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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: Edit Window

Edit window (marked)
XO Wave "Cheat Sheet"
Courtesy of
Yale Digital Media Center for the Arts
Note: This document uses slightly different terminology.
  1. Transport Controls & Toolbar (circled in black)
  2. Channel Strip Area (circled in red)
  3. Effect Editing, Area (circled in magenta)
  4. Help Area (circled in orange)
  5. Session Overview (circled in yellow)
  6. Track Control Panel (circled in blue)
  7. Ruler (circled in brown)
  8. Track Editing Area (circled in green)
  9. New Track Area (Not pictured -- appears below the Track Editing Area)
  10. Region Bin (circled in cyan)

XO Wave's Edit window is the core of the program. The majority of time spent in XO Wave is in the Edit window.

Note that you can open multiple Edit and Mix windows simultaneously.

The Edit window is divided into several sections, each of which has been circled in a different color in the image on the left, and will be described below.

Note that the Edit and Mix windows have many similarities. Edit combines all the most-used controls in XO Wave, while Mix focuses on the subset used for manipulating effects, and combining sounds from multiple sources.

1: Transport Controls & Toolbar (circled in black)

Undo/Redo: On the left of the toolbar is an Undo control which allows reversing or re-applying changes made in the window. If you intend to test major changes, please consider Save Version as a supplement to Undo.

Selection: Shows and allows editing of the current selection bounds. The first field shows where the selection starts, the second shows where it ends, and the third shows its length. If a region is selected, the bottom field shows its name.

View: Shows, and allows editing of, the current view bounds. The first field shows where the view starts, the second shows where it ends, and the third shows its length. The bottom of of this area contains buttons for zooming in and out, zooming to show the current selection, and zooming all the way out.

Tools: Allows the selection of an editing tool. By default, the Smart tool (which incorporates the functionality of all the other tools) is selected, and XO Wave is fairly good at choosing the appropriate tool behavior automatically. If you need to switch tools, '`' (the back-quote key) will cycle through all four tools. When experimenting, it's quite useful to try out the different tools and see what they can do. There are also buttons for selecting the edit mode, such as Query or Ripple mode. Edit modes are described in the Edit mode reference. For more on editing, see the XO Wave tutorial.

Time: Allows selection of a "time base" for the current window, as well as the current quantum size (sometimes called "quantization level"). A pop-up is available to enable and disable pre-roll and post- roll; for more information, see the Playback Settings window. At the bottom of the Time area are toggles for Quantized Editing, Playback Master, and Follow Playback.

Transport Area: This section duplicates the controls available in the Transport window.

Movie Area: This area shows the movie you have synchronized to your session. For more information, see our tutorial Working with Video in XO Wave.

2: Channel Strip Area (circled in red)

This area shows a "channel strip" for each track. The strip starts with the first effect on that track at the top, and goes through each effect working down in order. At the bottom of the channel strip is an area that lets you control volume, mute, solo, routing, and so on. The volume control at the bottom of the channel strip view is always the last volume effect in the channel strip. You can collapse individual effects to save space, by clicking on the effect's name.

In the Edit window, only one track is displayed at a time, and the Select Track > button/menu at the top can be used to select a different track for display. In the Mix window, all tracks are displayed side-by-side.

3: Effect Editing, Region Preview, and Fade Editing Area (circled in magenta)

This area can be used for editing effects, editing cross-fades, and previewing regions. The tabs at the left of this area allow you to switch from one view to another. Each view is described below:

  • Effect Editing: Clicking on an effect's Edit button (Edit Effect) in the Channel Strip Area brings up effect controls here. The top of the Effect Editing Area also contains several buttons for creating and deleting effects, as well as editing the effect in a new window (rather than this section of the Edit window).
  • Fade Editing: This area can also be used to modify fades, such as fade-ins, fade-outs and cross-fades. The top of the area contains two buttons, one to show the fade in a window of its own and another to help you find the fade you are editing in the edit window. For more details on creating, deleting and modifying fades, see our documentation on the Fade window.
  • Region Previewing: Double-clicking on a region in the region bin will bring up the region preview area. (You can also preview regions by selecting them in the region bin and selecting Preview Region from the Region Bin menu or by right- or control- clicking on a selection in the edit window and selecting Preview All Regions in Selection.) Once displayed, the region preview area allows you to view a region in relation to the file it is derived from, as well as information relating to the region. For example, you can find out how many times a given region is used in in the session, and whether it is used in a track, a copy/paste buffer, or if it is required to undo edits. In addition, the Region Preview can find the loudest sample in the file (i.e., the file's "peak") and displays its intensity in dBFS. (If you are unfamiliar with dBFS, or Decibels Below Full Scale, it represents the amount of gain that can be added before distortion occurs.) You can also playback the region, file or portions of either.

4: Help Area (circled in orange)

The Help area provides contextual help. For information about a button or object, simply point the mouse at it and check the help area for tips about the item being pointed to, and how to use it.

5: Session Overview (circled in yellow)

Below the toolbar is the "Session Overview", which provides an overview of the current session and allows you to easily zoom in, out, and around the session with simple mouse gestures. Unless you are zoomed all the way out so that the whole session is visible, one part of the session overview will be highlighted, representing the portion that is currently visible. You can change your view by clicking and dragging the highlighted area, or just clicking in a non-highlighted area. To zoom in, click on the highlighted area and drag the mouse down. To zoom out, click on the highlighted area and drag the mouse up. Near the edges of the highlighted area, you can also click and drag to move the start of the end of the view.

