Archive | July 2012

What Kind Of Computer Should I Buy For College

During the dark ages of the early 90s, all you needed to bring to college was clothes, air freshener, your brand new portable CD player and some spending cash. My how things have changed. Since computer technology is a giant part of your daily college routine now, let’s explore your options before making any decisions:


What used to be a very viable option for students is now a relic in the college dorm room or university apartment. But desktops (especially PCs) tend to be extremely cheap and powerful enough to run Pro Tools and GarageBand. You can get a brand new top of the line PC for a few hundred dollars where as other options are usually not as powerful and cost quite a bit more money. With cloud technology, USB flash drives, and document sharing it might be a bit easier to stay connected with your desktop these days but don’t plan on taking it to class unless you have the most awesome handcart 🙂


Laptops have become the computing device for college with Apple taking 1st place. College students are transient by nature so it would make sense that ease of portability would be important. Going home to see your parents? Throw your laptop in your bag. Need to take notes in class digitally? Ditto. LAMA musicians love the MacBook‘s ease of use and can easily do their recording on it. Laptops can get so darn pricey especially if you want an Apple. Go for quality — your laptop should be able to last your entire college career so divide the price by the number of school years to help convince your parents for some extra dough.


Enter the Netbook, a smaller version of the laptop. They are cheaper and lighter as well. The goal is that you need something portable that you can type on and do light browsing with. This is perfect for class because for note taking it is extremely efficient. Students at LAMA are probably weary about this option because it won’t have the horsepower that a musician needs to run ProTools or a similar program. And what’s the point if you take notes, browse the internet and run programs like GarageBand on an iPad…which brings us to:


The Ipad, Samsung Galaxy, HP Touchpad or a similar tablet is a bit of a riskier choice for the college student but it does have some rewards if you are able to pull it off. For one – the ease of carrying around a tablet just can’t be overstated. The slim nature and light weight make this a dream for carrying to class or really carrying anywhere. Also the price tag is usually comparable to or less than a laptop. Taking notes in class is not a big deal — especially if you connect a bluetooth keyboard. You can also wireless connect to a printer or email the document to yourself. For leisure purposes, words can’t even express how great it is to watch HD television shows, play addictive games, and use innovative apps. For musicians – the Ipad is now offering a version of GarageBand but recording on these devices are still in the early stages. Remember, many websites are flash based (ya…still) so you won’t be able to see any of that content on your Apple device.


Check with your college and see what kind of computers they have for shared use. LAMA for example has Apple computers at your disposal for anything you need, be it writing a paper or surfing the web. They are also all equipped with Pro Tools for recording. If you are comfortable working outside of your home or apartment it is possible to rely on public computers. Like anything free, there are negative drawbacks such as you won’t be able to work from home and you have to share a public computer lol.

Our suggestion is to visualize how you see yourself working while at LAMA. Where will you be, what will you be doing, what do you need from your technology? This might help paint a picture of what you should be looking for. Have an older brother or a friend who went through college already? Ask them what worked for them!

What do you prefer – desktop, laptop, tablet? All of the above?

-LAMA Staff

House Music

Get it? Well…do ya??

Hugh Laurie was the central star in Fox’s long running medical drama, House. Apparently, he plays a mean guitar too:

Happy Friday all!

-LAMA Staff

German Schauss Guitar Video Quick Tip: “Tapping”

German Schauss is a guitarist, composer, author, and educator who teaches at LA Music Academy. He performs and tours as the leader of his own band and with other internationally known artists. Schauss writes music for commercials, TV, and video games, and has been named one of the 50 fastest guitarists of all time by Guitar World magazine. He is the author of Shredding Bach (Alfred/NGW #34922) and The Total Shred Guitarist (Alfred/NGW #36573) and writes a popular monthly column “Instant Shredding” for Germany’s biggest guitar magazine Gitarre & Bass. German uses and proudly endorses: Ernie Ball/Music Man, Bogner, Rocktron, PreSonus, Native Instruments, D’Addario, Planet Waves, Maxon, Guyatone, Morley, Dunlop, Voodoo Labs, Pigtronix Pedals, DiMarzio, Zoom, Tremol-No, and Pedaltrain products. For more about German Schauss and his music, please visit for more info.

In this video, German talks “Tapping”:

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here:

-LAMA Staff

Music Producer Video Quick Tip: Alter Acoustic Guitar for Recording

LA Music Academy’s Andrew Murdock, also known as Mudrock, is an American record producer specializing in the rock and metal genres.

