XO Wave is now discontinued
as we prepare to bring you the next generation
Digital Audio Workstation called
This site remains available for anyone who
purchased XO Wave in the past.
However, please keep in mind that as discontinued software:
This site may not contain up-to-date information.
Technical support is discontinued, though we will do our best to continue to provide
email support, especially to anyone who purchased recently.
XO Wave: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This document addresses some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about
XO Wave. It is broken up into two sections:
You are welcome to use XO Wave Free without purchasing it, and most
features are available even if you don't pay, including
recording, mixing, editing, and burning CDs. XO Wave Free may
only use up to three effects per session;
although meter, volume, and aux send do not count against this
limit. For example, if you have a compressor on one track and
an EQ on another, and both tracks have volumes and meters,
that counts as two effects.
XO Wave Pro, you
will gain access to unlimited simultaneous built-in effects. XO
Wave Pro also adds support for Audio Unit plug-ins, full-speed
CD burning (burn speed is limited in XO Wave Free) and the
option of using double
precision for all internal calculations.
To buy XO Wave Pro, simply download XO Wave Free, run it, and select "Go Pro..." from
the "Pro" Menu. A window will appear to walk you through
the details. Once you have payed, you will be able to use all
the features of XO Wave Pro on that computer.
As an alternative, you can go to our secure
and purchase XO Wave Pro directly. Once you have payed using a major
credit card or PayPal, you will receive a link to download
XO Wave and a serial number to enter. Note: The machine you
wish to register does not need to have a direct Internet connection,
but you will need access to the Internet (perhaps on another machine)
to register XO Wave.
Once you purchase XO Wave Pro, you may upgrade up until the next major
version (such as 2.0, 3.0, etc.) for free, without having to reactivate or upgrade your license.
XO Audio charges for upgrades to between different major revisions. For
example, if you buy 1.2, you can upgrade to 1.3 and 1.4 without
paying or registering again, but the upgrade to 2.0 requires purchase of a v2.x license.
Because Apple's audio unit specification assumes that Audio Units
will be run and viewed in the same process, Audio Units are not
completely compatible with XO Wave. Specifically, the interfaces
associated with Audio Units must be built from scratch using information
provide by the Audio Unit. In most cases, this only causes a slight
change in appearance, but the Audio Unit continues to function
normally and provides you with all the controls you need in the
same way as a built-in effect. Some Audio Units, however, may either
provide incorrect information or require the use of a specialized
interface component, such as a phase meter, which cannot be
recreated by XO Wave. Such Audio Units may not be usable in XO
Wave. Note that Audio Units require XO Wave Pro -- they are
limited to an incomplete "audition" mode in XO Wave Free.
For more info on Audio Unit support in XO Wave, please see our
and the Audio Unit tech note.
As long as your CD burner supports it (and most do), XO Wave can put audio
in the pause before a track. You do not need to do anything special
to put audio in the pause. This is great for CDs of live recordings
or any other situation where you don't want audio to be interrupted by
the location of a track. For more info, see our Tutorial.
A number of companies and industry groups have done tests and
concluded various things including, essentially, that they are all
good so it doesn't really matter. This is nonsense to anyone who,
like many of us, has thrown away an entire spindle of discs
because such a high percentage of them were tracking poorly
on old CD players, causing trouble during playback (even on the drive
that burned them), and so on. To complicate matters, most brands
don't manufacture their own blanks, meaning that even if you
buy a good spindle once, there is no guarantee the next
apparently identical spindle will be fine.
One brand stands out, however, as
consistently the best in terms of BLER (BLock Error Rates), Longevity
(based on so-called "Accelerated Aging" tests),
and compatibility: MAM, a division of Mitsui. Their silver discs
are often used by audio, video, and other professionals requiring
high performance, and their gold discs are often used by
professionals for archival purposes. But MAM-A discs are
not cheap: at around $1.35 per disc, you may not want to use them
for making mix CDs for the car, but you'll definitely want to use
them for your important masters.
Another popular brand is Kodak,
whose "Ultima Gold" CD-R discs are often cited as being of
very high quality. Kodak's CDs are more popular and are
more widely available than
MAM-A media, making them easier to find and cheaper.
We do not have direct experience
with these discs, however, and
have not seen any figures that would lead us to believe they are
better or worse than the MAM-A; nevertheless, rest assured that if
you are relying on these discs for the highest quality, professional
results, you will not be alone.
Finally, many professional mastering engineers swear by
blanks. They are inexpensive and have a very solid reputation.
However, as with Kodak, we haven't seen numbers to substantiate these claims.
Why do CD Track Markers have a wide point?
How do I adjust the length of time my CDs count down
before a CD Track Marker?
The time before a CD track where the CD player counts down to zero
instead of up is called the pause, but it is often called
pre-roll or pre-gap. Editing the pause is described in the
Markers section of the XO Wave Tutorial.
Certain actions are disruptive enough that XO Wave must stop playback
when they occur. To warn you that this will happen, XO Wave a)
colors these buttons purple, and b) requires confirmation before
performing these actions.
