What is a sound card

Elevating Your Audio Experience: What is a sound card?

A sound card is made up of various electronics and connectors. Electronic devices are used to perform various specific functions. Connectors generally have two types of sockets and circular jacks, which are used to connect input and output signals.

What is a sound card

The sound control chip is to obtain the sound analog signal from the input device, converts the sound wave signal into a series of digital signals through the analog-to-digital converter, and stores the samples in the computer.

When replaying, these digital signals are sent to a digital-to-analog converter to restore them to analog waveforms, which are amplified and sent to speakers for sound.

What is a sound card?

A sound card also called an audio card, is hardware that combines digital signal processing chips, A/D and D/A converters, bus interface chips, music synthesizers, and mixers to realize the mutual conversion of sound waves/digital signals. , is the most basic component in the computer multimedia system.

The basic function of a sound card is to convert the original sound signals from microphones, tapes, and CDs, and output them to audio equipment such as headphones, speakers, amplifiers, and tape recorders, or to emit the sound of a synthetic instrument through the Music Device Digital Interface (MIDI).

What is a sound card

The composition of the sound card

1. Digital signal processing chip

Digital signal processing chips can complete recording and playback tasks of various signals, and can also complete many processing tasks, such as audio compression and decompression operations, changing sampling frequency, interpreting MIDI commands or symbols, and controlling and coordinating direct memory access (DMA) work.

2. A/D and D/A converter

Sound originally appeared as an analog waveform that had to be converted to digital form before it could be used in a computer. To achieve this conversion, the sound card contains an A/D converter that converts the analog signal into a digital signal so that the data can be stored on a disk.

In order to send the sound output signal to speakers or other computer monitors devices for playback, the sound card must use a D/A converter to convert the sound expressed in digital form in the computer into an analog signal for playback.

3. Bus interface chip

The bus interface chip transmits commands and data between the sound card and the system bus.

What is a sound card

4. Music synthesizer

A music synthesizer is responsible for synthesizing digital audio waveform data or MIDI messages into sound.

5. Mixer

The mixer can mix the sound signals from different channels, such as a microphone or line input, and CD input. In addition, the mixer provides the user with software control of the volume.

Main functions

(1) It can record digital sound files. Through the control of the sound card and the corresponding driver, the signal from the microphone, radio recorder, and other audio sources is collected, compressed, and stored in the memory or hard disk of the computer system.

(2) Restore the digitized sound files compressed by the hard disk or laser disk into high-quality sound signals, amplify them and emit them through the speakers.

(3) Process the digitized sound files to achieve a specific audio effect.

(4) Control the volume of the sound source, combine various sound sources, and realize the function of the reverberator.

What is a sound card

(5) Using speech synthesis technology to read the text information through the sound card. Such as reading English words and sentences, playing music, etc.

(6) It has a preliminary audio recognition function, allowing the operator to use passwords to direct the computer to work.

(7) Provide a MIDI function, so that the computer can control multiple electronic musical instruments with a MIDI interface. In addition, under the action of the driver, the sound card can output the files stored in the MIDI format to the corresponding electronic musical instruments to produce corresponding sounds. Make electronic musical instruments under the command of the sound card.

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Technically, a sound card is an optional component but a necessary one if you want to hear sound from your PC on wired headphones or speakers (just like an external DAC), or plug in a mic with an analog output.
A sound card (also referred to as an audio card) is a peripheral device that attaches to the ISA or PCI slot on a motherboard to enable the computer to input, process, and deliver sound.