following information:

  • User or Team name.
  • Account contact email (for Teams this is typically the owner or admin of the account).
  • Subscription / Tier: Shows the current subscription tier.
  • Upgrade: Click the ‘Upgrade’ option to return to the Subscription Tier selection landing page to upgrade or downgrade the current subscription.
  • Credit Count: Shows the number of credits currently available to purchase new sounds.
  • Add Credits: Click ‘Add Credits’ to open the store page to purchase Transfer Credits for the account to purchase new sounds.
  • Logout: Click the ‘Logout’ button to log out of SoundQ and return to the SoundQ login page / splash screen.


As a user account/session based application, SoundQ can be used safely by multiple users on the same system. In order to log into SoundQ as a different user, the current user must first log out. If running SoundQ on a public/shared computer, SoundQ can also be set to log out automatically when closing SoundQ after each session so that other users can easily log into their own accounts via the startup login screen.

To log out of SoundQ, click the user icon in the top right of the application to show the current user account menu.

  • To log out of future SoundQ sessions automatically on shutdown, check the ‘auto-logout on shutdown (public/shared computers)’ checkbox.
  • To log out of the current session immediately, click the ‘Logout’ button to manually log out of SoundQ / API and return to the login screen.

📓Note: That different local users will be able to see the same local ‘System’ collections, but will not be able to see or access other users' Collections (except those that are explicitly shared between users).

Upgrade Subscription

SoundQ Free users have the option to upgrade to a SoundQ subscription via the “Upgrade” button next to the current Tier in the Account Panel. Select “Upgrade” to return to the SoundQ Subscription Tier selection page in the browser. After upgrading via the browser, return to the SoundQ app to find unlocked Sound FX and Music Collections for the subscription.

Adding Credits

All users, whether subscribed to SoundQ or not, will have the ability to add credits to their account that can be used for sounds from the entire Pro Sound Effects library. To do this, select “Add Credits” from the user account menu to load the credits store page in the browser.

Preferences Panel

The Preferences panel provides access to all user and system specific application settings, and can be accessed from the Edit->Preferences menu. SoundQ uses both user and global options. All system specific ‘global’ settings such as Playback devices and audio settings as well as some Advanced settings such as rendering options, are stored at the global level as they apply to all users/sessions on the system. Alternatively, all user specific settings such as Search options and custom Remapper paths are stored at the user level and are applied per user session at login.


The Playback panel provides access to all global audio device settings and user options for audio playback. To monitor playback of sound effects, SoundQ requires only a valid audio output device, such as a pair of headphones or laptop speakers. Use the Playback Hardware options here to select and set up an output device for playback monitoring and auditioning of sound effects.

📓Note: SoundQ does not currently support nor require any audio input devices or microphone access.

See also: SoundQ Monitoring Setup


Audio Hardware settings provides a list of all supported audio devices provided by the system.

📓Note: SoundQ currently enables the ‘Follow System Audio Output Device’ setting by default. While the ‘follow output’ option is enabled, the custom audio output settings are in turn disabled, and SoundQ will automatically select the default audio output device and settings provided by the OS. In this case, the default audio device will be selected automatically upon SoundQ launch, then subsequently switch to a new default device if changed via the OS (e.g. System>Sound panel in the Settings app on Windows, or the Audio MIDI Setup app on Mac OS). To enable Hardware options and use custom audio output device settings, simply uncheck (disable) the ‘Follow System Output Device’ option to unlock the following audio Hardware options:

Audio Device Type (Windows Only)

Audio Device Type refers to the type of Audio Interface used by the audio device driver implementations for the device. For Mac OS users the ‘Audio Device Type’ option is not shown because all devices in that environment use Core Audio. However, for Windows users, there may be several ‘Audio Device Type’ options to choose from including:

  • Windows Audio
  • DirectSound
  • ASIO
  • (Any 3rd party or custom drivers such as ASIO4ALL, etc. installed on the system may also appear in this list).

📓Note: Certain device types may provide additional options such as ‘exclusive’ or ‘low latency’ modes which may render the selected device unavailable to other applications. Additionally, some device types such as ASIO devices provide their own custom driver settings via a device ‘Control Panel’. If a ‘Control Panel’ is available for a certain device, a button is shown in the Hardware section on the Playback page to launch the panel in a separate window.

📓Note: Not all audio devices support all device interface types. If you do not see your preferred output device in the Hardware Output list, try selecting a different device interface. For best settings and results refer to the manual for your specific audio device/drivers.


Select the desired audio output device. The hardware ‘Output’ list should contain all devices which are supported by the currently selected ‘Audio Device Type’ including any custom, virtual, and aggregate devices created via the OS or installed by other audio applications. For example, custom audio drivers such as ReWire, Loopback, Source Nexus as well as virtual devices connected to audio monitor plug-ins such as AUX I/O provided by recent versions of Pro Tools can be selected here as the Output device to monitor playback from within Pro Tools and other audio applications, etc.

See also: SoundQ Monitoring Setup.

Active Output Channels

Select the desired output channels for the currently selected audio output device. All available output channels of the selected device will be listed here (from 1 to a maximum of 128 output channels). Depending on the device/driver, output channels can typically be toggled on/off individually or as stereo pairs. Again, any custom channels exposed by virtual or aggregate devices will also be listed here.

Sample Rate

Select the desired sample rate for the currently selected audio output device. The ‘Sample Rate’ option displays all available sample rates supported by the currently selected audio output device. SoundQ’s internal audio playback and rendering engine supports sample rates up to 192 kHz which is also the maximum rate supported by PSE Effects Libraries. Any rates above 192 kHz will be downsampled.

📓Note: that SoundQ also provides options for up/down sampling (changing the sample rate) when exporting audio or sending sounds to external DAW to match the project sample rate, etc. Thus, it is recommended to select the highest sample rate supported by the device (less than or equal to SoundQ 192 kHz support) and use the export options to down sample as needed.

Audio Buffer Size

Select the desired buffer size for the currently selected audio output device. Sometimes referred to as ‘block size’, the audio buffer size specifies the number of audio samples processed by the audio rendering engine loop, per loop. Thus, the larger the audio buffer size, the longer it takes to process each block, measured in milliseconds. Likewise, the smaller the buffer size is, the lower the latency (time it takes to process a block from input to output [one loop]). 📓Note that the lower the latency setting is here, the more likely the chance for audio ‘dropouts’ (buffer underruns), especially in processing intensive environments. Meaning the audio processing stack (software/driver/hardware) can no longer keep up with the input buffers.

For best results, it is recommended to use the default Audio Buffer Size settings, or a size that evaluates to 10 milliseconds or more of latency. For example, at a sample rate of 48 kHz, an audio buffer size of 480 samples or more (480 / 48k = 10 ms latency). If any distortion or dropouts still occur during audio playback, increase the buffer size here incrementally until the audio playback is smooth.


Additional Audio Playback Options include:

  • Follow System Output Device: When enabled, SoundQ will automatically select the current ‘default system output device’* as the SoundQ playback output device. If the default audio device changes, either via the OS or another audio application, SoundQ will listen for this change and continue to sync the playback device to the system default so that playback remains uninterrupted.**
  • Automatically play file when selected: When enabled, sound effects will be auditioned automatically when selected in the search results list. When disabled, sound effects can be played normally using the playback controls in the waveform view for any loaded sound effects.
  • Stop playback when starting a new search: When enabled, any currently playing sounds will be stopped when executing a new search.

*The ‘system audio output device’ is the device designated by the OS as the default device for playback of all system sounds as well as native applications. The default system audio output device is set via the Settings app on Windows (on the System>Sound tab), and in the Audio MIDI Setup app on Mac OS.

**📓Note: Because it is possible for other audio applications to take exclusive control of an audio device, it is therefore also possible for device conflicts to occur while the ‘Follow System Output Device’ option is enabled. If SoundQ detects a conflict or is otherwise unable to acquire the default audio output device, SoundQ will release any handles on the device and disable the ‘Follow System Output Device’ so that a different output device can be selected. If audio playback produces silence when auditioning sounds, it’s possible that a device conflict or error occurred and the default output device was released. In this case, revisit the Playback Hardware settings to ensure an available output device is selected or re-enable ‘follow system output device’ if the default output device is again available.


Search term and result options include both a Thesaurus and a Translator:

  • Use Thesaurus: If enabled, a thesaurus is used on your search terms to expand your search results. For example, the search term "whoosh" will also include thesaurus entries like "woosh", "swish", and "swoosh".
  • Translate Searches: When enabled, allows selection of source and target languages to translate any search terms entered in the search bar from the source to target language. In other words, this option provides translation of the words you type into the search bar (Source language) to find search results in the Target language. 📓Note: At this time, this preference will only work for cloud results, not for local files.


Options specific to the sound effect export functionality include:

  • Use Credits Automatically: When enabled, any ‘use credit’ confirmation dialogs will be bypassed during the export process, and credits will be used automatically for any sounds being exported that require them.


The Remapper is one of two methods (Remap and Relink) for resolving/normalizing shared network and cloud resource paths across multiple users and SoundQ clients. For example, a shared network resource folder; ‘//Server/Samples’ may be mapped differently in each client depending on several factors including the OS path syntax, folder structure, and where the resource was mapped or mounted on the client. To further the example, the relative path to the same sound effect file; //Server/Samples/thunder.wav on the NAS server might be locally mapped to Z:\Samples\thunder.wav on Windows, and to /Server/Samples/thunder.wav on Mac OS.

Unfortunately, these discrepancies mean that when a Collection containing sounds from a shared network resource is shared with another SoundQ user / client, the original paths stored in the metadata will not always resolve properly on all clients, and the sounds will likely appear to be missing as seen here:

To help alleviate this problem, the Remapper provides a hash table to create local aliases for shared resources that map the original location stored in the metadata to the path relative to the client. These mappings are stored in the hash table across sessions and are applied to loading sounds at runtime.

To create a ‘Remap’ mapping, again using the above example: A Collection of sounds shared by a Mac OS user from; /Server/Samples/* is instead located in Z:\Samples\* from the perspective of a Windows client. To properly resolve the relative paths and load the sounds from the shared ‘Samples’ collection, a ‘Remap’ must be created to map the current Mac OS path: /Server/Samples to Z:\Samples on the Windows client:

Now that the ‘Remap’ alias has been created, whenever the SoundQ client encounters a sound referencing the current path; /Server/Samples, SoundQ will instead load the file from the mapped location; Z:\Samples\ (which points to the same shared network resource). Once a valid map has been entered for any unresolved sounds paths, the Results list will refresh showing the sounds loaded from the newly mapped location, replacing the warning icons with the relevant source type icon, and displaying the corresponding metadata, including the remapped path, in the File Info panel.

The ‘Remap sound files only when missing from original location’ option tells SoundQ to ignore any mappings for files which are not missing from the current path / location, and only resolves the mapped path when a sound file is actually missing from the original location. This can be useful when the contents of a folder/location may have only partially changed where only certain sounds have moved from the original location while other sounds remain.

📓Note: Mappings have a one to one or many to one (source/target) relationship. Meaning; each original source location can be mapped to only one custom/target location. However, multiple source locations can be mapped to the same target location.

Remap vs. Relink

When SoundQ detects a missing sound in the result list, it presents both the Remap and Relink options for the file. Which option to use depends entirely on the goal; to create relative paths/aliases for each client to a single common resource (Remap), or permanently change or update the path to a resource that has been moved to another location (Relink).

IOW; While the Remapper temporarily maps a folder referenced in a system or shared sound file to a custom location for the local user/machine, the Relinker will permanently update the path stored in the sounds metadata. And, while the Remapper helps many clients point to one location (referencing the path stored in metadata), the Relinker directly modifies the path stored in the sound metadata affecting all clients.

Remapper: Temporarily maps a folder referenced in a system or shared sound file to a custom location for the local user/machine. This may be particularly useful for shared sounds and libraries, where the original sound file may exist in the cloud or network but is mapped to a custom drive or folder location for the local user or machine. This allows SoundQ to load sounds from the local user mapped location and prevent changing the location of the original source file for all users.

Relinker: Permanently updates the location of one or more sound files. This can be particularly helpful in updating sound/library locations when those libraries have been physically moved to a new location. Or, for example, after importing previous sounds whose location may have changed. Because this modifies the path in the metadata directly, this action changes the path for the sound for all users locally as well as those it may be shared with. If the new path to the sound does not resolve properly on all clients, then again, the Remapper can be used to settle any differences.

In summary:

Original Location

Map/Link (source=target)

SoundQ loads:

SoundQ saves:











📓Note: Because changes made via Relink are permanent, paths changed by the Relinker are not associated with (and cannot be recalled from) a hash table. As a one time operation, the ‘Relink’ function is invoked from the File->Relink menu option. Both Remap and Relink can be invoked from either the (error) preview of a missing audio file, or from the File->Relink/Remap menu options.

See also: Working with Shared Network Libraries.


Offline Mode

When enabled, this option forces SoundQ to run in 'offline mode' for systems with restricted internet connections, or to work exclusively with local libraries while disconnected from the internet. As SoundQ is primarily a cloud based Sound Effects Search engine and librarian, access to certain cloud libraries and options (such as sharing and synchronization) are disabled or unavailable while offline. However, all of the librarian functionality remains offline to maintain organizational capabilities. Any changes made while offline are always synchronized with the server when the connection is restored.

Offline Keys

Invoking ‘Offline Mode’ still requires an initial internet connection to create an offline expiration key, and subsequent connections to obtain a new key when the previous one expires.

