Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.

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    Chapter 15. The ports

    The sound card Audigy Platinum eX has room for lots of ports. Let’s look at what all these plugs can be used for because this will really give you a good idea of the possibilities such an advanced sound card can give.

    On the back of the card

    Firstly, there are a handful of plugs on the back of the card. These plugs are not particularly practical, if you have to connect and disconnect the external devices often. But, if a desktop box does not accompany the sound card, you will have to be content with these plugs:

    Figure 76. Plugs on the back of the sound card.

    There are six plugs, listed here from the top to the bottom.






    Used for special loudspeaker sets (surround) from Creative.



    For connection of an external, analog source of sound. A tape recorder, record player, external CD player or MiniDisc. Stereo.


    MIC (Pink)

    Microphone port. Mono



    Analog port for active loudspeakers (stereo or front). Can also be used for headphones (stereo, 32 Ohm).



    Analog port for surround loudspeakers (active) or perhaps a second loudspeaker set.



    High-speed net connection. Can be used for scanner, can be used for scanner, DV cameras, etc.

    Figure 77. Sound card plugs.

    Colour codes are used on some sound cards for the plugs. Which is very practical; for example, I remember that the loudspeaker cable should always be put in the green port.

    CD drive sound

    A handful of connectors are found on the sound cards themselves, which can be connected to different cables. The plugs are of the so-called Molex type:

    Figure 78. The sound card’s internal plugs. The plugs to the right are meant for digital connection to CD/DVD drives.

    Two of the connectors can connect a computer’s CD drive to a sound card (analog and digital connection). Modern CD drives, however, do not need these connectors. A computer can fetch the soundtrack from a CD directly via the EIDE cable.

    This function is called DAE (Digital Audio Ex­trac­­tion), and it is found with all modern optical drives (CD/DVD) of the EIDE type.

    Figure 79. Most CD drives can supply digital sound data directly to the motherboard.

    Plugs in the desktop box

    The advantage of the ”black box” is, among other things, that it is much easier to connect different sound devices to the sound card.

    Figure 80. The desktop box’s connections meet most requirements and are easily reached.

    There are lots of plugs on the desktop box for Audigy Platinum eX, see Figure 81. There are the same sorts of plugs on other sound cards, although not as wide a range for selection. In any case, working with sound can quickly involve oceans of sound devices (not to mention cables), which means that it is important to know how the individual plugs and connections function. As I have mentioned earlier: You won’t need to use all these unbelievable amounts of plug types, but you will probably need to use some of them.


    Connection and plug



    DIGITAL IN and OUT (2 x SPDIF)

    Digital ports, which use coax cables. Connected to, for example, DVD players and surround systems.


    DIGITAL IN and OUT (2 x optical)

    As above, but with optical TOSLink cable. Typical for MiniDisc and DAT tape recorders



    Headphones or, maybe, active loudspeaker sets


    AUX IN
    (2 x RCA)

    A line in port for analog devices, e.g. cassette players)


    (stereo jack)

    For music instruments, dynamic microphones, etc.


    MIDI IN and OUT
    (2 x mini-DIN)

    MIDI equipment such as synthesizers and other keyboards (so-called sequencers).



    For DV cameras, etc.

    Figure 81. The different plugs’ possibilities.

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