By Andrew Liszewski
A few gamers have managed to parlay their skills with rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band into actual skills with a musical instrument. And that’s one of the goals of the You Rock Guitar from Inspired Instruments. It’s a digital/MIDI guitar that provides a fairly realistic playing experience thanks to an actual set of ‘strings’ with adjustable tension, and a rubber touch-sensitive fret board. A set of interface buttons and a small LCD display on the side allow you to choose from one of 50 different string tunings and sounds, and there’s various playing modes including one for learning that will mute the guitar if you accidentally play the wrong note, so you don’t get discouraged by your crappy performance.
For professional guitar players who are looking for a MIDI alternative, the You Rock Guitar is supposedly the first MIDI solution with no perceptible delay or latency, which is apparently a big issue with existing models on the market. The neck is also detachable making the guitar particularly easy to transport, and eventually there will be a set of optional heads you can attach for players who use them for positional reference.
Now for the Guitar Hero and Rock Band fans, the You Rock Guitar can also be used as a controller for those games thanks to a set of swappable cartridges that provide the wireless interface for consoles like the Wii. The fretboard is also labeled with a color coded guide on the side so players will know where to place their fingers. According to the product specialist I spoke to, the company is also working on an iPad app for the You Rock making it an even more portable experience, and it’s expected to be available in the next couple of months (I was told about 75 days) for $199.99.
[ You Rock Guitar ]