and speech. Since the beginning of the decade, those early sound boards have blossomed into an array of powerful, high-fidelity sound products, capable of duplicating voice, or-chestral soundtracks, and real-life sounds with uncanny realism (Fig. 41-1). Not only havesound products helped the game industry to mature, but they have been instrumental in thedevelopment of multimedia technology (the integration of sound and picture), as well asInternet Web phones and other communication tools. This chapter is intended to explainthe essential ideas and operations of a contemporary sound board, and show you how toisolate a defective sound board when problems arise.
Understanding Sound Boards
Before you attempt to troubleshoot a problem with a sound board, you should have an un-derstanding of how the board works and what it must accomplish. This type of back-ground helps you when recommending a sound board to a customer or choosing acompatible card as a replacement. If you already have a strong background in digitalsound concepts and software, feel free to skip directly to the troubleshooting portion of this chapter.
THE RECORDING PROCESS
All sound starts as
traveling through the air. Sound can come from al-most anywhere—a barking dog, a laughing child, a fire engine’s siren, a person speaking.You get the idea. The process of recording sound to a hard drive requires sound to be car-ried through several manipulations (Fig. 41-2). First, sound must be translated from pressure variations in the air to analog electrical signals. This is accomplished by a mi-crophone. These analog signals are amplified by the sound card, then digitized (converted to a series of representative digital words each taken at a fixed time interval). The result-ing stream of data is processed and organized through the use of software, which places the
S Y S T E M DAT AANDT R O UBL E S H O OT I N G
A Logitech SoundMan Wave sound board.
Copyright ©1995 Logitech Corporation