FAQ

What is CombiWave?

CombiWave is an easy to use Digital Cart Machine and Jingle Player.

It allows you to load and access up to 99 audio files at once. Play your MP3, OGG, WAV and WMA files (plus many more) one by one and/or overlayed by simply pressing a key of your standard computer keyboard and create thereby a professional audio exhibit for your audience.

CombiWave is used in live environments by DJs and musicians, at theatre performances, at presentations and for educational purposes like language courses.

Radio stations worldwide discovered CombiWave as a straightforward and affordable solution to play jingles on the air by using an ordinary computer.

While similar programs are financially out of reach or technically insufficient to function as a source for recording purposes CombiWave is a favorable and comprehensive playback tool to produce your podcast shows on the fly. Creating a professional audio exhibit has never been that easy!

How do I load an audio file into a slot?

You can load an audio file to a slot by using the "open button" within the slot (1). By clicking there a file browser opens. Select the file and finish the action by clicking "Open".
The second way to load an audio file to a slot is to click on the "open button" in the menu (2). Again the file browser opens. Select the file and finish the action by clicking "Open".
load an audio file
Additionally you can load several files at once or place single audio files from the file browser in a slot by drag and drop.

How do I load multiple audio files at once?

Click on the "Open button" in the menu which shows numbers next to the folder. By clicking there a file browser opens.
bulk load audio files
Select one or more files by keeping CTRL pressed. A selection of several files to be loaded into slots would look like this:
bulk selection
Please note: if you load several audio files at once this way the audio files that have been previously allocated to slots are removed!

How do I start playback of an audio file?

Oh boy... haven't you already messed around a little bit with CombiWave? Try pressing '1', '2' or '3' on your keyboard. These are so called hot keys. That's basically what Combiwave is all about: play multiple audiofiles by pressing a single key on your standard computer keyboard. Maybe you should learn more about hot keys...

Another useful option: a selected slot (blue frame by default) can be started (and stopped) by pressing 'Enter'.

A special feature is the Cue Control which is an additional window. The currently selected slot can be started by clicking '> Play' in this window. To enable the Cue Control click 'View' in the menu and check 'Cue Control'.

How do I disable simultaneous playback of several audio files?

By default Combiwave starts playing the audio file of a slot when a hot key is pressed. This happens regardless whether another audio file is already playing. Both audio files are swapped. If you do not want the simultaneous playback of audio files select "Options > Simultaneous Play" in the menu and check one of these options:

  • Off (Stop playing files)
    E.g. by pressing the hot key of slot 2 the playback of the audio file in slot 1 is stopped and playback of slot 2 starts. By pressing the hot key of slot 1 again the playback of slot 2 is stopped and the audio file of slot 1 is played from the beginning.
  • Off (Pause playing files)
    E.g. by pressing the hot key of slot 2 the playback of the audio file in slot 1 is paused and playback of slot 2 starts. By pressing the hot key of slot 1 again the playback of slot 2 is paused and the audio file of slot 1 is continued from where it has previously been stopped.

This feature can be used to play single sounds like a sampler or to guarantuee that songs are not swapped. In order to enable the simultaneous playback of all slots again check "On (default)" in the menu again. If you want to enable simultaneous playback for certain audio files but disallow it for others continue reading here.

How do I loop an audio file?

Every slot has a "loop button" right to the audio file name. By checking this button the audio file can be played in a loop. A finish action only takes place after the file was stopped manually.
loop button

How do I allow the simultaneous playback of certain audio files but disallow for others?

Additionally you can enable the simultaneous playback of certain slots while other slots will stop or pause the playback. In order to enable this 'mixed mode' select "Options > Simultaneous Play" and check one of these options:

  • Selected Only (Stop playing files)
    Selected slots will continue the playback when the hot key of another slot is pressed whereas not selected slots will stop the playback.
  • Selected Only (Pause playing files)
    Selected slots will continue the playback when the hot key of another slot is pressed whereas not selected slots will pause the playback.

After checking one of these options all slots are expanded by an additional button which looks like this:
Selector at slot for simultaneous playback
By clicking this button once the slot is selected to enable simultaneous playback according to the options described above. This feature can be used to combine a bed and sound effects. If you want to enable or disable simultaneous playback for all audio files continue reading here.

Can I define what happens after an audio file was played?

Yes. You can tell CombiWave what to do after an audio file was played. If you want to set the finish action for single slots enable viewing "Finish actions" at 'View > Finish actions'. An additional button is available for each slot. By clicking on the button you can apply one of the following options to this slot:

  • N: Play next Playslot
    With this option the next slot is started after the playback of the current slot has ended.
  • L: Play last Playslot
    With this option the last of all available slots is started after the playback of the current slot has ended.

How do I add a slot?

You can add a slot either beneath the slot that is currently selected or after all existing slots. To insert a slot between existing slots select a certain slot and right click there. A context menu appears. Select "Insert slot" to conclude the action (1). To add a slot beneath all existing ones click the button at the bottom of the window which says "Add a slot" (2).
Add a slot

How do I arrange or reorder slots?

You can drag and drop slots to any other position by clicking on the slot number at the left.
Rearrange slots
After dropping a slot somewhere a dialogue appears:
Hotkey reordering#
It asks you whether you want to move the Hot key along with the slot. If you are not familiar with the principle of hot keys and/or do not care which hot key this dedicated slot has, simply click "No" (and go on reading here). After finishing the action like this the slot has a new place, a new slot number and a new hot key. Well done, boy!

How do I delete a slot?

Select the slot you want to remove and right click on the slot number on the left (1).
Then choose "Remove Slot" from the context menu (2).
Remove a slot

How do I set or change a hot key for a slot?