Since iTunes doesn't read CD Metadata such as CD Text, ISRC codes, and UPC codes,
and many people don't have players
that can, you'll want some way of checking it after the CD is burned,
if that information is important to you.
To check ISRCs, UPCs, and CD Text,
the "extras" folder of the XO Wave disk image includes two
third-party utilities. Note that although
neither of them is officially supported, they do work
most of the time. We will also describe one fool-proof way
of checking metadata that's a bit more involved.
CD Text to CD Info is a script that works with iTunes
to read the CD Text data. It's a bit finicky, but for most people it's
also the most intuitive because once installed, it runs within iTunes.
In our tests, we've found that the script does not read all discs,
and it is not designed to read all languages and all encodings
you might find on a CD, but it is generally a good way to
quickly and easily check your discs.
The other program in the "extras" folder, Read CD Metadata
can be run once you insert
your disk in your default drive and it appears on the desktop.
simply double click on the program, and it will guide you through
what it's going to do.
The format it will show you the data in is a bit tricky to read at
first. For example, the data for the entire disc is shown as being
associated with track 0. Once you get used to it, though, this is
a good way to view your data because everything is present.
Finally, if all else fails, open the Terminal program,
located in /Applications/Utilities and type
drutil cdtext to view the CD Text and
drutil subchannel to view the ISRC and MCN
data. Both of these commands show you a lot of information, so
you may have to copy and paste into another program to make
the most of it all.
When creating CD Text, be especially careful if you used any accent marks
because there is a known bug in Mac OS X 10.4 that can cause problems
with characters outside the basic 7-bit ASCII set.
Many users think that they can create a CD Master and then add metadata.
In fact, metadata is part of the CD Master, so you must create it
first (remember that a CD Master contains all the information required
to burn a CD -- including metadata). Here's what you must do before creating
a CD Master:
The create ISRCs, first set up your ISRCs in the Memory Locations Manager.
In order for the ISRCs to be picked up, they must be
valid, meaning that either the Registrant or the Designation
code must be non-zero.
To create CD Text, be sure to set up your CD Text as desired in
both the Session
Metadata Editor (which lets you edit disc-wide
metadata such as the name of the disc) and the
Memory Locations Manager
(where you can create per-track data such as track names).
After that, create your CD Master, and burn your CD in the normal
way. When you get to the Burn
CD wizard, make sure the boxes for the metadata
features you want are checked. If they are unavailable (i.e., if they
are "grayed out") it either means you are using XO Wave Free
(which doesn't support burning metadata to CD) or your master does
not contain the required data. In the case of ISRCs, it
is important that your numbers be valid as described above.
(UPC codes that do not correspond to valid barcodes can be written
to a CD, but this may change in a future release).
For more on ISRCs and other metadata, see our
Note that there are several limitations when burning CD Text, so
it may not show up correctly on all players. See the
Metadata documentation for
XO Wave does not create fade files. This is because fades are created
in real time from the underlying files. This has two advantages over
creating files for each fade, as some workstation do:
a) Maximum internal precision can be
maintained, and b) You never have to wait for fades to be rendered.
For more info on using fades in XO Wave, see our
Fade Window documentation.
XO Wave keeps an open-ended Undo buffer, meaning it
supports unlimited Undo (by default, 25 Undos
are allowed; this can be changed in the Preferences), but certain
actions flush the buffer, so after they're performed previous
actions may no longer be undone. See Save Version for an
alternative. Before performing these actions (and losing access
to all previous Undos), XO Wave requires confirmation. In
addition, the relevant buttons text is purple to warn that these
actions are not Undo-able. The actions which
clear the buffer are:
There are two things you might mean way you say "copy a session". The first
is to copy just the session file, which is the file that contains
information such as what regions to play when, and what effects to
apply to them. The second is to copy your entire session folder,
which includes all the audio and related data from your session.
Copying the session file: To
save your work at a particular stage so you can return to it
at a future time, you can simply select File:Save
As... and save your session file to a new location or under a
new name. One disadvantage of this technique is that certain operations,
such as removing a file from the session, may cause alternate session
files to become unusable. Another option is to select File:Save
Version, which will save your session file with the date
and a unique number in the session's Version Folder. This is
a quick and easy way to save your work as you go. Versions can be
restored either by double-clicking on them in the Finder, or
by selecting them from the File:Versions
sub-menu. Saving versions is generally better
than Save As, because XO Wave automatically deletes
them when they are no longer compatible with the session.
For example, if you remove files from a session,
the old version files will no longer work because they expect to
be able to use those files. In such cases, the version files will
be deleted after a confirmation prompt. Either way, saving a copy of a session
file takes up very little disk space, is very fast, and is
the best safeguard against making mistakes or having your computer
crash, so do it often!
Copying the entire session: To fully backup your session,
you must copy the entire contents of the session folder. To do so,
simply use your computer's normal copying techniques. For example,
under Mac OS X, select the folder and choose File:Duplicate in the Finder.
Note that a copy of your entire session occupies as much
disk space as the original, and the copy takes time to complete. It is recommended that you back up
your sessions periodically to guard against hard drive
crashes and other catastrophic disasters.