He is perhaps best known for producing Godsmack’s Godsmack and Awake albums.

More recently, he has produced successful American metal band Avenged Sevenfold’s 2nd album Waking the Fallen, as well as albums for Slunt, The Riverboat Gamblers, Powerman 5000, Eighteen Visions, Unloco and Alice Cooper, as well as 50 Foot Wave’s latest EP, Power and Light. Mudrock is based in Los Angeles and has his own studio in partnership with Scott Gilman called The Hobby Shop, and he teaches the Audio Engineering Courses at LAMA.

In this video quick tip, Andrew discusses a trick he uses — “altering acoustic guitar for recording”:

Have you heard of, or tried this trick before?

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here:

-LAMA Staff

Video Quick Tip: How to Create Bass Lines on Guitar

LA Music Academy guitar instructor Art Renshaw, who trained at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia is currently a solo artist on Rocket City Records, with his latest CD Dreamtime receiving critical acclaim in Jazz Life Magazine as a “groundbreaking solo electric” record. He is a touring artist in Europe and Japan and has performed his music to enthusiastic crowds on four continents. Art has played alongside some of the greatest musicians the industry has to offer, including jazz legends Joe Pass and Lenny Breau. He has appeared on educational videos by Warner Bros. and REH, including Chop Builder with Frank Gambale. Art is an endorser for Gibson guitars and regularly performs at the jazz club Tournesol in Los Angeles.

In this video quick tip, Art discusses “bass lines on guitar”:

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here:

-LAMA Staff

Tips: How to Find an Apartment in Los Angeles

If you’ve ever seen the video for Guns n’ Roses classic song “Welcome To The Jungle” you know it kicks off with Axl Rose arriving by bus in Los Angeles from small-town Indiana. Axl wrote the song thinking “if someone wants to come to town and find something, here you can find whatever you want.” You know…opportunity, friends, a band…and of course an apartment! You don’t want to get off that bus and not have a nice roof over your head. So here are some tips for the musician — or anyone for that matter — who wants to find the right apartment in Los Angeles:

Ask Your School

Students should really check in with your new school to see if they have Housing Options on their website like LAMA does. If the school is not going to help you get acclimated to LA you might be suspicious about how helpful they will be with the rest of your education. This will always be the best place to check because they will know housing options that are closer to the school. Even if you aren’t here for school, using a college’s housing page can have some good advice for anybody moving here.

Use Social Media

You got your admission letter to LAMA and know you are going to need to start thinking about finding a place to live in LA. Get the word out to your “network”! Post on Facebook, send out a Tweet and ask your friends for advice. Let them know when you will be moving and seek advice from anyone looking for a roommate, or anybody who has any leads on a good place to live. LA is one of those cities with high turnover. People are moving in and out of places all the time. Even if you don’t think you have any friends in LA one of your friends might know people with just the right place for you.

Search Out Craigslist

Craigslist has become the go-to place online for classified ads, especially for finding an apartment or roommate. You can either pick Apts/Housing which is for your own apartment or rooms/shared which is to find a roommate. The shared rooms section always has more bang for your buck if you don’t mind sharing. If you budget $1200 a month for your own place , $1200 spent on a share will be infinitely bigger and more spacious – but you will have to share with another human being! As usual, heed the warnings from Craigslist which can be a hotbed of scams and fraud. Make sure to bring a friend anytime you visit an apartment or potential roommate and use your best judgement come decision time.

Join Westside Rentals

Westside Rentals has been around a long time — you can trust the service to provide you with suggestions for housing in LA. The catch is that you have to pay a fee (around $60) for access to their listings but it does away with the scams and fraud associated with Craiglist because everyone involved is verified by Westside Rentals. They also have many listings that never show up on Craigslist.

Let’s hope you are blasting “Welcome To The Jungle” in your new apartment and not in your earbuds as you stumble around the streets without a place to live! The key for housing is to relax and take your time. Don’t rush into anything that does not feel right. Also know that apartment dwellers have some of the best consumer rights out of any segment. If your apartment does anything short of what was advertised the law will always side with you. Good luck with your search!

-LAMA Staff

Get Your Own Mic

Good thing you can’t smell the microphone in these videos.

Kudos to Audio-Technica, who in 30 seconds or so, reminds us of what it’s like to use a venue’s microphone:

Thanks to success of the first vid, they produced a follow up:

If you can, get your own mic! 🙂

-LAMA Staff

%d bloggers like this: