From Hackerspace ACKspace
Jump to: navigation, search
Project: Mixxar
State Stalled
Members Computer1up, Da Syntax, Stuiterveer
GitHub Mixxar
Description USB sound mixer to change app volumes within Windows and Linux
No project picture! Fill in form Picture or Upload a jpeg here


Basically, an Arduino based sound controller that, in its current state, does nothing more than changing the system and app volumes within Windows, and maybe other OS'es too. The hardware side consists of an Arduino (don't know exactly which kind yet) and potentiometers. Software side is based on the Arduino IDE for serial analog output to Python, in combination with NirCMD for Windows. Linux compatibility has still to be found out however, but that shouldn't be too hard.

The goal was to not have to open volume mixer in Windows every time I want to change the volume level of individual programs, especially when running Skype, Youtube or Music and games at the same time. Windows communications sound management does not work properly, as the sound of applications is only reduced in volume if the apps start up after a call has been started. This way, if you are running your apps before the call, Windows doesn't do anything to the volume level, which can be quite annoying. Changing the audio level of a certain app while in a Skype call does work, however once the call is restarted, Windows will reduce audio levels of the app, even though it has been reduced manually already.

Pictures will follow later.

current implementation

The prototype is working, currently in a non-permanent setup with only one potentiometer and without any casing. My goal is to create this project with four or five meters and possibly a 3D printed case.

Update 1

Python code is basically done, needs some extra features for things like adding programs without editing the script. But that's not a priority right now. Also, Da Syntax has ordered his part of the potentiometers already. Python code has been tested with these. computer1up still has to order an Arduino and some meters, though. There is also a keyboard based version for this, which uses keycombo's to change volume levels. It is in a semi-working state, where it does work on some systems, but not on all. Both python projects will be made available soon.

Update 1.1

Code has been uploaded to Github, minor changes have been made to it to improve readability. Stuiterveer has made his own branch (robdev) for his own code. We're still thinking about how to organize/add new branches to build a good system.

Update 2

Computer1up has now got his own sliders, as well as stuiterveer. The code has been massively improved, like an initial connection checker and an experimental function to poll whether the arduino is still connected. More info on Github. We're now planning on integrating the Arduino onto the board that contains the sliders. It's debatable whether the Arduino controller and other components will be individually soldered onto the board (possibly and probably a custom PCB when the project nears completion), or a separate socket that can hold a complete Arduino. Also, we need to find the most suitable Arduino board (and controller!) for this project. All in all it's coming along nicely.

Update 2.1

A short (and a bit crappy quality) video has been uploaded to Youtube demonstrating the Mixxar in action:

There has not been a lot of progress since the last update otherwise.