Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » S »

sound card

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.






  • TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    5 Best Valentines Day Ideas for Open Source Romantics

    Because nothing says "I Love You" Like an open source app. Read More »

    Guarding your Data against Cyber Attacks

    In this new era of heightened stakes comes an increased need for a comprehensive security strategy. Let's take a look at how cyber-threats have... Read More »

    The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?

    Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    Network Fundamentals Study Guide

    A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

    Computer Architecture Study Guide

    This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »

    Webopedia Polls

    The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »