Eleven Rack is a revolutionary new guitar recording and effects processing system designed to eliminate the challenges guitarists have faced in the studio and on stage. Say goodbye to the lackluster guitar amp "models" of yesteryear: Eleven Rack utilizes a unique tone cloning design and one-of-a-kind, custom-designed True-Z input to re-create the experience of playing through a full guitar rig. By combining studio-standard Pro Tools software with a DSP-accelerated high-resolution interface, Eleven Rack puts professional recording into the hands of every guitar player. Whether you're tracking in the studio or playing on stage, Eleven Rack delivers fresh, mind-blowing, hyper-realistic guitar amp and effects tones that will inspire your best performances.
Eleven Rack in the Studio
Eleven Rack combines studio-standard Pro Tools software with a high-resolution, dual DSP-powered audio interface so you'll never have to worry about latency when recording with its built-in amp/effects tones -- nor will your computer have to carry the processing burden. Eleven Rack also takes re-amping to the next level by recording both dry and processed guitar signals simultaneously, allowing you to re-amplify later without patching a single cable. We even found a way to embed the Eleven Rack amp and effects settings into the audio tracks you record, enabling you to automatically recall those settings from your audio files on any Pro Tools system with Eleven Rack.
Eleven Rack On Stage
Eleven Rack also rocks onstage as a standalone amp tone and effects signal processor -- we pulled out all the stops to make sure it sounds and feels just like playing through the real deal. We also included a classic collection of effects, from must-have stompboxes to world-class rackmount studio processors. Eleven Rack has all the I/O flexibility you need to integrate it into your existing rig, and easily incorporate the tones you've recorded with into your live setup -- closing the gap between studio and stage. Eleven Rack also offers incredibly powerful control options using affordable MIDI controllers and expression pedals, giving you full foot control over everything from vintage wah effects to tempo-driven delays and more.
Eleven Rack combines hyper-realistic guitar amp and effects tones with a dual-DSP-powered interface and studio-standard Pro Tools LE(R) software to create the ultimate recording solution for guitar players.
Among guitar tonehounds, it's a well-known fact that input impedance -- the electronic resistance found in the input circuit of the amp or effect you're plugged in to -- has a huge impact on your guitar tone. We realized that re-creating this electronic relationship was critical in nailing the sound and feel of our emulations. Others have tried to fake this with signal processing but we weren't satisfied with a one-size-fits-all-approach. Each guitar reacts uniquely with each amp or effect -- so we had to come up with a true analog solution that allows your guitar to interact realistically with our amp and effect re-creations.
That's why we developed True-Z -- a unique analog input circuit that replicates the input impedance of classic stompbox pedals and guitar amps, resulting in amazingly realistic sounds. It's almost as if the True-Z input on Eleven Rack morphs into the 1/4" input jack of whatever classic stompbox or amplifier you are using. When you plug into Eleven Rack, you get the same response -- and same great tone -- as when plugging in to a vintage stompbox or guitar amp. You can also manually control the impedance of the True-Z input and set it to a value that suits your playing best.
- Unique True-Z auto-impedance matching guitar input
- Incredible emulations of classic guitar amp tones inspired by Fender(R), Vox(R), Marshall(R), Soldano, and Mesa/Boogie(R) amps*
- Refined collection of sought-after classic stompbox tones inspired by effects from MXR(R), Electro-Harmonix(R), Ibanez(R), ProCo, Univox(R), and more*
- Powerful collection of studio-quality rackmount effects processors
- Convolution-based cabinet emulations deliver unprecedented realism in cabinet tones
- Convolution-based microphone emulations inspired by classic dynamic, condenser, and ribbon mic designs
- Integrated FX loop switchable to incorporate existing mono or stereo rack and stompbox effects
- Controllable via MIDI controllers and expression pedals
- Built-in tuner
- Tap-tempo control of time-based effects
- High-speed USB 2.0 connection
- Supports up to 8 simultaneous channels of high-resolution recording up to 24-bit/96 kHz
- Stereo balanced XLR outputs and dedicated 1/4 in. outputs
- XLR mic input with 48V phantom power and pad switch
- 2 x 1/4 in. line-level inputs
- AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital I/O
- Stereo 1/4 in. headphone jack
- 1 x 1 MIDI I/O
* Eleven Rack is not connected with, or approved or endorsed by, the owners of Electro-Harmonix(R), Fender(R), Ibanez(R), Marshall(R), Mesa/Boogie(R), MXR(R), ProCo, Soldano, Univox(R), and Vox(R) names. These names are used solely to identify the guitar amplifiers and effects emulated by Eleven Rack.
Up until now, amp modeling solutions haven't really delivered the full depth, dimension, and response of a mic'd up rig. Digidesign decided to take this challenge head on to ensure Eleven Rack truly re-creates the experience of playing through the most coveted guitar amps in the world. Check it out:
- Digidesign spent years scouting a connoisseur's collection of vintage and modern amps and cabinets, paying special attention to choosing amps that represented the best of their generation and remained unmodified from their original design. We then painstakingly inspected every component, took detailed measurements, and captured every stage of the signal path -- point to point.
- Digidesign incorporated nuances like power amp sag, ghost notes, and cabinet resonance that other amp modeling developers overlooked, giving our clones the truly multi-dimensional tone and hyper-realistic response previously only achievable by mic'ing a real amp.
- Digidesign set out to invent an input circuit that re-creates the electronic relationship between your guitar and an actual amp or effect. This can't be done digitally -- so we developed a unique True-Z direct input that automatically adjusts the input impedance to match that of the particular amp/effects rig signal chain. Thanks to the True-Z input, plugging into Eleven Rack sounds and feels just like plugging into a real amp or effect.
- Using convolution processing, they captured the exact sound of the cabinets and mics used to create the tone of a mic'd combo -- instead of using EQ filters to "fake" this sound the way other amp modeling solutions have done.
- Digidesign enlisted guitar recording expert John Cuniberti (Platinum and Gold recording engineer/producer and inventor of the Reamp(R) box) to ensure the mic'ing techniques used during development were absolutely top notch.
- They also emulated an assortment of vintage and classic effects processors -- from must-have stompbox effects to high-end studio processors culled from our coveted Pro Tools|HD(R) TDM plug-ins used in pro studios around the world.
Digidesign went to great lengths to obtain the world's most sought-after amps and effects -- in their original state -- to create the sounds in Eleven Rack. Here are all of the vintage and modern amplifiers and effects boxes that Eleven Rack emulates along with a bit of their history, where you may have heard their signature tones, and how our emulations compare to the originals.
Eleven Rack Amps
'59 Tweed Lux
With a single 12-inch Jensen speaker and a pair of 6V6 tubes delivering 15 watts, Fender's "tweed" Deluxe became a recording studio favorite for everyone from ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons to jazz/fusion legend Larry Carlton. In fact, Carlton's acclaimed solo on Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" is a Gibson ES-335 (with the guitar's tone control rolled back) straight into a cranked Fender(R) Deluxe.
With just a simple tone control, '50s-era Deluxe amps deliver crunchy clean sounds when used with single-coil pickups, and fat leads when driven with humbucking pickups. Even with that dynamic range, its low wattage keeps it totally under control for recording. While not exactly loud enough to cut a gig, Neil Young toured for decades with his beloved '59 tweed Deluxe, but he had to drag around a personal PA system just so he could hear it over the actual house monitors and PA.
For our emulation, the knobs range from 0-10 (instead of 1-12 on the original) to better match the other amps in Eleven Rack, and for consistency with automation and control surface controls. Our '59 Tweed Lux is also "jumped" so you can feed both the Instrument and Mic inputs in parallel. Turning either the Instrument or Mic channel volume to zero will un-jump the channels.
'59 Tweed Bass
Originally designed by Leo Fender in 1952 to go along with his new "electric" Precision Bass, the world's first bass amp, the Fender(R) Bassman(R), supplied less than 40-watts through a single 15-inch speaker. It was also covered in the same tweed suitcase cloth used on the Fender(R) Deluxe. Always willing to make a design better, Fender eventually felt that using four 10-inch Jensen speakers had a tighter bass response while still keeping the high-end intact. By 1959, the Bassman(R) had closer to 50 watts of power, using two 5881 (military spec 6L6) power tubes, and four inputs (high and low for each channel). Along with controls for Bass, Middle (midrange), and Treble, a negative feedback Presence control also allowed for more tweaking of the high-end frequencies.
Even though the '59 Bassman(R) was originally designed with bass guitar in mind, it became the holy grail of tone for nearly all of the pioneering country, rock, and blues guitarists of the '50s and '60s. Even blues harmonica players consider the Fender(R) Bassman(R) the industry standard when used with a "Green Bullet" microphone. It's this classic amp's layout and circuit design that became the blueprint for many others to follow, including amps made in a small shop in England owned by a drummer named Jim Marshall.
Just like Digidesign's '59 Tweed Lux, the '59 Tweed Bass' knobs range from 0-10 (instead of 1-12 on the original) to better match the other amp sounds in Eleven Rack, and for consistency with automation and control surface controls. The Tweed Bass is also "jumped" so you can feed both the Bright and Normal inputs. Turning either the Instrument or Mic channel volume to zero will un-jump the channels.
'64 Black Panel Lux Vibrato
For nearly the entire time Leo Fender was designing amps, he always made sure to have a version of the Fender(R) Deluxe. With a single 12-inch Oxford speaker and a pair of 6V6s putting out just over 20 watts, Fender's Deluxe Reverb(R) became the ultimate small club amp. In the studio, it's been used to record countless #1 hits in Nashville thanks to "first call" session players such as Brent Mason.
At low volumes its crisp, clean high-end has been favored by Fender (R)Telecaster(R) country rockers such as Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam). But push the amp past 7 with a humbucking pickup, and you've got an amazingly dynamic lead tone that's been used by blues/jazz great Robben Ford and '80s LA session king Steve Lukather. With his goldtop '58 Les Paul, Lukather used his Fender(R) Deluxe Reverb(R) to cut the solo on Toto's hit "Hold The Line."
Fender(R) made both a Deluxe and a Deluxe Reverb(R) at the same time. However, with its bigger cabinet and extra gain stage (which was used to isolate the reverb tank from the preamp), most players preferred the sound of the Deluxe Reverb(R). After Leo Fender sold his company in 1965 to CBS, the black front panel was eventually phased out and replaced by "silverface" panels. The more desirable early and mid '60s Fender(R) amplifiers picked up the nickname "blackface" due to their black control panels.
For Eleven Rack, we've emulated both channels of this classic blackface-era amp. While both versions of our '64 Black Panel Lux emulation include Tremolo (which Fender(R) mislabeled as Vibrato), Normal is a single gain version, while Vibrato adds the additional gain stage like the original.
'66 AC Hi Boost
Originally released in 1958, the VOX(R) AC30 went through a few design changes that would eventually define the sound of British pop/rock in the '60s. First available by VOX(R) as a modification mounted in the rear of the amp, the "Top Boost" circuit added an extra tube and controls for Treble and Bass. It became so popular that VOX(R) eventually redesigned the control panel and officially added the circuit to the AC30 in 1963. It's this version of amp with two 12-inch Celestions (also known as 15-watt Blue or Bulldog speakers due to their color and labeling) and a quartet of EL84 tubes delivering 30 watts that helped change the sound of popular music.
While the Beatles are forever linked to the AC30 Top Boost, many other great bands built their sound with it, including Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, REM, Radiohead, and U2. Armed with a Stratocaster(R) that fed into a digital delay, the Edge's percussive rhythm on tracks such as "Pride (In The Name of Love)" and "Where The Streets Have No Name" showcase the amp's distinctive high-end chime and glassiness. For lead work, Brian May's singing solo tones on such Queen classics as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen" have helped make the VOX(R)AC30 one of the most sought-after amps of all time.
For Digi's emulation, they've "jumped" the Normal and Brilliant channels. Tremolo and Cut (presence) are active on both channels. However, just like the original, the Treble and Bass controls are only part of the Brilliant channel, and have no effect on the Normal channel.
'67 Black Duo
Without a doubt, Fender's blackface-era Twin Reverb(R) is considered one of the greatest combo amps ever made. With two 12-inch Jensen speakers and a quartet of 6L6 tubes pushing 80 watts, no concert stage was complete without one. During the '60s and '70s, nearly every pro guitar player in every genre of music used a Fender(R) Twin Reverb(R), from BB King and the Beatles (used on The White Album) to John Fogerty, David Gilmour, and Carlos Santana. It was during the recording of Santana's 1970 Abraxas record that he used his '61 Gibson SG and Fender(R) Twin Reverb(R) to track his classic instrumental ballad "Samba Pa Ti."
One of the main reasons for the amp's popularity is that it can maintain the classic Fender(R) clean sound even at high volume levels. For some players, such as Eric Johnson who uses two amps in stereo, a Twin Reverb(R) is the only amp that can really keep up with a driven Marshall(R) half stack. Another special feature of the blackface-era Twin Reverb(R) is the inclusion of a Bright switch. For our emulation, just like the original, as you turn the Volume knob up, the Bright switch has less of an effect. Dial the Volume knob around 3 or 4 with the Bright switch on, and you'll get that ultra-clean snap that it's famous for.
'69 Plexiglas - 100W
In 1963, Fender(R) amps were expensive and hard to find in England. But there was one small store named Marshall's Music in a London suburb that stocked a few. The shop was owned by drum teacher Jim Marshall, whose students included Mitch Mitchell (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) and Keith Moon (The Who). The shop's amp repairman, Ken Bran, thought they could build the same kind of amps as Fender(R), but using domestic part supplies. Within two years, Marshall(R) needed a bigger factory, and his amps were gaining favor among a new crop of local guitar players. A young Eric Clapton bought his first Marshall(R) combo for his new gig with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.
It was a volume-hungry Pete Townsend who eventually asked Jim to make a 100-watt head and 8x12 cabinet. It didn't take long before The Who's roadies protested, and the cabinet was split in half. Now with two 4x12 cabinets loaded with "greenback" Celestions, and a 100-watt head, the Marshall(R) stack was born and ready to usher in the era of the Guitar God. When James Marshall Hendrix landed in England, he thought it was fate having the same name as Marshall's owner, and left the store with a brand new 100-watt Super Lead stack.
This era of Marshall's amps had a plastic gold front panel. By the end of 1969, they switched to metal, thus making the "Plexi" heads highly collectable. Some of the greatest rock riffs and solos got their tone from the Plexi, including "Sunshine of Your Love," "Voodoo Child," "Cliffs of Dover," and every single guitar sound on the first two Van Halen records, including "Eruption."
For our emulation, we've based it on the legendary 100-watt 1968/69 version, which also has the "lay down" transformers favored by Eddie Van Halen. We've also "jumped" both channels like Eric Johnson's setup.
'82 Lead 800 - 100W
By 1982, Jim Charles Marshall finally ended a bad distribution deal, which kept the company financially strapped for over a decade. He decided to trim the amp line down and focus on his new flagship amp, the JCM800. Named after the license plate on his car (which was just his initials and a plate number), the JCM800 delivered massive distorted rhythm sounds thanks to its cascaded preamp design, a quartet of EL34 tubes, and the addition of a master volume.
Unlike the Marshall(R) heads of the '60s, which needed to be on 10 to achieve an overdrive sound, a JCM800 could conjure up real distortion at any volume level, and that made it very popular in the burgeoning heavy metal scene. From Judas Priest to Iron Maiden and Slayer, no metal band would go on onstage without a wall of JCM800 stacks. It absolutely dominated the '80s rock and metal scene. In later years, Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello used JCM800 series amps to redefine the sound of metal-inspired rock.
* Digidesign Eleven Rack is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Marshall(R) and JCM800 names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven Rack. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven Rack by any artist or band.
'85 M-2 Lead
Mesa Engineering was originally started by amp repairman Randall Smith so he could buy supplies for his other job, rebuilding Mercedes engines. It was this "hot rod" mentality that lead Smith to take a small Fender(R) Princeton and turn it into a 50-watt monster, complete with a JBL 12-inch speaker. In 1970, while repairing amps in his shop at Prune Music in Berkeley, CA, Smith left what he thought of as a practical joke in the storefront. When local guitar hotshot Carlos Santana heard it, he was blown away and said, "Man, this thing really boogies!" At that moment, the Mesa/Boogie(R) amplifier was born.
