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The John Lennon Education Tour Bus

Next Destination: 2019 NAMM Show

Anaheim, CA

 

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January 29, 2009

“America For Real” - Liyana

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

So just before the members of Liyana jumped to the east coast and traded in there surfboards for snowballs they hopped on the Lennon Bus to record one more track for the road. Prudence kept a watchful eye on the american culture as she and her bandmates completed there first U.S. tour and she was anxious to get into the studio and sing her perspective. The musical microwave the Lennon Bus has come to be known for had no trouble pumping out this tune while Liyana was in between sets at NAMM. They were excited to venture off the beaten path of their more native instrumentation and explore all the Lennon Bus had to offer. Farai was quick to jump on the Roland RD-700GX and play with all of the stock sounds, that is of course while he wasn’t assistant engineering and learning the in’s and out’s of Logic Pro. Honest was more than happy to get the feel for the Roland TD-20 V-Drums, quite a different animal from his usual marimba. Of course, Prudence and Marvelous added their graceful voices and endless ideas and both loved the ease of searching for loops and sound FX in Logic Pro’s Loop Browser. This is where they found the airplane taking off and landing, a sound effect they were happy to use as bookends on not only their latest track, but their first adventure across these United States. Check out the track here:

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January 26, 2009

Intro to Songwriting

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Hello everybody, Doug here. So I’m gonna start working in some educational blogs into my rotation, covering basics in songwriting and audio recording/production.  Seeing as the Lennon Bus was just visited by the amazing writer/producer Lamont Dozier, I figured it fitting to start off with a little on songwriting.  Just to let you guys know how this is gonna go, in the future I’ll try to mostly mix in videos so you don’t have to just read on forever.  So let’s get to it! Songwriting.  So when it comes down to extreme basics, songwriting is split into two sections - music and lyrics.  Let’s start with the music.  The first aspect of music in songwriting is what song form you write your song in.  There are tons of different song forms, ranging from ‘classical’ forms such as sonata, concerto, rondo, minuet, etc… but we’re talking about what are known as ‘pop song forms’. The pieces that make up pop song forms are the verse, chorus, bridge, refrain, intro and outro.  In my next blog/vlog, I will get into song forms more specifcally and talk about each of these pieces.  But until next time, I will leave you with some reference materials that I recommend looking into if you’re serious about songwriting. Sheila Davis - “The Craft of Lyric Writing”, “The Songwriters Idea Book”, and “Successful Lyric Writing” take it easy and check back in soon for my next, highly more interesting segment. Fresh

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January 26, 2009

Welcome Aboard

Written by Jeff Sobel

 

Hey, this is Jeff.  I’m the Chief Engineer of the Lennon Bus.  I’ll be popping in from time to time to share tips, tricks, rants, and ramblings regarding audio/video production, studio setup/design, life and llamas. But first, let me take you on a quick tour of the Lennon Bus, courtesy of MacVoicesTV:

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January 25, 2009

Signal Flow is Like Water

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

This past week, while parked in the lot of the lovely Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn in North Hollywood, I did a lot.  I took part in the magical process known as “bus inventory,” Jeff got the Litepanels working, and I even got a tattoo.  The most important thing I did this week was spending time at the patch bay with Seamus, learning it, manipulating it, and most of all, loving it.  As Seamus put it, signal flow is a lot like water, and the patch bay are pipes and faucets that make the “water” flow.  Remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they are racing through the tunnels and all the water comes rushing out of the side of the mountain? This is almost exactly what signal flow and the patch bay do.  Signal flow basically means audio, the signal is generated by a chord strummed on a Godin Guitar, or a note played on our Roland piano.  This signal can go anywhere throughout the bus, through the Apogee, through the Aphex preamps, to the computers, even to Mackie monitor speakers.  I played around with the patch bays for a couple of hours.  Now I can take signal from Audio Technica Microphones and patch it to Logic 8, I can make the iPod rock out in both studios, I can even take the Roland Fantom Synthesizer in the front studio, and have it be heard throughout the entire bus.  Very Nice.  This was a very important …

