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: Podcasting with XO Wave
Here's a quick outline of podcasting with XO Wave on Mac OS X. You
don't need to be an expert and you won't need to break the bank.
In fact, you won't even need to purchase XO Wave: everything you
need for podcasting is available in XO Wave Free.
Pick a Topic
Although we of all people will not let you forget the importance of
high-quality sound, we would also be the first to admit that the
most important part of a good podcast is a good topic. After
all, if you want people to listen to your podcast, you've got to
have something people want to listen to.
Once you have a topic, prepare what you are going to say and maybe
even do a practice run. If you are interviewing someone or
having a discussion, be sure you have questions prepared and
everyone has what they need, such as notes, water and so on
before you begin. Even if you intend to have an unscripted
discussion, it's probably worth having some prepared ideas for
questions or topics, in case the conversation winds down and
needs a jump-start.
Start by downloading and installing XO
Wave; then play around a bit to familiarize yourself with
Once you've got XO Wave working, you'll need a microphone and
headphones. You need to use headphones instead of speakers while
you are recording because the sound from speakers could feed
back into your microphone, which can cause a hollow or ringing
sound at best and a loud, ear-splitting howl at worst.
After all, podcasting is all the rage!
If you have the budget, pick up a high quality microphone and audio
interface. If not, consider getting a lavalier (clip-on) mike.
We have found that low cost lavaliers tend to be of reasonable
quality, whereas a number of cheap hand-held mikes including USB
mikes are very poor quality. A combination USB
headset/microphone is cheap, requires little or no configuration
and can produce acceptable results, so that is a good choice as
well -- it also frees your hands up while you are recording your
podcast, and helps you maintain a constant distance between your
microphone and your mouth.
If you are interviewing someone or having a panel discussion, you can
either share a mike or use separate mikes. A single "boundary"
or PZM microphone on a table works well for panel discussions,
but make sure everyone is about the same distance from the mike;
otherwise some people will be louder and others will be harder
If each speaker has his or her own mike, try and make sure they stay
about the same distance from the mikes. Ideally, with a good mike
and a quiet room, you want everyone about 6-24 inches
away from their mikes. If they are too close, slight movements
towards or away from the mikes will cause large changes in
volume. If they are too far away, you'll hear more noise and more
echoes from the room.
Set Levels (Part 1)
Once everyone is in place, you'll need to set the input levels on the
computer. Go to System Preferences and select
Sound, then click on the
Input tab. Select the input device to
use and adjust the input volume slider until the input level
indicators are as high as possible without going over the top.
Depending on how dynamic your speaking is, you may want to be
conservative: once the signal goes over, it will distort and
blow the professional sound you worked so hard to create! Even
if you plan to distribute your podcast as a highly compressed
MP3, distortion can greatly reduce the quality of your podcast,
and you can always increase the levels later if you need to, so
if you are unsure, just turn it down.
Launch XO Wave and select Create New Session. Choose
a location and name for your podcast in the New
Session window. When the Session Setup
window comes up, don't worry if you don't understand what it
all means: the defaults are normally fine, so just click
If the device you want to use for input is already the default
device, you don't need to select it in XO Wave. However, if you
are using devices that are not the default or you are not sure,
select Audio Engine:Hardware Settings... and
select your input and output devices and click
Okay. Most of the
other settings are not crucial for recording a podcast, though
you may want to reduce the latency settings on the right side of
the window if you hear a delay or echo through the headphones
when you talk.
Now, you need to create a new track. That's easy: just click on New
Track... in the Edit Window, which should have
appeared when you started XO Wave. In the New
Track window, choose a name for your track, such as
"test track one", or "interviewer". For
speech, you probably only need to create mono tracks so for
Channels:, select 1. If you
have multiple mikes going into
separate inputs on your computer, you'll probably want one track
When the track appears, you are ready to go: click the button to start
recording. If you have
multiple mikes or an unusual setup, you can double click on the
button for more
options. You'll know it's working when the meter to the right of
the button starts
to move and you hear yourself speaking through the
When everything is ready, just hit the button and then the
button (instead of
these buttons, you can also press Shift-Space). The red area
growing across the screen is your recording. So take a deep
breath and record your first podcast!
After you've recorded your podcast, you can press the button or just hit the
Spacebar. Your recording should appear in the track, replacing the
red area. You can now edit your recording, create a
music track, remove silence, etc. For details on editing,
check out the Getting Around and Editing Audio sections of
the XO Wave Quick Start Guide. The
Guide can also help if you are having trouble
with some other aspect of XO Wave, or just want to learn more.
Set Levels (Part 2)
If, at this point, your podcast is loud and clear and all the dialogue
can be understood, you can move on to the next step. If,
however, some portions are too loud or too quiet, or you find
yourself reaching to crank up the volume on your speakers, you
should check out the section on Setting Levels in the XO Wave Quick Start Guide. For podcasts,
it is usually much easier to simply use the XO Wave compressor
described in the documentation on XO
Wave's Compressor. The Compressor can serve as an
automatic volume control, raising and lowering the volume when
needed, so it's perfect for helping to smooth out the levels in
Export Your Audio
Once you are happy with your podcast, it's time to export it in a
format that's appropriate for the Internet. Usually, you'll want
to export it as an MP3 or AAC file. If you are using XO
Wave Pro, and you wish to export as an AAC file
(compatible with most podcast programs, including iTunes,
and all iPods), select
File:Export:Export to AAC (for
iTunes/Pocasting...). Select a location and name for
your file. Unless you just want to export a section of the
session, select Entire Session under
Set start and end of export using.... Click
Save, and just wait for the export to
complete. (XO Wave exports in the background, which allows you to
keep working on other things. This is called an Offline Operation. To monitor the progress of an
export operation, select Windows:Offline
If you are not using XO Wave Pro or you want to
produce an MP3 file, select File:Export:Export to
AIFF/WAV. Select a location and name for your file.
Unless you just want to export a section of the session, select
Entire Session under Set start and end
of export using.... Be sure to select Open in
iTunes when Complete and then click Save;
then just wait for the export to complete. Once the exported file
has been opened in iTunes, select it in iTunes and right- or
Option-click on it, and then select Convert Selection to
MP3. If you'd prefer to export MP3 format directly from
XO Wave, see our Technical
Note: Using LAME to Encode MP3s from XO Wave.
Share with the World
Finally, you need to put your MP3 or AAC file online, along with an
RSS feed file which will direct people to it. How you do this depends on the site
hosting your podcast, but usually you can transfer files using
SFTP or FTP. In Mac OS X, you can connect to FTP servers by selecting
Go:Connect to Server... from the
Finder. In Terminal,
ftp commands are available.
Yahoo! has a very simple
explanation of creating an RSS feed and Apple offers
That's it. You are now armed with everything you need to know to
create your own podcast. Have fun!