Over the years, Smith continued to improve his designs to include features such as switchable channels, effects loops, a slave out, 5-band EQ, and a power tube mode called Simul-Class. Different output power levels could be achieved by tweaking the Simul-Class rear switches to run the amp in Class A with a pair of EL34s, or in conjunction with a pair of Class A/B 6L6s. All of those features helped make the final design of the Mark IIc+ one of the most desired amps Mesa/Boogie(R) ever made.
The Mark IIc+ can be heard on everything from the progressive rock solos of Dream Theater's John Petrucci to the super chunky rhythm sounds of Metallica's James Hetfield. Used during the sessions for And Justice For All and Master of Puppets, Hetfield always had the amp's graphic EQ set up in a "V" curve to maintain a tight bass sound, while getting rid of any unnecessary midrange boominess.
We've based our emulation on the Lead channel with the Fat, Bright, and Gain Boost options on. We even re-created the classic "V" EQ curve!
'92 Treadplate Modern
Released in 1989, Mesa/Boogie's Dual Rectifier(R) seemed cooler than a high-performance racecar. With more tone-tweaking options and distortion than any Boogie before it, the amp became the industry standard for players looking to achieve a massive sound. It first gained exposure at the end of the grunge period with bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. But the Dual Rectifier(R) would find its greatest fame in the Nu Metal scene with Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park. The Dual Rectifier(R) has also become a favorite of bands such as Creed, and more recently the Foo Fighters.
With the ability to run on either 6L6 or EL34 tubes, the Dual Rectifier(R) was named for its ability to select between either tube or silicon diode rectifier circuits. On top of that, an AC power selection switch offered a Bold or a Spongy option, which would drop the voltage like a Variac for a more "brown" sound.
For our '92 Treadplate, we emulated two different channels and selected the appropriate rectifier and AC power switch setting. For Treadplate Modern, we set it on the Red channel using 6L6s, a silicon rectifier, and the Bold power setting for a tight, aggressive tone. For Treadplate Vintage, we emulated the Orange channel with 6L6s, a tube rectifier, and the Spongy power setting for a more fluid lead tone.
'89 SL-100 Drive
Originally from Seattle, Michael Soldano moved to Los Angeles and officially founded Soldano Custom Amplification in 1987 on April Fool's Day. Soldano quickly got a reputation for doing high-gain mods to old Marshall(R) heads. His goal was to add lots of gain without losing definition or clarity. This led to the creation of his own 100-watt amp called the Super Lead Overdrive. Built like a tank, and sporting a chromed chassis and transformers, some of the first SLO-100 heads were quickly purchased by Mark Knopfler, Steve Lukather, Lou Reed, Steve Stevens, and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford. Known for its singing sustain and clear articulation, the SLO-100 also became Eric Clapton's favorite stage and studio amp through most of the '90s.
For our '89 SL-100, we emulated three different channels. Clean and Crunch both have the Bright/Normal switch of a stock SLO-100. For Drive, we emulated Warren Haynes' (The Allman Brothers) Soldano's bright switch mod. Set to Normal, the amp is stock. With Mod engaged, the treble boost that would normally happen at lower gain settings is removed, which leads to a rounder, thicker sound. The Mod circuit has progressively less effect as the gain is raised, and no effect when the preamp is set to 10.
DC Modern Overdrive
If you're looking for a unique tone that blends the classic growl of a 100-watt Marshall(R) with more low-end girth, give our DC Modern Overdrive a try. Based on the JCM800, we added loads of extra gain and a carefully tweaked tone stack for a little extra thump! Plus, there's a Bright switch and a Fender(R)*-style Tremolo. Use a humbucker in the bridge position and you'll have a tone that can shred with the best of them.
DC Vintage Crunch
For our DC Vintage Crunch emulation, we blended the two most popular versions of the Fender(R) Deluxe* into one killer amp. Based on the tweed-era Deluxe, we added more gain and a Bright switch. To make it even more versatile, we added the blackface-era tone stack and tremolo. Using single-coil pickups, you can achieve glassy clean sounds and punchy leads with ease.
Eleven Rack: Effects
Green JRC Overdrive
Considered by many to be the quintessential overdrive pedal, the Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer pedal has become one of the most highly sought-after classic effects -- thanks in part to being a favorite of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan used an original Tube Screamer to overdrive the front end of his tube amps; he would even sometimes chain two TS-808's together to obtain super-saturated distorted tones.
The original TS-808 pedal -- the most sought-after version of the Tube Screamer pedals -- was produced between 1979 and 1982, and features three simple controls: overdrive, tone and level. The overdrive knob controls the level of distortion, the tone knob adjusts the amount of treble, and the level knob controls the overall volume output. Although the TS-808 can be used with a solid-state amp to mimic the tone of an overdriven tube amp, the best tones are achieved when using the pedal to drive the power section of a tube amp beyond the point of break-up.
Like many pedal manufacturers of the early 1980s, Ibanez utilized several different chips based on cost and availability at the time of production. To create our Green JRC Overdrive effect, we scoured the vintage shops and found a completely stock TS-808 with the original JRC 4558D dual op-amp. When measuring and analyzing the unit (as we did with all the vintage pedals that operate on a 9V battery), we even used old-school carbon zinc batteries to re-create the voltage discharge of the batteries commonly available when the pedal was introduced. The result is an amazingly realistic emulation of the original, providing a warm moderate overdrive to amps with clean settings, and pushing distorted amps to even higher levels of saturation by slamming the input of the amp with a high output setting on the pedal.
