Evolution of PC Sound Cards
There is a strange and long history behind the computer sound card. The early sound cards have evolved greatly to the audio cards that we all know currently. I know you might find it hard to imagine a computer without sophisticated sound. Be that as it may, it is of essence to understand that there was a time when sound cards were a luxury of the chosen few. It was aggressive marketing that forced companies such as Creative Labs and AdLib to develop sound cards and make them necessary in the manufacture of the current computer. Read on to appreciate how much the computer sound card has evolved and the impact the evolution has had on the industry of computers.
The early days of the evolution of the computer audio
Before computer granularity, home computers were developed as an all-in-one package. This package had a few upgradable or removable parts except for the extra Random Access Memory (RAM). Such computers of the early days included the Atari 800xl and the Commodore 64, both of which took advantage of the sound chips that were hard-wired such that they produced nothing more than bleeps and blips. The bleeps and blips were used to alert users on any errors as well as addition of some video games with shallow immersion.
The introduction of the expansion cards came as a result of the IBM computers of mid 1980s, which were granular in nature. The invention of expansion cards enhanced the sound abilities of computers to a great extent. During this time in the history of computers, there were no DVD movies, MP3 players, computer speakers or internet. No one ever imagined that computers could one day serve as home theaters as well as stereo systems.
The need and urgency of the inaugural computer sound cards
At the time of invention of the first computer sound cards, DVD movies and MP3 players had not hit the market. Therefore, the development of the first sound cards was mainly aimed at two main reasons as to why owners of personal computers would want enhanced sound from the computers. One of the reasons was playing games. Gaming sound could only be played as inane bleeps and blips before computer sound cards came into being. Game lovers had little control on the sound of games and this was a boring moment of playing games. What a boring gaming experience it was! The other reason why sound cards were direly needed was for production of music. MIDI files gave musicians the leeway to interface computers with musical instruments, hence making it easy to record and edit.
In the year 1989, a company by the name of AdLib successfully marketed the first successful sound card. AdLib did this for the phenomenal family computers called IBM PCs. As soon as AdLib did this, the Creative Music System was properly marketed by the renowned company called Creative Labs. Creative Music System gave way to its one of a kind Sound Blaster model of sound cards a brand that is still being produced.
Modern Sound Cards’ evolution
The first sound card was plugged into a computer manufactured by IBM PC Company. The cards were really large and had volume controls on them. This feature forced the user to always lean behind the personal computer so as to adjust the volume of the card. DOS was the best operating system meaning that you could not find a volume control, which was built to the graphical user interface a feature in most of the computers today.
Sound cards later used a higher bandwidth, which was more efficient. This gave the manufacturers some freedom to manufacture better cards. The switch to better sound cards resonated well with the introduction of Microsoft Windows operating system, which introduced hardware interface protocols for cards. Video games became more interesting and captivating. The best sound cards today make use of the PCle Port to connect to a PC.