Multi-output audio on Audacity

Hello all,
I know that Audacity is ONLY outputting 2 channels… But, I wonder to know why AND if this will change soon in order to listen to multi-channel audio !
On most DAWs (Reaper for example…) this option is available, moreover each channel could or not be sent to the master stereo out. We now have multi-channel audio interfaces with plenty of audio formats.
Thanks for any info on this topic…

Yes we do, but not so much 20 years ago when Audacity was young. Much of Audacity’s code is designed around mono/stereo audio, so updating Audacity for multi-channel playback would require a lot of changes throughout the code.

It may change eventually, but I doubt it will change soon, due to the scale of changes required. Also, I think that muse group (who now own Audacity) have other priorities.

Thank you Steve for these answers. I don’t know how Audacity and especially the routing was coded, so I have no idea what this support represents. In principle, if the routing is done in a modular way, the addressing of specific outputs for each track more to the master should not profoundly change the structure of the software. But I repeat that I have no idea how it was initiated as you say… more than 20 years ago!

I thank all those who have hardly worked on this software all this time…

I don’t consider Audacity to be a DAW.

The Audacity Home Page doesn’t say “DAW” or “Digital Audio Workstation”. :wink:

It says: “Audacity is the world’s most popular audio editing and recording app.”

Some of the newer features, such as real-time effects, make Audacity a bit more DAW-like, though I agree that it remains more of an audio editor rather than a DAW.

I use Audacity (2.4.2) alongside my DAW (Ardour). I use the DAW for recording (with full multi-channel support including mapping channels to tracks), for mixing (with a full-featured software mixer that has effect sends / returns and busses), and for real-time effects (much better support for real-time plug-ins, including effect automation). I use Audacity for editing. I don’t expect Audacity will be replacing my DAW in the foreseeable future.

OK Steve. To be more precise, what pushed me to investigate a little with this new version of Audacity is the ease with which it extracted the 6 channels of a DD file in 5.1… What DAWs don’t usually and especially as easily!

But obviously, I agree that the use of a DAW for mapping and audio routing is perfectly adapted… The use of Reaper was not a problem for me of course!

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