- 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 Project Hammerfall 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 Hammerfall 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.
- 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. Project Hammerfall is
made out of a FPGA, programmed especially for this task.
- 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 Project Hammerfall 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 Project Hammerfall 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 settings
- 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 SEK'D's Samplitude
and Sequoia, and SAWStudio. It is included as ASIO Direct Monitoring in