The Sound Blaster family of sound cards was the de facto standard for consumer audio on the IBM PC compatible system platform, until the widespread transition to Microsoft Windows 95, which standardized the programming interface at application level (eliminating the importance of backward compatibility with Sound Blaster), and the evolution in PC design led to onboard motherboard-audio, which commoditized PC audio functionality. By 1995 Sound Blaster cards had sold over 15 million units worldwide and accounted for seven out of ten sound card sales
Model CT1330, announced in May 1991, was the first significant redesign of the card's core features, and complied with the Microsoft MPC standard. The Sound Blaster Pro supported faster digital input and output sampling rates (up to 22.05 kHz stereo or 44.1 kHz mono)
with added a "mixer" to provide a crude master volume control (independent of the volume of sound sources feeding the mixer), and a crude high pass or low pass filter. The Sound Blaster Pro used a pair of YM3812 chips to provide stereo music-synthesis (one for each channel).
The Sound Blaster Pro was fully backward compatible with the original Sound Blaster line, and by extension, the AdLib sound card. The Sound Blaster Pro was the first Creative sound card to have a built-in CD-ROM interface. Most Sound Blaster Pro cards featured a proprietary interface for a Panasonic (Matsushita MKE) drive. The Sound Blaster Pro cards are basically 8-bit ISA cards, they use only the lower 8 data bits of the ISA bus. While at first glance it appears to be a 16-bit ISA card, it does not have 'fingers' for data transfer on the higher "AT" portion of the bus connector. It uses the 16-bit extension to the ISA bus to provide the user with an additional choice for an IRQ (10) and DMA (0)m channel only found on the 16-bit portion of the edge connector.
Yngvi Th. Johannsson
Retro gaming enthusiast and all around computer collector.
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