Any way to export losslessly?

I’m exporting songs that I sing, to accompaniment on a second stereo track. I compose on Sibelius and upload it to Audacity. I get the finished Audacity product, sounding great, and then export it to mp3 and to wav. The quality diminishes quite a bit. I sound like the guy singing “Winchester Cathedral”, tho not that extremely. Just less fidelity, especially bass, in the exported format. Now, I try exporting it as an OGG file, and it sounds great. However, it appears that the OGG fill is an Audacity file, with all sounds mixed into one stereo channel. I want to make a music CD. Can I export OGG files onto a disc? Is there any lossless format out there that I can use? I usually play music on iTunes. Using OSX 10.14 and Audacity 2.3.0. Thanks. – Tom in Texas

Use “PCM (Microsoft) WAV”

For CD, you will want it as 16-bit, 44100 Hz, stereo - that’s the same data format as a standard audio CD.

Ok…tried that. Sounds better, but still not as good as the original Audacity recording. The fidelity, deepness, fullness… Sounds a little like a transistor radio. For years I used a recording program, Wiretap Pro, and then Wiretap Studio. It worked great, and Studio was lossless. The recording sounded just like the original. I would play the original song and record it on Wiretap. They went out of business. I don’t care what software I use. Just want the recording to sound as close to the original as possible. TnT

How are you listening to Audacity?
How are you listening to the WAV files?
Have you made an audio CD yet? How are you making that?

still not as good as the original Audacity recording.

With reference to your first, original posting, it’s more and more clear you have a playback or other serious system problem. Most people—as in almost all—can’t tell the difference between all the formats you have been quoting. None of these normally sound like a transistor radio or other extreme damage.

This is a sound test I produced. It’s 39 seconds long. It’s a stereo damage test. Of the four segments, the last one is intentionally damaged.

This is the writeup for that test:

Simple but for the end.
The last segment is intentionally damaged by flopping
the electrical phase of only one side.
I may sound like I’m in a deep hole
or possibly coming from behind you. On
mono sound systems I may vanish completely.
You’re in trouble if the wrong segment does that.
Concert Hall Simulators may produce weird effects on
all the segments.


My recording sounds worse than yours does on out of phase. I am running my voice through a mixer board that is using concert hall effects. It sounds good on the Audacity recording. However, when I export it to mp3, etc., it sounds tinny or shallow. Do you think it might be my usage of mixer board effects? --TnT

How are you listening to Audacity?

Ok…not sure what you mean. I’m playing back the recording, listening thru headphones.

How are you listening to the WAV files?

Do you mean the exports? mp3s and WAVs? I’m listening to those over iTunes.

I’ll say this. I just tried listening to the same one on Quicktime Player, and it sounds better. Is there a difference in the quality of playback programs?

Have you made an audio CD yet? How are you making that?

I have not made one yet. I plan to burn them one at a time on my MacBook Pro, using Disk Utility.

Wondering if running my voice through my mixer board effects is messing things up. It sounds perfect on the Audacity recording, but like I’m in a tin building on the exported recording.

And…after the mp3 or WAV is created and appears in Documents, I click on it and it starts playing through iTunes. That’s the default player. Is there a way to make Quicktime or another player the default?

“WAV” is a lossless format. The Exported WAV file from Audacity is virtually identical to the sound of the project. You can test this:

  1. Open the Audacity project.
  2. Export as 16-bit WAV
  3. File menu > New
  4. In the new project, Import the WAV file that you created in step 2.
  5. Listen to the original audio project
  6. Listen to the new audio project (that you created in steps 3 and 4).
    Notice how both projects sound identical.

So now the question is, why does the WAV file sound different in iTunes? Are you using different headphones? Is iTunes applying some effects? Are you using a different playback device? … Over to you; what is different?

MacBook Pro, using Disk Utility.

That may make you a Data CD, not an Audio CD. You make an Audio CD by importing your music into iTunes. iTunes has a setting where it will not try to convert your music to anything else. If you produce the sound files in stereo WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit they will stay that way in iTunes and that’s the native format quality on an Audio CD. Straight line path.

Make a Playlist and drag your music into it. A Playlist will allow you to arrange the music in the order you want. Other processes will insist on computer alphabetic order.

Burn Playlist to Disk. One of the options is Audio CD. You can tell you have the right option because it will ask you to choose the space between songs. Audio CD is the only format that offers that option.


Ok…process of elimination here…the quality is definitely better, playing the exports over Quicktime than it is on iTunes. The transistor radio effect seems to be caused by iTunes! So…that means I can burn these onto a music CD, and they should not necessarily be the poorer quality that I hear on iTunes. Right? Sorry… Now I’ll read the response you recently posted. Just had to tell you that. iTunes is handy, easy to use and and familiar. But I’d surely rather use another program to play mpgs and wavs, that reproduces the music in higher quality. Thanks! TnT

Ok…didn’t realize I use iTunes to burn. I’ll try what you suggested. Tnx again. TnT

ALSO… I just went to iTunes Preferences>Sound Enhancer. It was checked. I unchecked it, and the hollow sound disappeared! It sounds much better! Who would think that Sound Enhancer would make it sound worse?? TnT

Who would think that Sound Enhancer would make it sound worse??

[Raising Hand]. You’re not enhancing clean audio, you’re enhancing the already enhanced sound from your mixer. Something similarly evil happens when you make an MP3 from an MP3. The sound damage, normally hidden, gets worse.

There’s another side issue. I wonder if the sound on a laptop gets better.