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Digidesign Eleven Rack Review - Digidesign Eleven Rack: Stairway to Eleven
Digidesign surprised the world last year when they brought out a guitar amp simulator for Pro Tools called Eleven. They have now launched Eleven in rack format for applications in the studio and on stage. Let's take a look at Digidesign's youngest child...
crankyrayhanky's review"A Recording Guitarists Dream!"
The software works, but 1 strange thing is the start up- it seems to be unresponsive until I click it twice, then a window tells me only 1 version can be run at a time. I click it off, but it's a notable quirk that could be annoying. I bought this in May of 2011. At the time PT8 was brand new; since then, it's gone through a few updates which is annoying, as it costs money to get the newest features. That's too many charged updates in just over a calendar year and shows a complete lack of respect for customers. Also, it costs money to get support, which reeks of arrogance. These business ideals are less than attractive for many people, thus the Avid bashing you will see on many forums. However, i have grown to love Pro Tools, so I have been caught in their web. I'll likely pay for an update in the near future.
This unit can serve so many purpooses- di guitar tones, reamping, ada conversion..I can get up to 5 inputs in 1 take- xlr, 2 analog & 2 digital ins (external preamps needed). The xlr preamp sounds decent, though it does not provide a ton of gain, just enough for a ribbon or 57 on a guitar cab at 80dbs. The di tones are ok, not spectacular, but can get the job done. I prefer to track a di and reamp later with real amp/mic, but you can get passable tones out of the amp sims. The matchless is probably my favorite, it sounds super cool and chimey. The tape delay is awesome, I will use that often Even if one upgrades, the unit can sound great in the loop of an amp. I did need to send it in for repair for a hones jack that went south...now my guitar input is acting inconsistant (?!) I upgraded to a Kemper, but still feel like I received my money's worth, as it gave me a year of headphone tracking in which I wrote a few tunes and had a great time. I still use the interface and PT, and will use the fx for live amp playing. The verstaility is unparalleled...but the company tactics are not cool.
When they first came out there was a few bugs that most had to be sent back to Avid (on their dime) but after the fix it's worked perfectly with zero problems. Mine came with Pro Tools LE 8.4, new ones come with Pro Tools 9 (full version) with a free upgrade to 10. I've never been a big pro tools fan but it was nice to have the options. The USB jack is a little finicky on the 11 Rack, any little bump and my computer wouldn't recognize it anymore. Had to reboot my computer to fix it. No big deal, just little annoying.
My favorite thing was the feel, really got close to that real tube feel. Had that sponginess that other modelers and solid state amps just don't get. Some of the models sound dead on to the amp and there's comparisons out there to prove it. Others while very close still weren't quite there, but still very usable. For the price it's an amazing unit, definitely beats over 3x for an axe fx. I've used dozens of different modelers dating as far back as the original digitech RP1 in 1992, nothing can touch the 11 Rack. While it doesn't have all the options of some of the bigger ones IMO the tone and feel on this are much better than any of the competition.
James...'s review"Falls just short of being great"
Features are pretty good. The unit was wisely designed to work as a kind of interface for recording, and in this regard it's got an upper hand over most modellers that leave any compatibility with PC's and DAWs as an afterthought. The 11 rack comes ready to work with pro tools with a full recording feature set which is very nice. Not many other processors can claim this really. The amp selection is decent. Same for effects. I think the philosophy here is supposed to be quality over quantity, which I think most guitarists are learning to appreciate. I'd rather have 15 great amp sims than 80 bad ones.
In my use it is probably the most compatible unit I've had. The focus here is recording, although you can use it in a live situation. Whether Digi wants to admit it or not, this unit is in direct competition with the Axe-fx as well as some of it's lower end peers. It's not trying to be any of them, but obviously comparisons are going to happen. I think the axe-fx is more of a live/recording unit while the 11 rack really focuses on recording and excels there.
Here's what it comes down to. The 11 rack is a well thought out unit and from a functional standpoint it really whips most of the competition. Everything was thought out well and it packs in some serious features for the price. But the sound quality is, at the end of the day what really matter. The effects are pretty darn good. I would say it's what line 6 wishes it could be. The emulations are pretty mucb ace. Sometimes effects can sound a bit...much? But hey that's guitar for you. Now the amps on the other hand are not quite there to me. Yes they are a step up from most modellers in this price range. Are they as good as the real ones? No. They just aren't all the way there. And not as close as the rival axe-fx. I don't want to detract from the unit though as I am a lot more picky than most people since I have some of the real world amps to compare. The 11 rack sounds good, it's just a bit less real to me. The amps are more studio-ized if I can even use that word.
Long story short, if you are recording it's worth the price. For live use I would look elsewhere. This isn't that kind of unit.
loudfunk's review"Pleasant surprise..."
