Output into 5.1 format

Hello !
I’ve got the 2.2.2 ver of Audacity on a Windows 10 operated computer.
I’m not very skilled in audio formats conversion nore with English abbreviations so please be very basic in explaining ! Thank you.
I’ve composed a piece intended for 24 wind instruments and it was mixed in order to be played on a 8 loudspeakers loop. When I explain for instance to a performance organiser what type of musical piece I’m speaking about, people ask for a “sample” audition but I can’t each time rent an 8 baffles array with amplifiers and managing console (each time 2500 or 3000 euros); on the other hand if played on a current stereo player with 2 loudspeakers it won’t give a correct idea of the final result. I thought that I could perhaps make a test with a 5.1 home audio/video system and was wondering if I could export my 24 track version I’ve got on Audacity into a format burnable on a 5.1 CD or DVD. Perhaps I have to import first my 24 tracks into another software as an intermediate step ? I would be very grateful if somebody on this forum could describe a solution.
Many thanks in advance and friendly regards.

5.1 or “Dolby Surround” is a licensed process. There may be a “fake” way of producing surround similar to the “Lame” software to make MP3 files—also until recently a licensed process.


Audacity can export multi-channel audio files, but can only play mono or stereo, so you will need a certain amount of guesswork.
For multi-channel export, you need to enable “Use custom mix” in Preferences.
See: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/import_export_preferences.html#When_exporting_tracks_to_an_audio_file
and: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/advanced_mixing_options.html

The only “standard” surround formats that everybody can play are DVD & Blu-Ray.

You need DVD (or Bly-Ray) authoring software to make the special file/folder structure (and optional menu). One option is [u]Corel Video Studio[/u] (a video editing and DVD/Blu-Ray authoring/burning application). Typically if you just want audio, you’d make a “slide show” or “audio only” DVD.* You can have a single still image, or multiple images. That “image” can be a blank-black screen of an image of text for the album/artist/title of whatever is playing.

Depending on how much audio editing you’re doing, you may not need Audacity.


  • There is something called DVD-Audio (or DVDA), but it’s a different special, oddball, orphan format and I’ve never had a DVD player that can play it.

Many thanks to Koz, steve and DVDdoug. I’ll look around following your paths.
Best regards

One option is Corel Video Studio

We did it in Final Cut Pro. We had a little trick. If the DVD wasn’t large enough for uncompressed PCM (standard stereo), we would create a two-channel Dolby “surround” and send that. Since it’s compressed, it took up less space and since the PCM was missing, the Dolby always played.