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The John Lennon Education Tour Bus

Next Destination: The 2018 NAMM Show

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February 05, 2009

How to Calculate a Video’s File Size

Written by Jeff Sobel

 

A video producer often needs to be able to estimate the size of a video file before that video has been recorded, imported or exported.  Do you need a magic crystal ball to predict how large a video file will be before you hit that Export button?  Nope.  You just need a 5th grader’s grasp of basic math.  Here’s how: Let’s take the example of exporting a video using Apple’s Compressor which comes standard with Final Cut Studio 2. The first thing you should know is that digital video is encoded at a certain datarate, commonly called the bitrate.  Higher bitrates generally produce better quality video (less “pixelation” or graininess) but will create larger files.  You need to be sure that you choose a bitrate that’s high enough to achieve satisfactory quality but not so high that the video can’t be streamed on the web, downloaded in a reasonable amount of time, emailed, or however you intend to get it to your audience.  Compressor has presets which are great starting points for making this decision. The screenshot below shows Compressor’s stock presets for iPod, iPhone, and AppleTV: You’ll see that there are two different presets for iPod/iPhone.  The 1st is “h.264 video @ 600kbps” and the 2nd is “h.264 video @ 1500kbps”.  Now, it’s safe to assume that the 2nd preset will produce better quality video, but how big will the files be?  Let say we have a 2min long video and we’re hoping to compress it to a small …

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February 05, 2009

Nothing to Lose in Texas

Written by Brian Rothschild

 

I just discovered this great video produced with high school students in Mansfield, TX.  Its a good illustration of what the Bus does in one day with a group of students who don’t event know each other.  They wrote a song and the lyrics, recorded it, and shot a fantastic video all in one take.  Very inventive. 

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February 03, 2009

House of Blues

Written by Brian Rothschild

 

Liyana had a great day at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.  We made some great new friends including Gail Mitchell from Billboard Magazine and Anne-Marie from the House of Blues Foundation.

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February 02, 2009

Calling all Troubadours with laptops!

Written by Jaime Walden

 

The eclecticism of Garage Band ‘09 is pretty impressive.  One of the new features offers basic lessons in both guitar and piano.  What takes this a step further than Youtube’s user-generated content tutorials are the chord charts and ability to record and playback your own part in a lesson.  (Fun fact: In 1877 with Edison’s invention of the phonograph, the ability to record and playback changed the way in which we interpret music.)  Another helpful interactive tool is the ability to control the tempo and slow down the portions of the song that you are having difficulty with.  With “Artist Lessons,” famous musicians such as Sting and Norah Jones have video tutorials on how to perform their songs.  Ultimately, the multiple learning methods made available to educate musicians of all levels is extraordinary.  For those who find the idea of learning to read music daunting, or find great difficulty simply playing by ear, the hands-on toolkits are very user-friendly.  You can choose to control the mixer and isolate an instrument.  Visual learners can watch their favorite artist’s hands actually hold the chord patterns and mimic them.  I’m definitely a fan. x mama On mama’s jukebox: Voxtrot - “Raised by Wolves” 

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February 02, 2009

Songwriting 101: Song Forms

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Hey there everyone! Let’s get it started!  So let’s talk about the pieces that make up a song. INTRO/OUTRO: So the intro/outro section of a song is *duh* at the beginning and end of the song.  Most of the time this is a instrumental vamp, sometimes accompanied by vocal stylings over the top.  In most cases, there are no lyrics in this section, and it only serves as a sort of buffer zone to ease the listener into your tune.  However, this being said, an intro/outro can also be a short lyrical opening/closing to your song that sets up your story or idea.  To check out a great example of a lyrical intro to a song, listen to “Power of Love” by Luther Vandross, however 80’s that song may be! VERSE/CHORUS: The verse is normally the story telling of a song.  The first verse is where you set up your story (if you haven’t used a lyrical intro), and your verses continue the inner-workings of your character’s story. The chorus or hook is where you deliver your main statement, and often the title of your song.  The chorus is a section that reoccurs throughout the song, and in today’s pop music, the chorus will repeat over and over and fade out instead of using an outro. BRIDGE: The bridge is an important part in a verse/chorus song.  The bridge normally fits in between your second chorus and third chorus.  It contrasts the rest of the song, and traditionally, the point-of-view changes …

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February 01, 2009

Erik and the Anycast

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Last week at the SVSE expo, I took some time off the busy convention floor to give a quick demonstration on how the Sony Anycast system works.

