You Rock Guitar YRG-1000
Before you read on, I would like to let you all know that I really had high hopes for this guitar. It seemed like a great portable and cheap solution to buying a midi pickup or having a midi system installed in your favorite axe. As a guitarist, I also would rather work with a midi controller that plays like an actual guitar(or is a guitar) than a keyboard or an mpc.
This review will be an account of my experience with this guitar. I will not be reviewing the game controller aspect of this instrument. I will primarily focus on it's applications as a midi controller and a standalone instrument. If you've had a great experience with this guitar, please feel free to post your account.
This guitar is loaded with features. Since it is a digital guitar, it doesn't need tuning, it can be transposed at will, it can serve as a midi controller as well as has several unique features:
1. Tap function - Essentially turns the neck of the guitar into a touch instrument. I'd compare this to a Warr guitar or a Chapman stick.
2. Guitar/Synths - Instrument Sound banks, alot of sounds. I'll get to this in a bit.
3. Tuning - Features tunings like DADGAD, Drop D, Open Chords and other tunings.
4. You Rock Mode - Allows you to play guitar with one set scale. For example, if you set it to C major, it will only let you play the notes from that scale. This is useful if you are learning the scales on the neck and is a great feature.
5. Music vs. Game Mode - pretty self explanatory.
This guitar comes also comes with backing tracks so you can play alone. It also has a 1/4-inch jack for your cable, Usb, 3.5mm stereo in and out and even midi pin connector.
I also like how this guitar is portable and the feel of the neck is not totally unusual. Granted, there are no strings but it's something that you can definitely get used too.
For the features on this guitar, i'll give it a 5. Lot's of variety and potential.
Now this the first place the unit falls short. The sounds sound like cheap midi-keyboard sounds that were mastered back in the 80s.
While, the backing tracks sound ok, I'm really concerned with the synth and guitar samples. They really leave something to be desired. I'd recommend if you use this unit and you want it to sound like an actual guitar, you should sample your own guitar, and run the sample through a vst. Then use this guitar to control or trigger the computer synth.
Since the onboard sounds on this unit are kinda crappy, I'll give it a 2.
Action, Fit and Finish
I like how this guitar feels for the most part. Granted, it is made out of plastic, but all of the parts feel sturdy. If you want, you can also adjust the string tension of the strings on the body of the guitar.
I was hesitant about the feel of the neck, but it turns out that this was no problem for me. I'll give this a 4. The reason it's not a 5 is because i wish the body was more like a strat or something. Of course, this would take away from the portability.
Here is my main point......
Tracking sucks balls!!! It's weird, awkward and it's not so much that your playing the you rock guitar as much as you are tricking it into getting it to play what you want it to. Essentially, you have to fight the damn thing.
With all of the great features, if your product doesn't track well, it's virtually useless. While i can strum my basic cowboy chords, i can't do much more than that. Soloing, forget about it. This thing would let you down in a gig.
While you can configure how it tracks, after configureing the gain of each string and adjusting other aspects. It didn't seem to really do anything. My thinking is this. If you can configure the unit to do nearly perfect tracking, why don't you ship the product like that as opposed having the customer spend hours of their lives trying to figuring it out to no avail.
While the tracking sucks, I was able to easily use(or trick) it into playing synths i designed in Reason 4. I'm sure it would work great with the other DAWS and vsts. It just needs to track well first.
So i'll be nice and give it a 3 for reliability.
Didn't call customer service, so i can't say.
They have a great idea here, but i don't think it will embraced by intermediate/advanced players until they can make it track and play alittle more like an electric guitar. The portability and variety that this unit is capable of is incredible. It just really, really, really, needs refinement.
Overall, I'll have to give this a 2 and I won't be able to recommend it to a skilled player. I'd still recommend someone get a shitty guitar starter pack(guitar with amp, picks cables etc.) over one of these things if the want to learn how to play.