If you are a guitar player who writes music and likes to create high quality recordings, you should definitely check out the Eleven Rack by Avid. The Eleven Rack is an amp emulator and recording solution that is simply amazing. If you’ve been on the fence about this one, allow me to push you over. Here are 7 reasons why you should whip out the credit card right away.
1. It comes with Pro Tools 11. Pro Tools is by no means perfect and it definitely has its set of issues. But, it is a standard in most home and professional studios. If you are going to be recording on a regular basis, it’s a great idea to learn the standard software. Plus, even if you go to a professional studio to record some or most of your project, you can always take those files and work on them from home. Pro Tools costs around $600-700. You can buy the Eleven Rack with Pro Tools for $639 ( from Sweetwater as of this writing). Enough said.
2. It sounds and feels amazing. Amp modelers/emulators have been around for a while, but the Eleven Rack was one of the first that really felt like you were playing through a real amp. You can dial up a Marshall, a Fender, a Vox, or any number of awesome amps. You can switch out cabinets and mics (virtually) for an endless combination of tones. Plus, it has a bunch of effect pedals that are also based on some of the most popular pedals out there like the Tube Screamer, EchoPlex, and the MXR Phaser.
When I got my Eleven Rack a few years ago and hit my first chord, angels sang. It felt like I was playing through a stack. There was no latency. I even heard a slight buzz which I would normally hear playing through a real amp. It really feels like a real amp.
3. You can easily re-amp. Re-amping for those who might not know is the process of sending your recorded guitar track to different amps after the fact. The Eleven Rack and Pro Tools allows you to record two tracks for your guitar, one for the full sound including amp, pedals, etc, and one just capturing the clean signal from the guitar. You can then later run that clean signal to any of the other amps in the Eleven Rack. You can even run that signal to a real amp in a studio if you wish.
4. Play live with your recorded tones. Most guitarists use a number of amps and pedals in the studio and then struggle to get the same tones when playing live. With the Eleven Rack, you just save the tones that used to record and you can use the Rack as your live amp. You can run it through a cabinet if you want to “feel the air”, or directly to the board and monitors.
5. It takes pedals well. On its own, the Eleven Rack has a bunch of amps and pedals that will be more than enough for most guitar players. But, if you have a favorite overdrive, wah pedal or a delay, you still use them with the Rack. You can run your dirt and wah pedals into the Eleven Rack and they sound great. For your time-based effects (delays, reverbs, choruses, etc), you can run them through the effects loop.
6. It’s a one-stop solution. If you want to record your music, the Eleven Rack has everything you need. You can record all your electric guitars and basses using all of the available amp and pedal emulators. You can run a microphone through its excellent pre, and record vocals, acoustic instruments, or whatever. You can hook-up a midi keyboard and access all the awesome keyboard sounds which include organs, pianos, synths, drums, etc. You can also buy awesome plugins like Superior Drummer, which allow you to add amazing sounding drums to your recordings. And, even though the effects you get by default through Pro Tools are awesome, you can add other plugins including autotune, amazing compressors,delays, etc.
7. It’s the best practice amp you’ll ever own. Do you want to play through a Marshall half stack that sounds like you’re at Wembley Stadium while you’re in your bedroom? There are no more excuses for not practicing. Just turn it on, plug in your guitar and a pair of headphones and you’re set. You can use it standalone without having to turn on your computer or Pro Tools. But, when inspiration strikes, just open up Pro Tools and lay down a track.
So, there you have it. No more excuses for not playing. No more wondering how you’re going to get that demo or album made. The only caveat is that if you are going to do recording, you will need to have a computer that’s compatible with Pro Tools. Just go to Avid’s website to check computer requirements.