Audio Export Format

• Dec 1, 2023 - 10:50

Hi, this may be related to other posts I have read where audio exports are described as crackling? I was having this issue so did some digging.

I notice that the only wav export option is for 32-bit float, so I wonder if this is the problem for some users if the software being used for playback is expecting 16-bit PCM and treats the 32-bit float data as if it is? I have tested this and it does sound very crackly.

I have also done a bit of experimenting with Audacity by importing my exported Muse wav file and then re-exporting. Audacity has options for the export format and choosing 32-bit float (i.e. the same as the imported file) the header data in the file has additional chunks "fact" and "PEAK".

If I then export from Audacity as 16-bit PCM, the header data loses these additional chunks and the entire header is the 'expected' 44 bytes in length.

My guess is that at least some playback systems are only set up to play 16-bit PCM, Some may search for the "data" chunk, some may just assume the audio data starts at byte 44? So an easy solution would be to have this as an option for the export in MuseScore ... a basic 16-bit export with a 44 byte header?

It would also be nice if the 32-bit float exports form MuseScore and Audacity both produced the exact same file header data?



Does MuS 4 export WAV in 32-bit float representation? (I cannot use MuS4). In 3.6.2 there is only the option to export at 32kHz, 44.1kHz or 48kHz, but always in 16-bit PCM.

When I save a file in 32-bit float format, it plays exactly like the 16-bit PCM file on my computer.
Even if a playback software simply assumes that the audio data starts at byte 44, there will always be chaos if the expected format is not available - not just crackling, I expect an indefinable noise.

In reply to by HildeK


Audacity can import raw data without a header, but then you have to enter the information that is usually in the header manually. If you enter the wrong values, this will only result in unbearable noises that have nothing to do with the original sound. I've just tested it.

Therefore: this header information is absolutely necessary and a playback programme must not ignore it under any circumstances.

In reply to by HildeK

Yes MuS4 only has export in 32bit float and I think this is an issue for some playback software. I agree that all software should ideally be able to cope with any format but in the real world not all of it does!

I don't any issues either with my systems. I came across it whilst writing my own wav file parser for an Android app where I had been using just 48kHz 16bit PCM so when I tried an export from MuS 4 it sounded terrible!

Just wondered if this might be the reason that other users have experience 'crackling' on their systems?

In any case, an option to export as 16bit PCM would be useful for me ... although I can convert from 32bit float easy enough when I need to :)

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