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Answers to frequently asked questions.


Top FAQ - Newest Additions

What's the latest Windows XP driver for the RME HDSP cards?

The latest drivers are always found on the download page.


Can signals be routed from output to input with Totalmix, for internal recording?

Not yet. Signals can be routed with a cable, e.g. from ADAT out to in (check the correct clock settings)! Internal routing will be added in a future driver release.


What's the best notebook for the HDSP Cardbus card?

We don't have specific recommendations / reference notebooks at this time. Current user recommendations can be found in the newsgroup. A new driver for ENE cardbus controllers ENE cardbus controllers fixes these controllers' performance problems, also for non-HP notebooks. According to recent customer feedback, new O2 Micro controllers (6933) also seem to perform better than previous versions.


My card keeps losing sync. The Settings menu shows that it switches to 32 kHz.

Windows is playing back system sounds with the card. These are sampled at 32k. Please disable Windows system sounds by choosing "No sounds" in "Sounds and Audio devices" in the Control Panel. A blank entry means 'unsaved scheme' with sounds still active.


How can I sync 2 Multifaces? Can they be synched internally or do I need to use word clock?

The internal sync connector is not operational. Use word clock or SPDIF to sync two Multiface or Digiface.


Are RME-cards compatible with PCI-X? Will PCI-X or PCI Express allow for even better latency specs?

RME cards are compatible with PCI-X slots. For details on G5 compatibility, see here. PCI-X slots will not provide lower latency. PCI Express is a new, completely different standard, used mainly on graphics cards. No other cards exist at this time. Only a few hi-end RAID adapters are expected to be available as PCI Express version later on.


HDSP9632: Leaving my active monitors on when I power on/off my PC results in a loud noise. How do I activate the speaker protection at power on/off?

As described in the manual the speaker protection feature only works on the phones output.


How can I mute/solo a channel in Totalmix?

Make sure to activate the Master Mute / Solo button before muting/soloing a channel.


Totalmix is displayed on my Mac's second monitor. Which file contains the window position, in case the second monitor is not connected?

TotalMix stores and reads its presets from the files preset11.mix to preset81.mix. These files are found in the directory User, <Username>, Library / Preferences / Hammerfall DSP. The first number indicates the current preset, the second number the current card/system. Full dual display support with automatically corrected position is not implemented in the current drivers.


Does my RME card support Hyperthreading?

RME's drivers and software are fully compatible to Hyperthreading. If there are problems, it is likely to be a software (audio) or driver (drive controller) issue.


Is it possible to use RME drivers under Windows XP 64 bit (Athlon and Opteron)?

No. Although Windows 64 allows to run 32 bit software (as Windows XP still allows to run 16 bit software), drivers must be 64 bit, or they won't work. These special drivers will be released in the future (no date yet).


The RME OS X driver supports mono (block) mode only. Does this mean I can only play mono files?

This refers to the method the CoreAudio driver uses to encode the audio streams for the host app. All this affects is how the host app and driver communicate. It has nothing at all to do with how the host app represents the audio to the user, or how the host application stores and retrieves the file from disk (which is the app's responsibility, not the driver's).


I cannot install an RME driver under OSX 10.2.5.

Driver installation requires version 10.2.8 or 10.3.3


Totalmix behaves strangely when I boot from OSX to OS9 or vice versa

You need to disconnect your Multiface or Digiface from power (or the host cable) for a little while when booting between OS9 and OSX.


Will the DSP on RME's HDSP cards improve my performance with VST instruments and plugins?

No. It only handles the card's onboard mixer. VST or other plugins and instruments are processed by the host's CPU. Only dedicated DSP cards (UAD-1 or TC Powercore) will add performance.


Can I use the HDSP MADI together with other HDSP cards in Cubase/Logic?

No, the HDSP MADI card's driver is different from that of the other HDSP cards, simultaneous operation under ASIO is not possible. When using MME drivers, it is possible, though. In OSX, Cubase, Logic and other programs do not support multi-card-operation, which also applies to two identical cards.


