Stereo Exporting = Underwater Sound?

I’ve been recording from one source (Snowball USB Mic), and I’ve found that if I record in mono and then export the project, everything sounds great. I lay down multiple tracks such as guitar, keyboard, and vocals.

I double my vocal tracks to make the sound more full, but if I shift one vocal any % to the right and the other vocal track any % to the left and export the project, the exported file sounds like it’s playing underwater. There is a garbled noise to it. This makes it a stereo track, and it happens every time I try to export a stereo file.

But if I just play it in audacity without exporting it, it sounds perfect. Are there any thoughts to why this is happening?

Thanks for any feedback you may have.

If you export as a WAV file, it should sound identical to how it sounds in Audacity.
If you export in a lossy compressed format such as MP3, there will always be some loss of sound quality, and if you have similar signals but with phase differences between the left and right channels, this could result in “bubbly” type artefacts in the exported MP3. (“stereo” MP3s may behave better than “joint stereo” MP3s).

Thanks for the response. “Bubbly” sounds like the best description of what I’m getting. I’ll try the WAV format, the only problem is that the WAV format isn’t compatible with sites and programs i use. I’ll give it a shot though, thanks again.

MP3 and other audio compression programs get their smaller file size by damaging the performance. They all do it to some degree. Extreme compression produces damage bad enough to be heard by anybody. Gargling, bubbling, any Sirius or XM radio broadcast.

WAV formats are used for production. MP3 and other compressors are for delivery. If you try to do production and editing in MP3, the damage adds up as you go.