Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with MIDI guitars


It started a long time ago. I was doing an early version of my classic soul cover band and could not find a keyboard player who understood the music. So, in desperation, I picked up a MIDI controller and a Peavey organ module and figured out how to make those sounds myself. Eventually I ended up with a pretty complex system involving a Ground Controller pedal, an old Proteus module—in addition to the Peavey—and even had a weird Roland amp that woukld hover the sound between speakers instead of spinning a Leslie. On the guitar end, I have owned at least four systems ranging from an early Casio to a Roland GK system set up on a Fender Strat. At any given time, I was running several grand worth of gear just cuz I can’t play keys to save my life.


SO, when I heard about the YouRock system which you can buy for less than $300 online, I was skeptical.


Here’s a basic overview on the You Rock Guitar:



But, I took it out of the box, fired it up and—without reading the manual—was making music in about three minutes. To the point that I looked at the clock and realized a couple of hours and passed and I was still just having fun.


It’s not just a MIDI controller. It has a ton of very good built in sounds for one…






And that is just for starters. It also can interface with anything that can take a MIDI input ranging from pro modules and keyboards to your iPhone or iPad. Check out this guy who is using the accelerometer in the iPhone to modify sounds just by changing positions…



And there are hundreds of videos online of people using this thing—and did we mention it is a game controller, too?


More to come, but here are my initial impressions.


1) It is dead easy to get started with


2) The easy in it does not limit what you can do. It is VERY deep


3) The tracking is fantastic. If you have ever done the MIDI thing with guitar then you know about tracking errors. Tracking means the process of translating the note you play into an electronic signal and using that to trigger a sound. That takes time which brings on an evil thing called “latency.” Basically, it’s a very short lag between the time you play the note and when you hear the note. The YouRock had not latency that we can detect so far.


4) It’s a freakin’ blast.


Plus, they are working on a “Pro” version that is on a full-size, wood guitar body. SEE IT HERE


Originally posted 2013-02-03 20:31:56.