Upper Panel

The upper panel contains query history + playback options, and below, a waveform display.

Query History (1), Playback Options (2), Waveform Display (3)

Query History (1), Playback Options (2), Waveform Display (3)

Query History

The two arrows situated to the left controls the query history. Think of the ‘back’ button in a browser - that is, the ability to revisit every location and folder you have previously navigated to, or filter you have applied. Keyboard shortcuts lets you navigate the history as well.

Playback Options

Playback & Record

The first few buttons work as expected: press the Play button to preview the current sample, enable Loop to repeat the sample indefinitely. Pressing Stop (or ESC) will immediately stop playback.

The Record button will allow you to capture line input (e.g. a microphone, synth or any other sound source) and use this as the source for a similarity search. The recording process can be aborted at any time by pressing Cancel, Stop or by hitting Esc.

Recordings are automatically saved in the Sononym documents folder. Your recordings will also automatically become part of the Query History, so you can do any number of takes, and use the previous/next buttons to switch between your takes.

Check the keyboard shortcuts associated with these buttons.

Volume Control

Should be self-explanatory, a volume control which works in the decibel (dB) range.


This option will decide whether files are automatically previewed when selected. If you disable this option, you can still use the preview button (in search-results), the context-menu options or keyboard shortcut to trigger a preview.

Any active playback can be interrupted by pressing the escape (ESC) key while a relevant panel is focused
See also: keyboard shortcuts

Other playback options

Sononym comes with a number of additional playback options, which can be configured through the Playback menu:

  • Play Selected File : works the same as pressing Space
  • Play Similarity-Src File : when in similarity search mode, this will preview the source sound
  • Play Random File : this one will select a random file in the results and play it. Switches to “weighted” randomness when the results are filtered by a category, or you are in similarity-search mode (basically, it will prefer results that are higher up the list)
  • Stop Playback/Recording: : forces the current playback and/or recording process to stop
  • Toggle Loop : toggle the loop mode
  • Toggle Recording : toggle the recording mode
  • Play Keyboard Shortcut Behavior: : here, you can decide how the default shortcut will operate - there are two choices, Start Playing Only and Start Playing and Stop (the default choice is Start Playing Only).
  • Stop Playback when Loosing Focus : here you can decide if active playback should be stopped as focus leaves the application. Might be desirable if you are dragging files into another application which also produces sound.

Waveform Display

In normal use, the waveform display shows the currently selected file, with the name visible as a label in the upper right-hand corner. While searching for similarity, two waveform displays appear, with the upper one showing the similarity source.

In similarity search mode, two displays are stacked on top of each other

In similarity search mode, two displays are stacked on top of each other

Click a waveform to play it, or press the play button to the left (or Return) to play from the beginning. The Left and Right arrow keys can be used for “scrubbing” through the file. And as always, hitting Escape will stop the playback.

Related pages

Next Chapter: Search Input