Sound card mixer

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A sound card mixer is the analog part of a sound card that routes and mixes sound signals. This circuit receives inputs from both external connectors and the sound card's digital-to-analog converters. It selects or mutes, amplifies (with variable gain) these signals, adds them together, and finally routes the result to both external output connectors and the sound card's analog-to-digital converters. Different mixing schemes are in use, but the ones implemented in most IBM-PC compatible computers today are variants of a scheme defined in Intel's AC'97 Audio Component Specification.

Mixer controls

Sound card mixer controls are provided through the GUI interface in the computer's operating system. On most desktop environments, the mixer can be accessed via a Volume icon in the system tray.

Mixer controls are similar to that of a mixing console. They consist of volume sliders or rotary controls that represent each individual source, which may be accompanied by balance and mute controls. Most interfaces provide a method of switching between playback (output) sources and recording (input) sources. Additional hardware or software may add other effects such as low-pass filters, distortion and boost controls.


List of packages that provide sound card mixer controls for the Unix console

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