Tri Knob Fuzz
In the late 1960s, Electro-Harmonix was a small, relatively unknown boutique pedal manufacturer in New York City run by owner Mike Matthews. Thanks to the growing popularity of distorted guitar tones -- popularized by players like Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards -- the company had found a niche market selling small fuzzboxes and booster circuits to guitarists. After being inspired by time spent in the studio discussing tone with Hendrix, Matthews designed the pedal that would launch Electro-Harmonix into history and become one of the best-selling distortion effects of all time: the Big Muff Pi.
Released in 1971, the affordable Big Muff Pi was one of the first fuzzboxes to generate almost over-the-top levels of saturated distortion The pedal became Electro-Harmonix's first runaway hit, and, to this date, has found its way into the rigs of countless guitarists, including Carlos Santana, Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan, Jack White, and many others.
Since the early 1970s, Electro-Harmonix has produced several versions of the Big Muff Pi, which featured three simple controls arranged in a triangle pattern: Volume, Sustain and Tone. Due to inconsistencies in the components used to build Big Muff Pi, it's difficult to find two vintage units that sound exactly the same. To create our Tri Knob Fuzz effect, we compared several different units and chose one that had the most burly tone, avoiding those that sounded more shrill or thin. Just like the Big Muff Pi, our Tri Knob Fuzz effect utilizes a straight-forward three-knob configuration.
When you plug into Eleven Rack, the auto-impedance matching True-Z input automatically sets the input impedance -- which is notoriously low on this one -- to the correct value, resulting in an extremely accurate emulation of the original.
Black Op Distortion
During the mid-1970s, Pro Co Sound engineers Scott Burnham and Steve Kiraly repaired and hot-rodded existing overdrive and distortion pedals like the Dallas-Arbiter Fuzzface and others. It wasn't long before Burnham decided he could design a superior model from scratch -- and thus was born the Pro Co Rat. After building several custom-order prototype models in the factory basement, Pro Co went on to mass-produce the pedal in 1979. Thanks to its unique tone and ability to produce heavy amounts of distortion, the Pro Co Rat became one of the most popular effects boxes ever, used by artists like Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, Thom Yorke, Joe Perry and James Hetfield.
The pedal design is fairly simple, utilizing a single op-amp and variable gain circuit to produce its characteristic edgy distortion tones. The original version features three controls: distortion, tone, and volume. The tone control was a linear-taper pot that increased highs as the knob was turned clockwise. (Interestingly, later editions of the pedal reversed the tone pot, and re-labeled it "filter.") Many guitarists claim that the original early-1980s edition gives a more mellow tone than the later models.
We've based our Black Op Distortion effect on a stock, second-edition Pro Co Rat pedal. During the measuring and analyzing process, we even powered the unit using old-school carbon zinc batteries -- the type that was available when Pro Co Rat was first introduced. The Black Op Distortion features three controls: Distortion controls the amount of overdrive in the op-amp, Filter attenuates the highs, and Volume controls the output gain. The Black Op Distortion works great as part of a cascading chain of gain: Set it to a moderate level and put it in front of a slightly distorted amp and listen for rich, distorted tones.
The Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble is a landmark in vintage effects history. It was the first chorus effect to be produced in pedal form, and was the first product to be released under the Boss name. The CE-1 incorporated several unique design elements that later became standard-issue among modulation effects boxes. Virtually every chorus pedal released since then owes its heritage to the venerable CE-1 Chorus Ensemble.
The CE-1 pedal's lineage can be traced back to the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus, which utilized twin 60-watt amplifiers along with an analog effects section to produce exceptional chorus and vibrato effects. Roland decided to make the JC-120 effects circuit available in pedal form, so guitarists could enjoy the chorus and vibrato without having to purchase a new amp. The result was the Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, which delivered an unmistakable new sound quickly made famous by guitarists like Andy Summers (The Police) and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (The Doobie Brothers).
We created our C1 Chorus/Vibrato effect by emulating a vintage Boss CE-1 unit. Unlike models by other manufacturers, we felt it was important to capture both the chorus and vibrato modes. Going beyond emulating the original sound, we also enable synchronizing the modulation rate to an adjustable tempo setting.
During the mid- to late-1970s, Kustom Electronics produced a line of guitar effects pedals under the Ross brand. Unfortunately, sales were rather sluggish, and the Ross family of pedals disappeared by the 1980s. In recent years however, guitarists have re-discovered the Ross lineup -- and in particular, the grey-colored Ross Compressor. The pedal has been adopted by several high-profile artists, including Trey Anastiano (Phish).
From a schematics standpoint, the Ross Compressor and the MXR Dynacomp are surprisingly similar. However, the Ross compressor adds several small capacitors that result in improved stability and slightly warmer tone.
For the Eleven Rack Grey Compressor effect, we faithfully emulated a completely stock original circuit. The sustain knob controls the amount of compression, and the level knob controls the amount of post-compression gain. It's a straightforward effect that sounds great for clean country lead guitar tones, or for further overdriving distorted amps.
Ever since its debut in 1974, the MXR Phase 90 has been arguably the most popular phase-shift pedal on the market. Adding to its popularity is the fact that guitar legend Eddie Van Halen has used it extensively throughout his career. The pedal has also been used by countless other guitarists including Andy Summers (The Police), Steve Vai, Matt Bellamy (Muse), and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine).
