I have a basic need for a 3 track recording that can be played out of a device with 3 (or more) separate channels. It looks like Audacity can do this, and I have been looking at USB 5.1 “sound cards”. Can I create a 5.1 audio track (.dts?) with Audacity, using 3 different .mp3s as sources for channels (like LF, RF and center) and then play that file back (with Audacity?) into a 5.1 device and get those 3 channels out of the hardware outputs?
Something like this??:
I’d be using a Win10 notebook PC.
Hopefully that makes sense. Happy to spend a little $$$ do this, but just want to know that it can work first. If anyone knows of another specific HW sound card type interface that will work (and not too much $$) I’d love to hear.
played out of a device with 3 (or more) separate channels.
I believe Audacity only has playback of stereo (2 channels) or mono (1 channel) and that’s it. It’s a common request for Audacity to play multi-channel.
I watched this video:
It showed how to create a multi channel .wav file, then use the dolby developer app/site to make it a true 5.1. So the multi channel info is in the file. Anyone have any additional info on this?
I can understand that Audacity may only be able to create output file formats that can only play on 2 channel devices, but that video seems to indicate that it can create multi channel files.
that video seems to indicate that it can create multi channel files.
You can. Audacity is open to extensions and add-on software that allow it to do wondrous things—in post production. It will not play the six channels of a 5.1 Dolby file in real time from the timeline.
That’s great, thank you. Can you recommend a post process and hardware device that would allow me to do this? If I use the Dolby Development site and create an ,mp4 from the encoded Audacity .wav, how can I play it back and get my needed 3 channel output?
This is all new area for me, any help appreciated!!
You keep snapping back to having multi-channel work and no way to play it. I have an older PC soundcard that “knows” what Dolby 5.1 is and will, in fact, squirt all six channels of sound to the correct speaker amplifiers on individual sound cables. I still need to come up with six audio amplifiers—or three stereo ones.
It has five individual sound connections back there in addition to the game port. It’s a very busy soundcard.
Something like that is what you’re describing.
I watch off-air television actually off the air and I had a discussion with the system maker about decoding and listening to it in surround. I believe Dolby 5.1 is one of the broadcast sound standards in the US. I never did it, but there’s a way to grab the show data stream and shovel it out to an external decoder and then on to the amplifiers.
I’m picturing Boston Pops concerts in surround. We can do this.
I haven’t tried it, but I believe Audacity can make a 5.1 (or 3.1?) AC3 or DTS track as long as you have installed the optional FFmpeg import/export library. But, you’ll need to play it with some other software (VLC can probably do it).
But, it can be a little tricky making a surround track on an audio editor that doesn’t allow you to audition what you’re doing.
mp4 from the encoded Audacity .wav, how can I play it back and get my needed 3 channel output?
MP4 (AAC) and WAV do support multiple channels (MP3 does not), but the only formats that are fully-standardized for multi-channel playback are the DVD & Blu-Ray formats.
VLC can decode & play almost anything, but if you want to be 100% sure it’s going to play (with the proper surround decoding) it’s best to get a DVD authoring application* and make a DVD (or a DVD file structure) with Dolby AC3 or DTS audio (and blank video or a “slideshow” of one or more still images). The properly-formatted DVD will play back with any DVD-player software or on any DVD player.
- It takes a DVD authoring application to make the proper DVD file structure with VOB files in a VIDEO_TS folder (and the other required files).