The NAMM Show, Anaheim, CA, January 16, 2020 — The 2020 calendar year is set to be very big for the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, with events centered around what would have been the former Beatle’s 80th birthday. The Lennon Bus, which is a state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility, regularly provides free digital media production workshops to schools across the U.S. and Canada – enabling students to learn how to write, record, and produce original songs, music videos, documentaries, and live multi-camera video productions. To ensure that students experience the best possible audio quality, the monitoring systems in the Bus’s two onboard studios have recently been upgraded to Genelec’s “The Ones” coaxial three-way point source models.
“We go to a lot of under-served schools and a lot of communities that are under-resourced, so bringing something that really represents the best of the industry is eye-opening and can be life-changing for kids and communities,” explains Brian Rothschild, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lennon Bus. “Having the new studio monitors onboard continues that trajectory for us.”
Genelec has been a long-term sponsor of the Lennon Bus with the two-way 8240A Smart Active Monitors and 7260A subwoofer having originally been installed in each of the Bus’s 5.1 studios. “When we installed those Genelecs, the difference in the sound was just readily apparent and really impressive, and we thought that it had to be as good as it could get,” recalls Jeff Sobel, Creative Technology Director for the Lennon Bus. “Then when The Ones came out and we had the opportunity to use the 8341s, we thought we would give it a try. I think we were all expecting there to be a subtle difference in the sound, and we didn’t really see how it could be too much better. But it was remarkable. The first time that we played some music through them after installing them, it was really eye-opening how much clearer they sounded and how much better the imaging was.”
The upgrade has seen the U.S. Lennon Bus move to the same technical setup as its European counterpart, with all 10 of the original 8240As having been directly replaced by 8341A coaxial studio monitors, with the 7260A subwoofers being retained.
Genelec’s Smart Active Monitoring™ technology has been particularly important for this project, since this has enabled the Lennon Bus’s technical team to create specific calibration presets for different configurations of the Bus, using Genelec’s GLM software. “The ability to tune the speakers to the room and the fact that it is a really simple, easy process is fantastic,” says Sobel. “The Bus is a configurable space. It has sliding glass doors that can partition off the rooms from each other and that changes the acoustics of the space as well. Using the Genelec Smart Active Monitoring technology, we can have different calibration presets for ‘doors open’ and ‘doors closed’, to suit various ways we work. Our Bus is designed to be as flexible as possible and the Genelec monitors are perfectly suited to that.”
With the new monitoring system in place, the Bus is ideally positioned to keep inspiring the next generation of recording musicians. “What we really like to do on the Lennon Bus is to demonstrate industry-standard, professional quality systems,” explains Sobel. “When students or artists come in, they are impressed. It’s the same things that they’ll find in the best recording studios in the world. It just has that credentialed atmosphere to it, which puts people in the ‘We can do anything here’ mindset.”
“For me it’s also about the self-esteem that the Lennon Bus is often responsible for with the visitors,” adds Rothschild. “The fact that folks care enough to actually bring something that represents the top of what the industry has to offer, and to bring it to under-served communities makes a big impact. The Bus is a living legacy of John and Yoko’s work and everything we do is ultimately to set the conditions and encourage people to imagine, work for and spread peace.”