I’ve been using Audacity to edit audio, and then export as WAV files for years. It’s always worked great, no problems. The exporting process has never changed the files in any way. However, all of a sudden exporting is causing significant clipping. I’m not adding any gain when I export. Any ideas on how to resolve this?
I just submitted a topic, but I forgot to include this info: I’m on macOS 11.4, Audacity is also up to date: 3.0.2
I’ve been using Audacity to edit audio, and then export WAV files for years. It’s worked great. Exporting has never changed the files. However, all of a sudden, exporting is causing clipping. I’m not adding gain when I export. Any ideas on how to resolve this?
Most effects/changes happen right-away so if you can Amplify or Normalize as the last step before exporting to prevent clipping.
If you are mixing, that will also boost the exported levels.
You said WAV, but just FYI - Exporting to MP3 slightly changes the waveform and it’s not unusual to have an MP3 that goes over 0dB. It’s not necessarily clipped but Audacity will show potential clipping if you re-open it. (Audacity doesn’t check the actual wave shape so it’s only checking for potential/possible clipping.)
Any ideas on how to resolve this?
The “foolproof” solution is to export as 32-bit floating-point WAV (which essentially has no upper limit). Then re-import and Amplify or Normalize to bring the levels down (if necessary) and export to your desired format.
I just responded to each of you using the Quote function. I don’t see the replies, but hopefully they’ll get approved/they’ll show up soon.
Here’s an idea. I’ve recently been experimenting with the Amplify effect. See attached screenshot. I highlight a section of audio, and then adjust the amplification. It seems like I’m only affecting the section of audio that I have selected. But does using this tool adjust the settings for the entire project? If so, that may be what’s causing the clipping when I go to export.
It’s still weird that, even after I use with the Amplify tool, there’s no clipping in the .aup3 project. And that the clipping only shows up after export, which theoretically shouldn’t affect the gain of any of the audio. So I’m not sure this makes sense. But figured I’d bring it up to see if y’all think it’s a good explanation.
I’ll be doing a bunch more exporting today and will be experimenting. Will report back.
There wouldn’t be. The AUP3 project file and Audacity itself work in 32-bit floating format. That means they don’t clip. People ask why on earth we did that. It’s not unusual to encounter a super-high volume condition in the middle of effects, filters, and processing. The Audiobook Mastering Suite sometimes does that mid-process.
Not to worry, the “damaged” audio is still up there waiting for you to bring it back down to normal. If you were doing that in 16-bit (WAV, MP3), that super loud sound would be permanently destroyed.
I think you’re suffering from advanced electronic magic. That waveform above does have overload damage at six-point-something seconds. It goes down instead of up. The instant that sound gets converted to 16-bit, that tiny segment starts making up its own sound. That’s what’s so darn much fun about clipping. It’s not just a quiet spot. It sounds crunchy, hurt-your-teeth, sharp, and loud.
Here’s an idea. I’ve recently been experimenting with the Amplify effect. See attached screenshot. I highlight a section of audio, and then adjust the amplification. It seems like I’m only affecting the section of audio that I have selected.
Right. ALL of the effects are ONLY applied to the selected audio. (You have to be careful about making “sudden changes” in the middle of the file.)
BTW - Normally you should not “Allow Clipping” with the amplify effect.
It’s still weird that, even after I use with the Amplify tool, there’s no clipping in the .aup3 project.
Yes, it’s weird… I don’t know what’s happening…
Audacity or the project file won’t actually [u]clip[/u] (distort) but it should [u]show red[/u] if you go over 0dB. And if you have a file or project that goes over 0dB and you play at “full digital volume” you will clip your DAC and you might hear it.
One other thought… If you are changing the Project Rate (sample rate) that can SLIGHTLY change the peak levels and it MIGHT push some peaks slightly over 0dB and then show red after exporting but it shouldn’t cause any audible distortion.
I think I figured it out! I was accidentally exporting as a signed 32-bit PCM WAV, instead of 32-bit float. kozikowski’s comment about the .aup3 project running in 32-bit, and that preventing clipping made me think of double checking this. I think I had missed the 32-bit floating option in the dropdown one day, and then the settings remained. I didn’t know the difference between these two types of WAVs. But once I made this switch, the clipping has disappeared.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I’m on a tight deadline and I wouldn’t have been able to figure this out without your suggestions.
I don’t work with clients. I run a meditation app. I record my own audio and do the editing my self. I export in WAV so that I have high quality files to go back to. I then convert the WAVs to M4A, which the app actually uses. Would you suggest other file types? Thanks!
did anyone ever figure this out? have been trying to figure out this problem for ages that suddenly appeared after many years of problem free audacity use. if you export as mp3, no clipping-- wav export, clipping appears (even at 32 bit). I don’t even know if these sounds should be described as clips, more like seemingly random pops-- although it does seem like it is something about specific parts of the track the export doesn’t like. is my computer just too slow?