The original "script logo" Phase 90 is the most sought-after by collectors. It produces a warm, thick phase effect that's mixed with the original signal to create a distinctive sound. Van Halen used the Phase 90 at multiple places in his signal chain to conjure up different sounds. Sometimes the pedal was placed in line before a Marshall amp head, and other times between the Marshall amp dummy load and a separate power amp.
We faithfully emulated the original "script logo" MXR Phase 90, making some minor tweaks to ensure the effect sounds equally great at any point in your Eleven Rack signal chain. Like the original MXR Phase 90, our Orange Phaser effect features only a single speed control -- yet you can dial in many interesting sounds. Turn down the speed for a lush, sweeping tone. Crank up the knob for a fast rotary speaker-like effect. Or experiment by inserting Orange Phaser different places in your signal chain. When combined with the other effect emulations in Eleven Rack, the tonal possibilities are virtually endless.
Listen to the classic Hendrix recordings "Machine Gun" and "Star Spangled Banner" and you'll immediately notice the thick, swirly sound of the Univox Uni-Vibe. Released in the mid-1960s, the Uni-Vibe was originally designed to mimic the sound of a rotating speaker cabinet. Truthfully, the pedal didn't quite nail the Leslie cabinet sound -- but it did deliver a distinctive phase-shift effect that became a favorite of guitar legends Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, and David Gilmour.
From a technology standpoint, the Uni-Vibe was one of the most unique effects ever produced. It utilized a flashing lamp and photo resistors to generate the effect speed, and LFO to create the sweeping effect. The flashing lamp actually served two purposes: it determined the speed while giving the guitarist a visual indication of how fast the effect was running.
For our Vibe Phaser effect, we added a tempo-lock function, which lets you synchronize the speed to the tempo of your Pro Tools session. We also emulated both the chorus and vibrato modes so you can switch between the two. As is the case with most phase-shift effects, the Vibe Phaser sounds best when placed at the end of your effects signal chain, or even between the amplifier and cabinet.
The original Uni-Vibe didn't have a dial to control the rate. You had to connect a separate wah-style footpedal, which increased speed as you pushed it down. Our Vibe Phaser emulation allows you to control speed via the Eleven Rack control panel, or connect an expression pedal to adjust speed on the fly.
Released in 1976, the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man provided guitarists with an affordable pedal that could produce echo/delay effects without requiring tape or other complex moving parts. Guitarists like U2's The Edge and Eric Johnson made extensive use of the pedal's analog delay and colorful chorus/vibrato effects. During the last decade, original units have become highly sought-after by vintage effects collectors.
Electro-Harmonix continued to revamp the pedal over the years, culminating in the 5-knob Deluxe Memory Man version. In addition to classic analog-style echo, the Deluxe Memory Man could produce eerie and unusual pitch-shift effects if the user changed delay time while playing, or Radiohead-style flying saucer effects by increasing the delay feedback and warping the delay time while the pedal self-oscillated.
Our BBD Delay effect is named after the bucket-brigade delay technology used in the Deluxe Memory Man. In the original model, audio was passed through a series of charge packets to create the delay -- kind of like buckets of water being passed down the line to put out a fire. We emulated virtually every aspect of the original pedal, adding a switchable noise control to enhance the realism. BBD Delay features all the controls present on the original: Input controls faithfully distorts the input signal, Mix blends between the dry and processed signals, Feedback controls the number of delay repeats, Delay syncs the pedal to tempo using rhythmic subdivisions, and Chorus/Vibrato controls LFO depth. We also added the ability to switch off the noise typically found in analog delay devices: For pristine delay tones, set the control to "OFF"; For realistic behavior of Feedback control, leave the noise set to "ON" and hear how it contributes to driving the effect to self oscillation. Our BBD Delay also offers an expanded delay function that provides 1.6 seconds of delay time -- well beyond the capability of the original analog technology.
The Eleven Rack Roto Speaker effect emulates the unique spinning sound of a Leslie rotary speaker cabinet. There are several interesting ways you can use Roto Speaker, each providing a different type of sound. You can insert the effect before your amplifier, just like using a footpedal. You can also place Roto Speaker after your amp, and turn off cabinet simulation in Eleven Rack, resulting in a faithful rotary speaker cabinet emulation.
Since a real rotary speaker utilizes two horns that spin around in opposite directions, we gave our Roto Speaker effect a balance control, which allows you to control the level balance between the upper and lower rotors. The preset function allows you to switch between different virtual rotary speaker cabinet models.
To design our custom Eleven Rack Flanger effect, we listened to a variety of vintage and modern flange pedals; the Flanger is our customized design of this effect. The flanger effect was originally created by depressing the flange of tape reels; this was later re-created with modulated analog delay circuits in pedals. We studied the classic flanger models from manufacturers like MXR, Electro Harmonix, and A/DA, and finally came up with our own customized design that works great in front of, or after, the amp in the signal chain -- without the noise or limited frequency response of typical flanger pedals.
While volume pedals aren't technically effects, guitarists have relied on them for decades to create reverse-attack and pedal steel-type sounds. Our Eleven Rack Volume Pedal is totally transparent, delivering everything you need in a volume device, but without the signal degradation and noise inherent in vintage models. You can position Volume Pedal almost anywhere in the signal chain. Simply connect an expression pedal to Eleven Rack and you'll have full foot control over the volume of your guitar -- great for both studio and stage applications.