Offline key expirations dates are tied to the account subscription billing period. For example;

  • For free and monthly subscriptions, the offline key will need to be refreshed once a month by enabling internet connection and logging into SoundQ/API to refresh the key and reset the expiration date to the next billing cycle.
  • For team-based accounts, offline keys only need to be refreshed upon license expiration/renewal (semi-annually, annually, etc.). To obtain a new key upon expiration, temporarily connect to the internet and log in via SoundQ again and a new key will be acquired automatically upon login.

When the offline mode key does expire, the application will return to the login screen, and prompt to connect to the internet to acquire a new key. Once logged in, a new offline key will be generated automatically, stored locally, and the application will launch normally again, using the new key and bypassing the login screen.

Offline Mode Restrictions

While in 'offline mode', cloud-based collections cannot be accessed, and certain sharing and permissions options may be unavailable. All cloud synchronization jobs will be paused while in offline mode. Libraries and Collections which are cloud based (such as, or ‘Pro Sound Effects’ libraries in the ‘Store’) will be disabled (grayed out) and inaccessible. While offline, only sounds from local and networked library sources (e.g. local/internal drives, USB/external drives, or NAS/networked drives) will be playable.

If a local network is available, any library sources from (NAS) drives located on the local network should remain accessible to SoundQ while in ‘offline mode’. For example, if the host system is disconnected from the internet (WAN), but still has a local (LAN) connection, offline mode will disable any cloud-based collections, but still provide access to any local libraries on internal or external drives, as well as any network drives attached to the local network. Disabling the LAN adapter in this case will likewise force SoundQ to disable any local network sources as well and provide access to locally stored libraries only (sources attached directly to the local system internally or via USB).

Offline Mode Synchronization

Any changes or additions to (non system collections) ‘My Collections’ tree hierarchy, including shared collections, cannot be synchronized while in “offline mode”. As long as the SoundQ app remains offline, all such changes will be stored in the local database only until the connection is reestablished. Once the connection with the API is restored, any changes made while offline will be queued for synchronization with the server and any changes which happened on the server will in turn be synced to the client.

📓Note: SoundQ will also enter ‘offline mode’ automatically if there is no internet connection, or if the connection is lost while running SoundQ. When the connection is restored, SoundQ will automatically reconnect and exit ‘offline mode’ (as long as SoundQ isn’t being forced offline via the ‘offline mode’ toggle in Preferences).

Offline Mode Status

The ‘offline mode’ and connection status is indicated via a green or red dot over the users account icon in the top right of the SoundQ application. When red, the icon indicates SoundQ cannot establish a connection to the cloud PSE API and is, in effect, in ‘offline mode’. In addition, the status bar at the bottom of the application may also indicate any sync jobs paused via similar message; “Currently Offline, Synchronization paused”.

External Drives

Enabling the ‘Use streaming for external drives’ option will force SoundQ to download sounds located on mapped Network (e.g. NAS) or removable (e.g. USB) drives using background threads. This can improve the app/UI performance while browsing large sound libraries from slower drives/connections.

For SoundQ to properly detect and access network sources and NAS drives:

  • Windows: Network/NAS drives must be mapped to a local drive letter using the built-in OS functionality. For example, given the following shared network resource in File Explorer: \\NAS463U\Multimedia\Samples, select ‘Map Network Drive’ from the folders context menu to map the network location to local drive, e.g. “Z:”. The network resource is now available to SoundQ as a network drive: “Z:”.
  • Mac OS: Network/NAS drives should be mounted as usual using the built-in OS functionality. For example, given the following shared network resource in Finder: //NAS463U/Multimedia/Samples, select Go->Connect to Server to mount the network drive location. The network drive resource is then accessible in SoundQ via standard UNC path to the resource mount point: e.g. /Multimedia/Samples.

📓Note: That custom network adapters or VPNs which attempt to work around the standard OS mapping/mounting methods, obfuscate network paths, or force them to masquerade as local folders may likely succeed in fooling SoundQ as well, and potentially cause errors or performance issues while attempting to use network sources via these custom adapters. Always use the standard OS mapped or mounted paths to any network resources to avoid problems or performance issues.

Log Level

Allows setting the level of detail of the real-time logging in SoundQ from ‘Errors Only’ (essential info only) to ‘Verbose’ (all the gory details). This setting determines how much debug information is collected while SoundQ is running and saved to the diagnostic logs folder. Warning!!! This can adversely affect performance!

If you are experiencing any issues with SoundQ, increasing the log level (e.g. Verbose) can help provide additional information to the dev team for analysis. However, this setting can degrade performance while collecting the log information, and should be reset back to the default “Warnings” level after capturing verbose logs for a particular issue. Alternatively, if SoundQ is running smoothly, decreasing the level (e.g. Errors Only) may provide a small performance boost, and can be left at minimal logging while the app is running without problems.

📓Note: Generally, this option should be left at the default level unless otherwise instructed by the SoundQ dev team.

Graphics Renderer

Allows selection of custom UI/graphics rendering engine for performance purposes. CoreGraphics / OpenGL hardware rendering can significantly improve performance on systems with newer GPUs by offloading certain graphics drawing to the GPU and freeing up more CPU cycles for other application processes. If the application is sluggish while using CoreGraphics / OpenGL rendering, using the Software Renderer can provide a more stable / consistent experience, especially on older systems. Typically, this option should remain set to the default* unless experiencing performance issues.

There are three rendering engines available for Windows and Macintosh:

  • Software Renderer: (Windows and Macintosh)
  • CoreGraphics: (Macintosh Only) *Default on Macintosh
  • OpenGL Hardware: (Windows and Macintosh) *Default on Windows

Import Panel

To import your own sounds into SoundQ simply drag and drop files or folders into the app at any time. You can drop either into the Import Panel or directly into custom collections in the Collections Panel on the left.

Import Panel

As soon as you drag files over SoundQ, the Import Panel will automatically pop open. If you drop the files into the main area with the target, it will take you to the next screen which allows you to pick where the dropped files should go. You can select an existing collection from the dropdown menus or select to import into a new collection.

You can also manually open the Import Panel by toggling the button in the upper right of the top bar. Here you have the option to click “Browse…” in order to bring up a system file browser. Select any number of files and folder in the browser and press enter to import them. It will then take you to the next screen where you can select where the imported files should go.

Lastly, you can drag and drop files directly into the collections panel as a shortcut to quickly add sounds to a collection.


Once you initiate an import, the Scanning Sounds window will popup and you will no longer be able to use SoundQ while the import is in progress. The popup will show you how many sounds per folder it is importing and also give you an option to stop the import by pressing “Cancel”. Stopping an import will not remove sounds that it already finished importing into the database, it will just stop any further sounds from getting saved.

Importing files can take a while if you are importing many thousands of files, but there is no limit at all to the size of a folder you import in a single go. SoundQ has no problem with importing huge folders and will automatically scan the entire contents of the folder, including subfolders.

If scanning is taking too long, you can always stop the process by pressing cancel on the scanning popup window.

Skipped Files Log

When importing sounds, SoundQ not only creates a reference to the audio file in the database, but also calculates and stores file specs (sample rate, number of channels, track length, etc.), parses and reads any embedded images, metadata and XML and stores these in the relevant tables in the local database. If SoundQ fails during any part of this process, for example if the XML is not valid or the file is otherwise corrupt, SoundQ will skip the import process for that sound. In this case the sound is either ignored or only partially imported. For example, not all metadata or XML fields were properly imported.

In either case, whether a sound was only partially imported or failed to import at all, the file name, path, and reason for failure will be logged in the import log which will be presented at the completion of the import process. It is not uncommon for SoundQ to encounter files it does not recognize or cannot read at all, such as image files or thumbnails left by the operating system. In this case it’s possible the log may also contain several ‘false-positives’.

Clicking ‘Show Log’ at the end of the import process will open the log location in the file system. Clicking ‘Cancel’ will skip for now and the log can always be viewed later via:

  • Windows: %AppData%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\diagnosticlogs\skippedfiles.log
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\diagnosticlogs\skippedfiles.log

Duplicate Files

SoundQ does not currently support detecting duplicates of files you have already imported, unless they are found at the same exact file path location. For example, if you import a folder into one collection, and then a week later import that same folder into another new collection, those duplicate files are detected and treated under the hood as the same file. Because of this you can add the same files to multiple collections and the size of your database will not change, because each collection references the same sound in the database.

In the event that you do import a file with a duplicate file path as one stored already in SoundQ, the metadata found in the file will override any existing metadata saved in the SoundQ database.

Collections Panel

The Collections panel allows you to organize your sounds to best suit your workflow needs. In addition to organization, the collections panel also allows you to choose which sounds are included in a search. You can select whether to search through our entire library of sounds and music, or any other combination of collections.

What is a Collection?

A single collection contains any number of sounds. For example, it could be used for small playlists of sounds you are putting together into a single scene, or it could be an entire database of thousands of sounds. Collections are very flexible and can be reordered and nested within each other however you like.

Collection Icons and Buttons

Collection Search State Button

  • The magnifying glass indicates whether or not sounds from that Collection will be included in the search results. A crossed-out magnifying glass means those sounds will not be included in search results. Click the magnifying glasses, or Collection names, to toggle selections.
  • Clicking directly on a collection’s name area will quickly solo only that collection, meaning the other collections’ magnifying glass icons will now show as disabled.

Expand Arrow and Nested Collection Count

  • If a collection has other collections nested within it, you will see an arrow icon allowing you to expand or close the parent collection.
  • As well, there will be a collection stack icon with a number indicating how many children that collection has nested in it.

Collection Sync Status Icon

  • Custom user collections in the My Collections section have Sync Status icons that indicate the current syncing progress. See Collection Syncing section for more details.

Shared Collection Indicator

  • This icon indicates if the collection is shared with other SoundQ users. See Shared Collections section for more details.

Target Collection Button

  • Clicking this button, which shows up only when hovering over the collections, will target this collection. That means when browsing through sounds in the results list, you can now use the “T” keyboard shortcut or “Add to Target” option, to quickly add the selected sounds to the targeted collection.

Add Collection “+” Button

  • Creates a new collection as a child of the current collection or section header.

Customize Collection Three Dot Menu

  • Opens a popup menu with additional collection properties and actions. See below for more details.

Collections Panel Sections

The Collections Panel is broken down into 3 main sections:

  • My Collections - All the collections tied to your SoundQ account.
  • Store - Use purchased credits to buy additional sounds from Pro Sound Effects.
  • System Collections - Collections tied to the current machine that don’t sync with your account.

My Collections

This section includes all collections that are tied to your SoundQ account. For example, any collections you get with the SoundQ subscription, as well as any custom collections you’ve added here that you want to sync to your account on the cloud. The order of collections, the names, icons and colors of collections in this section will all be synced to your account, meaning that anywhere you log into SoundQ you’ll see the same organization that you created. This is great if you use SoundQ on multiple computers and want your changes to be reflected on all your machines.

When you log into SoundQ for the first time, you will see some combination of the following default collections, depending on what purchases you’ve made and what subscription type you have.

SoundQ Subscription collections:

  • SoundQ Music Library - 18,000 music tracks + stems
  • SoundQ Sound Effects - 100,000+ sounds in 54,000+ files

Free collections:

  • Purchases - All Pro Sound Effects libraries and individual sounds that you have purchased. These sounds will not use a credit when downloaded.
  • (CC0 only) - These sounds are sourced from, and are uploaded by users on that platform. They are not at all curated by Pro Sound Effects.
  • SoundQ Free Sound Effects - Free small fx library for users without a subscription. These sounds are a small sampling of what you get from its larger subscription collection.
  • SoundQ Free Music - Free small library of music tracks for users without a subscription. These sounds are a small sampling of what you get from its larger subscription collection.


The complete Pro Sound Effects store. In case you don’t find what you need in the large SoundQ collections that you get access to with a subscription, the Pro Sound Effects store is also available to purchase individual sounds using credits. See Account Panel for more details on purchasing credits. At this time, credits are not a part of the SoundQ Subscription, and are additionally purchased as needed.

System Collections

📓Note: Prior to v2023.4.27 of SoundQ, all custom collections were System Collections and will appear under System Collections when upgrading from prior versions, so this section also provides backwards compatibility to that functionality.

This section includes all collections that are tied to the computer you are currently using, not to any specific SoundQ account. Anyone who logs in on this same machine, will see the same list of System Collections. As such, this section does not sync with the cloud at all. System Collections are beneficial in situations where you have a shared machine with other SoundQ users, for example in a School or Studio setting.

All Button

The All button is used to select all collections. You can customize which sections get activated when clicking on the All button by selecting the sections in the All button drop down menu. This is useful if you want to exclude the Store section, but still have a quick way to reselect all your own collections. By default it will include all three of the main sections: My Collections, Store, and System Collections.

Collection Three Dot Menu Options

Click the 3 dot menu icon on a collection in order to show the popup menu with additional options. Some of the default collections, like SoundQ Sound Effects will not have additional customization options, and as such will show only the options relevant or may not have a 3 dot menu at all.

Select Color and Icon

  • This section allows you to pick a custom color and icon for your collection. This helps quickly organize and identify your collections in whatever way you find useful.


  • Allows you to rename a collection.

Set As Target

  • Targets this collection for quick adding of sounds using the “T” keyboard shortcut or “Add to Target” option..


  • This creates a new collection with all the same sounds and properties. The new collection will be placed as a sibling to the current collection.

Sharing and Permissions

  • Pops up the collection sharing menu. See Collection Sharing for more details.

New Collection Here

  • Creates a new collection as a child of the current collection, with default properties.


