sound card

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sound card

[′sau̇n kärd]
(computer science)

sound card

A plug-in optional circuit card for an IBM PC. It provides high-quality stereo sound output under program control. A "multimedia" PC usually includes a sound card. One of the best known is the Sound Blaster.

sound card

Also called a "sound board" or "audio adapter," it is a plug-in card that records and plays back sound. Supporting both digital audio and MIDI, sound cards provide an input port for a microphone or other sound source and output ports to speakers and amplifiers. Sound circuits are typically built into the chipset on the motherboard, but can be disabled if a separate sound card is installed. See Sound Blaster, AC'97 and HD Audio.

Digital Audio
Digital audio files contain soundwaves converted into digital form. Sound cards convert the digital samples back into analog waves for the speakers using digital signal processing (DSP). See sampling, digital audio and DSP.

MIDI
MIDI files contain a coded representation of the notes of musical instruments such as middle C on the piano. Taking considerably less space than digital audio, MIDI files require a wavetable synthesizer on the card, which holds digitized samples of the instruments. See MIDI.


Anatomy of a Sound Card
PC sound cards typically have all the components in this picture. Some have only one output, which may be amplified (Amp) or not (Buffer amp). These components may also be built directly into the motherboard. (Illustration courtesy of Peter Hermsen.)







High-End Sound Card
This Audigy card from the Creative Labs Sound Blaster family cables to an external hub that supports surround sound with seven speakers and a subwoofer. It provides a wealth of connections for A/V equipment, including ports for MIDI synthesizers and musical instruments.
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Throughout your listening experience, you can dock the Audio Card and keep
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And even though audio integrated onto the computer's main circuit offers the advantage of effortless setup, a better choice for a power user is a 16-bit audio card.
Its notable features include the Sound Blaster 16 audio card, which offers high-quality stereo sound.
In addition, some CD-ROM drive kits come with amplified speakers, which an be plugged into either the computer's audio card or the headphone jack of the CD-ROM drive.
The audio from the hard disk is accessible only through the jack on the back of the audio card.
13-micron Intel PIII/Celeron Tualatin processors and built-in CODEC audio, eliminating the need for a separate audio card.
Also, if the source is a computer's internal speaker, the various machine beeps are piped through the audio card and speaker system, raising their volume.
A multimedia (MPC) upgrade kit ensures that the drive, audio card, software and everything else work together--no small feat.
WideOrbit integrates seamlessly with Axia PathfinderPC[R], the Axia IP-Audio Driver, and the AudioScience 6585 Livewire audio card.
Solutions such as the Internet of Things, motor control, scope applications, audio and FPGA are all made available to Raspberry Pi users through products from PiFace, BitScope, Cirrus Logic Audio Card and EnOcean.