ALSA Linux Driver for RME Digital Audio Cards
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture project (ALSA) was founded 1998
by Jaroslav Kysela. It is intended to improve sound support for Linux, thanks
to an improved software design and the ability to fully utilize Linux-specific
features. ALSA provides free drivers for the most popular audio cards; at
the same time, its design allows multi-channel operation at 24 bit/96 kHz
with very low latency and very low CPU load.
Hammerfall under Linux
Since January 2000, the latest version of ALSA
includes full support for the RME Hammerfall and Hammerfall Light
(except ADAT Sync - coming soon.) The RME Hammerfall is the first professional
digital audio card which can use its full potential under Linux, all 52
channels and full 24 bit resolution. The efficient driver concept allows
an operation on usual PC's at 20 ms latency and full channel usage causing
a CPU load between 2 and 5%.
ALSA support for the Hammerfall breaks the annoying chicken/egg principle: no professional hardware/driver - no professional software... RME is proud to be a part of this first big step for Linux towards a professional audio usage. Possibly bothered by the Hammerfall's appearance on the Linux scene, some of our competitors have now followed our example. Drivers for other well-known cards and chips in the professional market are expected in the near future. Meanwhile, the Hammerfall is a breakthrough for pro audio on Linux, as the first professional card available with full support for multitrack applications.
Applications having ALSA Support
Meanwhile several native ALSA applications
RME would like to thank Mr. Winfried Ritsch from the Institut für elektronische Musik (IEM), Graz (Institute for electronic music.) He convinced us that ALSA has a future and wrote a native (non-ALSA) version of the driver. We would also like to thank Mr. Paul Davis, who implemented an ALSA version of the driver in an olympic-record-like short time. Mr. Davis is also available for questions regarding the use of the Hammerfall ALSA driver under Linux.
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