RME Audio Hammerfall DSP Multiface
RME Audio Hammerfall DSP Multiface

Hammerfall DSP Multiface, PCI/ISA + Rack Soundcard from RME Audio.

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Earl 12/26/2002

RME Audio Hammerfall DSP Multiface : Earl's user review


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The Multiface, which Submitted the form of a half-1U is a sound card with 8 analog I / O connectors jacks 1 / 4 "(96kHz 24-bit), an I / O ADAT, 1 I / O SPDIF, 1 x ADAT Sync and an I / O word clock, all the rear.

In facade, there are a couple of MIDI and a headphone jack 1 / 4 ". Tmoins Six are also Submitted, two for MIDI activity, to monitor the three DIGITAL IN America and possibly a final showing of error.

I bought the Multiface because I wanted a good sound card for my laptop W2K, with more than two or four analog inputs, while being able to use it later on a desktop PC.
It is indeed one of the great strengths of this card: it can be connected as well a laptop via the PCMCIA CardBus, or on a standard PC via a PCI interface (remember this point when the purchase of the Multiface: one, nothing can make it!). In both cases, communication between the PC and the Multiface is done via a Firewire cable.


The cardboard box like a shoe with a look "alien". Note that this is the same as for the packaging Digiface, the PCI or Cardbus, only a red dot on the cot prcise the contents of the box.

In indoor, we immediately find the box Multiface, a CDROM, a TOSLINK optical cable of 2 meters and a document entitled "Brief Description of Hammerfall DSP System".
No need to look for a manual, there is none. The paper book (one-sided A4 page in German, English back) Describes the contents of the CD-ROM (drivers, apps and ... the manual! Are above) and the installation process for Windows 98 / ME and 2000/XP. The Multiface is supported under Mac OS 9.x and Linux (ALSA driver) but not a word on their installation (no more in the manual, but I did not look elsewhere). Note that the drivers are multi-clients (especially Windows 2K/XP).

Well, the install bte. In fact, there is nothing to install (from the four feet stickers delivered in cardboard) because everything is done at the Cardbus or PCI interface. Brive, with the Cardbus, simply plug it (PC complexion), connect the FireWire cable that came with the card on the CardBus and Multiface, plug the power supply (book but connect with the Cardbus e on the Multiface! Useless with the PCI card) and Get You Started it all.
The card is normally DTECT is prcisant the right directory on the CDROM, the installation is done without problem.

A tour on the website of RME (www.rme-audio.de) allows rcuprer the latest drivers. To install them, however, requires Flash Card (Cardbus or PCI) with the latest firmware.
Indeed, it is possible to update the code in it via software tlchargeable the RME web wite. In the first test, my card n'tait not seen the flash, but a reboot APRS, it was DTECT. Clicking on a button and was gone. Fingers crossed in the process because if it does not work, the card can be good for a return to customer service ... For me, everything went well. APRS a reboot, reinstall the OS offers the drivers, allowing just installed the latest ones.

APRS installation, two icons appear in supplmentaires bar tasks. THE FIRST ACCS provides the control panel of the card (you can yrgler buffer size and hence the latency), the second allows you to run a blender. Opening the config panel of the card, one is more aware of its operation.

I took my first test by connecting on an expander between 1 and 2 and by monitoring via the headphone output. This has not concluded at t trs beginners but fiddling with the mixer provided, you end up getting a sound! Indeed, another big intrt of this card is TotalMix its software, which allows you to route the inputs of a mouse click (see below).

The manual included on the CDROM is relatively clear. Describes how well he sr install the card, but also how to use it via a type squenceur Cubase, the main features of TotalMix, etc..


APRS one week of use, the card s'avre particulirement stable: no crash dplorer. Only problem, after installation of the Cardbus, it becomes impossible to use the features of hibernation in Windows 2000: the map is no longer available APRS environmental restoration, or the PC plant on opening the port associated with the modem Intgr ... But nothing major.

There, on the RME site, the drivers are trs frquemment given day, which is a good point. In case of problem, RME has a Newsgroup on which technicians Socit rpondent technical issues, it seems fast and with comptence.

So back to TotalMix software. This is a program that does not look powerful but is trs. One can indeed route any input to any output, even from a distribution to multiple outputs or more inputs to a single output, mix inputs with channels playback and so on.
Submitted it in the form of three rows of faders corresponding to 18 inputs (8 analog, 8 ADAT and 2 SPDIF), 18 channels of playback and 20 outputs (18 "corresponding" inputs and two outputs for decision-monitoring). In each fader, it has a level indicator. The inputs and playback channels have also the Mute and Solo buttons and a CONTRL pan. Finally, it may indicate, via a list Droulez, the routing configuration for each input or playback channel.
This is where the power of RSID soft. To beginners, it is not empty to get what you want but reading the manual helps things well. Nevertheless, the behavior of the software is difficult to explain, the interface from a menu Droulez n'tant not always comprhensible trs.
Finally, there are a SERIES of buttons to hide or show lines diffrent Systm faders and a preset, editable, very practical. Finally, note that we can drive multiple cards through this program ...
In short, you can do anything with TotalMix but the interface is not so obvious that was, especially beginners.

Concerning the operation with audio software, I have successfully tested the card in Cubase VST 5 and SX, CoolEdit and Kontakt. I stayed latency "default" of 12 ms which was not possible to problem. But you could stay until 1.5 ms ...
I did not, however, Exceeds two audio tracks for recording, playback a little more.

One note: the box Multiface has no button to rgler levels of or exit. However, we can change the jumpers on opening the box (not test ...).


In conclusion, it is a good map trs, in terms complte Connectiva volute (both in terms of functionality as expandable via the addition of a deuxime Multiface or Digiface - 100% numrique cousin -) trs efficient and stable. The media also seems effective, frquentes updates.

The software is provided TotalMix trs powerful, even if its use is sometimes a little obscure.

May be we can regret the absence of pre-amp mic / XLR / phantom power supply but we can not have everything ...

There is not much competition in the market for pro card that can run on a laptop (without the limitations of the USB) from the Echo Layla / Mona. These dernires however seem a little more Chres. In addition, comments on the Multiface are almost 100% positive in the forums DIFFERENT ...

In conclusion, I think Multiface is essential for owners of portable or even for other ...