Today Converse Inc. officially announced the opening of its Brooklyn recording studio, Converse Rubber Tracks, which allows artists to sign up and record songs for free.
Converse announced the studio last fall, and bands were able to apply for studio time on the Converse website until May 31.
New York and New Jersey artists Aabaraki, Majuscules, G.I.C. & Funk Face, Andre Henry and Super Rocket Car were selected as the first musicians to begin recording this summer. Starting today, funk/R&B group Aabaraki is entering the studio. Each artist is given at least a day or two of studio time, depending on what needs to be accomplished. Applications run in three-month windows, and at the end of the summer, the next set of musicians will be able to apply online.
"By opening Converse Rubber 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 Converse Chief Marketing Officer Geoff Cottrill in a release. "This is our way to invest in the future of music and we couldn't be more excited about it."
Artists are given the opportunity to record on top of the line equipment with a staff of engineers, and when the tracks are finished, the artists themselves will retain all rights to their music. Although, as the Converse website explains, musicians will have the option of giving Converse limited rights so that the company can publish the tracks online and across social media sites.
Said Ra Ra Riot's Rebecca Zeller in a statement released Wednesday: "Knowing how hard it is to make a living as a musician and the amount of money it takes to get into a studio of that caliber, it's unbelievably generous for Converse to provide it for free… Coupled with the fact that artists retain all rights to their music is a testament to Converse."
Guitar Center supplied the studio with equipment, instruments, and the Ocean Way HR2 large-format monitor system designed by Grammy award-winning producer/engineer Allen Sides. There will also be Fender, Gibson, Ernie Ball, BlackStar, Marshall and Schecter gear available for use.
Later this summer, Converse is hosting the Grammy Foundation's annual Grammy Camp. The camp will be in Los Angeles in July and will be held at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio, Aug. 2-8.