New Toys

You Rock Guitar MIDI/Game/Controller

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You Rock Guitar You Rock Guitar® is a Game/MIDI guitar controller with a built-in sampling soft synth. You Rock has six guitar strings for picking and strumming but they do not extend down the neck like a conventional guitar. You Rock uses fret switches instead of relying on precise fret/string contact and pressure--so the instrument is always in tune. As a guitar/MIDI controller, You Rock will play external keyboards, play its onboard sounds, or be a more realistic-feeling Guitar Hero/Rock Band™ controller.

About 3/4 the size and shape of a standard guitar, You Rock has a full-scale neck from nut to bridge that detaches for storing/traveling. it runs on 4-AA batteries and all configuration and selection of sounds are made from buttons surrounding a digital display recessed in the upper bout. There are 25 guitar/sound choices (12-string, steel string acoustics, big rock guitars, country etc.) and 50 keyboard synths, pianos, strings, and pads when guitarists want those sounds to respond to their expressive playing techniques only possible on guitar.

For playing along using any of the onboard sounds, there are 25 internal backing tracks with their chord progressions notated in the manual. You may record a single YRG performance directly into an internal memory along with each backing track. Plus the You Rock Mode™ automatically disallows any wrong note(s). Even though you cannot bend strings, I got the hang of using the whammy bar for bendsand it's easy to do slides and neck tapping on the YRG.

The 5-pin MIDI out port will transmit each string's "data" on a separate MIDI channel if you like and also a USB out jack for recording/composing with PC/MAC/iPad software. With minimal latency, I had no trouble playing an old Korg M1 synth keyboard sending all note data out MIDI channel 1.

Other features are: standard volume control, X-Y joy-stick knob, a Gameflex™ cartridge slot located on the guitar's lower bout, 1/4-inch output jack, mini USB jack for moving data in/out, and audio in/out jacks.

Besides being an excellent introduction to learning guitar, You Rock Guitar excels on many levels and is the next step in controllers for Wii™ and PS3™ consoles. You Rock Guitar sells for $249. Check: www.yourockguitar.com for more!



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