The Mac-powered digital studio

The John Lennon Education Tour Bus at Macworld Expo 08

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus made a stop at Macworld Expo 08 and offered tours, plenty of digital music equipment to play with, and a very helpful guy named Nick to talk about their amazing digital studio setup.

The live rig at the Lennon Bus

The whole studio was anchored by one of the new 24” iMacs running Apple’s Logic Studio. This was the most educational part for me because I’ve been using Adobe Audition, which I got from an employer, for all my digital music capturing and editing needs. I’m running Windows XP via Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro so that I can run Audition, but I really want to get a professional-grade digital audio software suite for Mac OS X, for obvious reasons. The interface of Logic Pro 8 was similar to GarageBand – which is to say simple, clean, and intuitive – except that it has exponentially more samples and loops for you to play with, among many other features you’d expect from professional software. Nick couldn’t say enough about the new Logic Studio release; it includes many apps that were only available before as costly plug-ins to Logic Pro 7, yet it’s half the price. I’m sold.

The digital studio at the Lennon Bus

Here’s a complete list of what the bus has in its digital studio:

24” iMac with Logic Studio
Apogee Ensemble audio interface (Apogee partnered with Apple to make this piece of hardware)
Roland Edirol midi keyboard controller
Mackie 1402-VLZ3 mixer
• Mackie speakers (not sure what model)

Nick estimated a rig like this would run you about $4,000.

As a bonus, I’m sharing a couple pictures that I took on Tuesday of kids filming for a music video. Apple Education selected the students, who showed up that day to write and record a song with Richard Dreyfus (yes, you read that correctly). The video premiered later that night at a private function. I mention it because this is the type of thing the John Lennon Education Tour Bus does: inspire kids to express themselves through state-of-the-art musical and recording technologies. Seems like a very worthy cause.

Filming a guitarist at the Lennon Bus.

A rebel filming at the Lennon Bus.