This is not the first time I have gotten my hands on the Eleven Rack. My first foray with it was back when it existed only as a plugin for guitar amp modelling within Pro Tools, but since then I have been able to use one a number of times as a recording tool for quality guitar tones. But I haven’t overlooked the treasures this holds as a live guitar tool too. Avid’s Pro Tools Eleven Rack ties it all together to give users not only the flexibility they have demanded, but the quality and stability that they need both in the studio and on stage.
Being that the hardware unit operates without the need for a computer, you can trust the Eleven Rack to be totally stable in a live environment. Weighing less than most compact guitar amp heads, you get the power of a huge range of amp models and effects all ready to run directly into the PA system. There are a range of big name amp sounds within the unit and if you have a listen to their audio samples online, you will hear just how good they are. Adjusting parameters within each patch is quick and easy too, with the knobs beneath the LCD screen relating directly to the functions above giving you control over gain, presence, EQ and volume settings to tweak the sound to just the way you want it.
The Eleven Rack is so much more than just a touring tool. Off the stage, it becomes a seriously good front end for a Pro Tools recording system that takes a lot of the workload off your computer with the built in DSP processing power that the Eleven Rack offers. You get one microphone and one guitar input on the front of the unit, but with the SP/DIF and AES/EBU digital connections on the rear of the unit, you are able to record eight simultaneous channels of 24-bit/96 kHz audio into the included Pro Tools software. It also includes the Eleven Rack Expansion Pack that gives you even more tones and amp sounds, including a range of great bass amplifiers and some slightly left of centre guitar amp options.
Put simply, this is not just a recording interface, nor is it just an amp modelling effects unit for stage use. No, Eleven Rack with Pro Tools is just about anything you could ever want in a live and studio combination for the guitarist that wants the best possible tones in one complete package. It’s just too much to fully mention here, so go and plug one in for yourself and hear what I am talking about.
Hits and Misses
Stable live guitar sounds in a very workable platform
Excellent AD conversion for recording and re-amping guitars
Flexible live and studio tool
Bundled with Pro Tools for a complete studio solution
It is digital, and tone junkies may have to come to terms with that