The Eleven Rack Graphic EQ gives you full control over 5 bands of EQ -- 100 Hz, 370 Hz, 800 Hz, 2 kHz, and 3.25 kHz -- ideal for cutting out troublesome frequencies or dialing-in just the right tone. We designed the Graphic EQ from the ground up specifically for guitar players. Positioned in front of the amp, the Graphic EQ is a flexible and transparent tone shaper with none of the noise typically found in pedal units. In fact, our design team consulted with many of the first-call pro engineers to learn what their favorite frequency bands for tweaking their legendary great guitar tones. The Graphic EQ also works well positioned after the amplifier in the signal chain. Our Graphic EQ effect also works great as a tone shaper or signal booster for guitars and microphones.
Eleven SR (Stereo Reverb)
Eleven Rack features the most pristine, high-quality stereo reverb ever available in a rack-mount guitar recording device. We converted our acclaimed Reverb One TDM plug-in -- which is used in countless professional studios to create award-winning albums, movies and television shows -- to work in Eleven Rack. Our design team optimized the Reverb One technology for Eleven Rack, resulting in an incredible, high-fidelity reverb effect.
Up until now, you needed a Pro Tools|HD rig to enjoy the spacious tones of Reverb One -- now you can experience the same great sounds right inside Eleven Rack.
According to author Tom Hughes' book Analog Man's Guide to Vintage Effects, the idea for the Fender spring reverb can be attributed -- fittingly -- to surf guitar legend Dick Dale. In 1960, Dale asked Leo Fender to build a compact reverb unit that he could run his voice through. Fender responded by licensing Hammond Organ's state-of-the-art analog reverb technology, and the rest is history. Nearly every guitar amplifier produced since then has included some time of reverb, making it the most popular built-in amp effect.
To create our Spring Reverb effect, we analyzed the actual reverb units from several classic blackface-era Fender amps, including the '67 Twin Reverb and '64 Deluxe Reverb. Our Eleven Rack Spring Reverb emulates both the electronic circuits and spring tanks of the original models, resulting in a completely convincing emulation of the Fender reverb tone. In addition to the mix control present on the original amps, we added some controls that were not present on amplifiers, but were included on the original standalone Fender 6G15 reverbs: Decay and Tone knobs to give you full control over your reverb sound.
* Digidesign Eleven Rack is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Fender name. This name is used solely to identify the classic effects emulated by Eleven Rack.
In 1966, Vox engineer Brad Plunkett accidentally discovered the wah-wah effect while experimenting with the tone circuit on a guitar amp. The executives at Vox immediately saw the commercial potential of the wah-wah pedal -- but originally wanted to market the device to brass and woodwind players. In the late 1960s, the Vox V846 wah-wah pedal with a shiny chrome treadle was introduced, which utilized a frequency response designed specifically for guitar players.
Eric Clapton was perhaps the first artist to popularize the wah-wah pedal, using on tracks like "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "White Room." According to legend, Jimi Hendrix purchased his first wah after seeing Frank Zappa use one -- and the rest is history. The classic Hendrix recordings "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," and "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" are excellent examples of the wah-wah in action.
We emulated our Eleven Rack Shine Wah after a completely stock, vintage Vox V846. Our emulation gives you the flexibility to place the effect in your signal chain after the amplifier -- a setup that would be quite difficult using the original V846. The Shine Wah effect can be controlled via expression pedal, MIDI CC data, or even Pro Tools automation.
The history of the wah-wah pedal is rather convoluted. The pedal was first introduced by Vox in 1966, but soon after, Vox's former parent company Thomas Organ began releasing wah-wahs on its own. While Vox insisted on sticking to an alphanumeric naming scheme (hence the name V846), Thomas Organ decided to give the effect a snazzy new name -- the Crybaby. It was a fitting moniker that accurately described the pedal's unique sound.
To create our Eleven Rack Black Wah effect, we emulated an original Thomas Organ CB-95 Crybaby pedal. Eleven Rack's unique auto-impedance matching True-Z input is an especially important part of re-creating this particular wah tone.
EP Tape Echo
The Maestro Echoplex was one of the earliest analog delay devices, and helped to bring about the popular delay sound of the late-1950s and 1960s. The Echoplex utilized a loop of magnet tape and a mechanically adjustable record head to create its legendary delay effect. By physically adjusting the position of the playback head, you could speed up or slow down delay time.
Originally released in 1959, the Echoplex went through several incarnations during its lifetime. In the early 1970s, Maestro released the Echoplex EP-3, which made use of solid-state "transistorized" technology instead of vacuum tubes. It also offered a "sound on sound" feature that allowed players to loop almost three minutes of audio, and record more parts each time around. The EP-3 model's popularity can be attributed to its use by artists like Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, and Jimmy Page.
For our EP Tape Echo effect, we obtained an original Echoplex EP-3 in pristine condition, and painstakingly emulated virtually every aspect of the unit -- even using tape cartridges provided by Mike Battle, the late inventor of the Echoplex. Our EP Tape Echo effect features all of the controls present on the original, with one significant improvement: While the original model offered a maximum of 600 milliseconds of delay, our Tape Echo effect has an expanded delay mode which provides an unreal 2.4 seconds of delay time.
