Converting from FLAC to WAV results in a different WAV file each time


I’m importing a FLAC file to Audacity and then exporting it to WAV.
Then I repeat the exact same process (same setting, signed 16-bit PCM), and the 2 WAV files that are created are not equal.
I’m verifying this by mixing file1 with an inverted file2, and not getting a silence track (the peak amplitude of the mixed track is -66.7872dB).
To make sure this test is good I mixed file1 with an inverted version of itself; then I indeed got a silence track.

How come?

Audacity is not primarily a format converter, it’s an application for recording, editing and processing audio. Audacity’s default settings are set appropriately for recording, editing and processing audio.

Audacity can be used as a flac → wav converter, but for bit perfect results you need to change one of Audacity’s default preference settings:
In “Edit menu > Preferences > Quality”, set “Dither” to “None”.

For normal use of Audacity (recording / editing / processing), the Dither setting should be set to “Shaped” for best sound quality.

Thanks for the quick answer. I read about dithering as a result :slight_smile:

Totaly agreed!

If you guys are doing professional recording, on cubase, nuendo, pro tools or stuff, Audacity might not be the right tools recommanded for you.

I disagree. Why do you say that?