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 Synthesismimics 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.
  • Webopedia Staff
    Webopedia Staff
    Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

    Related Articles

    Software Environment

    A software environment is a collection of programs, libraries, and utilities that allow users to perform specific tasks. Software environments are often used by...

    ClickUp

    ClickUp is a cloud-based work and project management platform that enables teams to manage tasks, collaborate in real-time, gain insights via reporting, and more....

    Chunk (Data Chunk)

    A chunk, also called a data chunk, by RFC2960 SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) standards, is the term used to describe a unit of...

    Blog Search Engine

    A blog search engine is specifically focused on finding content in the blogosphere. Blog search engines only index and provide search results from blogs...

    Agile Project Management

    Agile project management enables business teams to approach their projects and tasks with...

    Private 5G Network

    A private 5G network is a private local area network (LAN) that utilizes...

    Rich Communication Services (RCS)

    Rich communication services (RCS) is a mobile messaging approach in which session initiation...