I just bought an Asus Z87-Pro motherboard with Realtek ALC 1150 HD audio onboard. Since nVidia nForce4 chipset drivers I didn't found any valid audio driver that allows me to manage 5.1 sound sources.

With nForce I had a very interesting and useful driver with VU meters and possibility to change volume of each channel and in addiction with a simple checkbox I could mirror 2 front channel to rear channels in order to simulate a surround sound from a 2.0 source. In Addiction, presence of VU meters allowed me to monitor levels and calibrate and balance each one, during listening a movie.... Please look at this image

Teorically, audio chipset in nForce 4 was a Realtek ALC889, but managed from nVidia drivers. Now that I have a very recent audio chip.... Realtek drivers are ugly and almost unuseful....

Is there a way to easily manage channels and VU meters, with this recent chipset?


I bought the same motherboard a little while ago.

Check out PowerMixer (from ActualSolution) for a user configurable Audio Mixer software. It works with Realtek ALC1150 and any other onboard sound chip or sound card.

All available input and output ports are shown in a tree-control on the main page (see first picture on the screenshot page). The selected port is shown in a mixer stripe on the right side of the tree control. Each mixer stripe can have volume and balance sliders, a mute/select checkbox and an advanced parameters button. All Ports can be renamed to reflect the connected external device.

You can define your own mixer desk layouts with all or just some mixer stripes, e.g. one desk for recording and another desk for playback. For some channels, you can add additional mixer stripes with VU and/or PPM meters.

Settings (volume and balance levels, mute/select on/off) can be saved and recalled as presets.

For the Asus Z87-Pro with Realtek ALC1150 sound chip, PowerMixer shows the following ports and port groups:

  • HD Audio In: Mic (pink), LineIn (blue), StereoMix (optional virtual port), optional front-panel inputs (green/pink)

  • HD Audio Out: Mic (pink), LineIn (blue), optional front-panel inputs (green/pink) plus Speakers (2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1): Front (green), Rear (black), Side (grey), Center/Subwoofer (orange)

  • Optional Second HD AUdio Out: optional front-panel output (green)

  • Both digital outputs (optical/coax), depending on UEFI/BIOS settings

  • HDMI Audio output, if your CPU has an integrated GPU

  • Default playback and recording devices as selected in Windows Sound Control Panel.

  • Master and applications sliders as in the standard Windows mixer app.

  • Other ports available on installed PCI-Express audio and/or Video cards.

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