I used my Hammerfall 9636/52 in a PC for years. Now I've moved it to a Mac, and all I hear is white noise.

This card requires different EPROMS for Mac and PC operation. See here.
For details on G5 compatibility, see here.


The Hammerfall DSP PCI card is not being detected during boot-up, Multiface and Digiface are not being loaded.

Information about boot or initialization problems of the HDSP PCI card can be found here.


The combination Multiface / HDSP PCI card shows a high-frequency tone, as soon as external devices are connected.

For detailed information on the self-oscillation problem of the HDSP PCI card click here.


Important information for Windows 2000/XP users - Removing redundant ASIO driver entries.

The W2k/XP driver of the DIGI32, 96 and Hammerfall series always installs two ASIO drivers, one for the DIGI96 series and one for the Hammerfall, even when only one of both is present as hardware in the system. Although this causes no further problem (the invalid ASIO driver can't be loaded without the corresponding hardware), it worries many users.

It's quite simple to remove the invalid entries. RME provides two files for this purpose:

Simply download the corresponding file, double click on it, and confirm the changes to the registry.


Problems with single CPU systems and Windows 2000/XP.

On a dual CPU system Windows 2000 uses a special method to handle interrupts (higher than 15, APIC), but on single CPU systems all devices will have the same IRQ (9.) While this seems to be no big problem on laptops, most desktop computers show significant performance problems. The timing critical access on the audio hardware is no longer guaranteed.

This one-interrupt-for-all is caused by the automatically chosen ACPI mode during installation. Normally this should be no problem, but here the IRQ sharing suffers from bad performance. The computer won't crash, and everything works, but not as good as it should. Two examples: When using a Hammerfall USB/MIDI operation will cause audio stuttering even at highest latency. Data transfers via a network card in the background will disturb audio playback significantly.

The remedy is to change from ACPI to Standard-PC mode. Here's how to do it:

  • Check BIOS: The entry Plug and Play OS in your mobo's BIOS should be set to 'NO'.
  • Before installation: The mode Standard-PC can be selected already prior to a W2k installation. Hit F6 when you are asked for updated SCSI etc. device drivers (blue screen.) Then press F5 and choose Standard-PC.
  • After installation: Attention! Users notified us that this method might lead to problems. Doing a clean install is also recommended by Microsoft!

    Go to Device Manager (Control Panel/System/Hardware), click on 'Computer', then double click on 'ACPI-PC'. Go on with 'Driver' and 'Update Driver'. Select 'Display a list of the known drivers for this device', then 'Show all hardware of this device class'. Now you can select 'Standard-PC' in the list shown in the right window.

Windows 2000 will re-start and re-install all hardware. After this the PC will use the BIOS' IRQ assignments.

Under Windows XP Microsoft has significantly improved both interrupt handling and ACPI. In most cases the interrupts will not be sharing IRQ 9. Even when, problems like with the above mentioned simultaneous network transmission are no longer found. Furthermore XP operates more reliable and stable using the ACPI mode. Therefore changing to Standard-PC mode under Windows XP is not recommended.

The worst thing to do is to use Standard-PC mode with the latest generation of single CPU motherboards, having an advanced programmable interrupt controller (APIC.) These boards offer 24 interrupts under Windows XP in ACPI mode (else found on dual CPU boards only) - but only 15 when using Standard-PC mode!

Note 1: The mode Standard-PC brings no advantage on dual CPU systems!

Note 2: For an optimized performance the system performance should be changed to 'optimized for background tasks' (see below.)


Low Latency ASIO operation under Windows 2000/XP on single CPU systems.

To use ASIO at lowest latencies under Windows 2000 single CPU systems, the 'system performance' has to be optimized for background tasks. Go to Control Panel/System/Advanced/Performance Options. Change the default 'Applications' to 'Background tasks'. The lowest usable latency will drop from 23 ms to around 3 ms.


Driver installation succeeded, but MIDI and/or MME drivers do not show up and do not work. ASIO does work. The driver's property dialog displays: Drivers enabled but not functioning properly.

For detailed information on the Windows XP's '10 entry limit' click here.