Your computer uses a sound controller to convert analog audio from a microphone or some other source into digital data that it can store as files, and from digital files to sound that plays through speakers. Most computers use either a sound card that plugs into one of its PCI sockets, or a controller built into the motherboard. Special high-performance sound controllers are available for game players, for surround-sound home-entertainment systems, and for professional recording studios and broadcasters.
Your computer treats sound as one more type of data that it uses to warn users about certain events, stores on disk drives, and processes through an I/O controller. The Windows audio configuration settings and options are accessible through the Control Panel.