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sound card
Last modified: Sunday, September 01, 1996 

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 sounds:

  • 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.
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    For internet.com pages about sound card . Also check out the following links!

    Related Links

    Creative Labs sound products page
    Provides links to Creative Labs's Sound Blaster card products. In addition, there are links to a sound card buyers guide, product reviews, news, awards, and software demos.

    Generating DTMF tones
    Provides information on generating DTMF tones using a sound card.

    PC Sound Card Overview
    Outlines the features and components of a modern PC sound card, covering both FM and wavetable synthesis. Includes graphics, diagrams and an integrated glossary. This page is from "The PC Technology Guide."

    Yahoo!'s sound card manufacturers page
    Yahoo!'s directory of sound card manufacturers.

    related categories

    Audio

    related terms

    3-D audio

    CD-ROM

    MIDI

    multimedia

    SMDI

    wave table synthesis


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