Added: Last item that I could not gain (per-app) control of is "System Sounds" I do not know what executable or window to "talk to" to control this item.

On Windows 7, I'm still looking for a per-application adjustment of the focused program audio playback with control capability. Preferably it should have keyboard shortcuts.

List of things I've tried:

  • NirCmd: shortcuts for it pop-up auto hide taskbar, and it did not work on 50% of the programs.

  • Volumouse: acts like it is going to work, but after spending hours trying to get various configurations to work it might sporadically function, still pops full screen games. Scroll wheel still is sent to the application in focus, not the audio control.

  • Sound Control: Still doesn't do Per-Application

  • Volume2: Not tested, see answer that shows testing.

  • IndieVolume: not tested, but many users on the web say it does not work with 64bit , that may have changed.

  • Various sidebar/gadget and toolbar items – they only provide main volume adjustments.

Every time I still have to bring up Windows' oversized mixer panel, to "fix" the mess, to try and figure out what did and didn't work. There's no fully functional control of anything other than the Main volume, which is better than nothing.

At this point I am fed up with testing applications that are good ideas, but do not work in half the situations. I would even go for a way to shrink the present panel (like one could do in XP), or a replacement panel.

Instead of pointing me to more applications, tell me if you achieved what I need.

Expectations – What could I work with, by priority (for the Windows per-application mixer):

  1. Being able to set a keyboard control for the application, when the application is active.
  2. Being able to set a mouse control that works on the focused application.
  3. An application that puts a mixer in the status bar or title bar of every application.
  4. Some small(er) desktop replacment of the huge Windows mixer.

This is an idea of the programs, some worked, some worked then failed to work in the next scroll/click. The ones that need control:

  • Microsoft Agents (text to speech speech to text)
  • Media Player Classic (watching video)
  • Virtual Dub (editing and converting video)
  • Goldwave (audio edit)
  • Maxthon browser (doing Flash)
  • System Sounds (telling what is going on with the system, e-mail arrival)
  • Gadgets (Internet radio)
  • An MP3 player (local music play)
  • Qdir (select clicks)

Things that fill the mixer, even though I do not need sound in them:

  • True Launch Toolbar
  • Volumouse itself

Add to that, more programs that will use sound:

  • Super (video convert)
  • Edius (pro video edit)
  • Odd but necessary Terracopy (signal copy done)
  • Nero (signals fail or finish)
  • TMPEG (signals encoding done, and copy done)

enter image description here This picture shows the volume mixer when it is all accessable without having to scroll. it takes up 3/4 of one monitor.

If it seems like, why would there be all that running or in need of control? Because some are Players, and others are editors/converters. Listen to radio while editing, switch to watch a move while something is converting etc. Different things need to be turned down for a few minutes.

  • If you can find one that works for the keyboard, you can use X-Mouse Button Control to send simulated keypresses. Unfortunately, its built in volume up/down is for master volume. Also, in testing, I found that my touchpad scroll would not be intercepted by X-Mouse while an actual mouse's scrollwheel is - maybe you have some special mouse driver (especially for a gaming mouse) that intercepts the scroll? Try closing any program that may have come with your mouse and try that Volumouse again?
    – Bob
    Feb 14, 2012 at 14:26
  • Did the Xmouse media up down, thanks to a Q here, works for the Main. I also tested shutting down X-mouse when testing the other programs. I do have special Trackball, but it is running under MSs Ps2 mouse driver only. What kind of simulated keypresses sent to an application with no independant volume control would work? X-mouse itself acts up a lot, but it is usable. Like I had repeated clicks set, and it would not stop about 1-15 times.
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 14, 2012 at 14:34
  • 1
    I meant to simulate keypresses for a keyboard only volume control, if you can find one for keyboard but not mouse. I personally just mute unused sound applications, so this is never something I needed, sorry. And if you are using repeated clicks, use something reasonable, such as a single {LMB} repeated every 50 ms. I would not go below 20 ms delay. When the delay is too low, Windows' message queues get blocked by the flood. And if more than one key is sent at once (e.g. {LMB}{LMB}) it will block until the whole chain is done.
    – Bob
    Feb 14, 2012 at 14:38
  • You understand, I had it set for 70ms, it was way slower than an actual 70ms, any slower I would be, as well off with "double click" manuel. But yes, the more assault mode it was in, the worse it gets. In XP we did mouse assaults with macros going 4+ times faster.
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 14, 2012 at 14:57
  • The Nircmd now allows for per-app control, and I hooked it up to mouse commands, then shortcuts with keyshorts, and also batch, even other tricks to try and fix things that happend weird. The per-app didnt work well because Nircmd itself Pulls Focus, so it would work then the program looses focus, different programs acted different. Weirdly it would work a few times or fail the first time.
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 14, 2012 at 15:07

3 Answers 3


Volumouse seems to do what you want. But you will have to set it up.

Main Window of Volumouse

In my example setup, I click the More button of first slot and choose "Change the volume for application in focus" under Windows 7/Vista/2008 Options.

