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The evolution of PC audio

Submitted by on May 21, 2010 – 11:20 am One Comment

Many of us take fantastic sound from our computers for granted these days, but PC audio has come a very long way since I bought my TRS-80 Color Computer a very long time ago (which even had a synthesizer program with oscillators, filters, and envelope generators.) PC sound has changed from the little speaker in the PC all the way to our pro-quality multichannel recording setups in a handful of years.

Phreakindee has put together this video that explores the evolution of PC sound, and it demonstrates so clearly the steps that things have taken to get to where we are now. The recordings are all taken from the theme to the Secret of Monkey Island (a classic PC game), all from different sound cards.

He says:

Computer audio has come quite a way since 1981 and here is a short video comparing everything major from the PC speaker to Adlib on up to cards from today! At least, from the perspective of the Lucasarts classic, The Secret of Monkey Island. Get your education on, watch and gain respect for your aural ancestors.

Well said. He chose Monkey Island because there were so many different versions of the same song on different sound cards.

Here’s the video:

I distinctly remember when the Gravis ultrasound came out – it was such a leap forward, with user-replaceable sampled sounds of the instruments…. ahh, memories!

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