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January 25, 2009

Diversity

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

As producers onboard the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing artist. Whether we’re getting it started with the Black Eyed Peas, un-writing with Natasha Bedingfield, or sending S.O.S. signs with Will.i.am and Yoko Ono, we are always being inspired by the artist that come on board. Our latest project was no different. We teamed up with a group of students from San Francisco’s School of the Arts and the band Liyana to work on a project to be premiered at Macworld. The result was “diversity”. To have the opportunity to work on a project that crossed cultures and continents was an amazing thing. Check out the goods below:  

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January 23, 2009

Abbey Road: DMA style

Written by Jaime Walden

 

Just a little light Digital Media Academy reading while taking a stroll to the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus at NAMM: x mama On Mama’s Jukebox: Julia Darling - “Let’s Do It Again”

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January 21, 2009

The Youth and NAMM

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

The best experience for me at NAMM this year were the young performers on our stage.  Paul Green’s School of Rock showed the possibilities of educational outreach.  Cole Marcus, the amazing drum prodigy proved that he can lead a group of seasoned musicians, and by far, the most amazing performance of the entire weekend was the Trouble with Boys. These kids tore up our stage, and brought people to our stage and impressed and amazed every single person in the audience.  Watching these kids made me realize how powerful music can be.  They just wanted to play, they don’t care about the money, fame, and other things that some people are focused on.  It seriously made me wish time travel was possible….  These kids are awesome, check them out right now! ok, good talk! Erik Niewiarowski

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January 21, 2009

Gene Simmons is Not in this Blog: Post-NAMM

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Hey everybody! I’m just sitting here on in Los Angeles in front of my brand new 15.4” Macbook Pro observing the wonder of the Leopard OS and thinking back on the Winter NAMM 2009.  This was my first NAMM convention, and I was super pumped, and for good reason!  The Lennon Bus is parked outside of the convention center and the weather was amazing!  Ohio was getting literally feet of snow + Anaheim was in the 80s = awesome.  If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture of my shadow taken with my iPhone The Lennon stage was the best place to be, with live music jamming out all day everyday.  I have to say that my favorite performances were by Liyana, where I got to run the pan/zoom shoulder camera, and the group ‘The Trouble With Boys’, a kid group that shredded like a sick(meaning good) adult group.  I met all tons of awesome people working the tents, got to watch some sweet live performances by people like Sheila E, and even saw some University of Miami faculty. Top 5: -Taping the Liyana concert -Watching The Trouble With Boys -Meeting The Glitter King -Listening to the Godin Artists -Meeting all the cool people who come out to help the Lennon Bus " />

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January 20, 2009

you may say that i’m a dreamer, but i’m not the only one

Written by Jaime Walden

 

“Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.” —from President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address Watching President Obama’s speech today immediately made me think of how every one of us at the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus works together as a family.  Every single position in the company requires everyone to wear many hats.  Our engineers (Jeff, Rob, Tyler, Seamus, Erik, Doug) are not just engineers.  They are musicians, videographers, mentors, friends, and educators.  Our driver Tony does not just drive the bus.  He road manages, pours his heart and soul into his job, and is reliable and loyal to a fault.  Brian, our Executive Director, is more than just the B-child/“brainchild,” he is our leader, our friend, and the one who always makes us feel more appreciated than he’ll ever know.  This past year has been one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life, and I love everyone in my Lennon family very much.  Today represents something bigger than all of us.  It just reaffirms how one person could “Imagine a studio on wheels,” and how one intangible thought can change the lives of many. x mama

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January 20, 2009

Inventory is like Christmas! The gift that keeps on giving.

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

Inventory on the bus is a very important part to keeping things organized and in tact. Organization is a basic necessity for any studio big or small and inventorying your equipment is a great way to achieve this. Its especially great if Johnny P was in your studio and after he left you found you were missing your Audio Technica 4060 tube condenser .....that Johnny P. Yesterday we did a complete inventory of the bus and all the equipment on board. All the way from Pro Tools HD rigs, Apple Mac Pro computers and Sony HD cameras down to Neutrik connectors, we counted it all. It really is an amazing thing to see all this equipment we have on board, a gear heads heaven. I personally love inventory because of the fact that everything is neat and organized and you can find anything by looking at one document. Basically, If your into gear and equipment you need to explore our website, it explains all the cool stuff we get to use with students and artist all across the country. Check it out at: Lennonbus.org/explore. T-Win out.

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