More options window for first slot

I can now hold Alt key and roll my mouse wheel to control volume of the window (focused) window. It works in Firefox, Opera, Steam and itself but fails in Chrome (probably because of the multiple processes). So I use slot 2 specifically for Chrome and I click the More button to set it up like this:

More options window for second slot

I also chose to use hot-keys (keyboard shortcuts) instead of mouse wheel to showcase that feature here. I can now control Chrome's volume using the keyboard shortcuts anywhere (no need to switch to Chrome first), another advantage of exe-specific volume control. Note that you don't need to specify full path, but it's safer to do so. You can also just specify the file name (chrome.exe).

Using Volumouse with keyboard shortcuts: Combining the settings "Use hot-keys instead of mouse wheel" (blue method) and "Change the volume for application in focus" (red method) worked better for Psycogeek as the hot-keys were functioning in applications where the mouse wheel didn't.

Another tip: If you want an easy way to bring up the standard Volume Mixer of Windows, you can create a shortcut to C:\Windows\System32\SndVol.exe and assign a keyboard shortcut in the shortcut's properties. Or you can pin it on the taskbar.

Another thing to note: When using a 64Bit system, volumouse is running 2 processes a 32bit and a 64bit. If your having problems with it controlling only 32bit or only 64bit programs, check to see if both 32&64 were installed and running.

  • The same way it is failing for you in Chrome, it is failing for me in many of the programs I use. Did you try it when a game is running full screen? I used ALT only, tried WIN only, and even made various combinations of 3 keys. but the programs themselves have the Scoll going on in THEM. Like virutal Dub, the video frame advances still, the browser still scrolls, and Qdir still scrolls files. Could it have anything to do with many of them being 32bit?
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 14, 2012 at 13:06
  • Hmm, does it work correctly in other programs? I guess Volumouse is not going to help then. Sorry! Btw, just curious, why do you need per-application volume control? I find that master-control is much better except in certain rare situations.
    – ADTC
    Feb 14, 2012 at 13:19
  • i.stack.imgur.com/903Fm.png <-- this picture is what it looks like with my programs opened, the short list of programs that have sound. If there was a way to shrink that? it would be a possibility. Not all of those things need to be controlled. But Even when I SET the applications, some of the tools couldnt find them. The Gadgets, they are supposed to be Sidebar.exe ? The system sounds I tests as Explorer.exe I tried to grab the windows with the window thing, and that did not work. I will put up a list of programs.
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 14, 2012 at 13:34
  • let us continue this discussion in chat
    – ADTC
    Feb 15, 2012 at 2:44

As far as I know CheVolume is new to the scene and the only application as of this post that can change the audio output device per application.

There is a lengthy thread that began in 2009 of users seeking this ability, so it's been quite the ongoing request. The developer himself answered the thread a couple months ago.

I do not know if CheVolume supports hotkeys.

The website also supplies a contact form. (The developer also availed himself to feedback in this old reddit discussion.)

I'm lifting the FAQ from the website:

How does it work ?

CheVolume gives you power over your applications. You can transfer an open application from your headset to your speakers in a click (or any other audio device, USB, HDMI, etc.).

Can i have 2 different applications on 2 different audio devices?

Hmmmm... YES ! This is the main goal of CheVolume !

Does CheVolume support web-browsers ?

Currently, only Chrome is supported. Firefox and Internet Explorer will be supported on a next update.

Does it work with my games?

Yes ! But some games need to be restarted (or mute/unmute) so the transfer can take place.

If I have a dual-screen, can i have a game on one screen in my headset, and a movie on the other screen, with the sound on the speakers so my girlfriend can watch it?

Yes ;)



Another application that is not in your list is Virtual Audio Cable :

Virtual Audio Cable software allows you to transfer audio (wave) streams between applications and/or devices.

It creates a set of virtual audio devices named "Virtual Cables", each of them consists of a pair of the waveform input/output devices. Any application can send audio stream to an output side of a cable, and any other application can receive this stream from an input side. All transfers are made digitally, providing NO sound quality loss (a bitperfect streaming).

  • thats cool, but how would it be used or apply in the situation? I suppose it is not explained well that I was only looking to control the mixer stuff, not to rearrange paths?
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 17, 2012 at 12:54
  • Never used it, but as far as I understood from from the manual (found in the downloaded zip of the trial version), a virtual cable can connect application-application or application-device or device-application.
    – harrymc
    Feb 17, 2012 at 14:21
  • 1
    A virtual cable also works as a mixer when two applications are used as input to the same cable. It is really an amazing application.
    – harrymc
    Feb 17, 2012 at 14:55
  • 1
    Apropos Volumouse : Have you been trying Volumouse Beta ?
    – harrymc
    Feb 18, 2012 at 10:38
  • 1
    @harrymc Volumouse 2 Beta there is outdated, and has already been released as Volumouse 2.00 (release version). Psycogeek, Nirsoft replied my email and said The 'System Sounds' works programmingly like the per application volume control, but it's currently not supported by Volumouse. Maybe I'll add it in future versions.
    – ADTC
    Feb 19, 2012 at 8:19

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