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Converse opens free recording studio project in New York

July 13, 2011 | 11:03 am

Converse-Rubber-Tracks-01

Watching a shoe company such as Converse step up and help the cause of broke musicians seems rather fitting. The Boston-based company on Tuesday announced the opening of Converse Rubber Tracks, a state-of-the-art recording studio based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Its purpose: to provide recording time and a professional engineering staff to musicians of all pedigrees for free. Furthermore, after being accepted through an online application process that's open to bands nationwide (hear that, Los Angeles?), artists who record there will retain the rights to all of the music recorded at the sessions. 

As traditional record labels become less and less relevant for emerging artists, big brands such as Converse have seized more opportunities to ingrain themselves into the music world, and look to affiliate themselves with up-and-coming buzz bands. “One of our goals as a brand is to give back and help inspire a new generation of musicians,” said Geoff Cottrill, chief marketing officer of Converse, in a statement.

In return, bands who enter the studio will be the subjects of plenty of short Web documentaries recording clips and behind-the-scenes footage that capture their sessions and provide content for the studio to promote its efforts via its website, Facebook and Twitter.

The first round of emerging bands scheduled to benefit from the studio represent a diverse palate of sounds. Brooklyn bands, including funk/ R& B outfit Aabaraki, psychedelic rockers Majuscles and hip-hop funk group G.I.C. & Funk Face are set to enter the studio first along with New York City R&B pop artist Andre Henry and pop-punkers Super Rocket Car from New Brunswick, N.J. Separately, the bands will work with a team of professional engineers to record original tracks.

“It’s a way for us to say thank you to musicians all over who have helped us become the brand we are and to provide a place for new artists to have access to resources they may not be able to afford,” said Cottrill. “This is our way to invest in the future of music.”

Depending on how well the shoe company is able to navigate the local music scene in New York, the free-recording formula could work well in other cities. May we suggest L.A.? Last time we checked, we have a few struggling musicians over here too.

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-- Nate Jackson

Photo: Converse Rubber Track studios in Brooklyn, N.Y. Credit: Courtesy Converse

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