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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Bank x Chicago Public Schools Present: Men of Honor

In 2009, Chicago Public Schools launched an urban leadership program through their Office of School Turnaround.  The program focused on creating a mentorship group for high school students to allow them to address issues in their community through, among other efforts, creative expression.

One of the results of this program was an excursion into music.  Directed by the Project Manager from the Office of School Turnaround, a group was put together featuring students from Harper High School, located in the south side neighborhood of Englewood.  The group was aptly named Men of Honor, and during the course of the leadership program, they recorded a song called "Streets Ain't Me."

This leadership initiative has received much praise from the Board of Education, and aims to accomplish even more this year.  Among the other activities planned for 2010, the Men of Honor will be creating a full length album which will be produced, recorded, and mixed at The Bank.  We're proud to be involved with this project, which will give kids the opportunity to live out their dreams and learn about the various steps of the production process.  Check back here for updates as the project gets underway.  
Watch:  Men of Honor, "Streets Ain't Me" 


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Bankover: Part 1

If you follow us on Twitter, or one of our other social web hangouts, you may have noticed at some point the mention of a re-vamp/rehab/overhaul/makeover going on at our facility.  Well, it's true- The Bank's being upgraded!  Because of that, I've been out of the loop online, so I just wanted to bring everyone up to speed as we continue working to make our studio even better! 

What's past is prologue.

Back in 2007, Wes and I discussed a few things we could do in the studio to not only be more appealing to clients, but also to increase our productivity where it relates to songwriting and beat making.  Not to say we were slackin' on the beats, but we both share a tremendous amount of responsibility throughout the day-to-day, which can get in the way of making time to be creative.  Perhaps if we were living in our parents' basements with no pressing obligations, we'd be free to tap out bangers every day, but that's not the case.  

Additionally, the studio configuration we had was somewhat cumbersome and often prohibited us from utilizing some of the analog synths and hardware we have in the arsenal.  If you listen to anything we've made over the last year, you may notice that the majority of sounds are sampler instruments and/or Logic plugins.  Not that there's anything wrong with those types of sounds- we're avid fans of Logic and there's some incredible instruments to be found in there; we just feel that they're often severely lacking in depth compared to the lush juiciness of an analog synth.  This applies to drums as well.  Even with the outrageous flexibility of our DAW's sequencing capabilities, there's just nothing like the swing of an MPC...that's open to debate for you beat makers and audio gearheads out there.

Fast forward to February 8, 2010.

After finishing our last project and a brief excursion to The Land of Bubbles, we began a project we've dubbed "The Bankover," (The Bank + Makeover).  For the last three months, we have been working tirelessly to streamline our production process and add improvements to the studio setup.  These adjustments will allow us to implement the full capabilities of the lab and make use of everything The Bank has to offer.  These are truly exciting times, not just for us, but also for the recording artists, musicians, and producers we work with as well!

Check back here for updates; as of today we still have a few more weeks to go until we're up and running, but I'll add new posts and pics as the process comes closer to completion.