6: Track Control Panel (circled in blue)

Track Control Panel

The track control panel offers a number of controls for each track. The exact controls available depend on the height of the track, which can be changed by selecting an item from the Adjust Track Height button. At the top-left corner is an arrow that lets you make the track tiny, in which case only the track name and expansion arrow will be visible. Because they are so small, tracks this size are considered hidden, even though they are still visible. To the right of the arrow is the track name. You can rename a track by double-clicking its name. If you have more than one track in your session, you can also reorder tracks by dragging a name to the desired location. On the far right edge of the track control panel, you will usually see one meter, which is the meter for the track. Clicking on this meter will disable or enable it. Disabling meters you don't need can save a lot of CPU time and improve drawing performance if you have many meters in a session.

Below the arrow and name is a miniature Channel Strip view. This will only be visible if the track is viewed at size "large" or greater, and if you have expanded the views using the arrow above the track control panels. The Channel Strip view here is like the Channel Strip Area, except that there are no master controls for the track and no large volume control or meter.

Additional buttons on the Track Control Panel have additional functions:

  • Insert Effect : Inserts an Effect onto the track.
  • Delete Effect : Deletes an Effect from the track.
  • Delete Track : Deletes the track. This button is colored bright pink to indicate that this action that cannot be undone. The XO Wave FAQ lists which clear the Undo list.
  • Soft Edits | Hard Edits : Turns Edit Softening on or off for the track. Edit Softening can automatically eliminate pops and clicks at edit points. Without Edit Softening, a click or pop may occur when the track transitions into or out of the given region. With Edit Softening, transitions are smoothed either by fading them in and out, or by waiting until the region's audio crosses zero to start playing it. Click this button to toggle Edit Softening for the track. Double-click for more options. This control is only available on source tracks.
  • Edit Track Routing : Selects another track to feed output to, rather than the main output. You can also control other related options, such as which channels from this track feed into which channels on the other track.
  • Mute On | Mute Off | Mute N/A : Shows that the track is either muted, not muted, or "effectively muted". Tracks become effectively muted when another track is soloed. Click to mute or un-mute a track.
  • Solo On | Solo Off | Solo Auto : Shows that a track is either soloed, not soloed or "auto-soloed". When a track is soloed, all "downstream" tracks which receive its output are auto-soloed.
  • Record Armed | Record Unarmed : Shows that a track is either record armed or not. A track that is record armed will accept input from the sound device and, when the record and play buttons are pushed in the transport control, record audio to a new file. Non-source tracks have a similar icon that allows input to be accepted from the sound device, but does not record the input to a file.
  • Adjust Track Height : Allows you to change the height of the track.
  • Adjust Track Magnification : Allows you to adjust the magnification (also called the "vertical zoom level") of the track. This effectively increases or decreases the height of its waveforms and overviews.
  • Select Automation : Allows you to select an effect from the track and show its automation curves overlaid on top of the waveforms. The automation curves may be edited as well.

7: Ruler (circled in brown)

The ruler allows you to view, create, and move Markers and CD Track Markers. Although the Memory Locations window offers finer control of Markers, the ruler offers convenient display and control over Markers alongside audio.

Note that timestamps refer to the left edge of the number; "0:0:0.000" identifies the sample at the extreme left edge of the timestamp. In other words, the text of a timestamp flows right from the actual instant identified by the number.

8: Track Editing Area (circled in green)

The Track Editing area allows you to view and edit your audio, as well as automation. The display shows the actual waveforms and allows you to copy, paste, delete and move audio around. All edits performed here are non-destructive, and most can be undone. For more options, your can right-click or Control-click anywhere in the Track Editing area to get a contextual menu. You can also import audio into your session by dragging it from the Finder into the Track Editing Area or Region Bin.

For more information on basic editing, see the XO Wave Tutorial.

Non-destructive editing means that XO Wave never modifies the audio source files. Edits can be layered, rearranged, and removed without losing any of the original data. This is also why Undo is so powerful. When you play back, export, or burn to CD, all the effects are applied to the original audio source in real-time to produce the desired output. Similarly, when you "delete" a section of audio in XO Wave, XO Wave skips over that section, rather than actually deleting anything from the source file. This means "deleted" audio can be retrieved in a variety of ways, most easily from the Region Bin.

Note that for stereo tracks in horizontal displays, XO Wave follows convention and puts the left track on top, and the right track on the bottom.

Smart Tool behavior: By moving the Smart tool up and down within the track waveform, you can choose which behavior it provides. At the bottom of a track, Smart becomes Selection. At either end of a region, Smart becomes Trim, so you can adjust the region bounds. Otherwise, Smart functions as the Grab tool.

9: New Track Area (Not pictured -- appears below the Track Editing Area)

The New Track area, below the Track Editing area, is a place you can drag audio files from the region bin or other tracks to create a new track with that region. To the left of the New Track area is a button you can press to create a new track without any regions in it.

10: Region Bin (circled in cyan)

A Region is a section of an audio file. For example, a region may refer to samples 44,100 to 88,200 of a file containing 441,000 samples (such a region would be 10% the duration of the original file). When you import an audio file, XO Wave automatically creates a special region corresponding to the whole file (beginning to end). As you edit, additional regions are automatically created to reflect the sections (regions) of the audio samples which you are editing.

The Region Bin shows all the regions (and audio files) used by your project. To use a region, drag it from the Region Bin into the Editing Area. The Region Bin > pop-up menu, located at the top of the Region Bin, offers several commands for managing and searching your session's files and regions.

Because a region is really a reference back to a source file, with beginning and ending offsets, each region occupies very little memory. Still, too many regions can clutter the interface, so you may want to clean up unused regions every so often. To do so, select Clear Undo List from the Region Bin's pop-up menu. Then select Remove Unused Regions from the same menu.


Legal & Copyright This page was last modified January 2008.
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