Click on the hot key button left to the audio file´s name. You are prompted to press the hot key.
Set a hot key
Please note: a hot key with a number is case sensetive which means that pressing '6' while caps lock is on results in being '^' the hot key, whereas a hot key with a letter is not case sensetive.

How do I define what happens when I press a hot key?

By default Combiwave starts playing the audio file of a slot when a hot key is pressed. This happens regardless whether another audio file is already playing. Both audio files are swapped. If you want Combiwave to behave differently when a hot key for another slot is pressed go on reading here to learn more.

When the hot key for a slot is pressed a second time Combiwave restarts the playback of an audio file by default. You can change this behaviour by clicking 'Options > Hot Keys' and selecting one of the following options:

  • "Toggle: Restart, Restart,... (default)"
    As mentioned this is the default setting. By pressing the hot key a second time the dedicated audio file is restarted.
  • "Toggle: Play, Stop, Play,..."
    By pressing the hot key a second time the playback of the dedicated audio file is stopped. By pressing the hot key again the audio file´s playback starts from the beginning.
  • "Toggle: Play, Pause, Play,..."
    By pressing the hot key a second time the playback of the dedicated audio file is paused. By pressing the hot key again the audio file´s playback is continued where it has been previously been paused.

What is a global hot key?

A global hot key is almost the same as a hot key but can be accessed without the need to keep CombiWave on top of other open applications. In order to enable global hot keys click on "Enable Global Hotkeys" in the menu. You can start the playback of a slot by pressing CTRL-ALT and the hot key of the slot you want to play. To learn how to change the key combination read this.

How do I set global hot keys?

You do not have to set global keys seperately. Simply press CTRL-ALT and the hot key of the slot you want to play. You can change the key combination by clicking 'Options > Options Dialogue'. Select the tab "Hotkeys". Check the keys at "Global Hotkey Modifiers" you want to become the key combination and conclude the action by clicking "Close".

What is a scheme?

A scheme contains information on slots, their audio files and hot keys, as well as the number and order of slots.

Can I save schemes?

Yes. Click on "Schemes" in the menu and select "Save Scheme". The current scheme is now available for any later session with CombiWave. Please note: a scheme saves paths of audio files and not audio files themselves, which basically means you can use schemes for CombiWave only on your local PC. If you want to transfer a scheme and all related audio files to another PC running CombiWave use the export functionality.

How do I use a scheme on another PC?

In order to make a scheme and all related audio files available for CombiWave on another PC you can use the export functionality.
Click on 'Schemes > Export / Backup Scheme(s)'.

  1. Add all your schemes you want to transfer to the other PC using the "Add..." button
  2. * Select the "Copy Schemes and linked Files" tab
    * make sure that the box next to "Modify copied Schemes: ..." is checked
    * Using "C:\Combiwave Export" as the target folder (you will just pick up the files later from there) should be fine, but you can change it to your liking.
  3. Press "Copy schemes and linked Files"

    Here's what's this does behind the scenes:

    • A copy of every scheme you added in step #1 will be placed into the target folder (e.g. "C:\Combiwave export")
    • The schemes in e.g. "C:\Combiwave export" will be modified so that sound files won't be linked using absolute filepaths.
      For example "C:\tom\music\album\soundfile.mp3" will be changed to "soundfile.mp3"
    • All sound files being used in the respective scheme will also be copied into "C:\Combiwave export"
  4. You can now copy the exported schemes and soundfiles (!) from e.g. "C:\Combiwave export" to your new computer, a CD or whereever you like.

export schemes

What is a keymap?

After creating your own useful key settings you might have found out that they are saved in CombiWave's scheme files. You might say: "Great, but I want to use my wonderful keymap within other schemes as well!".
No Problem! CombiWave allows you to export and import your key settings. Simply click on the "Schemes" menu and select "Save Keymap". The file you just created can later be used to restore your key setup by selecting "Schemes" -> "Open Keymap".

Can I make a playlist?

The concept of CombiWave is not to replace widely used audio players that can handle play lists but to serve the specific need to access mulitple audiofiles easily. So a playlist or something similar is not the focus of Combiwave. But of course you can create something which is like a playlist. Still interested? Okay, then do the following:

  • (Optional) Enable viewing of "Finish actions" ('View > Finish actions')
  • Check the option "Set all slots to play the next one" ('Tools > Set all slots to play the next one')
  • Load audio files to the slots.
  • (Optional) Save the scheme ('Schemes > Save Scheme')
  • Start playback of your first slot

How do I see the (remaining) time of a single audio file?

By default CombiWave does not show the progress indicator. In order to see it click on "View" in the menu and check "Progress Indicators". The slots are expanded by it. If you want to jump to a certain position within the audio file, click on the progress indicator.
porgress indicator

How do I adjust the volume of a single audio file?

By default CombiWave does not show the volume slider. In order to see it click on "View" in the menu and check "Volume Slider". The slots are expanded by it. Adjust the volume by moving the controller left or right. Right click on the volume slider to reset it.
volume slider

How do I address a certain sound card with a single audio file?

CombiWave is capable of addressing multiple sound cards. CombiWave does not show the output selector by default which is necessary to address a certain sound card with a slot. In order to see it click on "View" in the menu and check "Output selectors". The slots are expanded by it. Change the sound card for output of a certain slot by clicking on the icon and selecting it from the context menu.
Output selector

How do I adjust the panning of a single audio file?

By default CombiWave does not show the panning sliders. In order to see them click on "View" in the menu and check "Panning Sliders". The slots are expanded by the panning sliders. Adjust the panning by moving the controller left or right. Right click on the panning slider to reset it.
Panning Control

How can I see the level of an audio file?

By default CombiWave does not show the sound level meter. In order to see them click on "View" in the menu and check "Level Meters". The slots are expanded by them. During playback of the audio file the level meter shows the current sound level.
level meter