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The resulting sound was generally described as "beeps and boops".

Several companies, most notably Access Software, developed techniques for digital sound reproduction over the PC speaker (see Real Sound); the resulting audio, while barely functional, suffered from distorted output and low volume, and usually required all other processing to be stopped while sounds were played.

Modern low-cost integrated soundcards (i.e., those built into motherboards) such as audio codecs like those meeting the AC'97 standard and even some lower-cost expansion sound cards still work this way.

These devices may provide more than two sound output channels (typically 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound), but they usually have no actual hardware polyphony for either sound effects or MIDI reproduction – these tasks are performed entirely in software.

These distinct channels are seen as the number of audio outputs, which may correspond to a speaker configuration such as 2.0 (stereo), 2.1 (stereo and sub woofer), 5.1 (surround), or other configuration.

Last modified 30-Oct-2016 18:29