Exporting 16 bit wav file

I am on Windows 10, Audacity 2.2.2

I have a wav file player that requires 44.1kHz 16-bit wav files. I open / import the wav file I want to use and it is 44.1kHz 32-bit float. I change the format to 16-bit PCM and export as wav, choosing WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM. When I re-open the file, it is still 32 bit float. My player can’t open it.

Am I missing a step?


Every file imported into Audacity is converted to 32 bit float.
So don’t rely on this Audacity panel to tell you what the original file is
original file is 8-bit depth.png
Free software like MediaInfo gives all the specifications of an audio file …
MediaInfo correctly shows 8-bit.png

By default Audacity imports all WAV files as 32-bit float. This allows Audacity to process audio in extremely high quality, and avoids permanent damage if processing pushes the peak level over 0 dB (32-bit float supports amplitudes over 0 dB, but you should always bring the level back down under 0 dB before playing or exporting because sound cards cannot handle amplitudes over 0 dB and will cause severe distortion).

The two things that affect the export format are:

  1. The selected export format - if you select “Microsoft 16-bit PCM WAV”, then that is exactly what you get.
  2. The “Project Rate” (in the lower left corner of the main Audacity window). This sets the “sample rate” for playback, mixing and export. Normally this will be 44100, which is the most widely supported sample rate (the same as audio CDs).

What player?
Does the player say why it can’t open it?

Audacity doesn’t have “Clip INFO.” You can do that with other software such as Media INFO. Be careful to get the program without all the add-on extras.

If you Export an Audacity show as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit and you left Audacity sample rate default as 44100, and the show is shorter than three hours, you should have what you want.


The player is a Robertsonics Tsunami WAV Trigger. It plays wav files in response to electronic triggers or MIDI. From the user guide:

Tsunami plays WAV files recorded at 16-bit resolution, with a 44.1kHz sampling rate… Tsunami also requires that the file not contain any additional header information. Some audio recording programs, such as Pro Tools, write additional information at the start of the file. One easy way to remove unnecessary header information is by opening the file in Audacity and exporting it as “WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM.”
Then they link to a video demonstrating how to strip the metadata tags and change format & bitrate.

Thanks for this info: “Every file imported into Audacity is converted to 32 bit float.” Not knowing that made me believe that the file was not being saved as 16-bit PCM.

As suggested, I downloaded MediaInfo and confirmed that my files (even the source files!!) are indeed 16-bit PCM.

The Tsunami doesn’t give an error - if a file is in the wrong format it simply won’t play. I’ll have to dig deeper to figure out why some wav files play and others don’t.

If you simply import a file and then export it, Audacity will remove any “Album Art” metadata (because Audacity does not support Album Art), but the 7 main tags (Artist, Track Title, Album…) are retained unless you specifically remove them. To remove the tags you need to open the metadata editor (by default it opens automatically on Export), and clear the metadata.

I would have thought that a better (and certainly quicker) way to remove metadata would be with a specialist tag editor (such as MP3Tag or EasyTAG)

Yes, I have MP3Tag and if I was only stripping the tag data I would use that. But since I also need the files to be 44.1kHz 16-bit I need to use Audacity.

Stereo vs mono?
A length limit?