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January 31, 2009

Motion Tip w/ Mark Spencer

Written by Jeff Sobel

 

While at Macworld I met up with Motion guru Mark Spencer.  Mark teaches at DMA, is a Bay Area editor, and has written several books on Motion.  Mark’s website is an amazing resource for tips and inspiration in using Final Cut Studio.  I asked Mark to share a new tip with us on the Lennon Bus and he graciously agreed.  Thanks, Mark!

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January 31, 2009

How To: Record MIDI in Apple Logic WITHOUT a MIDI Controller

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Hey, it’s D Lar here again.  So I just posted a video about me and the guys eating pancakes at iHop.  One thing you might have noticed is that there was music in the background.  That was actually recorded on the fly in Logic by myself after I put the video together.  In a normal situation, I would sit down with a Edirol PCR500 MIDI Controller plugged into my laptop and lay down all of my tracks.  In this situation, however, I forgot to bring the controller with me to the hotel where we are staying at, so it’s just me, my macbook pro and logic.  To record all the musical ideas I come up with, I use the ‘Caps Lock Keyboard’ in these situations.  Here is a little ‘Behind the Scenes’ Tutorial on recording in Logic without a MIDI Controller or external instrument.

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January 31, 2009

When the Bus needs a Doctor…

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Good Evening from Sacramento! While living on the road, one must always prepared for anything.  For example, I was sleeping soundly this early am, all bundled in my bunk, the faint sounds of the Whigs new record still resonating in my brain from my iPod, when I woke up and realized that we weren’t moving anymore, and the bus wasn’t even running.  When I went to sleep a few hours prior, we were beginning our trek to Ogden, Utah for the Battle of the Bands to be held at the Ogden’s Historic Union Station.  Anyway, I roused myself out of my bunk to learn that the bus needed some pre-emptive maintenance, and we needed to depart the bus so the good people at Detroit Diesel could fix our beloved bus.  Nothing too serious, think of it more as a flu shot. So what do we do when these things happen?  The first thing I did when we got to our hotel go to IHOP with the guys for some breakfast deliciousness, apparently D-Lar thought it was a pancake off. (check out his latest Doug’s Blogto learn more!)  After my tasty breakfast of 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, and 4 pancakes (all you can eat)  I treated myself to a nap!  Some say that napping is what attribute some of Thomas Edisongreatest achievements. So I woke up and embarked on my great achievement for the day,  entering all the data in from last week’s inventory!  Good thing I have a shiny …

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January 30, 2009

iHop All You Can Eat Pancake-A-Thon

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Hey everybody, it’s Doug checking in from sunny Sacramento, CA.  Just had breakfast with my Lennon Bus crew of Seamush and Mil-rock-ee, and we had a little eating competition at ihop.  We thought you should see the competitive edge each member of the crew brings to every aspect of their day, and life even.  So please sit back and enjoy this presentation of our breakfast! -Fresh  

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Recent Posts

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  • NEW VIDEO: “On My Way” - Garland High School Students from Garland High School had the opportunity to write, record and shoot a full production music video in one single day on board The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus during our Texas residency thanks to Juniper Networks, Securematics and Canon U.S.A., Inc. read more
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  • All we are saying: Lennon Bus wraps up borough tour October has been quite the month as the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus kicked off its New York City residency with stops in all five boroughs. The first visit was to PS171 / CPE II in East Harlem with Yoko Ono Lennon. That set the stage for our stops in …