Sound Blaster

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Sound Blaster

(hardware)
The best known family of sound cards for the IBM PC from Creative Labs.

Sound Blaster

A popular family of sound cards from Creative Labs. In the days of DOS, Sound Blaster was the de facto interface for gaming. Monaural cards were introduced in 1989, and stereo cards followed in 1992. Wavetable MIDI was added with 16-bit Sound Blaster Advanced Wave Effects (AWE) cards supporting 32 and 64 voices. In 1998, Sound Blaster Live was the first PCI-based sound card. Over the years, the Sound Blaster line has been greatly enhanced to provide 3D audio and home theater quality sound directly from a PC. See Creative Labs, DirectSound and OpenAL.


High-End Sound Blaster
This earlier Audigy 4 Pro card cabled to an external hub. Supporting seven speakers, subwoofer and major surround sounds, it provided a wealth of analog and digital ports for connecting A/V equipment and MIDI instruments.







Driving a Sound Blaster
Several programming interfaces can be used to send sounds to a Sound Blaster card: Windows DirectSound, earlier MMSystem APIs or the open source OpenAL. (Illustration courtesy of Creative Labs.)







The Early Days
Before Windows had efficient sound interfaces, DOS applications (mostly games) accessed the Sound Blaster directly. (Illustration courtesy of Creative Labs.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Go for a good soundcard, EliteX use the fairly standard Soundblaster AWE64 Value card, and then add a sound system with a minimum of about 80 watts - even though you will only use about 4-5 watts.
2Gb hard drive, 8Mb ATI AGP video card, 56k modem, 24 speed CDROM drive, AWE64 sound card, Sony subwoofer speaker system and 15in monitor for pounds 1398.
Franco showed Luke how easy it was to use the Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold sound card.
The AWE64, like its predecessor, the AWE32, is just a 16-bit card - the `64' part refers to the fact that it has 64-note polyphony (meaning it can play 64 notes at once).
And the AWE64 is more of an update than an entirely new product.