Any program that provides ALL audio level controls in one place?

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  1. FOD
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro

    Any program that provides ALL audio level controls in one place?

    Hi all,

    this is my first post here. Looking for help and suggestions, as is usually the case when somebody joins a forum!

    The short version of my question is: Could anybody please suggest a small, simple, practical, ideally portable program, that gives access to all audio level settings, on one single screen?

    And now comes the long-winded version:

    In my ham radio station I use a desktop computer that has a Realtek audio chip on the mainboard. The board has 3 audio jacks on the back, and headers for connecting two more audio jacks (usually on the front panel, but I mounted them on the back too). I use this computer for digital modes and SDR, with various combinations of radios and SDR hardware, so I often need full duplex audio and lots of audio system reconfiguration.

    I have Realtek Audio Console installed, it works fine, and allows me to set up and do basic control of these ports. I set them up like follows:

    - Microphone input
    - Line input
    - Front speakers output
    - Rear speakers output
    - Line output (Realtek "second audio device", uses a separate audio stream than the speakers.)

    I also set the driver to treat all inputs as separate devices.

    All that works fine, but the Realtek Audio Console only gives me access to the basic level settings. Specifically for the "Speakers" device, there is just a single level control. Windows gives me controls to set individual volumes by app, and that's useful. And of course the Realtek program also provides controls for the level of the microphone, line input, "second audio device", and the virtual "stereo mix" device, with these three controls affecting just the "recording" levels of those devices.

    But I miss controls for setting the level of audio feedthrough from the microphone and line input to the speakers! These controls do exist in Windows 10, but deeply buried. To get at them, I have to right-click on the Windows volume control icon in the taskbar, click on "open sound settings", then click on "device properties" for the "speakers" device, then click on "Additional device properties", then click on "levels" - and there they are, finally!!!

    I need to adjust these levels quite often, so it's a chore having to go through that many steps to get at these controls.

    So I would love to find a little, simple program that provides a single screen with ALL of the level controls in one place. And it would have to be some program that I can download and then install. An online installation, like from the Microsoft Store, won't work in my case.

    I spent all of today searching, and tried several programs, but I found none that would really do what I want. Apparently almost nobody knows about these deeply hidden level controls for microphone line input feedthrough to the speakers, and so most people don't notice when a program lacks them!

    So, what I'm looking for is a program that provides a single screen with controls for:

    - Microphone recording level
    - Line input recording level
    - "Stereo mix" recording level
    - Speaker volume of software-generated audio
    - Speaker volume of microphone input
    - Speaker volume of line input
    - Line output level

    All of these controls are available in Windows 10, but in various different places, and the 5th and 6th of these are too well hidden.

    If the program provides any additional controls, that's fine, of course.
    And in computers that have more audio devices than mine has, of course the appropriate additional controls should appear. That's not important to me right now, but it is to other people. In short, the program should give access to ALL level controls of a computer's audio system, in one place.

    In my previous computer I had Windows XP and a Soundblaster Audigy. Instead of the manufacturer's software, I used the Kx-Project driver. It was absolutely great! Something like that, but supporting the Realtek chips and running on Windows 10, would make me very happy! I know that it's unlikely that anybody would write a program like that for the Realtek chips, so I will gladly settle for just a simple little audio level control program, that doesn't need to access the sound chip proper - just the Windows registers!

    OK. I warned you that this would be long-winded!

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 43,356
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, the two that come to mind are
    Volumouse v2.00 Beta 3
    (not tried this latest version)
    Download Volume2 - MajorGeeks

    Both free - perhaps the second ... but I doubt either will meet all your needs.
      My Computers

  3. FOD
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I downloaded and tried both, but unfortunately none of the two gives access to the controls I want.

    So the search continues!
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 843
    Windows 7
      My Computer

  5. FOD
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    No. I tried Voicemeeter already, before coming to this forum. That program doesn't give access to those deeply buried level controls. Or at least I didn't discover how to do it.

    Nor does EarTrumpet, which I tried too!

    It looks like there is really no such program! But in Windows XP the provided mixer program did it just fine.

    It's a shame that Microsoft drops useful, capable, simple programs, in exchange for some new ones that look more flashy, but do less.

    Well, it's no big deal. After all, the controls I need are still present, just quite deeply buried under several levels of menus. But it would still be nice to have a simple and clean program that gives easy access to all audio level controls at once.

    Thanks for trying to help!
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 43,356
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    The tray icon rt click options for Volume2 at least give quicker access to some of those options.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 21H1

    I use Ear Trumpet to manage all of my digital outputs and it's been a breeze so far.

      My Computer

  8. FOD
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    I just checked how many clicks it takes to get at those buried controls.

    Through Volume˛, it's:

    - Right click on the tray icon
    - Click on Playback Devices
    - Click on Speakers
    - Click on Properties
    - Click on Levels

    So, five clicks to get at those controls.

    And through the Windows volume control icon, it's:

    - Right click on the tray icon
    - Click on Device Properties in the Speakers section
    - Click on Additional Device Properties
    - Click on Levels

    So it's actually one click LESS through the Windows-provided system, than through Volume˛!

    What I would love to have is just what already existed in Windows XP. There were two simple and practical panels. One for output:

    Any program that provides ALL audio level controls in one place?-mixer3.gif

    and one for input:

    Any program that provides ALL audio level controls in one place?-mixer4.gif

    Given that such audio level control panels were present in Windows XP, and so very useful, why on earth was that functionality dropped from Windows 10?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just tried it with EarTrumpet. It takes 5 clicks, the same as Volume˛!

    And re-reading my post of minutes ago, the doubt comes up whether those level control panels were provided by Microsoft, or by the soundcard maker. There is the mention of Soundblaster Live at the bottom... But in some of my computers running XP and earlier Windows versions I had generic soundcards, and still had the same or very similar level control panels!

    So, if those panels were provided by Creative Labs, the question remains why nothing like that is available for Windows 10 and current sound chips. I mean, the Realtek chip my motherboard has is extremely common! And Microsoft these days tends to support as much hardware as possible right in the OS. So, I would have expected a flexible, practical, do-it-all audio panel included in Windows.

    Sorry for taking up your time... I know, I should write such a program myself. But my Windows programming skills are probably not good enough. I learned programming on a Sinclair ZX-81, a Commodore VIC20, an Atari 600XL, and then progressed to a DEC System 10!
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 1,967
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64

    FOD said:

    Given that such audio level control panels were present in Windows XP, and so very useful, why on earth was that functionality dropped from Windows 10?
    actually it was "dropped" since Windows Vista, not Windows 10

    FOD said:

    It looks like there is really no such program! But in Windows XP the provided mixer program did it just fine.
    Microsoft had the slimmed-down versions of the mixer (SndVol.exe) from Vista/Win7 onwards without all those controls you see in WinXP (sndvol32.exe)

    edit 6/23 - here's the "dumb ed down" or slimmed-down version of the volume mixer on my Win10 computer

    Any program that provides ALL audio level controls in one place?-win10-volumemixer-realtek-hdaudio.png

    it's been like this since Vista/Win7
    Last edited by erpster4; 23 Jun 2023 at 14:41.
      My Computers

  10. FOD
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Sorry for letting you wait for my reply. Local trouble here with extreme rain and its consequences.

    OK, so since Windows Vista! I didn't know! I skipped all those intermediate versions, switching directly from XP to 10, about two years ago. Hence my lack of awareness of the state of these matters!

    No wonder some people say that XP was the best version of Windows. It served me well until forced obsolescence happened, by essential (to me) websites forcing me to use a modern browser, and modern browsers being made incompatible with XP.

    Well... Maybe someday somebody writes an XP-style audio level control program for current Windows versions. Until then, I will just click my way through 5 levels of menues to get at that buried control.
      My Computer


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