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Important Notice: XO Wave is now discontinued as we prepare to bring you the next generation Digital Audio Workstation called Xonami. 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)

Guitar by Pam Roth (http://www.creatingonline.com)

This document addresses some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about XO Wave. It is broken up into two sections:

  • The first section is for people considering or just getting started with XO Wave.
  • The second section is for people who are using XO Wave but have questions regarding its use.

Considering, or just getting started with, XO Wave

What are the key features of XO Wave?

We encourage you to download XO Wave and see for yourself! But to give you a quick rundown, check out XO Wave Features.

Can I Use XO Wave for free? What features do I get if I purchase XO Wave?

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.

If you 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.

How can I buy XO Wave Pro?

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.

For questions about volume licensing or special requirements, including support for Sassafras K2 KeyServer, please contact XO Audio.

What about upgrades?

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.

How Do Audio Units work with XO Wave Pro?

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 Wiki and the Audio Unit tech note.

Does XO Wave support putting audio in the "pause" before the track?

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.

What file formats does XO Wave support? How does XO Wave save its data?

XO Wave's file format support is explained in the tech note on File Formats.


Using XO Wave

What is the best CD-R media to use?

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 Taiyo-Yuden 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 CD Track Markers section of the XO Wave Tutorial.

What actions stop playback?
Why are some buttons purple?

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.

How do I check that metadata is correctly written to my CDs?

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.

If you are producing a CD Master for mass production, be sure to also read our FAQ about CD media to use and our Guide to Home CD Mastering.

My CDs Don't Have ISRC/MCN codes and/or CD Text. Help!

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 MCN (aka UPC), be sure to set up your MCN in the Session Metadata Editor.
  • 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 Metadata documentation.

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 more details.

Where are fade files stored?

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.

What actions clear the Undo list?

Several actions require clearing the Undo list. In general, any operation that requires adding or removing audio from the session does so. The actions which clear the Undo list are:

What actions can't be undone?

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:

  • Clicking Clear Undo List in the Undo Manager, or Clear Undo List in the Region Bin's pop-up menu.
  • Removing or renaming audio files in the Region Bin.
  • File:Import Audio When the import completes, you will be asked if you want to continue importing the file and clear the Undo list. If you cancel, the Undo list will not be cleared.
  • Deleting a track

How can I save a copy of my session?

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.


Legal & Copyright This page was last modified January 2008.
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