Connecting Laptops and Desktops to Sound Systems (Audio Out and In)
Technology 4
Summer 2007
Nebo Elementary School
Instructor: Mr. Michaud

Key Concept: "Flow of Signal"

Rememberf "Flow of Signal?"  This works for sound as well.  You will use the line out to take the sound from the computer to speakers, VCR/Television Sets, or recording equipment.  You can also input sound using microphones or sound from devices like musical instruments or music players. 

Another Key Concept: Cable Types

To connect computers to video and sound devices, we need to use several different cables:

Sound and Video:

1/4 Tip-Ring:
Used to connect sound system parts together. Used for Audio Signals.

1/4 Tip-Ring-Sleeve:
Rarely used for stereo connections and audio signals.  Sometimes used for switching devices like keyboard sustain pedals.

1/8 Tip-Ring-Sleeve:
Very common: stereo signal output or input. Use to take sound from the computer to other devices. Stereo Audio Signals

RCA Cable (Left, Right, Video feed):
Very common: Cables that connect VCR's to Computers or Television Sets. Used for Audio and Video signals.

"Y" Cable: (1/8 Tip-Ring-Sleeve to RCA Left/Right).  Used between computer and Sound devices.

Other Cables: (Non sound or Video)
Ethernet - Connects Computer to LAN network.
VGA/RGB - Video Signal for Computer Monitors.
USB Type A - Connect other hardware devices to computer.

Procedure to Connect Sound out to Speaker System (or Television Set):
1. Use a 1/8 Tip-Ring-Sleeve to RCA Left Right cable.  Plug this cable into the jack on the Dell Computer Screen on the right side near the volume control wheel. 
2. Run the RCA leads to your sound system (you might need to use a "Y" cable to convert the connection to a 1/4 Tip-Sleeve.)
(For a Television Set, plug the RCA cables into the VCR "Audio-In" jacks.  You might need a "Y" cable.)
3. Plug into your system and adjust the sound levels as needed.

Procedure to Connect Sound in to Computer from a Microphone or Sound Device:
1. Use the "Mic" in port on the computer for Microphones.
2. Use the "Line In" for MP3 players, CD Players or other devices.
(Note: On School Dell Computers:  All computers have a built in speakers and microphone on the computer monitor. Connections are made on the back of the CPU tower.)