Multichannel play back

Hi, I ‘do the sound’ for a local theatre group. I have a requirement to fly a jet around the audience. I’m using a xr18 as my main mixer, it’s fed with several mics from the cast and an audio stream from a notebook using a vcl playlist calling various MP3 files that have been edited in audacity.
I’m thinking that I can create a surround sound file in audacity mixed to 4 channels, front l&r and rear l&r. I have setup audacity to save multichannel wav files, and mixed a trail file. How do I recovery/decode this to give me the 4 discrete channels to feed my mixer? Currently only have 3.5mm audio output from notebook. I guess I feed this to a decoder of some sort? Or convert to spdif and feed to a decoder? (Notebook does not have spdif output) just missing that final link in the chain. John

Yes you can. You will need to enable “Advanced Mixing Options” in Preferences to export a multi-channel file.

Note that your choice of export format is important. Not all formats support multiple channels (some details are provided in the second link above).

NOT with Audacity. Audacity only supports mono / stereo playback.
I think VLC supports multi-channel playback if you have:

  1. A multi-channel file
  2. An audio output device that supports multi-channel playback

Perhaps you could use the xr18 as your playback device?

If you can’t connect digitally to your mixer you can get a 5.1 channel [u]USB Soudcard[/u].

…Just make sure it’s really 5.1 (or 7.1). Iv’e seen some “regular” USB soundcards advertised as “5.1”, but they only have one mic input and one stereo output. (I guess this means 5.1 compatible, relying on Windows to handle the mixdown.

When you export, the channels are not clearly identified by Audacity and I don’t know how they are identified or arranged in a inside a WAV file. Left and right are 1st & 2nd. Then you might have to experiment and you might have to add silent center and LFE channels. (Or you may have to plug-into the Center/LFE jack to get the rear channels.)