How to work an Mbox2 with Ardour

I’ve read conflicting things on linux forums, some saying that Digidesigns’s Mbox2 will not work with linux and others saying that it does, but I haven’t found a tutorial of how to make it work with Ardour. So for a noob to Ardour, first, can I setup a USB Mbox2 as my I/O device, and second, how do I? Thanks

Ardour doesn’t talk to your audio interface directly at all. JACK is used for all audio I/O, whether its going to/from audio hardware or other software (or over the net, or whatever). So the first task is to see if you can use the device as a basic audio interface, meaning that ordinary, desktop style apps and utilities can make noise with it. If they can, JACK will be able to use it. And then Ardour will use it pretty much automatically.

The bad news: I am reasonably certain that the MBox2, like all Digi-branded h/w, requires proprietary drivers in order to function. No such drivers are available on Linux, which is a Digidesign’s choice.

I just reverse engineered the MBox 2 and wrote an open source linux ALSA driver for it…


I tried that email but it won’t let me send. You sure it’s the right email address?

I would like to have that zipped file for Mbox2 for kernel, where can I download it?

I can email the .bz2 file if you’d like.

Yes thanks. My emailaddress is:

“To get it to work with kernel you just have to include a header file in one of the .c files” . Could you be more specific? I have read the readme, but it dont help in this problem.

Never had any problems with the MBox2 and now Ubuntu 12.04 kernel To get it to work with kernel you just have to include a header file in one of the .c files and follow the README install instructions. Thanks for zamaudio engineering the driver for us. If anyone needs a zipped or tarred file for the Mbox2 I have it ready for a kernel.

Sorry forgot to add, to get it to work with Ardour (in my case Ardour3beta5),:

  1. Make sure Jack isn’t running and connect the Mbox2.(it takes about 10-15 seconds for it to be recognised in Ubuntu)

2 Open Ardour and the ‘Audio/MIDI Setup’ page should pop up. Under ‘Audio Interface:’ select your interface (for me it’s USB Audio).

That should be it. Continue on to opening Ardour and you should now be able to use the Mbox2 to record 2 inputs at a time.

I have Avid Mbox 2 in my Linux Studio . I installed kernel and headers for it to test your module. I installed your module. Installation went through with one warning about static library. I removed old modules and modprobed snd-usb-audio module. Now I can use Mbox 2 for playing music, but I cant use it for recording. Alsamixer does recognice usb-audio, but there is no settings for it. Sound-recorder dont give Mbox 2 line in for recording , but with SB Live it does. With qjackctl i cant record either my midi keyboard (Bontempi) in Mbox 2 with SB Live i can.

would be great if you could send me those .bz2 with Kernel 3.2 integration
is there a possibility to make Privatemessages in this forum?
Thanks for your help!

Yes please!
my adress: ja******
Thank you very much!!!

I can try to email it if you want.

Ok sent. If you have any questions setting it up let me know and I’ll explain the best I can to help you out.

Hello, I’m new to Ardour (and new to Linux, actually). I have an Mbox 2 Mini that I purchased with a PT LE rig several years back.

May I also request a copy of the Mbox driver mentioned above?

My email address is: dynamight2002[AT] h o t m a i l [DOT] c o m

Thank you, dsreyes! I appreciate it :slight_smile:

No problem! If any help is needed let me know.

I installed the mbox2-kernel from this site now Ardour is recording just fine.

I am trying to make my MBox 2 work on linux following the recipes in this Forum with limited success. MBox 2 is recognized but Jack and audacity can’t connect to it. Is your recipe intended for Mbox 2 or Mbox 2 mini? I am working with MBox 2 Should it matter ?

I 'll be grateful for any suggetions. ( I am working with a 3.6 kernel).