Producers got an early Valentine's gift this morning and unlike your candlelight dinner for two, it's no strings attached. With a little help from online community Indaba Music, Converse's Williamsburg-based recording studio, Converse Rubber Tracks, has released over 11,000 royalty-free, high-definition audio clips which you can download for free here.
Over one hundred bands, countless instuments, and even the studio's furniture were used to create various sounds. Lending credibility to the project, musicians RJD2, Com Truise, Body Language, Obey City, Jaw Jam, Figgy, Nitemoves, and Shigeto then put the Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library to the test by producing tracks using its audio clips.
To the uninitiated, audio clips are the loops, stems, or sounds found in sample packs that are used by musicians when producing a track. Many sample packs, such as popular bundles Neptunes or Vengeance, allow a song to feature realistic sounds like symbol crashes or guitar licks without the use of a recording studio. Because of their wide range and low cost, sample packs help spark new ideas and drastically reducing the barriers of entry for emerging musicians.
The move by Converse to make such a large volume of content freely available is just the latest step in their community-driven expansion into music creation territory. Compared to the often-used top-down approach of paying for celebrity endorsements *cough* Beats by Dre *cough*, Converse have instead branded themselves as incubators. Back in 2011, they opened the Converse Rubber Tracks recording studio in Brooklyn and have since provided thousands of hours of free studio time to "baby bands" and independent musicians. Brad Worrell, the studio's manager, revealed in an interview that they've provided free studio time for around one new artist or act a day. Since its launch, numerous pop-up studios have appeared in various cities.
Any producer wanting to browse samples, download audio clips, or listen to purpose-built songs can do so on the Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library.
Ziad Ramley is on Twitter