mac volume control does not control volume connected via USB audio device

Posted on 2008-06-26
Last Modified: 2008-06-28
I'm running my Mac through a Tascam US-122 USB audio device, which connects to my studio monitors. I finally ditched my hardware mixer which I have always used to control volume. I figured it would be easy to control things via the volume control, however that doesn't work. If I move the volume slider in iTunes, that DOES control volume, but there isn't any easy keyboard command for that. I was hoping hitting the function keys for volume would let me easily move the master volume (sent to the USB device) up or down. There must be some way to make this easy! I would really appreciate any advice.

Question by:bbdesign
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Expert Comment

ID: 21882175
does the usb device show up in the sound pane as an output option?

Author Comment

ID: 21882279
Yes, it is selected as the output device.

Accepted Solution

infinitusagnitio earned 500 total points
ID: 21889886
Yeah man, you're pretty much screwed.  There is no fix for the grey bar problem, it also happens when you are using optical out.  Whenever I plug in my receiver I get the grey bar and I can only change the sound through iTunes.  Here is an interesting blog exploring the subject further:

As for changing iTunes volume through shortcuts, that is very easy.  Just download a macro program like Youpi Key

You open Youpi Key, go to Add a new shortcut: Run Script.  Name the command whatever, and assign it to whatever key you want.  Then for the script type

tell application "iTunes"
set x to sound volume
set sound volume to (x + 5)
end tell

tell application "iTunes"
set x to sound volume
set sound volume to (x - 5)
end tell

The top snippet attach to the key you want to increase volume, the bottom snippet to the key you want to decrease volume.

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

ID: 21891238
Excellent, thanks

Author Comment

ID: 21891254
The 2nd link you gave isn't going anywhere, by the way. Are they down, or is there a typo in the URL?

Expert Comment

ID: 21891447

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