Started with in with Pro Tools 8, upgraded to Pro Tool 9 and the expansion pack.
One of the biggest reasons of why I wanted it is to use as a re-amper, more below.
Avid does does updates, unfortunately many times they are paid upgrades that other companies will throw you free.
The one headache is that if I hot plug the unit, I have to restart my lap top since it will not see the interface once it's unplugged.
Installing drivers and software...good to go. Or alternatively just plug in hook up a set of monitors or head phones and rock.
All functions are fairly easy to get to from the front panel, editing patches and sounds via the ACTUAL knobs will be preferential for many users. That said I much prefer the interface that is only available via Pro Tools.
The re-amping features and use as a audio interface will be all fully usable in any other recording program, the only missing link is the Graphic User Interface.
So...as a reamper...
Open your software select input 1 for a DI guitar signal, if you wanna hear/print the actual sound you have dialed in select input 3 on another track.
If you don't want to hear the direct monitor output that circumvents the software and busses straight to the output/monitor the select re-amp as input in Eleven Rack instead of guitar. The software will still print the DI signal regardless.
Record a track, when you're happy with it and want to mess with different tones set that tracks output to 3/4 re-amp out, select re-amp as input in guitar rig and then select input 3 for your track to record the processed signal.
Now that is all fine and good to re-amp the Eleven Rack, but where it gets interesting is actually using your fave amp for it.
Same set-up, except you send the Eleven Rack efx loop to the amp (obviously bypassing the amp/cab sim),
and then either use a loaded down signal and return to the Eleven R efx return, or mic it and use the mic input (input 2 on your software to record it) and print that.
Most elegant re-amp solution I've come across.
Lots has been said about 11R. The new expansion pack adds some nice new models, liek a Bogner XTC with 2x12 cab that is voiced rather nice.
The model of the Exotic RC boost is a good one, especially when used with the model of the Matchless DC 30.
Finally a parametric eq and stereo delay added.
Downsides...you still can't run 2 drives at once. The other you can't use 3rd party speaker/cabinet impulses.
This device is relatively new, so there are still a few things I'm unsure of, mainly the frequency and quality of updates. As of now, though, I'm not gonna need an update anytime soon. The latency in this thing is almost nonexistent, since it relies mostly on the interface itself to process. The drivers are stable thus far, and they make things easy even on a home recording setup. I am almost positive this will only work with Pro Tools, since Digidesign is the creator of both products. It's capable of playing up to 8 simultaneous channels at once.
After the basic installation, which took some time, I didn't have any problems. It's about as tedious as installing and new piece of hardware would be. The manual definitely helped me through the entire process pretty clearly, without it I would have been pretty lost. The regular functions of the device, including amp modeling and effects, can be controlled via the plugin that comes with the device as well as on the device itself. In addition, using the plugins allows you to recall previous settings in Pro Tools very quickly.
I was pretty impressed overall with the variety of sounds that are available on this thing. I think that it's one of the best amp modelers out there. The promos for this product cite its Z auto-impedence as the reason for its pretty realistic emulation of classic amps, like Fender Twins, Marshall stack, Vox AC30s, and Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifiers. As someone whose used the aforementioned amps, I can say that it's about 85% there in terms of tone, which, for the price, is very very good. The effects leave just a bit to be desired, but I was never a crazy effects fan anyway. I think that this is a great idea for someone who needs a range of tones that sound pretty good, and can't afford to invest in a multitude of amps and effects. I have never recommended this before to anyone, given my preference for analog equipment (even when recording digitally in Pro Tools). But this was pretty impressive. Highly recommended to newer engineers, more established studio owners with the real amps and effects should probably skip this.
Mortou's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Recently, there is a standalone interface, which allows not to have ProTool edit programs. This is a positive point from before.
The connectors are legion and allow all (or almost!) Interface type.
Usage is very intuitive. Editing sounds and their order of sequence in the loop is a plus. The manual has helped me to wedge a piece of furniture, the handling is simple.
Simulations are very good bills. I would describe the effects of "standard" in terms of simulations. Point of attention: the gate is awesome! Cad, effective for interferences of any kind (item +) but "too" effective when playing with the volume knob ... I'm not talking about the game with a volume pedal!
Otherwise, at concerts or rehearsals, single-use volumes differentiated XLR outputs to the table and amp outputs allow a rapid equilibrium of its PA / amp
I mainly use a lag of 1991 bespoke (I'm left handed ...) and Gibson LP.
after 6 months of heavy use, the overall picture is very positive. I was previously a LINE6 X3 and (for me) is without comparison the call for the Eleven.
The overall ergonomics
The price / quality ratio
Too bland standard view effects (matter of taste?)
