Monday, May 27, 2013

Advocate for Norml DFW

On June 7th through the 9th  Texas Regional Norml Conference.

Texas Regional Norml Conference.

Help support the cause. 

It's not normal it's Norml.

I do not smoke Marijuana, but I'm a witness of how it helps people medically.

I have family members that have been diagnosed with a debilitating disease.  If they were to go the route of traditional medication, the drugs that are offered are too costly.  A 30 day supply of some of the medication was $1000.00 without insurance.  My wife and I would pitch in as much as we could to offset the cost.  After years of struggling  paying for the medication which really didn't seem to provide any relief, it was time to seek alternate solutions.

Marijuana has shown more relief then any of the expensive pharmaceuticals.  As a result, my family members are now somewhat functioning in society.

Unfortunately, people that are in this situation are shunned and become outcasts.  Getting a good paying job is very hard since most jobs require a mandatory drug test. This is an invasion of privacy!  It just doesn't make sense to me.  In addition, people that want to help are afraid to help.

As a result, I've decided to change this.  I'm going to devote my free time to help the decimalization of marijuana, and support Norml's effort in anyway I can. This weekend I became a member of Norml. I realize that I'm subject to ridicule, but I'm going to stay within the law.

Since I am a blogger, an artist, and a musician, I realize I have a voice.   My goal now is to share knowledge, and to get other people like me to become an advocate. My challenge to you is to become a voice to help the shunned, the ridiculed and the outcasts.


Enjoy the Pix.  I welcome any comments.

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Please go to these links and gain some knowledge.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

You Rock Guitar

This is my review of the You Rock Guitar.

At first glance, it seems like a toy with its hard plastic body. The controls seem flimsy, but easy to get too.  However once you start playing with it, there is a lot more to it then the hard plastic.  It feels like a standard guitar.  However, it doesn't have strings like a standard guitar.  There is a ridge rubberized plastic to simulate the feel of strings, but it's actually a button.  When pushing down a note, it feels like there is a little play to push down the button.  I believe that is how to recognize the response and action based on the position of the note.

You Rock Guitar is a standalone sound generator. There are presets ranging from nylon strings, clean electric, searing distortion, organ, flute, and brass ensemble.  I usually associate a synthesizer with the ability to modify the sound.  You can't modify the sound, but there are 70 presets which are pretty cool.

Another cool feature that I like is it has built in tracks that you can play against from Blues, Rock, Country and even a Jazz track.  The reference it comes with provides details on what key to play in. The "Learning Tracks" allows the player to hit only the correct notes in that key. So to the listener and someone visually observing
, it looks like you are really jamming away with years of experience.  The bad notes are blocked out, so one can really sound incredible right out of the box.  If you are playing solo though, it will play all the notes as a standard guitar since it's not associated to a track.

It's always in tune, and can be played with custom tunnings. It has a whammy bar and can be set to multiple octaves.  On a standard string guitar requires the player to swing their wrist back and forth to establish vibrato.  By pushing a button is how vibrato is achieved. This may take some getting used to.

Another thing that I noticed when playing, one has to make sure you are pushing all the notes for chords with equal pressure.  The guitar may not recognize the notes you are playing otherwise.  It just takes some getting used to the feel and response.

It also has a software interface to control the sensitivity of the strings and over all response of the guitar.  The software also provides the ability for firm ware upgrades.

The guitar will require batteries for powering the presets.  It has a 1/4" jack for a standard patch cord to plug into your amplifier.  It also has a jack  for headphones.  Another jack for USB connection to your PC. Lastly, the standard MIDI jack.

It has real strings for strumming or finger picking.  It also has tap mode for hammering on to the note with the right hand fingers. I was particularly impressed with the Tap mode response.  It seems to work very well.

Please come back, I will be sharing some of the presets that I like.    As I said there about 70 presets, and I don't plan on going through all of them.  In addition, I'll share how the whammy bar and vibrato work too.  I hope to do this by tomorrow.   

The real power is that it can be used as a controller.  Just like the review I put together for the M-Audio controller, it works the same way.  Now using the fretboard of guitar, it is much easier for me to be more creative. I'm starting to get more familiar with a keyboard because of desire, but I'm more comfortable sitting back on a chair working up a new killer tune with a guitar fretboard. 

Here is one tune that I put together using only the YRG.  To me, its really kick ass! Check it out on sound cloud.

This is how I set it up with FL Studio. First launch FL Studio.  I'm an affiliate FLStudio and if you buy from the web site and use this code you will save 10% from the purchase. 

Just go to the Midi drop down menu of FL Studio after you plug in the USB cable to the guitar and your compute.  Click on the Refresh button.  YRG should pop up.  If it doesn't, you don't have your USB cable plugged in right.

Now you are ready to jam out with FL Studio!

Check out my other tunes I've put together on Sound Cloud.

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