One of the most widely used hardware devices that are part of a computer is the sound card . Although it is not a necessary part for the equipment to function properly, it is necessary for many users who enjoy all its benefits. The sound card is a piece of hardware that makes it possible to enjoy music, movies, virtual classes, or videos on your computer.
A sound card is a type of device that consists of an expansion card that makes it possible for the computer to send audio information to speakers, speakers, or headphones.
- Characteristics of a sound card
- What is a sound card for
- How does it work
- Sound card types
Characteristics of a sound card
Among the main features that can be found in a sound card, the following are mentioned:
- Its shape is rectangular .
- It has several contacts on the bottom and several ports on the sides where the audio devices are connected.
- Installs inside the motherboard .
- They can connect microphones , headphones and different types of audio devices .
- It is also known as a sound card .
- It is part of the expansion slots of the computer.
The parts that can be found inside a sound card are mentioned below:
- Motherboard interface : works as a transmission medium between the computer and the card.
- Buffer : temporarily stores all the data that is transferred between the computer and the card, preventing mismatches in the transmission speed.
- ADC : are the acronyms that represent the term analog-digital converter which has as its main function to transform all the sound signals that are of analog type into digital. This activity is carried out through three different steps, sampling, quantification and finally coding in order to achieve a binary sequence that represents the tension that occurs at a given moment.
- DSP : are the acronyms that identify the digital signal processor . It is a small microprocessor that has the ability to perform calculations and treatments on the sound signal, saving the computer’s CPU from this work. It is the part of the sound card that does compression work on the recording and at the same time decompresses when playing digital sound.
- DAC : identify the analog digital converter whose main function is to be able to reconstruct an analog signal from the digital version. It does this by producing output voltage depending on the values it receives.
- FM synthesizer : it is a frequency modulator that forms complex harmonic waves to define the timbre. It also interferes with the tone, volume, frequency, and amplitude of the wave.
- Mixer : used to combine the inputs and to bring them to the outputs.
What is a sound card for
A sound card is mainly used to make the user have the ability to enjoy different types of multimedia content . With it, you can listen to the audio present in videos , movies , songs , video games and many other applications that include educational and work aspects. Thanks to the sound card, recording sounds on the computer is made possible, which greatly facilitates communication as well .
It is an important device for remote meetings, to provide information through virtual classes and to improve and increase the sounds, since many of them have, over time, acquiring a series of additional functions that have improved considerably. its operation.
The history of the sound card begins in 1987 when the first sound card that was compatible with computers was created. This card was named after the company that created it, Adlib , whose founder was Martin Prevel . After the creation of this card, Prevel tried to promote the product at IBM , however, this entrepreneur did not have much experience in the industry and had several difficulties in being able to place his product.
Shortly after, he managed to do business with the president of the Top Star company who was very satisfied after a demonstration. He then decided to participate in promoting the product . After the appearance of the first card, several companies began to improve the product until they managed to incorporate the option of recording and reproducing digital audio .
How does it work
The general operation of the motherboard is based on the use of a chip which is responsible for converting the different analog signals that are presented in a digital data transmission . This process works properly thanks to a mini plug connection that makes it possible to connect audio devices.
Sound card types
Sound cards, despite having the same purpose, can be found in two different ways.
- External sound card : this type of sound card is what makes it possible to make connections from external sources that require sound. In this type of card we can find microphones, musical instruments and audio players among others.
They are presented in the form of a USB sound card and their way of working is quite simple since they only need to carry a connection so that the user can make use of it.
- Internal sound card : this is the most used type of sound card since the devices that are used in a usual way already have it included. It is what makes it possible for sound to be introduced so that it can then be digitized and reproduced in the peripherals that make up the computer.
In addition to providing the sound, they also work to provide adequate distribution and processing of the same and thanks to this, sound mixes can be made. It is also widely used in professional and educational jobs.
Today, there are a large number of sound card brands, many of which specialize in providing quality audio and sound. Among the best brands we can find the following examples.
- Creative Sound Blaster ZX which has a maximum channel output and an external controller.
- Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX 5.1 that offers 5.1 sound and a digital to analog converter. Its playback speed is 192 KHz 24-bit.
- Asus Xonar DG which has more connection channels and a frequency range that has an amplitude of 10Hz to 87KHz.
- Behringer UM2 , an external sound card with USB 2.0 connection and with a 2.0 stereo channel output.
- Steinberg UR 242 which is also an external type card and is characterized by not needing power supplies other than USB 2.
The sound card is very important hardware since it helps to improve the performance of the device, especially when we refer to multimedia tasks . It is the one that gives the computer the ability to improve the audio effect , to increase its quality and is responsible for being able to carry out all the necessary actions to be able to make recordings.
It is an important device for many users who use the computer to carry out all their daily activities as it is the means by which they can improve sound quality . It is important to remember that today, having a great sound card is vital to being able to enjoy many activities.