- AutoSelect (Win 98 only)
When using only one input AutoSelect will find the used input automatically.
As long as no valid input signal appears (No Lock) the card switches every
0.5 s to the next input and looks for an input signal. AutoSelect stops
when it finds a valid signal and starts again when losing it.
With AutoSync activated Hammerfall DSP continuously searches for a valid
input signal to lock on to. So starting a recording on-the-fly is possible
(as well as anytime during playback, thanks to Full Duplex) without first
having to synchronize the card to the input signal. When using more than
one card synchronizing is easy, just spread an input signal to all inputs.
Vari-speed is operational over the whole supported sample rate range.
- Bitclock PLL
The HDSP series always uses RME's bitclock PLL (already in its second generation,
with improved HF noise suppression), whether it is synchronized via Optical
In or via word clock. Thanks to the high resolution, this remarkable circuit
is capable of following the entire range of an ADAT recorder's Varipitch
without losing a single sample. Compare this with the much coarser wordclock
PLL, where any rapid changes in sample frequency can cause several false
reads, before the next impulse finally arrives, letting the PLL track the
current sample frequency. This behavior leads to dropouts and clicks.
- DIGICheck® DSP
Hammerfall DSP implements RME's DIGICheck in hardware. This means: level
metering of all inputs, all playback channels and all outputs at the same
time with a minimum of CPU load, because the display data is already calculated
in the hardware. The hardware catches both peak and RMS values. With these
features, you have a unique multi-channel level meter in broadcast quality
worth several thousands of Dollars virtually at no cost. In addition, the
level meter is integrated into the mixer surface, thus making setting and
- Enhanced ZLM®
The direct pass through of digital data requires the input and output to
carry the same AND synchronous sample frequency. In most cases a monitoring
is only possible in clock mode slave (AutoSync.) Enhanced ZLM®
removes those restrictions and allows a monitoring of the input signal
completely independent from the clock mode.
Normally the designer of hardware does not have any influence in the functions
of his product, because all features are the result of the chips used.
This is not only true for several features, but also for the data format
between the hardware, the PC and the software. Usually a large driver is
needed to correct, map or translate all these things. But all actions of
the driver are also actions of the CPU, ending in a high system load. Project
Hammerfall is different. Using ASIO the card does not use ANY CPU commands,
the complete data transfer is done by the card and the PCI bus. Hammerfall
DSP is made out of two FPGAs, programmed especially for this task.
- Intelligent Clock Control
Our unique SyncCheck and AutoSync technology has evolved into the new Intelligent
Clock Control of the Hammerfall DSP system. HDSP is the only digital I/O-system
worldwide capable of measuring and displaying the frequency of all clock
sources. Even word clock! Based on validity and current sample rate the
system then decides which clock source should be used - fully automated
and performed in hardware! With this the HDSP system offers the most easiest
handling of the present clocks, although having a lot digital inputs, plus
the most advanced support when configuring the clock setup.
- Latency Fast Change
RME's ASIO drivers have become reference. They were the first and only
(beginning with the Hammerfall, followed by the DIGI96 series) to allow
a change of the latency while under operation (on the fly.) No manual reset,
no re-boot - simply continue when using Cubase.
As a PCI busmaster card Hammerfall DSP not only works in 32 bit mode. The
hardware uses the memory of the PC or Mac as transfer buffer for the audio
data. Nothing else can be faster! Instead of being snagged with slow DMA
transfer, slow multiple 16 bit transfers using I/O addresses or non-linear
memory transfer the HDSP transfers the data on its own between hardware
and application software using the fastest PCI-bursts. The effective CPU
load when using ASIO is zero.
SyncAlign includes several methods and techniques to guarantee absolute
data alignment with regard to time and channels. No RME digital audio card
will ever swap channels, not in stereo nor in multi channel mode, regardless
what you do with the card and the signals it gets. SyncAlign also controls
the timing among the channels, no matter how much are used, they will always
start sample-aligned. When the record while play mode is activated, the
corresponding software first starts record and then playback (or playback
then record.) SyncAlign can compensate the time difference so that an exact
simultaneous start of record and playback in the record while play mode
is guaranteed. In asynchronous mode (different programs use different stereo
devices of one card) this part of SyncAlign is automatically deactivated.
When working with several digital sources it is not only necessary that
these are all properly locked, they also have to be totally synchronized.
Else drop outs and crackling occurs. RME's exclusive SyncCheck checks all
input signals. In clock mode Master the synchronous operation to the internal
clock is checked. This outstanding and unique technology helps to find
errors immediately. The actual state of each input is displayed in the
All I/O boxes of the Hammerfall DSP System contain a hardware mixer in
TotalMix technology. Any input and output can be routed and mixed to any
output. Limited only by the available outputs of the I/O-box, up to 14
independent submixes are available. Internally, the mixer works with 40
bit wordlength. For level alterations there are 65536 steps that allow
for a virtually continuous change between 6 dB gain and maximum attenuation.
In unity gain setting, the mixer is even bit-transparent and can pass the
input signal unaltered. The Digiface processes 1456 channels in real-time,
which corresponds to the computing power of a Motorola DSP at 100 MHz.
TotalMix not only leads to perfect and complete ASIO direct monitoring,
but is also useful without ASIO. Thanks to a proprietary mixer surface,
submix and Zero Latency Monitoring can be used with all audio applications.
An external mixer thus becomes unnecessary in many cases.
- Zero Latency Monitoring - ZLM®
ZLM brings real tape machine feeling to the PC. Each cassette recorder
and tape machine passes the input signal of the track in record to the
output when record starts. On the PC such a kind of track dependent pass
through wasn't available. Often all channels are put in monitoring or pass
through mode all together. Or the monitoring is handled by the software,
resulting in a big delay (latency) between the signal at the input and
the output. After all the pass through mode is activated at record, not
at Punch-in. ZLM now solves all these problems with a simple technique.
At Punch-in the corresponding track is switched into bypass directly in
the hardware, at Punch-out it switches back to playback. Thus the PC behaves
exactly like a 'normal' tape machine. ZLM is already available with SEKD's
Samplitude and Sequoia, and SAWStudio. It is included as ASIO Direct Monitoring
in ASIO 2.0.