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Chatter: Craig Anderton- Creative Circuit Busting

April 16, 2013
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Using Avid’s Eleven Rack Without Pro Tools

AVID’S ELEVEN RACK (“11R” for short) works as a USB interface for Pro Tools and as a standalone multieffects for onstage. However, some players think 11R works only with Pro Tools— which has discouraged those who wanted to take advantage of recent price drops. Not true!

But first…

The problem with not using Pro Tools: 11R’s on-screen computer editor loads only under Pro Tools, but there are workarounds. Because 11R was also designed for live performance, front-panel editing is surprisingly painless, and you can call up and tweak presets easily without the editor. Also, most Eleven Racks come bundled with Pro Tools software, which you can install and treat as an overachieving 11R editor. Once you’ve tweaked your presets, you can start using 11R with other DAWs.

 
Track 1 is playing its audio back through Eleven Rack’s Re-Amp output, which feeds the Eleven Rack’s processors. Track 2 is picking up the re-amped signal from Eleven Rack, and recording it into a new track. Track 2’s echo input monitor function is turned on to allow monitoring the re-amped signal.
For the Mac, 11R works with any Core Audio-compatible application. With Windowws, 11R can serve as an ASIO interface. I’ve tested it successfully with multiple DAWs.

11R presents four input drivers—all available simultaneously—to your DAW. For example, you can feed the 11R’s S/PDIF input to one DAW track, the line input to another track, and the guitar being processed through 11R to yet another track. Here’s what each driver does:

ELEVEN RACK GUITAR/MIC IN

The guitar comes in on the left channel, and the mic on the right. This is basically a guitar DI connection, and it’s useful for driving amp sims within your DAW. To use 11R’s True-Z input feature (which cleverly simulates the loading of amps and processors) for your guitar before feeding your DAW or amp sims—yet still essentially go direct—choose the 11R Guitar input, then bypass all the 11R effects.

ELEVEN RACK RIG IN

This driver picks up the 11R output, including all processing. The Rig Input selector (Guitar, Mic, Line or Digital) determines what feeds 11R, and, therefore, what gets processed and goes to your DAW.

ELEVEN RACK DIGITAL IN AND LINE INPUT

These pick up whatever is feeding the digital input or the 1/4" phone (or XLR line inputs) respectively, independently of any processing within 11R.

Here’s what the output drivers do.

MAIN OUT

Use this as a DAW return to monitor your DAW’s output (for example, via 11R’s headphone jack).

DIGITAL OUT

This sends the 11R’s signal to its digital outputs, which would feed a monitoring system with a digital audio input.

REAMP

This is one of 11R’s coolest features. Set the output for the DAW track you want to re-amp to ReAmp instead of, for example, the DAW’s master audio output. At your DAW, input echo should be off for this track. Next, set 11R’s Rig Input to ReAmp. Create a track to record the re-amped sound, and set its input to Eleven Rack Rig In (enable the track’s input echo monitoring so you can hear the re-amped sound). This track’s output will usually go to the master bus (Eleven Rack Main Out) so you can monitor it. Finally, start recording from the beginning of the track to be reamped, and you’ll record the re-amped sound into the second track through 11R’s processors.

11R also does MIDI, but we’ve covered enough. Now you’re ready to rock 11R with virtually any DAW.

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