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I need to create a simple 10 second sound file, where:

0-1s: tone plays in (and only in) Front-Left channel
1-2s: tone plays in (and only in) Front-Right channel
2-3s: tone plays in (..) Left-Rear channel
...

Ideally, transitions would be smooth from one channel to the next, but I'm practically giving up on this impossible task already so I'm fine with sudden jumping.

The 5.1 audio is playing using the mic and line-in remapped to the rear and C/LFE channels and is playing 5.1 audio files correctly.

I tried Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro, but neither likes my sound system and refuses to playback 5.1 audio. Also, they are comically difficult to use (especially keyframing panning effects), and probably overkill for such a 'simple' task. Audacity didn't work either.

I am in dire need of some beginner-friendly 5.1 panning keyframe-able software for Windows.

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The 'easiest' way is to start with actual 5.1-capable hardware [even if it's only a $£€ 15 USB DAC from eBay] so that the apps you tried will recognise it as a proper 5.1 output.

After that, personally, I'd be using an audio app rather than a video app, but I'm an audio engineer not video. Cubase/Nuendo would be my app of choice. I think even the entry-level LE version can do 5.1, though I've never used it myself. The full Pro version has a free trial, but it's really not a beginner toolkit.
I have very little experience with Audacity, only ever use it to try answer questions on here;) but I find it over-simplistic in many respects & hard work to do what I'd consider 'easy' tasks.

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    Yup - I have Cubase, and a 5.1 sound system on my PC. I can pan sound wherever I like as long as I set up the correct outputs (normally I just use 2 output devices) – Rory Alsop Jun 22 at 15:11

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