Recommended audio format for moving between Audacity and Shotcut

I am working on Tutorials and am curious to know what is the recommended audio format when moving between Audacity and Shotcut. (both ways).

I suspect many formats will work but I ask because there are a pile of options and I don’t know enough to pick something that is good and reliable.

It will only be stereo and mostly voice.

I don’t know if there is a “recommended” format but I’ve been perfectly happy using whatever format the source comes in. I tend to stick to MP3 because I’m most familiar with it and most music files (and plenty of sound effects) that I’ve obtained online are also MP3. For sounds that start in other formats that need editing before use I usually export them from Audacity as MP3 just for consistency.
I’ve yet to input an audio file into Shotcut that has caused any problems including dozens of randoms from freesound and similar sites in all sorts of formats.

Interesting suggestion. But MP3 is likely the one I would be most likely to avoid since it is lossy. You would lose quality every time you moved from Audacity to Shotcut or back…

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I’ve used mp3, m4a, wav, flac and other assorted audio formats. Have not encountered a problem yet.

Hi Anthony, I’m a musician and music teacher, I use mp3 a lot. In my experience and opinion even a keen ear can’t really tell much difference between an mp3 and a wav file (windows). Wav files are ten times as big as a mp3 so your computer needs more resources to deal with it. So my advice would be to stick with mp3.

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From Audacity to Shotcut I use 16bit WAV for voice over on video games. Uncompressed WAV files for me are about 70mb for 7 minutes. Hard drives are super cheap. I just don’t see the need to compress unless it’s for a specific reason.

But not sure why you would need to go the other way from shotcut to audacity. I’m sure someone somewhere has a purpose for it. In Shotcut you can separate the audio tracks from the MP4 video file.

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I generally try to stick to FLAC if I don’t have a lossy source(mp3 or wma) and shotcut seems to like it well enough. There’s no reason to lose definition when you don’t have to as you’re more likely to pickup artifacts since shotcut will export your audio as whatever is appropriate for your container choice.


Sometimes in the process of adding the audio to the Video I realize I said something I should not have or said it incorrectly.

I suppose the correct way to deal with that would be to record a new section of Audio and layer that in ShotCut.

For the moment I found that with WAV files I could cheat, close ShotCut, backup the WAV and edit in place with Audacity, and as long as I don’t mess with the length or shift the Audio then I am good.

Ahh, now I understand. I’ve edited out a lot of my “um’s” by just selecting the audio portion, then use the Mute filter.

With Audacity, I’ve only used WAV files. I do game videos so there is usually some music or sound in the background so it doesn’t sound so crude with just the muted section.

Can you explain what you mean by this? I’m trying to decide what format of audio to use for a video/music project involving stringed instruments recorded in a DAW, edited in Audacity, and paired with images. I’m a newbie at this, so pardon me, please, if this is a dumb question… :slight_smile:

He means that export presets specify both the video codec and the audio codec. For example, if you export with the YouTube preset, the audio will be encoded as AAC. If you export with the DNxHR HQ preset, the audio will be in WAV format. Not every audio format can go in every container, so the presets provide audio format combinations that are legal.

As for transferring music between a DAW and Audacity and Shotcut… that’s a lot of movement, meaning a lot of potential for degradation if a lossy format is used at each step. My recommendation would be WAV format for all the processing steps prior to Shotcut and also feed WAV into Shotcut, then export from Shotcut with whatever format you want. Especially since you are working with acoustic instruments that probably have lower signal levels and higher noise floors, you will benefit greatly from a lossless intermediate format.