||Download Example 1
Presets - VG Strat direct into Pro Tools
||Download Example 2
With Amp - Charvel So-Cal w/DiMarzio Humbuckers, into Eleven Rack, PRS 30 & 1x12, mic'd with SM57, into Pro Tools
There’s been a lot of buzz about the Eleven
Rack, the revolutionary new guitar recording
and effects processing system from
Digidesign. Along with that buzz come a lot
of questions from producers, engineers and
guitar players: Exactly how does it work, and
how will it help me as a player or producer?
How can this be used both in the studio
and live? And of course, how does it sound?
I quickly learned that it’s not just a multi-effects
unit, it’s not just an amp modeler and
it’s not just a Pro Tools interface. It’s actually
all of the above and more. The Eleven Rack
is an all-in-one solution for the modern guitar
player, and it makes it easier than ever to
record in the studio and perform live—while
fully integrating the exact same sounds in
The Eleven Rack can be used as a stand-alone
guitar processor—without the need for a computer—for live applications. It includes incredible
emulations of classic guitar amps, cabinets
and stompboxes, as well as a powerful collection
of studio-quality rackmount effects processors
and microphone emulations. You can
also incorporate your favorite stompboxes and
effects into the Eleven Rack with an integrated
effects loop that can be assigned and moved
almost anywhere within the signal chain.
In addition, the Eleven Rack performs double
duty as a high-quality interface for Digidesign
Pro Tools, and it comes with Pro Tools LE 8
recording, editing and mixing software. The
interface itself is dual-DSP powered, which
means you won’t have to worry about latency
issues when recording—and it also frees up
processing power in the computer. There
are eight simultaneous recording channels at
24-bit/96 kHz, with a wide array of ins and outs,
including S/PDIF, AES/EBU, XLR, and 1/4" outputs,
a mic input, and two 1/4" line level inputs.
The Pro Tools software includes over 70 plugins,
including reverb, delay, chorus, distortion,
flanger, phaser, reverse, EQ and compression.
It also contains powerful virtual instruments to
create backing tracks, including drum machines,
piano, organ, synthesizer and a synth/sample
workstation with tons of instruments. Basically,
it’s got everything you need to create a high-quality
recording all on your own.
A Long Time in the Making
I’ve been using Pro Tools since the mid ’90s.
Back then, I used it mostly for editing and
mixing digital audio. MIDI sequencing wasn’t
fully integrated into the software yet, so I
had to use separate sequencing software
and import audio from my programmed
tracks into Pro Tools for mixing. There also
weren’t any decent amp-simulator plug-ins
at the time, so anytime I wanted to record
guitar I did it the old-fashioned way, by placing
a mic in front of my amp and recording
into Pro Tools. I had to be fully committed in
terms of guitar sound, because there was no
chance of changing my guitar tone later by
re-amping since I never split my guitar signal
to record a separate, uneffected guitar track.
Pro Tools software has grown a lot over
the years, and I’ve watched each improvement
with satisfaction. Creativity flowed a
lot more frequently and easily as more and
more plug-ins and features were created.
First, MIDI sequencing became more integrated,
and eventually more amp simulators
and effects for guitarists became available.
I’ve tried them all and found something I
liked in each one of them. When Digidesign
released the Eleven amp-simulator plug-in,
I thought it really captured the essence and
sound of some classic amps. Still, I didn’t use
it exclusively because it just didn’t have the
wide array of effects and amps that I found
in other guitar plug-ins.
I will admit that when I first heard about
the Eleven Rack, I quickly (and incorrectly)
assumed it was just a hardware version of the
Eleven plug-in with the same amp sounds
and parameters that could be easily adjusted
using the real knobs on the interface instead.
When I saw that it was also an interface for
Pro Tools LE, I thought, “Why do I need
that? I already have Pro Tools software with
an interface and the Eleven plug-in?” Well,
you know what happens when you assume!
After reading and learning more about the
Eleven Rack and all of its features, I couldn’t
have been more wrong. I really wanted to
hear how the amps and effects sounded,
especially since so many of them weren’t
previously available in the Eleven plug-in.
Also, I was curious to see if the Eleven Rack
interface would work in conjunction with my
existing Digidesign 002 Rack interface, or if
it would actually replace it.