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xwax - Digital vinyl on Linux


xwax [options]


xwax is vinyl emulation software for Linux. It allows DJs and turntablists to playback
digital audio files (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC and more), controlled using a normal pair
of turntables via timecoded vinyls.


The ordering of options is important. Most options apply to subsequent music libraries or
decks, which can be given multiple times. See the EXAMPLES below.

-l path
Scan the music library or playlist at the given path.

-t name
Use the named timecode for subsequent decks. See -h for a list of valid timecodes.
You will need the corresponding timecode signal on vinyl to control playback.

-33 Set the reference playback speed for subsequent decks to 33 and one third
revolutions per minute. This is the default.

-45 Set the reference playback speed for subsequent decks to 45 revolutions per minute.

-c Protect subsequent decks against certain operations during playback.

-u Allow all operations on a deck during playback. This is the inverse of the -c
option, and is the default.

Adjust the noise thresholds of subsequent decks to tolerate a cartridge-level
signal connected to a line-level audio interface. This is a 'software pre-amp'.
Unless your audio path has low noise, this will give worse results or may not work
at all; a true phono pre-amplifier is always preferred.

--line Set noise thresholds of subsequent decks to standard audio levels. This reverses
the effect of the --phono option, and is the default.

-i path
Use the given importer executable for subsequent decks.

-s path
Use the given scanner executable to scan subsequent music libraries.

Create a deck which is not connected to any audio device, used for testing.

-k Lock into RAM any memory required for real-time use. This includes audio tracks
held in memory which can be large. Use ulimit -l to raise the kernel's memory
limit to allow this.

-q n Change the real-time priority of the process. A priority of 0 gives the process no
priority, and is used for testing only.

-g [nxn][+n+n][/f]
Change the geometry of the display in size, position and scale (zoom) respectively.
The size and position is passed to SDL, which may use it to set the display mode,
or size of an X window. See the EXAMPLES.

Request to the window manager to create a 'frameless' window which does not have
the regular controls such as title bars and buttons. This can be useful in
conjunction with the -g flag for dedicated xwax installations.

-h Display the help message and default values.


The following options are available only when xwax is compiled with ALSA support.

-a device
Create a deck which uses the given ALSA device (eg. plughw:0).

-r hz Set the sample rate for subsequent decks.

-m milliseconds
Set the ALSA buffer time for subsequent decks.


The following options are available only when xwax is compiled with JACK support.

-j name
Create a deck which connects to JACK and registers under the given name.

xwax does not set the sample rate for JACK devices; it uses the sample rate given in the
global JACK configuration.


The following options are available only when xwax is compiled with OSS support.

-d pathname
Create a deck which uses the given OSS device (eg. /dev/dsp).

-r hz Set the sample rate for subsequent decks.

-b n Set the number of OSS buffers for subsequent decks.

-f n Set the OSS buffer size (2^n bytes).


The following options are available only when xwax is compiled with ALSA support.

--dicer device
Use one or two Dicer controllers connected as the given ALSA device (eg. hw:Dicer).
See the section NOVATION DICER CONTROLS for more information.

Adding a hardware controller results in control over subsequent decks, up to the limit of
the hardware.


The playback of each deck (direction, speed and position) is controlled via the incoming
timecode signal from the turntables. The keyboard provides additional controls.

"C-" and "S-" means a keypress is combined with the 'Control' or 'Shift' key,

Record selection controls:

cursor up, cursor down
Move highlighted record up/down by one.

page up, page down
Scroll the record listing up/down by one page.

left cursor, right cursor
Switch to the previous/next crate of records.

tab Toggle between the current crate and the 'All records' crate.

C-tab Toggle sort mode between: artist/track name, BPM and 'playlist' order. Playlist
order is the order in which records were returned from the scanner.

Re-scan the currently selected crate.

To filter the current list of records type a portion of a record name. Separate multiple
searches with a space, and use backspace to delete.

Deck-specific controls:

Deck 0 Deck 1 Deck 2
F1 F5 F9 Load currently selected track to this deck
F2 F6 F10 Reset start of track to the current position
F3 F7 F11 Toggle timecode control on/off
C-F3 C-F7 C-F11 Cycle between available timecodes

The "available timecodes" are those which have been the subject of any -t flag on the
command line. Audio display controls:

+, - Zoom in/out the close-up audio meters for all decks.


The Novation Dicer provides hardware control of cue points. The controls are:

cue mode: dice button (1-5)
Jump to the specified cue point, or set it if unset.

loop-roll mode: dicer button (1-5)
"Punch" to the specified cue point, or set it if unset. Returns playback to normal
when the button is released.

mode button + dice button (1-5)
Clear the specified cue point.

The dice buttons are lit to show that the corresponding cue point is set.


2-deck setup using one directory of music and OSS devices:

xwax -l ~/music -d /dev/dsp -d /dev/dsp1

As above, but using ALSA devices:

xwax -l ~/music -d hw:0 -d hw:1

2-deck setup using a different timecode on each deck:

xwax -l ~/music -t serato_2a -d hw:0 -t mixvibes_v2 -d hw:1

As above, but with the second deck at 45 RPM:

xwax -l ~/music -t serato_2a -d hw:0 -t mixvibes_v2 -45 -d hw:1

Default to the same timecode, but allow switching at runtime:

xwax -l ~/music -t serato_2a -t mixvibes_v2 -d hw:0 -d hw:1

3-deck setup with the third deck at a higher sample rate:

xwax -l ~/music -r 48000 -a hw:0 -a hw:1 -r 96000 -a hw:2

Using all three device types simultaneously, one deck on each:

xwax -l ~/music -a hw:0 -d /dev/dsp1 -j jack0

Scan multiple music libraries:

xwax -l ~/music -l ~/sounds -l ~/mixes -a hw:0

Scan a second music library using a custom script:

xwax -l ~/music -i ./custom-scan -l ~/sounds -a hw:0

Control two decks with Dicer hardware:

xwax --dicer hw:Dicer -a hw:0 -a hw:1

Use a high resolution and enlarge the user interface:

xwax -g 1920x1200/1.8 -a hw:0



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