In this price range, I do it again the same choice.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
uttrillo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"One amp simulators to put in the top of the basket"
What are the effects or types of effects available?
- Volume Pedal
- Black and Shine Wah
- Disto and overdrive
- Flanger (analog emulation of a flanger)
- Chorus / Vibrato (emulating an analog pedal)
- Phaser (two types of emulation two different analog pedals)
- Rotor Speaker (Leslie)
- Spring Reverb (which is excellent!)
- Eleven SR (stereo reverb very successful too)
- Delay Tape echo (like Roland Space Echo)
- Delay analog (based on pedal transistor)
- 5-band EQ
- Compressor (not super convincing for my taste)
For my part I regret emulation pedal Wahmi fanchement but the rack is always stocked.
Are they edited? Via a Mac / PC editor?
Everything is editable from the rack which is very simple and intuitive to use as most settings are found on the front of the eleven rack.
Small black dot: editing on mac or pc can only be done through pro tools, visualization settings on the computer is not stand-alone.
Is this a rack or rack MODEL?
uh ... eleven RACK ^ ^
What technology is used? (Analog, digital, tube ...)
It is fully digital, the signal passes through the mic preamp level, line or instr based on what you save is then directly converted to be processed digitally. All effects are digital emulation and emulation amp. The plus is the emulation of speakers and microphones convolution technology to capture and reproduce the "noise footprint" of a product or part (convolution reverb). For more information I invite you to direct you to this link https://fr.audiofanzine.com/plugin-reverb/editorial/dossiers/viva-la-convolution.html. Everything is handled internally, the eleven rack has its own CPU which allows completely relieve the computer.
What is the connection? (Audio / MIDI)
Then it's the best of the best because there ALL:
- Footswitch or expression pedal
- Main output
- Outputs to attack a amp using the eleven rack as a stereo or mono effects pedal
- Line input +4 dBu or-10dBV
- Mic input
- Instrument input
- Loop stereo effect
The general configuration is it simple?
Very simple, it works as a guitar amp if you do not connect to a computer so, basically, it is plug 'n play, otherwise just install the drivers and it is gone!
The manual is clear and sufficient? ...
Yes, and I urge you to read it because it can provide useful information about emulations or how to adjust some settings in standalone as the sampling frequency or what source dédider at hand ...
Editing sounds and effects is it easy?
Very easy, as I said above everything is the front!
The effects are they effective, responsive and realistic enough?
While things are clear: if you want a device that accurately reproduce the sound of a Marshall, a fender, a mesa boogie or else ... go your way anyway because this machine does not yet exist.
on the other hand amp emulations have proposed a sound very interesting, some are more successful than others, but must be addressed sounds like discovering new amps. If you go with the idea that you will find the sound of your JCM800, you will be disappointed on the other hand you can say "hey I like that sound because it reminds me of the sound of a twin reverb. .. ".
For my part, the clean sounds are really good, especially with the SL100 model. For distos sounds, I prefer to be honest with you, they will need to treat them well, especially in the EQ above 8Khz because I hear the "coldness" of digital. I find, for example, to play metal riff, that's not it, but when it comes to playing blues or rock there, the 11R defended really well.
What's great is that you can try a variety of combinations to find the sound that suits you:
- Emulation amps (12 different emulations)
- Speaker emulation (7 different emulations)
- Emulation of the microphone used to capture the sound (7 different emulations)
- Microphone placement (center-center or HP = less treble)
Must spend time to find the sounds that we like but it is precisely this variety of combinations makes the 11R very interesting and powerful!
Which instruments do you use?
I play with a ephiphone Zakk Wylde EMG HZ equipped (liabilities)
How long have you use it?
This will make 3 years that I use only in the studio recording.
Have you tried many other models before buying it?
I had a Line6 POD and I tested the POD HD Pro X (direct competitor to the eleven rack). Overall I preferred the sound of the Eleven but I loved the Dual amp line 6 function allows two amp emulations simultaneously which increases the possibilities. But I find the sound emulation is really "digital" at Line 6.
I also tested the Two Notes Torpedo home and this is clearly a level above but much more expensive!
I have not tested the Axe FX in Fractal so I do not know what it is (although there are many topics type Eleven Rack VS Axe FX).
What is the particular feature you like best and least?
- The sound of most amps and effects
- The re-amping feature that is simply awesome! All my sounds I record in clean and after I selected during the mix, the final sound I want.
- Be able to choose what we listen regardless of what is recorded.
- Many connectors
- The user
- The tuner that I find very specific
- It is also a sound card
- The quality of converters that are not terrible. I have a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 and when I put it in master clock, I found some clarity in low and precision highs. And when I spend my UA2192 then there nothing to do ...
