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Sound Blaster

Sound Blaster is a de facto standard for sound cards on the IBM PC system platform. The creator of Sound Blaster is the Singapore-based firm Creative Labs. In the beginning, the Sound Blaster was built entirely around the Yamaha YM3812 sound chip from Yamaha Corporation.

Evolution of Sound Blaster Soundcards

The first Sound Blaster (1989) featured FM synthesis using the Yamaha YM3812 chip, also known as OPL2. In addition the card also featured a digital signal processor that could also play back sampled sound.

The follow-up card Sound Blaster Pro (1991) added stereo capabilities. The first version of the Pro also used the YM3812, while version 2.0 used the Yamaha YMF262 chip, also known as OPL3.

The next model, Sound Blaster 16 (1992) introduced 16-bit sampling to the Sound Blaster line. The cards also featured a connector for add-on daughterboards with wavetable synthesis capabilities complying to the General MIDI standard. Creative offered such daughterboards in their Wave Blaster line.

Sound Blaster AWE32 was the first Sound Blaster sound card to feature wavetable synthesis natively, it did not comply to the General MIDI standard, however.

See also: sound card AdLib

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