I read an audio file (an instrumental music file that is mono and 16000) with wav.read (read function from scipy.io.wavfile.) This function gives me a data file in int16 format. When I change the type to float and write it again I hear a lot of jitter. Why does that happen?

Here is my script in python 3.6. This is the music file.

import scipy.io.wavfile as wav
from scipy.io.wavfile import write
rate, music = wav.read("music.wav")
music = np.expand_dims(music, -1)
music_float = music.astype('float')
write("float_music", rate, music_float)
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    $\begingroup$ short answer: there's no jitter that gets produced. It's not clear what you observe. Do you mean noise? Are you familiar with the concept of quantization noise? $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2022 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ which write function is it that you call there? it's not wav.write, it seems! $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2022 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ @MarcusMüller Hi. Thanks for your reply. What I mean by jitter is a non constant noise. And yes I used wav.write. I updated my wuestion and put importing part as well. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2022 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ noise is never constant, so I'm not sure what you're referring to. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2022 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ The link somehow doesn't work for me, so I'll have to take your word for it. But reading the documentation of scipy.io.wavfile.write (as you've probably done): You didn't adhere to the admissible input value range, did you? I see no scaling! $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2022 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


The reason for this is that wavfile.write supports different number ranges for different data types.

The Valid ranges are

WAV format Min Max NumPy dtype
32-bit floating-point -1.0 +1.0 float32
32-bit PCM -2147483648 +2147483647 int32
16-bit PCM -32768 +32767 int16
8-bit PCM 0 255 uint8

(source https://docs.scipy.org/doc/scipy/reference/generated/scipy.io.wavfile.write.html)

This is why Peters solution works.


As Marcus and you say, try normalizing the float version before writing.


write("float_music", rate, music_float)


write("unit_flow_music.wav", rate, music_float/max(np.abs(music_float)))

seems to do the trick for me.


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