Driver 3.079 includes some significant changes which - just this time - I would like to explain in detail.
- Reliable stop of an ASIO thread even in difficult situations. When an ASIO application crashes then usually the driver should notice this and stop playback. This did not work in certain situations. Timur came to Musikmesse to give us a step-by-step example on how to always cause a crash that fails. And indeed, we did everything correctly, just had to use a different function within Windows to finally and reliably identify the current process where the driver has to react on. This also affects the Fireface driver, a fix will come soon.
- Process management of multiclient ASIO did not work as expected on some computers. We have lots of industrial users that write their own software. In this case they ran into a problem that starting a second ASIO app caused ongoing distortion on the first app. They did send us the software and it worked perfectly on our computers. So finally they sent us their computer, and lo and behold the error was there and could be fixed by (similar to above) some changes in how to identify events. So while this error seems to be very seldom it also affects the Fireface driver and a fix will come soon.
- Incompatibility of the driver to cards with PLX (PCIe to PCI) bridge fixed. Some of our industrial users have multichannel AD-cards or special video cards. As soon as they added the AES card the other products failed. The reason was some left code in our driver from the early days of the HDSP AES-32, where we experimented with a PLX Bridge (a product we later never used). Shit happens...
- Settings dialog: Added password protected storage of the current settings for the next reboot. In broadcast environment a fixed setup for easiest and most failure-free operation is desired. But even these users sometimes have to add material from a source that can not be synced (DAT, CD-Player). So they will - for a short time - change the clock setting. Now to make sure that the next day, no matter who uses the workstation everything is in the original state, this new option makes sure that the desired setting is used every time you reboot the computer. This feature makes sense not only in broadcast, IMHO.
- Settings and TM: Experimental extension for operation of up to 6 cards. Selection in TM by left mouse click with held shift key. While we do have lots of customers with miserably performing computers that find no other place to get rid of their frustration than this forum, we do have lots of customers with stellar DAW systems as well, that use 3 MADI cards in 96 kHz mode and ask for a fourth one. Therefore we extended the Settings dialog to handle more than 3 cards correctly. TM's Unit selection is with shift-click, so a max of 6 cards can now be used (theoretically).
- TotalMix: New skin and new icons, Settings dialog: new icons. This driver now includes Terry Gorle's DC skin for TotalMix. I have been working with Rob Sinistral on new icons, and they found their way into both tools as well. We now have icons even in 256 pixel size for Vista - check it out!