  • Deletes a collection permanently. If any sounds in this collection were not contained in other collections they will be permanently removed from SoundQ completely. However, if the sounds were also found in your other collections, they will remain intact in those collections. Deleting a shared collection will also delete it for all other users the collection is shared with.


  • Shared collections can only be deleted by their current owner. Instead, users can unsubscribe from the shared collection and it will be removed from their tree only.

Include In Search

  • This is the same as toggling on the magnifying glass icon for this collection. If enabled, the sounds in this collection will be included in the search results.

Exclude In Search

  • This is the same as toggling off the magnifying glass icon for this collection. If disabled, the sounds in this collection will not be included in the search results.

Collection Syncing

As of v2023.4.27, collections in the My Collections section will automatically sync to your SoundQ account. This includes the following:

  • Collection Properties - Name, Icon, Color, etc.
  • Collection Organization - including nested collections
  • Metadata of the sounds added to this collection

This all happens in an automatic background process for all collections in the My Collections section. You can view the current state of the process by looking at the sync icons on each collection. The various states shown will be:

  • In progress - a cloud icon with a spinning circle in it
  • Paused - a cloud icon with a pause icon in it
  • Synced - a cloud icon with a checkmark in it
  • Failed - a cloud icon with an orange exclamation point in it

While a collection is syncing, you can use it as normal, but it will only operate on whatever sound metadata has been downloaded so far. In most cases the metadata downloads very quickly, and should be complete within 1 minute or less. For very large collections with hundreds of thousands of sounds, the process can take longer, even up to ten or more minutes. Same thing for uploading as well. You are able to fully use the collections while syncing is taking place, so most of the time you won’t really need to think about what sync state the collection is in.

When a sync process fails, often due to spotty internet connection or some unknown bug in the software, the icon will show an error state while also the status bar at the bottom of the app will have a “retry” button. In this state no further syncing will be attempted unless you manually click the retry button or you restart the app. Most of the time, clicking the retry button will solve the issue, but if not, make sure to reach out and let us know.

When offline, collection syncing will be paused. As soon as you come back online these collections will begin syncing again automatically. Since metadata is downloaded locally to SoundQ’s database, you can still use your collections offline for any local files you imported to this collection. For cloud files, like those found in the SoundQ Sound Effects collection, you will still be able to organize sounds, but only be able to access the audio of those files when online.

Current Limitations of Syncing

As of the current version of SoundQ, no audio is synced to the cloud. Only the metadata that is stored in the SoundQ database will get synced to the cloud. This is sufficient if you use an external hard drive that is shared between your machines. As long as the paths to the audio files match, you will be able to access everything just fine on any computer after the metadata downloads to the SoundQ local database. And of course, for any cloud sounds like in the SoundQ Sound Effects collection, you can access those anywhere since the audio is streamed from the cloud.

Collection Sharing

Any collection in the My Collections Section can be shared with other SoundQ users, allowing you to collaborate with others when creating collections for a project. A shared collection operates in the exact same way as any other custom collection you create, depending on what permissions you’ve been given by the collection’s original creator. To access the Sharing and Permissions menu, open the 3 dot menu on a collection and select the “Sharing and Permissions” option. This will pop up the sharing menu with the following options:

Invite Text Box and button

  • Here you can type in the email address of another SoundQ user, and then press “invite” to share the collection with them. The shared collection will now show up at the bottom of the other user’s My Collection section.

Individuals with Access

  • This is a list of SoundQ users that this collection has been shared with. You will see the name of each user, and to the right an indication of what permissions they’ve been given for this collection.
  • Clicking on the permissions for a user will open up another Permissions menu, where you can change the permission level for that user assuming you have the privileges to do so.

Apply Permissions to All Child Collections

  • This toggles the option to also automatically share all the children of this collection with another user. This will only be applied when inviting a new user or changing the permissions of existing users.

Permissions Menu

There are several levels of permissions that you can select individually for each user. Permissions levels give you control over which users get to perform which actions on a collection. By default, the person who created the collection is considered the “owner” of the collection. Here’s a list of the various permissions levels:

  • Viewer - Can only view the sounds and properties of the collection.
  • Editor - Can view sounds and properties and also add/remove sounds from the collection. Can also edit metadata for sounds through any metadata modification tool in SoundQ.
  • Admin - Can do everything an editor can do and also edit the properties of the collection like name, icon, color, and sharing permissions of other users.
  • Owner - Generally this is the person who created the collection, unless ownership was transferred. Owners have privileges for all possible actions on a collection, including deleting a collection shared by the owner as well as the ability to transfer ownership to someone else. There can be only a single owner for any collection.

Transfer Ownership

  • You can transfer ownership of this collection to someone else. This cannot be undone by yourself. As well, after transferring the collection, you will no longer have access to it and it will be removed from your list of collections. In order to regain access, the user receiving ownership would need to explicitly share this collection with you and decide what permissions you can have.

Remove Access

  • This will remove access to this collection for the selected user. That user will no longer see this collection in their My Collections section and any data from this collection downloaded on their device will be removed.

Importing Sounds to Collections

Collections can be populated with sounds from any combination of sources, with no limits on imports or number of Collections that can be created. In addition to the Import panel, you can also drag and drop sounds directly into collections. This can either mean dropping in sounds from outside of the app, or even dragging and dropping search results from the results list. You can drag and drop cloud sounds, your own local sounds, or even sounds from the Pro Sound Effects store (but keep in mind for sounds you don’t own you’ll still need to use a credit to download the first time). It is very flexible.

Reordering Collections

Drag and drop a Collection to set the order, or to nest a collection within another collection to organize however you'd like. You can also multi-select a range of collections by holding shift and clicking, or you can multi-select individual collections using CTRL/CMD + click. You can then drag and drop all selected collections at once. There is no limit other than your own sanity for how many levels deep you can nest collections within other collections.

In some cases, collections cannot be nested inside of other collections, and when these situations arise, the drop indicator will be colored gray instead of green to show the drop is not allowed. For example, you cannot nest the default collections (SoundQ Sound Effects,, etc.) inside of your own custom collections. As well the general rule for shared collections, is that if you do not have admin privileges to edit the properties of a collection, then you do not have permission to nest other collections as children of it either.

Moving collections from the My Collections section to the System Collections section has a few consequences. First, it will no longer be synced to your account. As far as your account is concerned you’ve deleted that collection. The collection is now tied to your device and anyone else using the same device will now see that collection. You can also do the reverse by dragging and dropping from System Collections to My Collections. This will add the collection to your account and remove it from the devices list of collections. The collection will now start syncing any metadata and properties to your account. One limitation is that you cannot drag and drop a shared collection that you are not the owner of into the System Collections section.

Finally, nothing can be moved into or out of the Store section. This is locked to be only used for the Pro Sound Effects libraries that you can purchase using credits.

File Info Panel

The File Info Panel shows the complete metadata and artwork of a selected sound. When multiple sounds are selected in the results list, only the metadata shared by all selected sounds is shown. As well, if any artwork is embedded in the file, it will display here.

Editing Metadata

Notice that all metadata fields supported in SoundQ are listed in the File Info panel, not only the fields that you’ve selected to see in the results list and irrespective of whether the selected sound actually contains any metadata for a given field. This allows quick access to adding metadata to or editing all fields for a sound.

To edit, double click on a field's value, which is the area just below a field's title. A text editor box will appear where you can write in whatever you like. Press enter when you are finished writing.

To quickly copy the value of a field, right click the area below a field’s title and then select Copy Value.

Editing Multiple Sounds at Once

You can also easily edit a metadata field for many sounds at the same time. To do so, select all the sounds you want to edit in the Results List using SHIFT + click to select a range or CTRL/CMD + click to add individual sounds to the selection.

When multiple sounds are selected, the File Info Panel will show which fields all the sounds have in common. For fields with multiple values in the different sounds, you will see something like “Multiple 4 Files” written in the value area for that field. You can simply double click the value area for any field in order to edit the value for all selected files.

Metadata Permissions

Metadata can only be edited for sounds in local and user shared libraries, but not for cloud based sounds such as the Pro Sound Effects or 3rd Party Collections in the Store. Local sounds in Systems Collections are modifiable by anyone logged into the local system. And shared sounds in My Collections are subject to the same user permissions as other sound collection assets and attributes (names, icons, etc.). All metadata is viewable by all users, but a user must have Editor or higher level permissions to modify metadata for sounds in shared cloud collections. In summary:

  • Store: Read-only
  • My Collections: Editable by Editors, Admins and Owners*
  • System Collections: Editable by system user (anyone logged into system)*

* Cloud based sounds (sounds from cloud only sources) are always read only in all collections.

See Also: Collection Sharing

Embedding Metadata to the Actual Files

When you make changes to metadata inside of SoundQ, the change is not automatically embedded into your files on disk, but rather stored in the SoundQ database. If you would like to forward these changes to your actual files (perhaps if you want to use those files in another application that can read metadata), you can use the Database -> “Embed metadata for selected…” menu option, as shown in the image above. This will embed the metadata into the files of whichever sounds are currently selected in the Results List.


The file info panel also displays artwork found in any of your files, and artwork for cloud sounds. You can add artwork to your own local files by dragging and dropping images into this area.

Search Results Window

Search Bar

To search in SoundQ, simply use the search bar at the top of the SoundQ window with the following syntax;

  • For a search that includes ALL search terms, simply type your search query with spaces:
  • E.g. Crow Distant → will search for “Crow” AND “Distant”
  • To perform an "OR" search using multiple terms, use parentheses and commas between terms:
  • E.g. (Dark, Moody, Drafty) → will search for “Dark” OR “Moody” OR “Drafty”
  • To perform a search that excludes certain terms, use a “-”:
  • E.g. Crow -Crowd → will search for “Crow” NOT “Crowd”

Search History

Select the Magnifying glass icon to show the Search History menu to select a previous search, or clear the search history.

Results List

Search results are displayed in the Results List Panel. Here you can see what search terms and search filters you have active, scroll through all search results and select which metadata fields to display. Clicking on rows in the Results List will audition that file in the Waveform Area.

Results List Header

The header contains sortable columns for each of the supported metadata fields for sounds. Fields/columns can be shown/hidden via the header context menu accessible via the three dot menu at the far left of the header, or by right clicking on one of the header fields. Columns can also be reordered by dragging them left or right.


To sort your search results, click on one of the columns in the results list header. An arrow indicates which direction it is sorting by. To remove a sort filter, remove the Filter Bubble with the given field name.

📓Note: that for some cloud collections, sorting is possible for only certain fields. This is a limitation of the various cloud APIs we use. Also when search results contain a combination of collections from different sources (for example + SoundQ Sound Effects + your own local files), it is not possible to sort everything together since the results are coming from different cloud APIs and soundQs local database. As a compromise, it will return blocks of results from each source that are sorted amongst that source but not amongst each other.

Column View Options

Press the Column View Options button in the upper left of the results list header to select which fields you want displayed in the results list. Once open, use the checkmark boxes to select which columns to include in the results list and which ones to hide.

Filter Bubbles

Filter Bubbles are created automatically when you type in search terms or click on columns to sort the results. They show you exactly which search terms and search filters are affecting what’s shown in the results list. A bubble will be made for each search term, advanced search terms like NOT and OR, and also any search Filters, like what collection is selected or what sort is active.

Clearing Filter Bubbles

To remove a filter bubble, press the “X” button on that bubble. This will only remove the single bubble you cleared, and leave the rest of them, and the search results will immediately update to match the remaining filters. For search terms, you can also delete their text in the Search Bar and the filter bubbles will automatically update after you press enter.

Editing Metadata

Similar to the File Info Panel, you can edit metadata fields directly in the results list. To edit a field value, (ALT+Select) the cell you want to edit. Alternatively, right click on a cell that you want to edit, and then select the menu option “Edit <Field Name>”. 📓Note that you cannot edit the metadata for cloud sounds on, nor sounds from our PSE cloud. You can however edit metadata for any of your own local files. As well, you will only see the edit option for certain fields. For example, you cannot edit the “Sample Rate” field, since that is an inherent property of the file.

To edit multiple rows metadata simultaneously, see File Info Panel section for more info.

Supported Metadata Fields

When a search is performed, SoundQ will combine the results from all sources in the results list window. While not all sources provide the same information, SoundQ will combine and map relevant fields to provide search filtering and sorting capabilities for the current results. Search results can thus be refined by combining search terms for searchable fields and sorting the returned results.

The following lists all of the common API / metadata defined fields that are visible, editable, searchable or sortable within the SoundQ Search Results. When importing or exporting sounds / metadata, these are the fields which are read and retained:

entry name




File Name






File Type

Bit Depth

Sample Rate






Channel Order

Channel Number








Original Filename







User Comments


Release Date



Time Added

Time Modified












📓Note: SoundQ metadata can coexist with other metadata sources and standards including embedded XML (e.g. BWF). For advanced metadata editing features, we recommend using editing software dedicated to those formats (e.g. BWF MetaEdit:

Row Options

There are a number of contextual options available for each search result depending on the source (local or cloud) of the selected sound(s);

  • Add to New Collection in ‘My Collections’: will create a new collection at the root of the ‘My Collections’ Collection tree section, copy the selected sound(s) to the new collection, then select the new collection in the tree to be given a name.
  • Add to New System Collection: will create a new collection at the root of the ‘System’ Collection tree section, copy the selected sound(s) to the new collection, then select the new collection in the tree to be given a name.
  • Remove from <Collection name> (local sounds only): will remove the selected sound(s) from the collection <Collection name>. This does not delete the sounds from disk, and only removes the sound(s) references from the collection.
  • Show in Finder/Explorer (local sounds only): will locate the selected sounds source file on disk and open the containing folder in a new maOS Finder or Windows Explorer window with the file selected.
  • Delete from SoundQ (local sounds only): will remove all references to the selected sound(s) from all collections in SoundQ. This does not delete the source sounds from disk, and only removes the references to those sounds from the collections.

