Connect How To: Sound Card Connections

Here is a diagram of some of the typical sound card input and output connections on a computer.

Computer Sound Card Connections

Computer Sound Card Connections

There are normally at least 3  jacks (holes) and a rectangular connector in the sound card section of your computer.  The audio output jack, the microphone input jack, the line input jack, and the game port.  The 3 similar jacks accept a 1/8″ or 3.5mm (same size) plug.  Of course, higher end cards may have more of these types of  jacks for extra surround sound speakers, but I am only going to cover the basic type here.  The rectangular connector is a 15 pin D-sub connector that’s called the game port.

Audio Output Jack:
The audio output jack is normally color coded green, and is a stereo output for your speakers or headphones.

DO NOT plug your electric guitar amplifier speaker OUTPUT into this jack, or you may have to go shoppin’.  You can, however, plug a cord from this audio output jack into your guitar amplifier INPUT to greatly amplify the song playing on your computer.  Doing that will also greatly amplify your parent’s/wife’s voice. ;>)

Microphone Jack:
The microphone jack is usually color coded pink and is strictly a low level, mono, microphone input.

Line Input Jack:
The line input jack is usually color coded blue and is for playing or recording music or sounds into your computer from the line output jacks on a keyboard, CD player, etc.

Game Port:
The game port is a 15 pin, D-Sub, input/output (I/O) port for a joystick, game controller, or MIDI device.  It’s unique shape and size prevents someone from inserting the connector in wrong, or from inserting the wrong connector in.  Here is a diagram of the computer game port pin out:

Computer MIDI Game Port Pin Out

Computer MIDI Game Port Pin Out

For older computers that don’t have the MIDI capabilities, pin 12 would be connected to ground and pin 15 would be +5V out.

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