Audio 3.13.8 Practice Questions

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You recently purchased a new sound card and installed it in a free PCI slot in your computer. You plug in your old speakers, but you don’t get any sound. You have checked all cable connections and they are secure. You have also ensured that the speaker volume is appropriately adjusted and isn’t muted. What should you do next?

Check the vendor’s Web site for an driver. Explanation Check the vendor Web site for an updated driver before further troubleshooting. Because the speakers worked before, you likely would not need to replace the speakers. PCI cards are plug-and-play, meaning that you should not need to manually configure resources such as IRQs. You should troubleshoot the problem completely before you resort to replacing the sound card.

You would like to install Windows on a computer that previously had another operating system installed on it, but you are not sure if the audio card is compatible. The installed audio card is a SoundMax D1371 (PCI) card. What should you do?

Check the manufacturer website for compatibility information. Explanation Check the manufacturer website to verify compatibility between specific hardware devices and the operating system. While you could also go to the HCL, you are likely to get better compatibility information from the manufacturer.

You have just purchased a new plug-and- play sound card that uses a PCI slot. What should you do before installing the device in your Windows systems?

Check the HCL to make sure the device is compatible with the version of Windows running on your system. Download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s Web site. Explanation Before installing the device, verify that it is compatible with your version of Windows and download the latest drivers. Because the card is a plug-and-play card, you do not need to manually assign system resources. The BIOS and the operating system will work together to assign resources. Windows Update does not download normal device driver files.

What is a DB-15 connector on a sound card typically used for?

Joystick MIDI Explanation Use a DB-15 connector on a sound card to connect MIDI devices or game joysticks. Headphones, speakers, and microphones connect to TRS ports.

Which port on a sound card should you connect a non-amplified microphone to?

Mic In Explanation Connect a non-amplified microphone to a sound card’s Mic In (microphone in) port. The speaker out connector sends signals to external speakers. This signal is amplified and the computer and the speakers can control the sound level. The line out connectors send unamplified audio signals to other sound devices. The line in connector receives signals from the line out port of other audio devices.

Which of the following features are typically available through TRS ports on a sound cards?

Microphone in Speakers out Explanation TRS ports on a sound card accept 3.5 mm (1/8") plugs for analogue audio input and output. The number of ports on the sound card depends on the type of support (e.g, 5.1 surround support). An IEEE 1394 port is used to connect FireWire devices. S/PDIF audio is supplied through either a TOSLINK optical port or an RCA port. HDMI audio is supplied through an HDMI port.

You want to purchase a motherboard that has integrated sound with digital audio output.

Which port would you likely find on the motherboard faceplate that indicates digital audio support?

S/PDIF Explanation S/PDIF audio is digital audio output. A TOSLINK connector is a connector used by fiber optic digital audio. An RCA connector for audio is also digital audio using coaxial cable. Mini TRS ports on the sound card indicate analogue audio input and output. DB-15 connector on a sound card is used to connect MIDI devices. A mini-DIN connector is used on video cards for S-video input and output. An F-type connector is used for TV input from cable or an antenna.

You are building one of your customers a home theater PC (HTPC) to connect to an HDTV and high-definition audio system. The customer is going to be playing mostly Blu-ray movies on the system.

Which of the following features should the sound card include?

Dolby Digital, DTS support, or SDDS support S/PDIF output Explanation Because the customer is using the computer as an HTPC, the sound card should include support for high-quality sound output, such as Dolby Digital, DTS, or SDDS support. In addition, the sound card should support a digital output, such as S/PDIF. Line-level in (line in) ports are used to receive analogue audio signals from musical instruments or CD players, which is not necessary for this computer. IEEE 1394 ports are used for connecting FireWire devices. MIDI support, which allows recording for digital synthesizers, is also unnecessary for this particular computer.

Which component is responsible for converting digital audio into sound that can be played on speakers?

DAC Explanation Sound cards use a component called a Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) to convert digital data into analogue audio signals that can be played on speakers. The ADC (Analogue-to-Digital Converter) converts analogue sound into digital data. TXK is a sound quality standard that was developed for films. MP3 (MPEG-2 Layer III) is an audio codec used to compress digital audio files.

The PCI sound card in your computer stopped working. You decided to use the motherboard’s integrated sound until you can replace the PCI sound card. After removing the PCI sound card and powering on the computer, you have no sound and the built-in sound does not show up in Device Manager.

Which should you do to solve the issue?

Edit the CMOS settings and enable the onboard sound. Explanation When installing dedicated expansion card, you will typically disable the onboard device so that only the device you want to use shows in Device Manager. To make the onboard device detectable to Windows, enable the device in the CMOS settings. You cannot update the device drivers or enable the device until Windows can detect the device and it appears in Device Manager. An audio codec is a file format for saving audio files. Sound cards require codecs to play sound files; however, the sound card must be properly configured before a codec can be used.

A customer has brought a computer in to be repaired. He said he thinks that the sound card has stopped working because no audio is produced when music, video, or DVDs are played.

Which troubleshooting step should you take first?

Verify that the speakers are plugged into the correct jack and are powered on. Verify that the volume isn’t muted. Explanation You should first verify that the speakers are plugged in correctly and powered on. You should also verify that the volume isn’t muted in the operating system. Before investigating more complex possibilities, you should always check the obvious first when troubleshooting computer problems. The other actions might need to be performed if checking the obvious solutions does not correct the problem.

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