Griffin Powermate – Mic Mute Button

I picked up a Griffin Powermate last week on a whim. It is a usb connected solidly built alluminum control knob. You can press and turn it to trigger events. It also has a blue LED light for giving status feedback. It can work on Mac and Windows.

It comes with a number of default actions for controlling applications like iTunes, Safari etc. You can add your own and even trigger scripts with it. Griffin provides some apple script samples with the software for the powermate. These can do things like place the led into a triple flash alert mode.

I took the supplied scripts and saved them in a Scripts subfolder on my mac. Then I setup a new Control group for podcasting. You can only choose one active set per powermate at a time. Yes you can connect multiple powermates if you really want. I then found and added the applescripts for controlling skype that I found over at Mystic Coders. Next I put together triggers to toggle muting both an active skype call and the input audio level for my Mac. This way if I am on Skype with someone and they are recording I can mute for coughs, interuptions etc. I have the action also zero out then restore the input audio level as well. That solves muting my mic if I am the one doing the recording.

Setting up the Triggers

For the Trigger: Mic-Mute: Under Advanced I check to match light state for “Default” This only runs the below actions if the light is in the default state. This keeps it from running twice once we change the light state while muted.

  • Action: InputVolume-0: AppleScript: set volume input volume 0

  • Action: Skype-MuteON: AppleScript: run the skype mute script from Mystic Coders

  • Action: PM-LightPulse: AppleScript: run the Griffin provded script: AlertX3.scpt

For the Trigger: Mic-UnMute: Under Advanced I check to match light state for “Alert x3” This only runs the below actions if the light is in the alert state as defined in the Griffin script. This keeps it from running twice once we change the light state while unmuted.

  • Action: InputVolume-72: AppleScript:  set volume input volume 72

  • Action: Skype-MuteOFF: AppleScript: run the skype unmute script from Mystic Coders

  • Action: Clear Light State

That does it. Now when I go to record a podcast I flip my active control set for my powermate to my Podcast set. Press the knob to mute and again to unmute. It flashes while muted to ensure I know I am muted to save me from talking for several minutes without getting it recorded.

Simple podcast audio level steps.

Want to make a nice consistent level in your podcast production? Here are the simple steps if your software supports RMS and Peak leveling. These steps come from a ot of experience and guidance over the years from my friends Victor Cajiao and Paul Figgiani.


1. Record as clean audio as you can (minimal noise).
2. Do any noise reduction. This is so you do the least reduction BEFORE you start raising levels.
3. RMS level the track to something around -17.5dB. I actually use -13.1 for Cyberspeak because their mic levels match up the best here.
4. When done editing your show, mix down then Peak level to -1.0dB


That should do it. Now if you don’t have RMS leveling ability you can always use the free Levelator. Just remember. Do your noise reduction if any BEFORE you adjust levels. This increases the chance you pull the noise so far down it doesn’t also get amplified.