TODAY

TODAY   |  October 30, 2013

Secrets of OSU marching band’s amazing formations

The Ohio State University Marching Band is making waves across the Internet with fluid formations such as Michael Jackson moonwalking, Superman in flight and a naval battle between two ships. NBC’s Dylan Dreyer reveals their secrets.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> remarkable group that everybody is talking about, the ohio state university marching band has made halftime a must watch. the band's dazzling performance is a huge hit online now and this morning, weekend today 's dylan dreyer made her way to columbus to show us how they do it. dylan, how are you? where are you? [ music playing ]

>> thanks to technology, for the first time, the world is finally getting a chance to see what osu fans and their competition has been seeing for more than a century and now it's making the best band in the land even better. it's the marching band that's moon walked their way to 10 million hits on youtube. the ohio state marching band is sometimes super, sometimes so good they're bad. known for putting on some of the most elaborate halftime performances in college football . tackling everything from cowboys to dinosaurs, packman to harry potter and most of all, taking on their arch rival the university of michigan . so how do they do it? for years they followed the dotted lines on paper but now they've got an app for that.

>> as you can see, we can actually visualize the legs moving and the crossover points.

>> they're using an ipad app making learning these complicated routines in less than a week that much easier.

>> the students are able to see their music, their drill formations, animations, recordings, rehearsal film, all of that on the ipad.

>> right here i have my spot marked and everything on there.

>> meaning they've got everything they need right in front of them.

>> so i'm spot t-9 and i can actually see the coordinate as it's moving throughout the animation.

>> we're able to push the boundaries of what we can do.

>> it makes it a ton easier.

>> it's been a really tremendous opportunity to use technology in what is really an old medium and that's the marching band .

>> but long before ipads and apps there was the script ohio, a tradition that the band started in 1936 spelling out ohio and capping it off with the dotting of the i. i became a buckeye for a day to give it all a try myself.

>> that's kind of how i sounded the first time.

>> reporter: and can tell you it's even harder than it looks. i hit two people.

>> well, not really.

>> reporter: so maybe i have a ways to go before i'm game ready. but i'll study up. technology and innovation, all making the osu band the real show on game day .

>> reporter: so clearly i'm still working on it but they did let me in on their biggest tradition and taught me how to dot that famous eye. so watch this week on weekend today and i promise i will have it mastered by then but i use the word mastered pretty loosely.

>> well, i hope you from is trumbone mastered as well. i think i'm more impressed now that i know how they do it. what about you guys?

>> how do you hold an ipad and play at the same time.

>> it's still hard and i'm going to get in a lot of trouble. ou, the most exciting band in the land. i still like them but osu is stepping it up.

>> oh, yeah.

>> what do the other bands do when they see that? they have to step up their game.

>> no amount of technology would we be able to do that.