USB Sound Card

Introduction: USB Sound Card

About: Electronics lover. Love to design PCB's. IoT enthusiastic.

Make a USB sound card is no more a complex issue. If you use great IC PCM2912A from Texas Instruments you can create a fully functional USB sound card. This sound card can be powered from USB port and has one mono input and one stereo output. You don’t need to install any driver for Windows or linux, because they are already inside. This is really plug and play. Also the sound quality is better than the internal sound card with all major features like noise cancellation etc. By using this USB sound card you play any sounds from any running applications, games etc. This sound card is not like cheap USB sound cards. This one is really industrial grade because we have promise of company like Texas instruments. Thanks to Texas instrument for this wonderful IC.

In this instructable i'll step by step show you how you can make this awesome USB sound card by yourself. Also i'll give the proper demonstration of PCB etching at home.

So let's start !

Step 1: Tools and Components


  • Soldering iron and soldering wire
  • Multimeter
  • Steel scrubber
  • Electric Iron
  • Hand Hexa
  • Tweaser
  • Hand Drill and Drill Bit (0.8mm and 1 mm)
  • Scissor


  • Copper Clad - 1
  • Photo Paper - 1
  • Water Mug - 500 ml
  • Flat Container
  • OHP Black Marker - 1
  • USB to USB cable - 1
  • Ferrous Chloride - 50 gram
  • Surgical Gloves - 1 piece
  • Black Acrylic spray paint
  • Texas Instrument PCM2912A IC - Package TQFP
  • Resistor SMD 1K5 (Package 1206) - 3
  • Resistor SMD 22R (Package 1206) - 2

  • Resistor SMD 1M (Package 1206) - 1

  • Resistor SMD 3K3 (Package 1206) - 4

  • Resistor SMD 1K (Package 1206) - 1

  • Inductor SMD 1uh (Package 1206) - 1

  • Capacitor Ceramic SMD 100nf (Package 0603) - 1

  • Capacitor Ceramic SMD 22pf (Package 0603) - 2

  • Capacitor Ceramic SMD 1uf (Package 0603) - 6

  • Capacitor Ceramic SMD 10pf (Package 1206) - 2

  • Capacitor Electrolyte Through hole 100uf - 2

  • Capacitor Electrolyte Through hole 3u3 - 2

  • Capacitor Electrolyte Through hole 1uf - 1

  • Crystal Oscillator small Through hole - 1

  • USB Type A Jack - 1

  • Headphone jack (3 pole) - 2

Step 2: PCB Eteching

  • First of all print the mirror gerber file on the photo paper only using laser printer. I attached the gerber file in the downloads section. You can open the gerber file with the help of any gerber viewer.
  • Then cut the required portion only from the full paper and mark the cutting portion on the copper clad using any sharp tip marker. I used OHP Marker. You can use any gel pen that will also work.
  • Now cut the Copper clad marked portion using hexa blade or any cutting tool. You can use dremel also.
  • Then clean the copper clad using steel scrubber until its starts shinning.
  • Then place the printed paper on the copper clad.
  • Next step is pressing using Electric Iron.
  • Press the paper on clad for 10-15 minutes until it starts looking like the 12th image added.
  • I also added 1 video showing the pressing process.
  • Then immediately put the clad into water mug and starting rubbing the paper with hand until the full paper rip off from the board. Refer the video removing paper from board.
  • When the full paper rip off from the board, Board will look like the image 13th.
  • Then check whether all tracks printed on the board or not. If some tracks broken then draw it with OHP marker.
  • Then prepare the solution. Before preparing the solution wear the surgical gloves because solution can harm your skin. Add 50 gram solution in the flat container. Stir it for 30 seconds.
  • Then add the clad Board into the solution. Wait for copper to etch for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When all extra copper is etched take out the board from the solution. If at some places copper left then again add board in the solution.
  • Now it's time for the clean the black ink from the board. Refer the video Eteching Process.
  • After all this now we will check the circuit whether all tracks all fine or not using multimeter. If some tracks broke then try joining it using single wire.
  • Now Etching process is all done.

Step 3: Paint

  • Now we will make our PCB look good by using spray paint. Spray paint makes our PCB looks good also it protects PCB from rust.
  • Spray 2 cots of paint in 10 minutes of interval.

Step 4: Removing Paint From Pads

  • After 15-20 minutes of paint, remove the paint using tweaser from the pads where components have to solder.

Step 5: Drilling

  • After removal paint from all pads next step is drilling. We have to drill for through hole capacitors and headphone jacks.
  • Use 0.8 mm bit for capacitors and 1mm for headphone jack.

Step 6: Soldering

  • Now place the components at their respective places. It's little bit tough to solder TQFP package but try soldering it with small soldering iron. Also use flux on the pins.
  • You can refer the 3D viwer and Schematics pdf for the components placing.

Step 7: Final Completion

  • After mounting all components your PCB will look like this.

Step 8: Testing

  • Now plug in the USB Cable to PCB board and Laptop or PC.
  • It detects my circuit in the first attempt as genuine USB sound codec. You can check it on sounds menu from the taskbar.
  • Just Right click on the sounds and click on playback.

Sound quality is too awesome. No noise crystal clear sound.

Hope you all like my instructable.

This is my website

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    3 years ago

    Great work have you got an easyeda file of the schematic or a gerber file??


    Question 4 years ago on Step 8

    Hi, Danish! Very good tutorial!

    Is it possible to make a multi-input sound card using this IC? Is it better with some other (dedicated to the task) IC? I want to make a DIY sound interface with 4+ input tracks. So it will be going into DAW (like Ableton for example) separately.


    5 years ago

    Hi !

    Do you have any spec of your sound card ? Like latency and... all of the others specs ?


    Reply 5 years ago


    Go through this datasheet of the IC
    U will get all the information there



    5 years ago

    Great project! I'm looking to make one myself. Do you have the schematic for this circuit?