Newbie Question - Exporting to Audio CD

Hi, folks. I tried exporting a finished project song to a CD, but the MP3 track appears to be unplayable in any normal CD player. This might sound really stupid, but is there a special file format other than MP3 that regular audio CDs use?

I checked the Cubase 7 manual and could not find anything specific to burning a track to an audio CD.

Any suggestions?


(Macbook Pro, Cubase 7.0.7, OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite)

Audio CDs use .wav files.

I beg to differ: Audio CDs use PCM-audio of the 44.1kHz/16 bit variety, but you can’t really say they use .wav files. A .wav file burnt on a CD won’t play in a CD-player just like the mp3 doesn’t. You need to author an audio CD according to the red book standard, and you can’t do this directly from Cubase. I don’t know anything Mac, but in Windows the media player or explorer can do this - and the best source file for it will indeed be .wav.

Thanks for the correction. When I burn audio CDs I use .wav but I didn’t realize Windows was “converting” them automatically. If I remember, with other formats, it would tell you it is converting them when burning audio CDs.
Also, and correct me if wrong, I seem to remember, when I insert a regular music CD into the drive and open Windows Explorer, the song files show up as .wav. Is this just Windows?

I never burn audio CDs with Windows directly, but the ‘conversion’ must be taking place, since an Audio CD is a constant stream of audio from the center of the disk to the outside, with the index (including track positions and length etc.) being written first. That’s why a failed burn may still show as a complete CD with all tracks listed. When burning from 44-16 files, there is no real conversion in the data, so maybe that’s why it won’t show - while with mp3 decoding to 44-16 must be done. And IIRC, Windows shows all tracks as etc., but I may be remembering only the older Windows versions…

I think you are right about the .cd. That seems to spark my memory now that you mention it. I don’t know where I got to thinking .wav were on CDs. I haven’t put an actual music CD in a computer or CD player in quite a while!
I stand corrected. I will stop now…

Oh but don’t let me shut you up, that was not my intention… I was merely trying to put the .wav in perspective, since a data CD with .wav is also possible. And apart from ripping my commercial Audio CDs to mp3, I hardly use the format anymore either…

So Cubase cannot create an Audio CD on its own? Additional software for authoring a Red Book standard CD is required?

Is that correct?

If so, is there a “standard” software package for Mac that pro studios use to accomplish that task?


Yes, Cubase can’t create Audio CDs directly. I don’t know anything Mac, but do use Wavelab myself which is available for Mac as well. For just burning CDs Wavelab may be a bit overdone though… Recommendable software anyway!

The more basic Wavelab Elements does the job for me, also allows me to do stuff such as define gap lengths between tracks, fades + crossfades, CD titles, track titles etc, and has a bunch of other “mastering” type uses.

Thanks Arjan P and Ian S.

That’s the clear answer I needed.