Summary of the problem: When exporting data as an audio file (AIFF/WAV etc.), there appears to be unwanted scaling and offset in the data such that the minimum and maximum values are forced to be -1 and +1. This issue has been tested with AIFFs and WAVs on Mathematica versions 10.1 and 10.2. This issue is not observed when exporting the data as a MAT file for example, nor does it exist when exporting as an AIFF/WAV in Mathematica

Generating a sample waveform

fS = 44100;
n = Range[0, fS/2];
sampleWaveForm = Sin[2 Pi 1/fS n];

Plotting it

ListPlot[sampleWaveForm, Joined -> True, PlotRange -> All]

enter image description here

Exporting it as an AIFF

Export["/Users/username/Desktop/sampleWaveForm.aiff", Sound[SampledSoundList[sampleWaveForm, fS]], "AudioEncoding" -> "Integer24"];

Importing it as is

importedWaveForm = Import["/Users/username/Desktop/sampleWaveForm.aiff", "AIFF", "AudioEncoding" -> "Integer24"][[1, 1, 1]];

Plotting imported AIFF

ListPlot[importedWaveForm, Joined -> True, PlotRange -> All]

enter image description here

We see in the image above that the waveform is scaled by a factor of 2, and then offset by -1.

Question: Am I doing something incorrectly (like missing an Export[] setting), or is this a bug in Mathematica 10.x? If it is a bug, is anyone aware of it and is there a way to work around it?


The export uses the internal function System`Convert`AudioDump`ExportAudio which contains the code:

samples = Rescale[samples, {Min[samples], Max[samples]}, {-1, 1}]

A simple workaround is to temporarily alter the behaviour of Rescale while exporting:

Block[{Rescale = #1 &}, Export[...]]
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I created the linked question because I tried exporting using ListPlay which allows specification of a PlayRange, and thought it would help identify the Export[] function as the place where the rescaling was occurring (as opposed to the Sound[] or SampledSoundList[] functions). It was also a little frustrating to not be able to export AIFFs from Mathematica all of a sudden and thought I would re-post in the hopes that it would trigger a response. I wonder why exporting AIFFs has been made this way when exporting in Mathematica 9 was so straightforward. I have deleted that post. $\endgroup$ – Rahul Mar 29 '16 at 7:25

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