It seems that "rendering" requires me to before that, play the project (like it's recording the audio earlier on or something, or that it needs to reset the nodes or something), and doesn't work with mono channels, and probably several other arbitrary conditions, otherwise the saved audio file is all staticey and clipped.
This is more in depth of my problems:
I added a High pass filter node, and suddenly the exported file was completely staticey/clipped, then I assumed that filter was at fault.
Mono causes the same problem
When I kept testing my hypothesis that the high pass filter was at fault, I couldn't get it to export non-staticey, then I thought maybe I need to play and listen to the project first, and that did it. After it played the project, it soon later exported properly (but not immediately, I think the time after that time, but previous to that I tried exporting maybe 10 times and all of them were staticey, so playing the project was important). However it's not as simple as that, it seems that the export after the export that I played the project it will be non-staticey (given that it's not mono)... It's very fiddly, and I have no idea what's going on, because it sounds just perfect in the program, the exporting is just completely broken except in certain situations... what's going on????
ALSO. It only exports properly at all with a dynamic compressor node at the end or something.
Also, I can't get it to work anymore.
Ok I finally got it to render properly (and without the compressor node).
I've been keeping the volume at a very low value (gain .03) and externally normalized it or whatever, thinking that maybe the clipping/static has something to do with actual clipping (such as what happens in the editor with bringing the graphic equalizer too high), but it's definitely not only to do with volume, because for every success, there's like 10 failures with the exact same settings and hardly any difference in procedure (maybe waiting a few more seconds here or there or fiddling with the settings (but not changing them), or rendering multiple times in a row, or whatever)... I haven't yet gotten it to succeed with a regular volume level, so that's probably one way the problem comes up. However, it's not (not even close to) a 100% success rate with extremely low volume either.