Instead of capturing one dimension of the tape echo sound, we sought to provide control over all the electro-mechanical behavior that gives this device such a wide range in tone. In order to get everything from a simple Memphis style tape slap to three dimensional sustaining ambiences, we modeled everything in an Echoplex. Use the Head Tilt control to simulate the head alignment (or mis-alignment!) to the tape. Tape Hiss is even defeatable if you want pristine tones the original box wasn't capable of producing. Turn the noise on if you want the most realistic interaction of the feedback and mix controls. Adjust the WOW control and hear the sound flutter and warble. The Eleven Rack EP Tape Echo emulates the original Echoplex down to the smallest details, including providing access to the potentiometer to control the record level -- a control that was somewhat hidden on the original unit.
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Digidesign offers a 90 days parts and labor warranty.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 650-731-6300
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This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
"Great hardware device with some flaws (mainly DAW related)."
The sound is fantastic. I was a long time user of Line 6 products, from the Pod to the Vetta (I gigged with that amp for 5 years) to the X3 Pro. I have also used Guitar Rig, Digitech GSP-1101 and Logic's modeling. Basically everything except the AxeFX. The sound on the Eleven is fantastic, the modeling is great. Plugged into an Power Amp, it "feels" like an amp, and not a modeler. Feedback reacts like it should. The Z circuit is designed around adding impedance to the chain, and believe it or not, it actually does add the correct amount of color. The Eleven takes pedals well, so rest assured those boutique pedals will not go to waste. Although there aren't a ton of models and effects, what is there is very robust and sounds great (Quality of Quantity). That said, it would be nice to have a stereo delay as well.
If you are using this with Protools, the integration is a 10, if you are using it with another DAW, not so much. I am using Logic 9, Ableton 8 and Reaper. The sound functions great in each of those scenarios with inputs 1-2 being raw (for re-amping), 3-4 being the processed signals. If you are looking to manage the features of the Eleven (such as adding patches or tweaking), you need to load up Protools. Digidesign NEEDS to add an AU, or VST control module for this device. This is 2010, it is an open sound world, this is just plain lazy on their part and really stops this device from being a 10. It is also unfortunate that the XLR input on the front is not discrete, but appears to be tied to the primary input, which means as dedicated audio interface, you can't have a mic plugged in and record that the same time as your 1/4" input jack (I could be wrong on this, but I can't seem to isolate the port in Logic). So in summary, Protools only, it's a 10 (or perhaps an 11). If you use any other DAW, it's a 3-6.
Ease of Use:
It has knobs, they are a tad sensitive but it works for tweaking but works in a pinch. The fact that you need to load up Protools to tweak is the biggest downfall. Digidesign FIX this and this is a 10.
Feels very well made, the device feels gig and road worthy in addition to stable studio use. It looks nice and is very well machined. LCD is very clear and readable from a variety of angles.
Value wise, as a standalone device, you are hard pressed to find a modeler that sounds and feels as good as this for the price. The closest competitor is the AxeFX and it is double the price. If the AxeFX was closer in price, I would have bought that, as it stands I bought the device because the price and sound. I'm not unhappy with the purchase.
Have not used them yet, however, based on the number of people who want this device to be supported in other DAWs, they are not jumping for their customers. They are simply towing the line of "Protools only". Even and external editor for simply loading patches would be a step in the right direction.
The Wow Factor:
It's pretty damn sexy. It looks great sounds great and is pretty functional.
Overall a nice device. I love playing it, I love recording with it (even with the hoops), it would be damn near perfect with a host editor (VST or AU) or even an external editor (standalone). In summary, a fantastic sounding device that is very capable. The device sounds and feels amazing, but falls short of an admitted lofty goal of appealing to all things. If Digidesign were to fix the host editing issues, I would be hard pressed to see anyone operating at a semi to pro level buying anything else. For guitarists who need a recording interface, you would be hard pressed to find another single device that equals this in terms of functionality and quality of sound. If you are an avid Protools user, this is your device, stop looking elsewhere. If you have existing recording interfaces or are looking for tight DAW integration, you are probably better off looking an NI interface Guitar Rig Kontrol Edition or using your existing interface and picking up Komplete 7, this would net you more bang for the buck.
Style of Music: Progressive, Jazz, Classical
9 of 9 people
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"Worth the Cash."
The way this unit sounds is by far the best reason to choose it. This is music your making! When using pro tools it is simply astounding. It loads the tweaks you've made right into the recorded track, you simply right click on it and BAM you have your sound back. LOVE IT.
This is where I get finicky. If I were not so enthusiastic about it's sound I would score it lower, but the biggest hit they have here is NOT having a stand alone interface that doesn't require you to have pro tools loaded. Hey man, sometimes I just want to tweak!!
Ease of Use:
This unit is so simple to use your grandmother could rock it hard with Sach in minutes flat!!
The only area I have a MINOR gripe is the nice large dials on the front don't feel solid in their pots...they feel sorta loose but I have never had an issue with it :)
You can't get a better unit for the price hands down. Your money buys you quite a bit. If you don't have any guitar solutions and need one there should be nothing holding you back from this - it does it in the studio and live and sounds amazing. Rolling volume back results in the amps responding for the most part exactly as you would think they should. High gain amps have a bit of a digital sound to them but with some tweaking you can easily get rid of it to the point where no body but a nerd would know the difference.
Aside from NOT having an 800 number for support (COME ON AVID!) they are prompt and know their stuff.
The Wow Factor:
She looks good and sounds good and is always ready to go a moments notice. Love it.
I am so happy with this purchase. You can easily check out on you tube and other sources the quality and the tone by searching for tracks with samples and full recordings done with it. That alone, done by people who are dominating the business, should be enough to persuade you into at least taking it for a test drive.
Style of Music: Anything but country!
6 of 6 people
(100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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