Eleven Rack: A guitarists Dream?
Amp modeling is far from a new idea but even now many guitarists are wary of the technology whether for the quality of sound, past issues with latency or even in some cases for the lack of an authentic feel. Now however, Avid may have finally struck gold with the Eleven Rack, an all-in-one solution for guitarists both in the studio and up on stage. What you’re actually getting here is a DSP accelerated audio and MIDI interface complete with Pro Tools le, a detailed amp modeling unit and a versatile effects processor. As the name suggests the unit comes in rack mountable form and essentially fulfills multiple roles in one aesthetically pleasing package complete with easy to read display and dedicated function controls on its fascia.
Impressively, the Eleven Rack utilizes a unique tone cloning design achieved by following the actual signal paths used in the original amps allowing for a far more faithful reproduction of the original amps than could be achieved by merely copying the sound parrot fashion. Another of the interesting advancements is the inclusion of the True-Z input, an analogue input circuit designed to replicate the input impedance of the authentic amps and stomp boxes recreated by Eleven Rack, the end result being a more realistic feel as well as sound. The selection of available tones distortions and modulations covers many of the most highly regarded and sought after amps, cabinets and stomp boxes and there really is something here for every taste. Should you wish to personalise things further with that can’t live-with-out effect or you crave the feel of your favourite wah underfoot, don’t worry, just plug in to the fx loop and put your foot down.
As an audio interface used in conjunction with the included Pro Tools le software, Eleven Rack offers some neat little features that will not only make the recording process run more smoothly but also offer new ways of working and contingency plans in the event that you’re not happy with a particular choice of effect or virtual amp. The high res dual DSP powered interface renders latency a thing of the past and takes the strain of processing away from your computer. When recording via the Pro Tools software you’re given the option of recording 3 separate tracks; one stereo channel featuring your selected processing and one dry mono track allowing you to go back and reamp the signal with little or no fuss. A particularly nice trick available is ability to embed your personal settings and fx choices into the audio track allowing you to recall those settings at a later point. The interface’s MIDI functionality will also allow for the use of a wide range of controllers giving you easy control of a whole bunch of extra parameters too.
Away from the studio, the Eleven Rack will function as a standalone unit with no need for a computer. As a practice tool you can play ‘til your heart’s content by simply plugging in a pair of headphones and strapping on your guitar but you can also take to the stage or rehearsal room using the rack for additional processing with your existing rig or by using it in conjunction with a cab and power amp to give yourself complete control over your tone and again because of the standard 2u high rack mounts you can easily add this to a flight case to prepare it for life on the road.
The Eleven Rack has well and truly raised the game here, offering a versatile go-to device for any guitarist serious about their sound