- No bracket supplied with but ...
- Editing on the computer only in pro tools
- Some emulations blowing high gain (much) too much for my taste
How would you rate the quality / price?
I find it really bad because when you look at the competition, there is no hybrid rack amp simulator / sound card at this price point. Then I will not go into the debate Avid but there is an update, pay, called expansion pack that adds emulations of amps, speaker cabinets (including one they added the saturation of the cabinet), micro and effects.
So I think that with this product, it was worth the money because the 11R can be used:
- The studio to record
- Adjust neighborhood problems playing headphones
I would like to use it as a head amp and plug it into a true baffle to see what it gives, unfortunately I will sell to move to a "real" amp.
With experience, you do again this choice? ...
Well honestly, as sound technician and guitarist, I will not repeat that choice. Let me explain: I recently had the opportunity to try a lot of amps and speakers, and my choice was a retro ENGL tube. And I must say that the sensation one feels when playing with a "real" amp, I think it can not be "synthesized". It goes something is lost (without going into the debate "is because there lamps" or such nonsense, there are monstrous amps operate transistors!) With all Emulation systems that are Line6 with the 11R or even products in Two notes.
Then he must know what you want, if you want in a machine, hundreds of different sounds can easily save, organize your schedule and your preset effects via MIDI, and then play around 11R is made for you.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Revan79's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Excellent material"
Laptop Intel Core I5
Loading ProTools is a bit long so demand still a recent and relatively powerful PC.
Since a few weeks I use it so I have not yet mastered the beast. I was looking for something simple to program, I can even play with headphones without disturbing the neighbors but also a warm and organic.
I've tested in 15 years a lot of gear Digitech, Boss, ... In search of its true I realized the limit of pedals. When I had a Roktron Prophesy, I went into another dimension. Really good material with a metal sound incredible, but not easy to master with all the settings.
With the Eleven Rack I was really surprised by the amp simulator and baffle.Je found the sound of my Marshall amp, very convincing. PC programming requires a little practice but you get used to it quickly, and the effects are great enough in most styles. Excellent for computer music and even for live coupled with a power amp like Matrix GT800.
I have not tested the FX axis, it is surely better (simulations, effects) but for 3 times the price of Eleven Rack ... The Eleven is more than enough for my use and has nothing to envy to the axis FX.
For quality and price, no doubt this is an excellent choice.
Just for those who have previously written that I do not work for Avid, or touched money from them. THIS IS JUST A GOOD MATERIAL!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Revan79's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Excellent hardware"
Portable Intel Core I5
Loading ProTools is a bit long so ask when even a PC rcent and relatively powerful.
Since only a few weeks since I use it so I do not yet the beast mastery. I was looking for something simple to program, I can play even with a headphone without dranger neighbors but especially a warm and organic.
I've experienced in 15 years a lot of stuff Digitech, Boss ... In search of the true sound I've realized the limit of pdaliers. By the time I had a Roktron Prophesy, I pass in another dimension. Really good hardware with its incredible metal, but not obvious to master with all the parameters.
With Eleven Rack t I really surprised by the amp simulator and baffle.Je found the sound of my Marshall amp, really very convincing. PC programming requires a little practice but soon we made it, the effects are excellent and sufficient in most styles. Excellent for computer music and even for the live coupled with a power amp genre Matrix GT800.
Axis FX is surely better (simulations, effects), but for three times the price of ... The Eleven Eleven Rack is quite enough for my use.
For the quality and price, no doubt this is an excellent choice.
Just the one who wrote prcdemment I do not work for Avid or touch money from them. THIS IS JUST THE MATERIAL WILL GOOD !!!
A regret, it is necessary to import Pro Tools configurations of sounds picked up by the internet.
Pro Tools works under Mac and Windows, I do not use these systems, it is a bit frustrating.
I am me my own tinkering soft, but have enjoyed jaurais specs detailed configuration of the device by USB ...
ElevenRackPresets site is really good and offers a great choice of sounds, I can not wait to finish my app to use them.
The simulation of the Eleven Rack amp is bluffing. Before I had a Pod X3 Pro, I do not regret the change.
I use the computer to live without or (home) studio. One very important thing for me, the camera has the right level of complexity. It is not too complicated and still offers plenty of features.
The radius effect, I would have liked a detune and may be one or two more tinkering but frankly, I am far from having done the trick. And I made sounds that go well live or recording (direct connection to console and door monitoring or PA.
You should see that are able to get the animal experts who have long ...
I've had almost two months, I had the roland and Pod. I would do this choice without hesitation. I have the version with the extension pack, which is now sold by default (with Pro Tools 10 also). The Rack is not given, it is more expensive than the Pods, but in my opinion, is ca.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful