Pump Up The (Windows) Volume With Physical Sliders

For as long as we can remember, Windows has provided a mixer that breaks out the volume level of every applicable application into its own slider-controlled lane. But navigating to these controls is non-trivial, especially if you’re in a hurry to silence someone on team speak. You have to stop what you’re doing, click the speaker, go into the mixer, and then go find the appropriate slider. Windows won’t respect resizes between mixer visits, so you’ll almost always have some horizontal scrolling to do.

So why on Earth would you put yourself through all of this when you could be pushing physical sliders on the fly like a DJ? A slider is just a potentiometer in a straight line, after all.

These are wired up to an Arduino Nano, which sends the serial data to a Python script on the PC that changes the volume values accordingly for whatever five programs are in the config file. Thanks to a little bit of Visual Basic, the Python script can run in the background.

[Aithorn]’s got everything you need to replicate this, so slide on over and grab the STL files and code. If you get to point where these sliders are too small, just build some bigger ones.

16 thoughts on “Pump Up The (Windows) Volume With Physical Sliders

    1. What’s a linear fader?

      Is it a pot that provides resistance on a linear scale?
      Human hearing does not work on a linear scale so that is not generally desirable in a volume control.
      Or is a linear fader a pot with a logarithmic scale.
      If so then congrats, that does match human hearing and used in an analog device will appear to scale the volume linearly with travel distance.

      So what?!?
      This is being sampled by an Arduino and sent as a digital signal.
      With a little math the scale can be translated to anything you want!

      Choose your resistor by feel and look or choose it by price. You can fix the rest in software.

  1. Dang millennials unable to remember anything before Windows 7. Back in my day you didn’t get per-app volume. You were lucky if more than one app could use the sound card at the same time.

  2. Imagine posting a frothy rant about how the root of all the world’s problems is “someone is saying something I don’t like and that’s an emergency.”

    Self-awareness is hard.

  3. @ Software Defined Math

    What’s a linear fader? Let me quote this for you: “Another type is the linear slider potentiometer, which has a wiper which slides along a linear element instead of rotating.”

    In the trade we just referred to them as linear faders. Does that help?

  4. I do this with a midi controller and an app called Power Mixer in windows 10. Been doing it for years with a standard off the shelf midi controller. I routed it thru Bome and LoopBe so that I can use it with voicemeeter banana at the same time and have the buttons/etc light up for mute/solo feedback.

  5. Now imagine if this had motor faders and little displays labeling each pot automatically depending on the apps you’re controlling… overkill? Yes. But would still be awesome.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.