Interfacing Linux: Digigram VX222v2

In the early 2000s Digigram released the VX222v2. Shortly after the ALSA driver was released for Linux. In 2021 I picked up one of these critters to see how it works in a modern system.

The studio DAW is able to see the VX222v2. It’s a MSI B350 Tomahawk motherboard with two leagy PCI holes using the ASMedia ASM1083 bridge chip. This is the same system that runs a RME 9632 without issue.

cat /proc/asound/card0/vx-status
Digigram VX222/v2 at 0xf100 & 0xf000, irq 25
Xilinx Firmware: Loaded
Device Initialized: Yes
DSP audio info: realtime linear8 linear16 linear24
Input Source: Analog
Clock Mode: Internal
Clock Source: Internal
Frequency: 48000
Detected Frequency: 0
Detected UER type: Not Present
Min/Max/Cur IBL: 252/2016/252 (granularity=126)
lsmod | grep vx
snd_vx222              24576  0
snd_vx_lib             57344  1 snd_vx222
snd_pcm               147456  2 snd_hdsp,snd_vx_lib
snd                   110592  8 snd_seq_device,snd_hwdep,snd_hdsp,snd_timer,snd_vx_lib,snd_vx222,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi

Launching a DAW (Ardour / Reaper) with the ALSA driver causes the system to become unresponsive.

[  457.253491] tsc: Marking TSC unstable due to clocksource watchdog
[  457.253503] TSC found unstable after boot, most likely due to broken BIOS. Us
e 'tsc=unstable'.
[  457.253504] sched_clock: Marking unstable (457478774589, -225102359)<-(457265
563673, -12061198)
[  458.059073] clocksource: Checking clocksource tsc synchronization from CPU 11
[  459.065771] clocksource: Switched to clocksource hpet
[  463.903106] hrtimer: interrupt took 1006743568 ns
[  470.548703] INFO: NMI handler (perf_event_nmi_handler) took too long to run:
385.242 msecs
[  470.548703] INFO: NMI handler (perf_event_nmi_handler) took too long to run:
369.762 msecs
[  471.350115] perf: interrupt took too long (3009708 > 2500), lowering kernel.p
erf_event_max_sample_rate to 250
[  484.640205] perf: interrupt took too long (4470111 > 3762135), lowering kerne
l.perf_event_max_sample_rate to 250

Jackd errors out when using the ALSA driver.

jackd -R -S -P 70 -d alsa -d hw:VX222v2 -r 48000 -p 128 -n 2
JACK server starting in realtime mode with priority 70
self-connect-mode is "Don't restrict self connect requests"
Acquire audio card Audio0
creating alsa driver ...
configuring for 48000Hz, period = 128 frames (2.7 ms), buffer = 2
ALSA: final selected sample format for capture: 24bit little-endian in
3bytes format
ALSA: use 2 periods for capture
ALSA: final selected sample format for playback: 24bit little-endian in
3bytes format
ALSA: use 2 periods for playback
ALSA: could not start playback (Input/output error)
Cannot start driver
JackServer::Start() failed with -1
Failed to start server
Released audio card Audio0

Does anything work?

Kinda? The speaker-test command was able to extract a few beeps and boops out of the VX222v2. I was able to record audio with Audacity but attempting to increase the input gain in ALSA mixer froze the system.


If you have an adaptor or your motherboard has legacy PCI slots skip the Digigram VX222v2. It might function as a 2 channel soundcard but it’s useless as a multichannel interface.


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