sound card

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sound card

[′sau̇n kärd]
(computer science)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

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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References in periodicals archive ?
* Audio board with headphones or speakers (not required for multimedia equipped PC)
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User input came from a serial joystick attached to the VAX, and the audio was generated from a custom audio board also connected to the VAX by a serial line.
The audio production room, which receives audio feed from major productions held in either the auditorium or TV studio, is outfitted with a 16-channel audio board, Ramsa speakers and an amp; three DAT machines and a DAT field recorder; a CD player; and digital delay and sound effects gear.