card manufacturer Creative Labs, Turtle Beach, Montego
computer speaker manufacturer Altec Lansing and Logitech
When buying speakers look at watts the ratio 4:1 means 4 speakers and 1 sub woofer
An expansion board that enables a computer to manipulate and output
sounds. Sound cards are necessary for nearly all CD-ROMs and have
become commonplace on modern personal computers. Sound cards enable
the computer to output sound through speakers connected to the board,
to record sound input from a microphone connected to the computer,
and manipulate sound stored on a disk.
Nearly all-sound cards support MIDI, a standard for representing music
electronically. In addition, most sound cards are Sound Blaster-compatible,
which means that they can process commands written for a Sound Blaster
card, the de facto standard for PC sound.
Sound cards use two basic methods to translate digital data into analog
FM Synthesis mimics different musical instruments according
to built-in formulas.
Wavetable Synthesis relies on recordings of actual instruments
to produce sound. Wavetable synthesis produces more accurate sound,
but is also more expensive.
sound card has several uses and has become a standard option, which
comes with computers today. The following is a listing of some of
the various functions of the sound card:
Creating and playing Midi.
MIDI or Musical Instrument Digital Interface developed in the 1980s
allows various musical instruments to communicate or play harmoniously.
MIDI is a limited method of playing sounds, as it will only be capable
of playing the instruments available to your sound card. This is why
MIDI files may sound better or worse on different computers.
Generally most computer sound cards will have a MIDI port, which allows
for several musical instrument devices to be connected to the computer
such as a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. Before connecting any of
these devices to the computer you will need to purchase a separate
cable which takes the MIDI/Game port connection into the standard
5-pin DIN midi connector.
MP3 is a new technology using MPEG compression shrinking down that
data by a factor of 12 and still gain CD-like quality. Factors of
up to 24 and more still allow for a quality significantly better than
just reducing linearly the sampling frequency and the number of bits.
This is realized by "perceptual coding" techniques taking
into account the limited resolution of the human ear. Maybe you already
heard about MP3. As interest in audio over the Internet increased,
MPEG Layer-3 files, music files that are capable of storing long audio
tracks with CD quality sound in a fraction of the space, appeared.
With this ease of piracy, it's a shock to the entire music industry.
Additional Information about MP3 can be found on our MP3 page.
SOUND CARD LAYOUT
The following is an example of what a generic sound card may look
like from the back of your computer.
Generally there will be a total of four connections:
MIDI / Game port is a port which is most commonly used for the game
port which will allow you to connect a game paddle and or Joystick
to the computer. This port will also allow you to connect a device
such as a MIDI keyboard to the computer, additional information on
this can be found in the Midi section.
Line In connector allows you to connect a Cassette Tape, CD or record
player to the computer.
Line Out connector is the location which the speakers or headphones
will be connected to get sound out of the sound card.
Volume control is generally no longer found on sound cards. However
for cards that do include this as a feature this allows for the volume
to be turned up and down on a non-amplified output such as a set of
Microphone allows you to connect a microphone to the computer and
record your own sound files.
Today you will find several manufacturers whom are beginning to identify
each of the above ports by symbols on the back of the sound card.
Below you will find examples of what these symbols mean.
You may also find that these ports are color-coded. Which means the
ports on the back will be the same color as the wire that you are
connecting to them.