Avid Eleven Rack: amp modelling, interface and Pro Tools!

The Eleven Rack -from Avid, makers of the industry standard Pro Tools- was released in 2009, but remains one of the highest quality ways to get all those classic amp and effects sounds in a single box.

Avid Eleven Rack at Red Dog Music

“So what?” I hear you say. Yes, there are plenty of options for stomp-box, amplifier and cabinet modelling around these days, but the Eleven Rack is a bit special… From the studio-corner surroundings of our Edinburgh base (and the soon-to-be plush surroundings of our London lair) , we tell you just why the Eleven Rack is worth more than a few moments of your time.

Look at the price, and you might be a bit sceptical of the Eleven Rack when you compare it to other amp modelling units (or ‘amp modeling units’ depending on your preference). However, when you consider that the Eleven Rack includes the full version of Pro Tools 11, things start to look a lot more competitive.

Pro Tools remains about the most industry standard you can get in an industry. This is the DAW used in the big studios around the world, and the DAW you need to know how to use in case that emergency call for your services comes in from Abbey Road one morning.

But back to the Eleven Rack. Resplendent in its orange and black livery, the Eleven Rack packs a lot of power and functionality inside that 2U box. For example, in an effort to just go beyond purely digital modelling of those classic amplifiers and cabinets, Avid have moved the first part of that modelling into the analogue domain with their ‘True-Z’ technology.

You may be familiar with ‘high-Z’ inputs from the instrument inputs on your audio interface. The Z refers to the impedance of the input, and guitars and basses like to see quite a big one, much more than a microphone for example. With most guitar modelling devices, the input impedance is fixed, usually at around 1 mega Ohm or so. However, the different pieces of equipment that are being modelled have different impedances. With their True-Z technology, Avid alter the input impedance to match that of the gear being modelled, providing a more authentic sound. There are some interesting and revealing audio demos, and some lovely graphs and further explanation of True-Z on Avid’s blog.

Rear view of Avid Eleven Rack at Red Dog Music

So, let’s take a look at what taking home the Avid Eleven Rack would put in your studio. Let’s say that, currently, your home studio comprises a computer and a pair of monitors. Pick up an Eleven Rack and you get a high quality USB audio interface featuring two analogue line inputs, a microphone input and an instrument input, as well as digital inputs; you get first class guitar and bass effect and amplifier modelling, a MIDI interface to hook up additional outboard gear, an iLok 2 key and the industry-standard Pro Tools DAW.

Basically, if you’re a guitarist, this is what you want in your studio. While it may look expensive compared to some of the competition, the Eleven Rack really is big on features, but it’s the inclusion of Pro Tools that makes the difference. Factor that into the price, and this is quite a bundle!

If you are interested in the Eleven Rack and Pro Tools 11, please contact us at our Edinburgh shop or -soon!- our London showroom in Clapham and we can provide you with more information, answer any questions you may have or arrange a demo.

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Fynn Callum

producer, guitarist, engineer & dj
From indie guitarist to deep house producer via Northern Soul dj; mix engineer, producer and gear enthusiast. Jaffa Cake aficionado.

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