Result Source Types

The source and status of sounds populated in the Search Results List can be easily identified by the Source Icon in the first column of the results list. These icons indicate:

  • Cloud: cloud based sound files from PSE, Freesound, the Store and other cloud sources including custom user collections in ‘My Collections’.
  • Local: local sound files which are on sources attached to the system.
  • Missing: or corrupted file. The warning icon indicates that the corresponding sound file either cannot be found at the file path specified in the metadata, or the file could not be loaded. In the case of this error, the user will be presented with the option to Relink or Remap (see also: Remap vs Relink) the file to resolve any path conflicts.
  • Offline: Cloud based sounds displaying this icon cannot be downloaded while SoundQ is offline. Reestablish internet connection in order to use these sounds.
  • Requires Credits: Cloud sounds displaying this icon require credits in order to download. Credits can be viewed or purchased from the SoundQ Account Panel.

Offline files

One of the benefits of SoundQs new cloud sharing and synchronization capabilities is that the local database is synchronized with the cloud for each account. This means that the local database contains records for all local and cloud sounds, and is therefore a viable option for working with large databases of collections even while offline.

When SoundQ goes into ‘offline mode’ (see also: Offline Mode), cloud source collections, such as the PSE Free Sound FX and Music Collections or the PSE Libraries in the store, will be disabled. However, all other collections, including System collections and all user cloud collections synchronized in the ‘My Collections’ section, are still accessible. While any cloud based sounds contained in these collections cannot be downloaded or auditioned, all of their data and metadata are stored in the local database and can be moved and modified along with other local sounds and collections. When SoundQ goes back online, any changes you made to cloud collections locally will then be synced with the server, and audio for cloud based sounds becomes available again.

📓Note: Selecting a cloud sound while offline will display an ‘Sound is Offline’ message in the Waveform display while the audio download/playback is unavailable.

Drag and Drop Results

The Search Results List Window supports Drag and Drop of local audio files only. Meaning only sounds which have the (local) icon can be dragged and dropped to another application such as the timeline of a DAW, the queue of a media player, or to another location on a local disk via Finder / Explorer window. In all scenarios the source audio files are ‘copied’ to the target by reference, never moved.

Waveform Panel

Displays the selected sound as a waveform. Here you can also see the playhead state, click around to move the playback position, and set any loop markers by clicking and dragging across the waveform left or right. Use the mousewheel to zoom in and out of the waveform.


The SoundQ Transport consists of three basic controls;

  • Play/Stop: Play/Stop toggle, which can be set to auto-play whenever a new sound is selected via the ‘Automatically play file when selected’ option.
  • Forward/Reverse: Toggle playback direction between forward and reverse to create new sounds.
  • Loop: Toggle Loop to repeat playback again from beginning (or end depending on current direction).

Gain Slider

Standard gain slider between -70 and 24 dB. Double click the slider widget to restore the default value of 0.0 dB.

Speed Slider

Change the playback speed from .01% to 400% (4x) to speed up or slow down playback of sounds to create new sounds. Double click the slider widget to restore the default value of 100%.

Waveform Display

The Waveform display shows all channels contained in the audio file as numbered channels in the order they are found in the file. The Waveform display updates itself automatically whenever a new sound file is selected in the Results List. If the sound file is located in the cloud or on a remote file server or NAS, the Waveform display will update in chunks as the source audio is downloaded. By default the entire sound file will be rendered within the available waveform display but can be scaled by resizing the Waveform Panel itself, or via the timeline or zoom sliders as described below.

Display Errors

One of two possible errors will be shown in the Waveform display if there is a problem loading the file;

  • Missing File: All connections are OK, but the file couldn’t be found at the location specified in the metadata file path. In this case the Waveform display will provide Remap and Relink options to resolve the missing file path.
  • File Offline: The loaded cloud sound points to an audio file located in the cloud and cannot be accessed while offline. Reestablish connection to the internet in order to access the audio file data.

Waveform Timeline

The waveform timeline is rendered in hh:mm:ss.milliseconds along the bottom edge of the waveform display, and by default is scaled so that the entire waveform is rendered from beginning to end within the available waveform view space. However, the timeline itself can be scaled by hovering over an area of the waveform you wish to focus and zoom in on, then scroll (via mouse wheel, trackpad, etc.) up or down to zoom in or out on the timeline horizontally.

Waveform Zoom Slider

In addition to the horizontal scroll zoom, the waveform scale itself can be zoomed vertically by dragging the Zoom Slider up or down. This will effectively render an artificial ‘gain’ to make the waveform peaks more pronounced and easier to see where there may be many channels occupying the view. Double click the slider widget to restore the default zoom value of 100%.

Loop Handles (Region Selection)

Click and drag from left to right, or right to left, will create a region selection which can be used to isolate a loop and/or to create a fade in/out region.

Once a region has been selected / created:

  • The selected region becomes the export region. Meaning all export, drag and drop, and send to target operations will export only the samples in the selected region instead of the entire audio file.
  • The playhead will now always start at the region start (or end when in reverse), and stop at the region end (or start when in reverse).
  • Clicking anywhere on the waveform will clear the currently selected region, and clicking and dragging will likewise clear the existing region and start a new region.

Fade In Fade Out

Hovering over either handle of a selected region will expose corresponding fader controls which can be dragged left or right to create linear fade in/out for the selected region. These fades will be applied to the selected region prior to any export operation.

Quick Drag and Drop

Hovering the mouse over the bottom edge of the selected region or entire waveform (if no region is selected) will expose the Quick Drag and Drop handle. Use this handle to drag and drop a rendering of the selected region (or entire file if no region selected) to another application such as the timeline of another DAW, a media player app, or to a folder in Finder or Explorer to make a copy on local disk, etc.

Quick Drag and Drop Settings

When using the Quick Drag and Drop handle from the Waveform display, any relevant settings are always pulled from the ‘Drag & Drop’ Send To target settings panel (see also: Send To Target Menu). This includes all the common Sample Rate, Bit Depth and Transfer Path options.

The ‘Drag & Drop’ Send To Target panel also contains the following settings specific to the Quick Drag and Drop option as well:

  • Waveform drag activation size: Changes the size of the drag and drop handle shown over the audio Waveform View to allow for easier or more precise initial drag & drop selection of the sound (Small, Normal, Large).
  • Hide main window during drag and drop: When enabled, SoundQ will hide itself once the drag and drop operation has started, to allow for easier access to any DAW/Application drop targets behind the SoundQ application. This option is particularly useful for single monitor systems or when there is otherwise limited desktop space available.

Channel Level Meters

To the right of the Waveform display are vertical level meters for each channel rendered in the waveform. These meters represent gain levels from negative infinity to 0 dB. Any values greater than 0 dB will be clipped and temporary red lines will float to indicate the clip occurred.

📓Note: That the level meters represent the level / volume of the actual samples in the audio file and does not reflect any post gain applied to the sound via the gain slider or fades, etc.

Channel Selector

Just beneath the Waveform view channel numbering, there is a channel selection widget which allows toggling playback of individual channels and/or summing the selected channels to mono. Select a channel to solo it, or use the CTRL+Click modifier to select multiple channels. Toggle mono to sum all selected channels. Deselected channels are hidden in the waveform display. When exporting the sound via the usual methods (Send To, Drag and Drop, etc.) the rendered sound provided to the target will reflect the channel options used here as well. The sum to mono button is particularly useful when sending a multichannel audio file to a single track/channel in a DAW.

Send To Menu

The ‘Send To’ menu is the essential ‘link’ or hub between SoundQ and the rest of any Sound Effects Workflow. The ‘Send To’ menu contains all the options and integrated support for exporting sounds to disk, drag and drop to external applications, and spotting sounds directly to the project timeline of any supported DAW/DAVW.


While SoundQ can export sounds to almost any folder or application via the generic Folder or Drag and Drop targets, advanced transfers directly to DAW timelines via ‘Spotting’ often involves communicating with the Target application via their custom APIs. SoundQ achieves this by either communicating directly with the Target application, or via DAW extensions installed to the Target app. These extensions typically run in the background to facilitate communications between the host DAW and SoundQ to provide vital information for spotting audio files, etc.

These DAW ‘integration extensions’ are optional but recommended and typically installed by default via the SoundQ installers for both Windows and Macintosh. Currently, both Reaper and Premiere targets require installing the corresponding extensions to support spotting directly to timelines for these targets. SoundQ communicates with Pro Tools through the OS and does not currently require an extension. If you plan on using one of these target DA/VWs, but are unsure whether the proper extensions have been installed, simply run the SoundQ installer again, and verify that the extension option is ticked/flagged for installation before clicking ‘Next’:

Depending on the OS and the user account level (user, admin, etc.), the OS may present a security prompt to confirm intention/permission to install the software/extension. Please choose ‘Allow’ / ‘OK’ whenever prompted by the OS to install SoundQ/Extensions. If the prompt request is denied, the extension will not be installed, and SoundQ will present an error whenever attempting to transfer sounds to target via missing extension; e.g. “Premiere cannot be found.”, or “Cannot communicate with Reaper.”. In this case, simply run the SoundQ installer again and triple check extension installation and any OS security prompts.

See also: Download and Install

See also: SoundQ Extensions

Send To Targets

The Send To menu provides a selection of integrated targets as tabs on the left side of the menu. Selecting a target tab will show the export options for that target which are stored across sessions. In addition to sending sounds straight to a folder on disk, and Drag and Drop to any DAW/DAVW or other application that supports Drag and Drop, SoundQ also provides spotting direct to timeline support (‘native’ DAW integration) for a growing list of essential targets:

  • Pro Tools
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Reaper
  • Drag & Drop
  • Folder on Disk

To select a Send To Target, click the current Target button next to the Send button (green arrow) and select a new Target from the list on the left side of the menu:

Target Options

While ‘Send To’ targets typically share many of the same options for spotting directly to DAW Timelines, there are some notable differences particularly for generic ‘Folder’ and ‘Drag and Drop’ targets.

Audio Options

The Sample Rate and Bit Depth options are common to all Send To Targets and are provided to allow matching the SoundQ source audio format with the format of the current target session settings. For example, if the current Pro Tools session is set to 48 kHz sample rate, set the same sample rate here in the Send To menu to ensure that all sound files sent from SoundQ to Pro Tools match the target session sample rate. Thus, for example, if the source audio file is of a different resolution (>< 48 kHz), the source audio will be resampled to match the specified target sample rate.

  • Sample Rate: specifies the sample rate to use for the target audio file. Select ‘Original’ from the dropdown menu to retain the source sound file’s current sample rate.
  • Bit Depth: specifies the bit depth to use for the target audio file. Select ‘Original’ from the dropdown menu to retain the source sound files’ current sample rate.

Target Length

For all DAW/DAVW targets which support spotting directly to timeline, SoundQ provides the option to add handles (regions of silence) prepended/appended to each end of the audio file/selection. Once sent to the target session timeline, the handles can provide extra frames to extend, edit and fade with other clips and tracks in the session. If you do not need or want handles applied within SoundQ, simply use the ‘Transfer entire file’ option instead to transfer only the entire file/selection.

  • Transfer entire file: Select this option to transfer the entire file/selection as is.
  • Handle length: Select this option to apply handles to the file/selection for export, specifying the handle length (duration of silence) in the provided input field as an integer in seconds.

Transfer Path

The Transfer Path is an option common to all targets and essentially specifies the destination of exported or spotted sounds for the current target. In other words, the Transfer Path is the path where the sound file will be delivered / saved when sent to the target. For example, in the case of the ‘Folder on Disk’ target; the Transfer Path is simply the full path to the folder where the sound file will be saved when a SFX file is sent to the ‘Folder on Disk’ target. As another example, the Transfer Path for a Pro Tools target is always the parent directory of the current Pro Tools project / session file. In the latter case, if the Transfer Path ‘Automatic’ option is ticked, SoundQ will always ask Pro Tools for the path to the current session and update the path if Pro Tools loads a project / session from a new location. For all targets, a ‘Custom’ Transfer path can be used instead of ‘Automatic’, and in this case all sounds will be sent to the custom folder regardless.

  • Automatic: Allows SoundQ to automatically resolve the path for the current target. Depending on the target, SoundQ may query the target DAW / application for the current project / session path to use. Or, for more generic targets such as ‘Folder on Disk’, SoundQ may instead query the OS for the current users’ documents directory, etc.
  • Custom: The ‘Custom’ Transfer Path option allows the user to override the export directory path by checking ‘Custom’ and using the ‘SELECT’ button to choose a custom location to deliver audio files for the current target.
  • Current Path: Whether the Transfer Path is set to ‘Automatic’ or ‘Custom’, the ‘Current Path’ will always display the current path where all sound files for the current target are exported.

Download Quality

When downloading sounds from PSE Libraries from the cloud for export / spot to target, the initial audio file ‘preview’ is provided by downloading a compressed (.ogg) version of the sound. When a sound is ultimately exported or sent to a target, SoundQ first downloads the high-resolution version of the sound to send to the target (instead of the low-res preview version). However, in certain workflows or in low bandwidth environments, it may be preferable to work with the smaller compressed versions of the audio files. To allow for this, the ‘High-quality downloads’ option can be unchecked, and SoundQ will skip retrieving high-res versions, using only the low-res versions instead.

  • High-quality downloads: uncheck this option to disable downloading high-res versions of sounds for export and use any existing low-res versions instead.

📓Note: that not all cloud library sources provide low-res versions of sounds, and in this case SoundQ simply uses whichever format is provided by the server.

Drag and Drop Target Specific

When using the ‘Drag and Drop’ Send To Target, the following additional options also apply:

  • Waveform drag activation size: Provides Small, Normal, or Large sized handle over the audio Waveform View to allow for easier or more precise initial drag & drop selection of the sound.
  • Hide main window during drag and drop: When enabled, SoundQ will hide itself once the drag and drop operation has started, to allow for easier access to any DAW/Application drop targets behind the SoundQ application. This option is particularly useful for single monitor systems or when there is otherwise limited desktop space available.

Premiere Target Specific

For Adobe Premiere projects, Premiere provides organizational containers for media assets called ‘bins’. These are essentially ‘virtual’ folders which are stored along with the Premiere project file. When spotting sounds to a Premiere Pro project timeline, the sound file assets are also added to the projects ‘SoundQ’ bin for organizational purposes. For certain workflows, SoundQ can skip the timeline when spotting sounds, and instead send the files directly to the project SoundQ bin to be organized or added to the project timeline later.

  • Send to bin only: Enable this option to have SoundQ skip the project timeline and spot sound files to the project bins only.

Send Button

Clicking the Send Button (green arrow) adjacent to the Send To Menu executes the currently selected export / spotting operation using the currently selected sound, waveform options and export options.


Auditioning and Exporting Sounds

The most obvious thing you will want to do with SoundQ is to search for and audition sounds, and then export those sounds to the destination that best suits your workflow.


To start, type keywords into the search bar at the top. After pressing enter, you will see search results showing in the central Results List area.


To audition a sound from the results list, simply click on the row you want to hear. By default the sound will automatically start loading in the waveform area and playing back the audio. You can change this behavior in the Playback Settings section, if you don’t want sounds to play automatically when selected. When a sound is playing you can stop it using the spacebar, or by clicking the play/stop button in the transport area above the waveform.

Use the arrow keys to scroll up or down through the list of sounds, and left and right to quickly scroll through the waveform of the currently selected sound.

You can also use the Speed slider to adjust the speed and pitch, make selections and fade in/outs in the waveform area, reverse, or loop the audio in realtime while auditioning.

When auditioning cloud sounds, there is a longer buffering period than for local sounds. That is because the audio is streaming from the cloud and not already located on your hard drive. You will see the preview download progress shown as the waveform view fills in from left to right. Audio will start playing back as soon as the first block of audio is downloaded. In most cases the audio should download fast enough that playback won’t ever need to buffer once it has started. If you have a slow connection though, you might need to wait for more audio to buffer before pressing play.


Once you’ve found the sound that you like, you can export it by selecting an export destination in the Send To panel and then pressing the green Send Button in the bottom right corner. See the Send To Section of this guide for more information about the various settings and export destinations you can choose from.

Alternatively, export the audio by dragging directly from the lower area of the waveform. As soon as you start dragging the new audio file will be created and you’ll be able to drop the file into other applications when exporting is complete.

A third method for exporting, is to drag directly from the Results List. This only will work for your own local sounds however, and not for cloud sounds.

Exporting will include any changes you’ve made to the sound while auditioning, including the speed slider, selections, fades, and reverse. Changes in the gain slider are not included in the exported audio.

📓Note that in general you can currently only export sounds one at a time from SoundQ. The only exception to this is for your own local sounds, only when dragging from the Results List directly. In that case, you can export as many sounds as are selected in the Results List as long as no cloud sounds are selected. For downloading multiple cloud sounds at once, stay tuned for further updates to the app.

SoundQ/DAW Monitoring Setups

Virtual Audio Devices

There are a number of ways to monitor SoundQ output alongside or from within a DAW or other audio application. Some of these methods may depend on your audio hardware setup, OS and or even DAW version, and the rest is a matter of preference. In all cases the general solution is to use a type of ‘virtual audio device’ which installs ‘simulated’ audio devices at the OS level which can be used by any audio application to reroute audio channels between devices and applications. This allows routing the output of SoundQ to the input of another DAW application or plugin.

Monitoring Options

Some examples of routing software which provides virtual audio device interfaces which have been tested with SoundQ are; Loopback, Source-Nexus, and the Aux I/O plugin that now ships with newer versions of Pro Tools (2022.9 and later) on MacOS. While the implementations and options may vary, the general setup of these virtual audio devices are similar.

Windows or MacOS:

In the following example, using Source-Nexus, one of several virtual audio devices created by Source-Nexus installer (‘Source-Nexus A’) is used to route SoundQ audio output to Reaper. In SoundQ, the ‘Source-Nexus A’ virtual device has been selected as the audio output in the Preferences->Playback options panel. In Reaper, the Source-Nexus plugin has been loaded on track 1. In the Source-Nexus plugin, the virtual ‘Source-Nexus A’ output device, which now contains our SoundQ output, is routed to the plugin output and can now be monitored or recorded directly in Reaper using the same audio device(s) currently assigned to Reaper.

ProTools on MacOS:

Another example, this time in Pro Tools (2022.9) using Aux I/O. As with Source-Nexus, Pro Tools has installed a number of virtual audio devices which we simply use to map the output of SoundQ to any track or monitor in Pro Tools. In SoundQ, the virtual audio device ‘Pro Tools Audio Bridge B’ is selected as the audio output device. In Pro Tools, the ‘Pro Tools Audio Bridge B’ is associated with stereo input via Aux I/O, then selected as the input for ‘Audio 1’ track. Again, we can now monitor and record SoundQ playback directly within Pro Tools.


📓Note: that using a virtual audio device as output device for SoundQ does not in any way disable or interfere with the built-in export or spotting functionalities of SoundQ, and all typical methods of transferring audio from SoundQ to another application or DAW remain available and functional. However, using virtual audio devices in this way, where playback of sound effects in SoundQ can be monitored and recorded directly in the DAW, can expedite certain workflows and provide additional options for workstations with strict or limited resources. Combined with the flexibility of aggregate devices native to MacOS, flexible and complex routing for any workflow can be achieved.

Working with Shared Network Libraries

For many team environments it may be common, if not crucial, to have access to shared resources for common and project specific asset libraries. SoundQ supports the following scenarios for connections to network resources:

  • Local Area Network connection to Network Attached Storage device, mounted or mapped via UNC path or drive letter respectively.
  • Virtual Private Network connection to Network Attached Storage, mounted or mapped via UNC path or drive letter respectively.
  • Cloud based storage which integrates with local file systems natively; such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and iCloud.

📓Note: That some 3rd party ‘custom’ network adapters may not be supported. See also External Drives.

For performance reasons, the first option; LAN connection to NAS, is of course ideal. VPNs in particular can be very slow. However, cloud based storage which synchronizes assets locally or when accessed, can be ideal for remote scenarios. Our first example will use a shared NAS resource, but the same process applies to using a cloud based resource such as Google Drive; importing assets into shared collections on the ‘Owners’ client, then ensuring the resource is properly mapped relatively per client as needed.

Workflow Example

A broad example of creating and working with a shared network resource in SoundQ might contain:

  1. Organizing: Audio and Sound FX are typically copied to the shared network resource by team members using FTP or native file system via Finder or Explorer. The resource may be organized using a folder structure for example to organize common assets as well as project specific.
  2. Importing: Audio and Sound FX assets are then imported into SoundQ from the shared resource, perhaps also creating separate Collections corresponding to folder structure containing common and project specific assets.
  3. Sharing: The Collection(s) are then shared with other team members with appropriate permissions, and in their clients mount the Collection resource folders via Remapper to resolve relative paths to the network resource.
  4. Working: Teams work with the shared collections, auditioning and spotting sounds, perhaps further organizing assets in new shared collections for specific scenes or team members to review.
  5. Goto: 1.

Network Resource Organization

In the following screenshot, the root of the network resource, in this case \\NAS\Studio1\, is mapped to drive Z:\. The root contains several subdirectories which organize the assets by category and/or project. On MacOS this same root directory can be mounted directly as /Volumes/NAS/Studio1/ using the Finder; Go->Connect to Server. Audio and Sound FX assets would typically be added and organized directly via Finder / Explorer prior to importing into SoundQ, but can also be added, moved or removed at any time and SoundQ updated by re-importing the assets.

Importing a Network Resource

Skipping whatever methods are used to create and organize the asset libraries on the shared network resource, the next step is to import the library into SoundQ. First, ensure that the network resource is accessible via Finder or Explorer using the mounted UNC path on MacOS, or mapped drive letter on Windows. If not, see External Drives section for OS specific instructions for mounting network resources.

Open the Import Panel, and select ‘Browse’ to open the OS folder browser window, and select the mapped/mounted network resource folder to import. In the following example, Collections have been created corresponding to the resource folders to be imported and the import panel is used to import assets from the top level resource folders.

📓Note: Whether importing the resource folder root as a whole and/or subfolders separately may depend on the organizational goals, access permissions, total quantity of assets, quality of connection, and workflow of the team. It is recommended that the shared resource ‘Owner’ (team user with Owner permissions) review this process to determine the best approach for their environment. For example, it may make sense to import the entire asset library from the common root (e.g. ‘Studio1’ below), then organize those assets in SoundQ into separate shared Collections of ‘Common’ or project specific assets. Or, if ‘Studio1’ is too large or contains other subdirectories which should be excluded from import, importing subdirectories of Studio1 individually into corresponding Collections.

As a basic example, consider a shared network SFX library with the following directory structure;











Here, GameDev_NAS is the network name of the Network Attached Storage server. All team members; Robert and Roberta, should have read access to all ‘Common’ resources, while each member should have write access to their user folders under ‘ProjectX’, perhaps used as workspaces in SoundQ and/or DAW. In this example, we might also assume that the network resource is mounted at the ‘Studio1’ directory level to drive letter Z:\ on Windows and /Volumes/Studio1 on MacOS, so that we’re only dealing subdirectories of Studio1 directly, via Z:\Common\ or /Volumes/Studio1/Common/ for example.

So, depending on the quantity and size of the contents of ‘Studio1’ resource directory, ‘Studio1’ can either be imported as a whole then organized into corresponding Collections with proper permissions for ‘Common’ and user specific ‘Project’ folders, or import each top level folder (Common, ProjectA, ProjectX, etc.) individually into new Collections of the same name, etc.. The end result may be identical in terms of the final shared Collections, the primary difference being breaking up the import process into smaller jobs via resource subdirectories.

💡Tip: While SoundQ does not currently automatically replicate the folder structure of the imported resource, the contents of the root folder imported (‘Common’ in our example) can be sorted by the ‘Path’ using the Results List Header sort. So, in the case of our example, assets from the ‘Aliens’, ‘Spaceships’ and ‘Lasers’ subdirectories can be easily sorted and moved to corresponding Collections / hierarchy via Drag and Drop as shown here;

Sharing a Network Resource

Once the network library resource has been imported and organized into SoundQ collections, it’s time to share those resources with the rest of the team. The account which shares the resource(s) is given ‘owner’ permissions of the shared Collections by default. Permissions can always be changed after the initial share, including transfer of ownership, but it often makes sense for a specific team member to retain Collection ownership to consolidate and simplify collection / permission management. Administrators can also be assigned to collections which allows certain users / team members to help maintain and organize collections, while the default permissions for most team members is ‘Editor’; allowing assets to be added or removed from Collections without modifying the Collections or permissions themselves.

Select the Collection to share, then select ‘Sharing and Permissions’ from the three dot Collection ‘context’ menu. In this example, the ‘Common’ collection and its children have been shared with other team members via their email addresses. 📓Note: that the option to ‘apply permissions to all child collections’ is toggled, and the child collections have now inherited the permissions applied to ‘Common’ as indicated by their shared collection icons; .

And, in the following screenshot, a specific team member is given Admin permissions to a project and user specific folder, allowing them to modify anything within the Collection except remove the Collection itself.

Mapping a Network Resource from SoundQ

Regardless of the import and organizational strategy used, when the Collections are then shared with team members and among multiple clients, a single mapping can typically be created in each SoundQ client to resolve the root directory so that all assets in any subdirectory of the resource are automatically resolved.

For example, assuming the Collections containing ‘Common’ and ‘Project’ specific assets were shared from a MacOS client from /Volumes/Studio1/; other MacOS clients may work without any map assuming they also have the same resource mounted to /Volumes/Studio1/, and Windows clients simply need to create a single map from /Volumes/Studio1/ to Z:\ so that the relative path to all assets under that root are automatically resolved; /Volumes/Studio1/Common → Z:\Common, etc.

In summary; Mappings correspond directly to resource paths, not collections, so that a single mapping can resolve any assets in any subfolder of the resource, regardless of which collection(s) they belong to. Further assets added from the resource to new collections will automatically resolve based on any existing map to a parent. In this way, by creating mappings for the topmost folder of a given shared resource, the need for maps can often be reduced to one per shared network resource (e.g. one per physical NAS).

Continuing the ‘Studio1’ example, the following screenshot shows team member ‘Robert’ logged into a client on MacOS. 📓Note: that all of the Collections shared with Robert have already synchronized to the account and are now shown in the Collection tree;

📓Note: that the Collection hierarchy appears flat in Robert's tree because not all of the resource hierarchy has been shared with Robert, and the SoundQ/API does not currently recreate shared folder structures. Future versions of SoundQ with ‘Sharing v2’ will support sharing more complex hierarchies and permissions.

As seen in the previous screenshot, since the file system syntax is different than the shared resource, and the /Studio1/Common/ directory mount location is different on the MacOS client, the assets show a warning icon indicating that the asset cannot be found at the provided resource path. The waveform view shows more detail about the warning and provides the option to ‘Remap’ the resource path. Clicking ‘Remap’ brings up the Remapper Panel and pre-populates the Current and Mapped paths with the erroneous path. Selecting the folder ‘Browse’ button adjacent to the ‘Mapped To’ path will allow navigation to the same resource using the relative and correct path for this MacOS client; /Volumes/Studio1/Common/Aliens/

💡Tip: If Robert were to go ahead and click the green checkmark to accept the mapping, all of the assets, including those in subdirectories, under /Volumes/Studio1/Common/Aliens/ would automatically resolve. However, any assets above this resource directory would require a separate mapping. Since we know that the top level folder containing all shared resources for ‘Studio1’ is the ‘Studio1’ directory, we could simply map the root itself;

  • E.g. Z:\ → /Volumes/Studio1/

For simplicity, more granular organization, as a happy medium, and for the sake of the example, the parent ‘Common’ directory is mapped here instead:

  • E.g. Z:\Common\ → /Volumes/Studio1/Common/

📓Note: In the following screenshot, now that the proper path has been mapped and resolved for this client, all of the assets within ‘Common’ are now properly loaded in the results list and no longer show warnings;

And finally, Robert creates a map for their own user directory on the shared network resource;

Backups and Downgrades

As we release bug fixes and new features to SoundQ, it occasionally becomes necessary to update certain database functions or tables for new models and optimizations. Changes in the database version typically coincide with a new SoundQ release to support new features and functionality. Unfortunately, newer versions of the database may not be backwards compatible with previous versions of SoundQ.

However, when you install a new version of SoundQ which has a new database version, a backup is made of your existing database, and SoundQ will automatically update your existing database to the latest version. If your database becomes corrupted for any reason, or you wish to downgrade to a previous version of SoundQ, you can always restore a database backup.

📓Note: Database versions are reported at the beginning of every SoundQ session log along with the SoundQ version and other relevant version information.

Finding the Database Backups

Backups are created (by default) each time you run a SoundQ installer. If you do not want to create a backup (not recommended) due to time or disk space constraints, you can always uncheck the ‘backup’ option during the installation. Your choice here will be remembered the next time you run a SoundQ installation, so make sure you recheck the option once the disk space constraint has been resolved. Database backup are always save to the users SoundQ application data folders using the same format and timestamp of the date the backup was created;

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects/SoundQ/data.2023.2.28_backup
  • Windows: %appdata%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\data.2023.2.28_backup

Finding the Old Installers

You can find any previous version of SoundQ by using the following link, and adjusting the link to match the version number of SoundQ you wish to download.

For example, to download SoundQ version 2023.4.27, you would simply replace the version number in the link above like so:

In order to find the version number that you need, see the section below about reinstating your previous database folder.

Reinstating your Database Folder

The following is a step by step guide to reinstating an older database folder to SoundQ. It might sound complicated, but really it is just renaming and replacing a folder. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • When you installed the most recent SoundQ version, a backup of your database folder was made (assuming that you did not intentionally uncheck the option during the installation). You can find this backup in the SoundQ support folder and will look something like this:
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects/SoundQ/data.2023.2.28_backup
  • Windows: %appdata%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\data.2023.2.28_backup
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: The easiest way to find this folder on macOS is to open Finder and use the shortcut “Shift + Command + G” and type in the path exactly as shown above. The “~” on macOS is a shortcut for your computer’s user home folder. If you do not include the “~” it will refer to a different global folder, which will only contain our premiere plugin .zxp file. If that’s what you see you are in the wrong folder.
  • The main folder that soundQ actually uses is the one titled “data”, and the other folders like “data.2023.2.28_backup” are there only if you want to reinstall an older version. If you don’t see these backup folders, you either unchecked that option during installation or have never updated soundQ.
  • Store this backup somewhere safe!
  • You will notice that the data folder is labeled with the version number of SoundQ it belonged to. You can use this number to download the previous SoundQ installer as described above. The most important thing is that the backup folder version number matches the version of soundQ you are reinstalling.
  • Now make sure SoundQ is closed.
  • Replace your data folder with your backup folder, and rename the backup to just “data”. After this your original database should be located at the following location:
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects/SoundQ/data
  • Windows: %appdata%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\data

Reinstall the old version of soundQ that you just downloaded and restart your device before reopening it. All should be as it was before you updated to the latest version.

SoundQ Extensions

SoundQ extensions provide additional export to DAW and spot to timeline functionality beyond native Drag and Drop operations. The extensions do not modify the DAW in any way, nor do they add any user interface elements to the DAW. These extensions operate silently in the background to facilitate communication between SoundQ and the DAW to provide specific parameters of the export such as the sample rate, region, handles, etc. to use for the transfer. Beyond installation, these extensions do not need to be launched separately and have no user configurable options of their own. In all cases, the extensions do nothing by themselves and require SoundQ running to perform a transfer (export/spot to timeline).

Pro Tools

Technically, communications with ProTools does not currently require a separate SoundQ extension as communication with ProTools happens directly between SoundQ and ProTools via the OS and/or OS/PT scripting, etc. All functionality and options are shown in the SoundQ “Send To” transfer menu.


This extension uses the Reaper API and runs from the Reaper UserPlugins directory. Again, this extension runs silently and requires SoundQ to operate using the options for Reaper in the “Send To” menu.


The SoundQ Extension for Adobe Premiere Pro is installed (by default) along with SoundQ and other Extensions via the SoundQ installer. All extensions require SoundQ to be running as the spotting source and the extension host (Premiere) to be running as the target. To verify the SoundQ Premiere Extension is installed in the host, select Extensions from the Window menu in Premiere to ensure ‘PSEPremierePanel’ is in the list of installed extensions:


The PSEPremierePanel plugin is provided as part of the SoundQ application installer, meaning it is installed as a component of the SoundQ installation. In order for the PSEPremiere plugin to install properly during the SoundQ install/upgrade, there are a couple of prerequisites that should be met:

  • At least one Adobe application must be installed on the system (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud). The plugin installer relies upon Adobe Extension Services which are included in the core Adobe applications which should be present on any system running an Adobe Creative Cloud/Suite application. If no Adobe application is present during the plugin install, you will be prompted to install Adobe Premiere first, then run the installer again (choosing only the plugin install option if desired).
  • The Adobe Premiere plugin host application should not be running during the plugin install. Typically the plugin install will succeed even if Premiere is running at the time. However, Premiere may need to be restarted in order for the plugin to load. If the plugin still does not load after restarting Premiere, close Premiere and run the installer again.

📓Note: During the Premiere Extension installation (via SoundQ installer) on Windows or MacOS, the OS may show a security prompt to ask for admin permissions to install the extension. It is important to click OK/Allow when prompted in order to install the extension. Otherwise SoundQ may report that it cannot find the target application (“Cannot find Premiere”) when attempting to export / spot sounds to Premiere from the SoundQ Send menu.


1. In Premiere: Get ready for import:

  • (optional) Move the play head to the position on the timeline where you want the audio clip to be inserted.
  • (optional) Select the bin folder where you would like the clip's reference added to the project library.

Note: Imported clips are added to the SoundQ bin by default, or when no bin is currently selected. If the SoundQ bin does not yet exist in the project's library, the SoundQ bin will be created for you. To specify a custom bin for import, simply select the target bin prior to transferring from SoundQ. (see screenshot below)

Premiere screenshot 2

Note: Clips will only be inserted to the SoundQ import track. If the SoundQ track is not yet present in the timeline, the track will be created for you after any existing audio tracks. The track created supports both mono and stereo audio clips.

Note: If the current play head position overlaps with an existing clip on the SoundQ import track, the new clip will be appended to existing clips in the next available insert point.

2. In SoundQ: Select Premiere as the Transfer target in the clip preview panel:

  • (optional) Set the Transfer Path to Set Automatically to have all clips transferred to the 'SoundQ' sub directory in the root of the current Premiere projects working directory.
  • (optional) Or, set the Transfer Path to Set path... then select a custom directory anywhere in the local file system for all transfers.
  • Click the -> (green arrow) to Transfer the selected clip to Premiere.

3. In Premiere: Transferred clips appear in both the Premiere Library and the Active Sequence Timeline:

  • (optional) Drag the imported sound clip to any desired audio track.
  • (optional) Return to step 1. to perform subsequent transfers.

Note: Depending on the transfer path selected in SoundQ, the imported sound clip now exists on disk in either your current Premiere project directory in the 'SoundQ' folder, or in the custom folder specified via Set path in step 1.

Note: The PSE Premiere Plugin does not currently support importing to Source Patch targets or inactive sequences.

Premiere screenshot

Multi-Project Support

  • Where Premiere may have multiple projects and timelines open and visible at the same time, the PSE plugin will import to the 'active' sequence and/or project only.
  • The target project bin and sequence to which a clip is added and inserted when transferred from SoundQ is largely determined by the currently selected (active or topmost) Project or Sequence view (indicated by the panel outline). If no project or sequence is currently selected, the clip will be imported to the last selected target(s).
  • The PSE Premiere plugin currently considers projects and sequences to have a one to one or one to many relationship. Meaning a project can have zero or more sequences, but each sequence can only belong to one project. Thus, a clip cannot be inserted into a sequence timeline without also being imported into its project and bin. Conversely, a clip can be imported into a project bin without being added to any of the projects sequences.
  • By default, clips will be inserted to the currently active timeline AND added to the bin of the corresponding parent project (whether visible or not).
  • A clip will be added to a project / bin ONLY (NOT the timeline) if one of the following is true:
  • SoundQ 'Send To' option is set to 'import to bin only', OR
  • Any project panel is currently selected / active for which the currently active timeline is not a child of the same project, OR
  • There is no active sequence / timeline for the selected project

Support Matrix

Premiere Version

CC 2015

CC 2017

CC 2018

CC 2019

CC 2020

CC 2021

App Version







CEP Version







SoundQ Send To Support







Multi-Project Support





Known Issues

  • The PSEPremierePanel plugin install requires the presence of at least one Adobe host (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud app) on the system. If the PSEPremiere plugin is not installed/running in Premiere (Window->Extensions), and an Adobe host was not present at the time of the install, you may need to run the original installer (e.g. SoundQ install) again to install the plugin.
  • The PSEPremiere plugin multi-project support is somewhat limited in Premiere versions CC 2017 or older. Specifically, a clip could be inserted into more than one bin if the currently selected project does not contain the activeSequence.



Q: I’m having trouble logging into SoundQ.

A: First, make sure that you are logging into SoundQ using the same account created when logging into SoundQ the first time. The SoundQ account may (or may not) be different from other PSE accounts created for the online store for purchasing libraries. Additional options to verify include:

  • Make sure to use the same account and log in method used to create the SoundQ account. For example, if an SSO (single-sign-on) account such as Google or Facebook was used, or if the user/password was entered manually, use the same method as originally used to create the SoundQ account.
  • Disable any browser plugins or settings which might block or prevent the login process from working properly. This includes any plugins, extensions, browser settings, antivirus or firewall settings which might block popups, disable opening apps from browsers via URIs, prevent browser redirection, or otherwise prevent scripts from running in the browser.
  • Try using a different browser for login. Make sure to set the new browser as the default browser for the system and SoundQ will launch the browser login process using the system's default browser.
  • When using a SoundQ Free account and presented with a subscription tier upgrade offer during login, either choose an upgrade option, or select ‘Try it now’ or ‘continue’ to continue using the free version.
  • Try logging into directly using the browser, instead of via SoundQ, to make sure the account/login is active/correct.
  • See Also: Sign up/Sign In

Q: No Sound during playback of Sound Effect.

A: In the SoundQ Preferences panel, ensure that the proper audio output device is selected on the Playback tab. Additional options to verify include:

  • Try disabling the “Follow System Audio Output” to override the current default audio output device, and select a known working output device such as ‘Internal Speakers’ or ‘Headphones’.
  • Ensure that the sample rate and buffer size settings match your hardware on the SoundQ Preferences→Playback tab.
  • Avoid using 3rd party device/drivers such as virtual devices, aggregate devices or rerouting/loopback device/drivers which may have been installed by your DAW or other 3rd party audio software.
  • See Also: Playback

Q: Sound pops or clicks intermittently during playback of Sound Effect.

A: Audio dropouts (pops or clicks) during playback are typically the result of audio buffer underruns, meaning the audio device is unable to keep up with rendering the audio stream. To avoid dropouts, disable the “Follow System Audio Output” option on the SoundQ Preferences→Playback tab, and select a larger Audio Buffer Size which is greater than or equal to 10.0 milliseconds. If the dropouts persist, increase the buffer size incrementally until the audio stream is clean. See Also: Playback

Q. Can I monitor SoundQ playback from my DAW?

A: Yes. SoundQ supports most 3rd party virtual devices and routing software. However, doing so can potentially create playback issues and requires some knowledge of audio device routing concepts. Supported methods include using aggregate devices on MacOS, Aux I/O plugin in newer versions of Pro Tools, and 3rd party routing software/drivers such as Loopback and Source Nexus. See Also: Playback Monitoring

Q. Can I export more than one sound at a time?

A: Yes and no. Currently, SoundQ can only download/export sounds from the cloud one at a time. However, local sounds can be exported in bulk by selecting multiple sounds via SHIFT or CMD/CTRL selection, then exporting or drag and drop to a folder or another application. In order to download cloud sounds in bulk, use the PSE Download Manager application to download any owned/licensed PSE sound libraries.

Q. SoundQ application starts with a blank, black or empty window?

A: Some graphics cards or drivers may not properly support OpenGL hardware rendering, which might cause the SoundQ UI not to render or refresh properly. Fortunately SoundQ also supports Software Rendering for older systems/graphics. To force SoundQ to startup using software rendering option, first locate the SoundQ options file here:

  • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects/SoundQ/settings/options.xml
  • Windows: %appdata%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\settings\options.xml

Open the options.xml file in TextEdit or Notepad (or app which opens XML such as VSCode), and look for the following line/option:

<DefaultRenderer value="OpenGL Renderer"/>

Either replace the existing line, or add if the line does not exist, with the following:

<DefaultRenderer value="Software Renderer"/>

Finally, save the change to options.xml and restart SoundQ.

Q: Error: Can’t find Pro Tools/Premiere/Reaper.

A: To solve 'Premiere/Pro Tools/Reaper/<DAW> can't be found' error, check the following possible conflicts:

  • The corresponding extension is not installed or not properly installed. Reinstall SoundQ, ensuring the desired extension is checked during install, and making sure to accept/allow any OS security prompts/warnings. The extensions can also be installed separately / manually but may require additional support files from SoundQ development team (contact See also; Premiere Checklist.
  • There is a strange bug out there where communication with the target DAW (Pro Tools, Premiere, etc.) is sometimes broken if the DAW is maximized on a different/virtual desktop/monitor. Moving the target DAW to the same desktop and/or restoring the window sometimes fixes the problem.
  • There may be an accessibility or permissions problem, particularly on macOS where SoundQ requires specific permissions in order to communicate with other applications. The OS will ask for these permissions when installing SoundQ, but are sometimes missed. Reinstalling SoundQ and ensuring to allow any permissions requests from the OS may fix the issue. See also: MacOS Permissions to fix permissions manually.


Mac OS Permissions

To help keep the OS secure, MacOS requires applications to request permissions to perform certain tasks or access certain file system locations, etc. The user or administrator is also required to allow such requests. SoundQ requires specific permissions for performing common tasks and will ask for permissions wherever necessary.

When performing one of these tasks in SoundQ for the first time, MacOS will prompt the user to allow the application, and the decision is stored in Security and Privacy settings in System Preferences. If the OS prompt to allow the operation is denied, missed or ignored, the SoundQ application will not be able to perform the task and continue to ask for permission until granted.


MacOS Security and Privacy options are great, but they can often be confusing or worse; finicky, which just adds to the confusion. To add to the confusion, the UI for these options has changed considerably in MacOS Ventura and lumped all the security options in with the rest of the System Preferences. Thankfully, the options SoundQ requires are the same, only the UI has changed.

In most cases, under normal circumstances, when an application requests certain permissions, MacOS will prompt the user for password to allow the option and will silently add SoundQ to the appropriate permissions in Security & Privacy. In some cases however, during first launch of SoundQ or when first attempting to perform an action which requires special permissions such as sending sounds to another application such as ProTools, the permissions may need to be added manually.

Setting Permissions

When SoundQ detects it does not have the required permissions to perform a required action, such as sending a sound to a DAW timeline, SoundQ may issue the following “Permissions Required” Prompt;

To set the permissions for SoundQ, open System Preferences → Security and Privacy, and follow the dialogues below to ensure all permissions are properly set for each required permissions category. To add SoundQ to each category list, simply click the plus [+] button beneath the list and browse to/select /Applications/SoundQ in the provided Finder window. 📓Note that some permissions are ‘nested’ under the SoundQ application name/item, so be sure to expand the SoundQ item where applicable.


Communicating with other applications such as ProTools, Reaper, Premiere or other DAWs:

  • Locate current DAW project files and assets by querying PIDs.
  • Invoke common API functions to send files to DAW timelines with specific options.

📓Note: Ensure all of the nested options here are checked.

Files and Folders

Files and Folders: Reading or writing files to the users document folders or common file system locations.

Full Disk Access

Full Disk Access: Instantiating and communicating with local database services and accessing local and network based sound libraries.


Accessibility: Invoking native Apple Script commands to discover DAWs and their settings. (Perhaps the most important permission of all to provide spot to timeline support).

📓Note: That on MacOS Ventura, the Security & Privacy settings are now combined with the rest of the System Preferences, but the categories and options are the same:

Stale Permissions

In rare cases, it seems, references to previously allowed applications added to the permissions list somehow become ‘stale’ and no longer seem to be able to access the permissions provided to the application shown in the S&P allowed list. Usually this might be the effects of installing SoundQ to a new location while the previously allowed version of SoundQ still points to the old location; as the ‘allowed’ apps are path specific, not app specific.

The aforementioned “finicky” behavior, though thankfully rare, is that it appears to be more than just the path that can cause the OS to assume the application is ‘new’/’different’ and the permissions to become ‘stale’. To educate the devs on why this might happen, please contact with the full low-down, but their best guess is something to do with changes to the .plist, version or code signature. Whatever the reason, SoundQ may begin asking for permissions again even though it is already in the allowed list.

Under these circumstances, it seems the most reliable way to get SoundQ permissions to ‘stick’ again is to go through each category list (above) again and;

  1. Remove the SoundQ item from each permission category list.
  2. Uninstall SoundQ by dragging it to the trash then restart the machine.
  3. Reinstall and launch SoundQ and let it ask for permissions again.
  4. Review the Security & Privacy permissions again as shown above to ensure SoundQ is allowed in each category.

📓Note: Steps 2 and 3 may not be necessary in all situations, but can be performed safely without deleting the database as the database lives outside the application in the users data folder.

Database / MongoDB


SoundQ is more than just another sexy sound search engine, it can be a powerful tool for organizing, editing and sharing multiple libraries of sound effects from multiple sources; local, network, and cloud. And of course SoundQ can search all sources from local to cloud, providing results from all sources simultaneously.

While connected to the internet, SoundQ relies heavily on the PSE API for both searching PSE and 3rd party Libraries as well as sharing and synchronization of user Collections in the cloud. In essence, the API server database stores a complete copy of the Collections tree for every user account.

However, in order to search local and network resources SoundQ must rely on its own local database to access local sound libraries and user collections. And, in turn, share and sync the local sounds (metadata) with the cloud API and vice versa so that both the local and cloud databases are identical. Indeed, redundancy is an added benefit of this framework, and if one of the databases were to fail for some reason, it can always be restored from the other.


To help facilitate compatibility and flexibility between the local and cloud databases, SoundQ uses MongoDB; a ‘NoSQL’ document based database which stores and exchanges data as JSON objects; a structure which happens to be ideal for things like Collection ‘trees’ and Sound FX ‘objects’. However, this approach is not without its disadvantages; perhaps lacking some of the platform and integration support that more established SQL solutions tend to provide.

When the SoundQ application launches, it starts a local MongoDB server as a daemon or ‘service’ running on localhost ( using default port 27017. SoundQ then implements the MongoDB client interface to communicate with the MongoDB server to store and retrieve data (collections, sounds, etc.). When SoundQ quits, it also shuts down the MongoDB service after flushing any database operations in the queue. In other words, while MongoDB is a separate software program, it runs only while SoundQ is running as a dependency.

Potential Problems and Solutions

Because the MongoDB service is started during SoundQ startup, if the MongoDB service fails to start or respond for any reason, with no data, SoundQ will also fail to launch. Usually this case can be detected during startup and SoundQ will either recover by starting another instance of MongoDB on a different port, or fail and report/log an error indicating why it was unable to start the database.


Because MongoDB is a ‘server’ which accepts TCP/IP connections via localhost, it’s possible for some firewalls and/or antiviruses to verify or block connections. However, since the localhost ‘IP’ can only accept connections from, well, the local host (and specifically SoundQ in this case), the MongoDB service does not present a security risk to the system from the outside world. While the SoundQ team has not confirmed any reports of issues with OS or 3rd party firewalls/antivirus, if for some reason your firewall or antivirus software requires manually ‘whitelisting’ of the service by adding the executable path to the ‘allowed’ list, the path would be;

  • MacOS: /Applications/SoundQ/Contents/mongod
  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\Contents\Resources\mongod.exe
Busy Port

Of course SoundQ isn’t the only software to use MongoDB for managing local databases, and there is potential for conflict with other instances of MongoDB used by other software. For example; some versions of Avid Media Composer, particularly Enterprise or networked versions which use Avid Interplay may also invoke MongoDB service for audio and video ‘asset management’.

MongoDB services typically cannot be shared between multiple applications because they provide unique accounts and documents known only by their respective clients and models, and may also reference databases that require specific versions of the server and client interfaces. So, if another application is already running a MongoDB service on the same localhost:port, this can potentially cause problems for other applications which cannot start their own instance of the server due to the busy port.

Fortunately, SoundQ implements slightly more intelligent startup routines which go to great lengths to ensure both SoundQ and any dependencies are loaded properly and available. In this case, SoundQ can detect another MongoDB instance that does not belong to it, and use a different port to run the service (e.g. 27018, 27019, …). Or, if SoundQ finds an existing service that does belong, it will use the existing service instead of starting a new one. Additionally, if it finds an ‘owned’ MongoDB service which is no longer responding, it will attempt to shutdown the service safely. In rare cases where starting or stopping a service fails for any reason, SoundQ will make several attempts before giving up and shutting down.

Unfortunately, it may be the case that another software application depending on a MongoDB service does not implement such a robust startup routine, and may simply fail or give up if SoundQ (or any application) has already started a MongoDB instance on the default port (27017). And, perhaps outside of MongoDB ‘Clusters’, MongoDB doesn’t provide any advanced service management to handle such cases. So, in the case that the workstation/DAW and/or workflow is running more than one application with a MongoDB dependency, the workaround is to always launch the more stubborn application first so that it can start a MongoDB instance on the only port it knows (default: 27107), then launch SoundQ last and SoundQ will happily and quietly start it’s own MongoDB service on the next available port.


It is also possible that the MongoDB and or SoundQ MongoDB client might encounter an error from which it cannot recover and either crash or hang. In the former case, SoundQ will shutdown after reporting the error if possible. In the later case however, SoundQ can recover by detecting the unresponsive service and attempt to restart it, and/or start another instance of the service.

If, for some reason, a MongoDB server process needs to be killed or restarted manually, this can be done via Task Manager on Windows, or Activity Monitor on MacOS, by searching for the ‘mongod’ process and stopping it; either by selecting ‘End Task’ from the process context menu in Task Manager, or the ‘Stop’ button in Activity Monitor. 📓Note: that because there can be multiple mongod services running invoked by different applications, use caution and make sure the parent process matches the service you wish to stop. In Task Manager, mongod will simply appear nested under the SoundQ process, and in Activity Monitor the parent process is shown when clicking the ‘Inspect’ or ‘Info’ button.


Finally, in the rarest of scenarios, it is possible for the local database to become corrupted and the MongoDB service may fail to load the database thus causing SoundQ startup to fail as well. Essentially, this means that MongoDB attempted to open a database or document structure it did not understand. This could happen if MongoDB was asked to load a database of an older version which is no longer supported, or if the data itself was corrupted by an interrupted write operation for example. Again, this is extremely rare as MongoDB does a fairly good job of verifying and even repairing certain errors. However, this is also where the redundancy provided by the cloud API database can save the day. If all else fails;

  • Make a backup of the corrupted database and send it to by copying and compressing the ‘data’ folder and sharing via file share service such as Dropbox or Google Drive (as the data can be quite large);
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Pro Sound Effects/SoundQ/data
  • Windows: %appdata%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\data
  • To continue working, you can then delete the existing ‘data’ folder and start SoundQ again. SoundQ will create a fresh database and, once logged in, start synchronizing the database from the cloud. 📓Note that the cloud API database has no knowledge of local ‘System’ Collections created by SoundQ users on the local system only and cannot be recovered via the cloud. However, all Collections under ‘My Collections’ will be restored from the last synchronization.

Internet Connection

SoundQ relies on the PSE API for searching multiple massive cloud libraries, from multiple sources both internal and external/3rd party. While all of these sources are automatically aggregated by the API and within the SoundQ interface, each separate source can also be subject to its own potential connection problems, response times, etc.

While SoundQ does not currently download audio files in bulk from PSE servers, the search functionality along with other background tasks such collection synchronization does involve substantial data and metadata transfers between SoundQ and the PSE API servers

Given these factors, SoundQ requires a fast and reliable internet connection for optimal performance and best user experience..

Download Manager

SoundQ provides access to all PSE cloud sound libraries purchased and owned by the user account used to log into SoundQ. While SoundQ downloads and caches all metadata associated with cloud sounds added to local/user libraries,SoundQ does not currently provide the option to bulk download the associated sound files. Some workflows may require owned libraries to be downloaded locally (to internal, external or network drive). Currently PSE provides a dedicated tool to manage the download of all owned/purchased PSE audio libraries called Download Manager. The PSE Download Manager can be download and installed on MacOS and Windows from the website here: Download Manager

Connection Troubleshooting

If you experience problems searching for sounds in SoundQ such as sluggishness or timeouts (when a search produces zero results due to lack of server response), there may be one or more factors to consider:

  • Firewalls/Antivirus: It is possible that a firewall and/or antivirus software installed on the machine may be blocking one or more dependent connections or services (such as the local mongo database service running on localhost). To resolve this issue, ensure that all source domains/IPs are whitelisted as detailed in Whitelisting URLs, and that the localhost:port (e.g. is accessible/available for the mongo service. In the latter case, a blocked connection to the localhost mongod would also prevent SoundQ from starting normally.
  • Server Load: It is possible that one or more sound library source servers are under maintenance or experiencing high server load resulting in slow or empty responses. If a particular library source is slow or not responding in SoundQ, this can often be verified by attempting to access the source server directly through their web interface (i.e. load the URL, e.g., in a browser window). Try the connection again at a later time when the server is less likely to be busy (e.g. late at night). An unresponsive source can also be excluded from searches in SoundQ by deselecting (unchecking) the source in the Collection tree. This will prevent a ‘bad source’ from slowing the others down.
  • Server Location: While cloud and colocation servers may provide some redundancy, the PSE API database servers reside in North America (U.S.) and are thus subject to latencies inherent in the connection with the SoundQ client. If you live in an area where connections with NA servers are geographically challenged (e.g. Japan, Australia, …), it may be worth investigating alternative ISPs or services which may provide better routing and faster connections.

If connection problems or a specific problematic source persist, please contact PSE/SoundQ support via email or slack.

SoundQ Extensions

SoundQ Extensions are installed by default during SoundQ installation. The extensions are optional, and can be unchecked in the installer to skip their installation. If a plugin fails to install or SoundQ reports that it cannot find the target application when attempting to spot a sound to a DAW timeline, try running the installer again with administrator privileges (e.g. “Run as Administrator”) to ensure the installer has adequate permissions to install extensions to appropriate locations.


The ProTools functionality and spotting support currently do not require a separate extension, and all communication with ProTools is facilitated directly by SoundQ via the OS and/or native scripting support.

There are currently no known issues with the ProTools extension installation or functionality. Please report any issues to


The SoundQ Reaper Extension installs to the Reaper UserPlugins directory along with any other 3rd party extensions;

  • Windows: %APPDATA%/REAPER/UserPlugins
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/REAPER/UserPlugins

If for some reason the installation fails, try running the SoundQ installer as an admin.

There are currently no known issues with the Reaper extension installation or functionality. Please report any issues to


The SoundQ Premiere Extension (“PSE Premiere Panel”) uses Adobe CEP (Common Extensibility Platform) engine to facilitate communication between SoundQ and Adobe Premiere. CEP Extensions require Adobe Extension Manager which ships with all Adobe Creative Suite applications. The extension cannot be installed without a supported product already on the system.

Unfortunately, it’s not practical, or even possible, in most cases to invoke the Extension Manager from the SoundQ installer. Therefore, the SoundQ installer packages Adobes ExManCmd (Extension Manager Command Line Interface) to facilitate the installation of the Premiere extension.

Unfortunately it seems that ExManCmd does not support all the scenarios or requirements it claims to, and may fail to install the Premiere extension in some cases, usually claiming it cannot find Adobe Premiere or supported product installed, when it is in fact installed. The following checklist can help verify whether the extension and its dependencies are installed correctly, and will help us further investigate any problems or solutions. If the checklist does not resolve the issue, a manual installer for the extension can be requested from support that typically works where the SoundQ installer has failed.

  1. Verify the SoundQ Premiere Extension is properly installed;
  • Run the latest SoundQ installer (this will not overwrite any existing settings), and ensure the SoundQ Premiere Pro Plugin option is selected during the Select Component phase:

  • IMPORTANT! During the installation you may see a security prompt asking you to:
  • Windows: confirm install by clicking ‘yes’ in the UAC (User Access Control) dialog
  • Macintosh: confirm install by entering your user password in the security dialog.
  • Finish the installation, and save the installer log to your Desktop:
  • Windows: Click ‘Next’, ‘Finish’ the installation normally. Find the installer log in the following location and copy it to your Desktop: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\Setup Log 2023-MM-DD.txt. Proceed to step 2.
  • Macintosh: Click ‘Next’ and continue with the installation until you reach the ‘Summary’ page. Before clicking ‘Close’, select the ‘Window’->’Installer Log’ menu option. Select ‘Show All Logs’ in the log window, and ‘Save’ the log to your Desktop, then proceed to step 2.

  1. Prepare a sound transfer from SoundQ to Premiere;
  • Start SoundQ, then start Premiere.
  • Select a sound to transfer to Premiere.
  • Select ‘Premiere’ as the Send To target in SoundQ (leaving the default path options)
  • Don’t click send (green arrow) just yet.

  1. Verify OS Permissions for SoundQ->Premiere (Mac Only);
  • Open the ‘System Settings’ from the Apple menu (top left menu bar).
  • Go to the ‘Privacy and Security’ tab and make sure SoundQ is added/enabled in the following categories:
  • Files and Folders
  • Full Disk Access
  • Accessibility
  • Automation

📓Note: the ‘Privacy and Security’ panels may look different depending on your version of OSX, but will contain the same categories listed above (verify all four).

  1. Verify SoundQ Premiere Extension is running properly;
  • Open or create a new project (.prproj) from the Premiere ‘File’ menu.
  • Select ‘Window’->’Extensions’ menu and verify ‘PSEPremierePanel’ is in the list of extensions.

  1. Perform sound file transfer from SoundQ to Premiere;
  • Make sure ‘Premiere’ is still selected as the ‘Send To’ target in SoundQ.
  • Click the green arrow button next to the target to perform the transfer.

📓Note: If you receive an error, make note or screenshot of the error text. If you receive the “cannot find Premiere” error, make sure Premiere is not in fullscreen or minimized mode.

  1. Locate the Adobe CreativeCloud log file and copy to your Desktop;
  • Windows: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\CreativeCloud\ACC\ACC.log
  • Macintosh: /Users/<username>/Library/Logs/CreativeCloud/ACC/ACC.log
  1. Verify version of Premiere Pro;
  • Select ‘Help’->’About Premiere Pro’ menu, and create a screenshot of the splash screen:
  • Windows: [Windows Key]+[Shift]+[S]
  • Macintosh: [Command]+[Shift]+[4]

  • Save the screenshot to your Desktop.
  1. Verify version of OS;
  • Windows: Right click on Start Menu and select ‘System’. Click ‘Copy’ next to the Windows Specifications and paste in an email response.
  • Macintosh: Select the Apple Logo->’About this Mac’, and copy/paste the macOS version number in an email response.
  1. Zip all the files saved to the Desktop during this checklist, and attach in response to;
  • Installer log from step 1.
  • Creative Cloud log from step 6.
  • Premier version info from step 7.
  1. If all else fails, you may request a manual installer .zip for the Premiere plugin from;
  • Follow the instructions in the readme.txt in the provided installer.

Contacting Support

Depending on the reason and urgency, there are a number of channels to get in touch with the right support people including the developers themselves. For most support issues, emailing the support team is the best way to get help as response times are typically within 24 hours, and email helps us keep track of issues as they are resolved. Support can also be found on our Discord or Slack channels, as well as access to beta and feedback channels to learn about and even suggest new features. While Discord and Slack are not ‘official’ support channels, the devs typically hang out here and it’s not uncommon to find someone who can help in real time via chat.

Before contacting support for help with a specific issue, consider any additional information such as logs or screenshots that might help our team resolve the issue. It’s likely that we’ll ask for one or more of the following anyway:

Log Files

In almost all cases where users encounter a problem while using SoundQ, the application log file is invaluable in helping track it down. While running, SoundQ logs various (non-user-identifiable) information about its processes, including any errors or warnings encountered during operation. The log contains details about SoundQ runtime operations as well as communications with the database and API. If the problem is persistent and reproducible, the log level can even be increased via the Preferences panel to gather additional information. See also: Log Levels.

The SoundQ.log file can be found in the following diagnostic folder (See Also: User Data / Logs). If you have trouble finding these files, refer to: Unhiding Folders.

  • Windows: %AppData%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\diagnosticlogs\soundq.log
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\diagnosticlogs\soundq.log

Screen Recording / Captures

First determine whether the problem can best be shown with a screenshot or demonstration via recording. Try to keep recordings short but concise.


To create a screenshot or recording, press Shift + Command + 5 to open the Screenshot toolbar.

Record Screen:

  1. In the toolbar, select your recording options, then click Record.
  2. To stop recording, press Command + Control + Escape.

Screen Capture:

  1. In the toolbar, choose ‘Entire Screen’ or ‘Selected Window’ and click on the SoundQ app

To create a screenshot or recording, type ‘Snipping Tool’ in the Start Menu search bar.

Record Screen:

  1. In the top toolbar, select the Record button, then click New.
  2. Drag and drop a rectangle around the portion of the screen to record.
  3. Click ‘Start’ to begin recording, then ‘Stop’ when finished recording.

Screen Capture:

  1. In the top toolbar, select the Snip button (next to the Record button), then click New.
  2. Select ‘Window Mode’ then click on the SoundQ app, or Drag and drop a rectangle around the portion of the screen to capture.

Keyboard / Shortcuts

The following table lists all of the keyboard shortcuts available for common functions in SoundQ, grouped by the UI component which receives the commands. 📓Note: ‘Main Window’ commands are global shortcuts which can be invoked regardless of which panel currently has focus. Panel specific commands are invoked only by the panel that currently has focus (last component clicked on or TABbed to.

Main Window

Focus Next Panel


Focus Previous Panel



Show Preferences Window



Search Database


Clear Search



Show / Hide Collections Panel



Show / Hide File Info Panel



Show / Hide Import Panel



Close Application


Collections Panel

Select Next Collection

Add Next Collection to Selection


Select Previous Collection

Add Previous Collection to Selection


Expand Collection (show subitems)

Collapse Collection (hide subitems)

Add Range To Selection



Add/Remove Collection to Selection



Scroll To Next Page of Collections

Page Down

Scroll To Previous Page of Collections

Page Up

Scroll To Bottom Of Collections List


Scroll To Top Of Collections List


Delete Current Selection


Select All Collections (search all)



Deselect All Collections (clear search)



Results List

Select Next Result

Add Next Result to Selection


Select Previous Result

Add Previous Result to Selection


Add Range To Selection



Add/Remove Result to Selection



Scroll To Next Page of Results

Page Down

Scroll To Previous Page of Results

Page Up

Scroll To Top Of Results


Remove Selected Result From Database



Remove Selected Result From Database



Select All Results



Send (Sound) to Target (Collection)


Edit Metadata Field



Reset Sort



Waveform Panel

Send (Selected to Current Export Target)


Set Playback Speed


Edit Fade In


Edit Fade Out


Clear Current (Region) Selection






Rewind 5 Seconds

Fast Forward 5 Seconds

Seek To Start


Whitelisting URLs

For environments with Firewalls which require manual whitelisting of approved URLs, SoundQ requires access to the following domains/URLs for standard HTTP/S traffic (ports 80 and 443).

SoundQ App / Data Locations


SoundQ follows OS guidelines for application installation and user data locations. The application is installed to a single location; either;

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\, or
  • MacOS: /Applications/SoundQ/

Nothing is installed to user data until the application is run for the first time, at which point SoundQ will create database and settings files in the standard user data locations;

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\Pro Sound Effects\SoundQ\, or
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Pro Sound Effects/SoundQ/

📓Note: that %APPDATA% and the tilde “~” are shortcuts to the users current data or “home” directory which point or resolve to:

  • Windows: %APPDATA% → C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\
  • MacOS: ~ → /Users/<username>/

Where <username> is the current user.

Unhiding Folders

It’s not uncommon for the operating system (both Windows and MacOS) to hide certain folders from users by default. This is generally to prevent beginners from accidentally deleting things in these folders, which can certainly cause bad things to happen, but it tends to be an annoyance for everyone else. To show hidden folders;

  • Windows:
  1. Open File Explorer from the taskbar.
  2. Select View → Show → Hidden items.
  • MacOS:
  1. Open the Terminal app from Launchpad in the Dock.
  2. At the command prompt, enter; “defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true” and hit Return.
  3. Type in “killall Finder” and press Return again.

Main Application

The SoundQ main application folder consists of the SoundQ application itself, the local database service (mongod), and any supporting files such as images, fonts, translations, and documents used by the application at runtime. No user specific data is stored in these locations, and uninstalling SoundQ from these locations does not remove any user specific SoundQ data or settings.



Pro Sound Effects



















User Data / Logs

All SoundQ user data and settings are stored in the users application data folder. 📓The location of this folder is typically specified by the OS, and may vary between OS versions. This folder contains everything from sound and image (album art) caches, offline keys, analytics, application logs, and the local database folder which contains the local MongoDB database for SoundQ user collections. This folder also contains any database backups created by the SoundQ installer during a version update. The more important folders in this directory are;

  • Analytics: Logs specific analytical events such as application startup parameters, audio devices and settings, and Memory and CPU statistics. Deleting this folder is safe.
  • Data: All of the MongoDB local database files are contained in this folder. Delete this folder at your own risk! Doing so will delete all user created System Collections and sound references (does not delete actual sounds). If the database becomes corrupted, please contact support before deleting. If this folder is deleted, a new (empty) database will be created, and any cloud based collections will resync from the cloud.
  • Diagnosticlogs: This folder contains important logging information from SoundQ during runtime and logs errors, warnings, and common tasks to help provide technical support with details to track down and fix problems and bugs. This folder
  • Settings: This folder contains settings files which store global and user specific application settings and information such as audio device settings and other user specific options from the Preferences Panel. Settings also include session specific data such as the applications last size and location, previously selected and expanded collections, etc. Deleting this folder will reset all settings to defaults, and the folder will be recreated during the next SoundQ session.
  • data.YYY.MM.DD_backup: A complete backup of the MongoDB collection database from the timestamp in the filename. This can be safely deleted, or renamed to ‘data’ to restore the backup. See also: Backups and Downgrades.



Pro Sound Effects








Application Support

Pro Sound Effects






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