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Feel The Music With The SubPac Tactile Bass System

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Morena Duwe

2016-03-30-1459365508-7162077-subpacbackpackbassCover.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-30-1459365508-7162077-subpacbackpackbassCover.jpg
The once blossoming industry of technology is now in full bloom. Every manner of possibility is in arm's reach as young entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to let their ideas become their realities. The technological era has even spawned an entire musical genre and this genre created an entire community of outside-of-the-box thinkers and creators. The genre I am talking about, of course, is electronic music.
The transformational music festival community is growing in devotees as well as in vastness, spanning across the globe from Wisconsin to Bali. With underground bass music as its anthem, the reason so many people flock to these events is so that they can not only hear the music, but feel the music. Since most of society is either packed into apartment buildings, cities, suburbs, or neighborhoods, listening to bass music in its full strength is not an option for many. It was this thought and love for bass music that birthed the SubPac.
Founded by John Alexiou and his long-time friend, Todd Chernecki, the SubPac seed was first planted as the two traversed the underground world of Toronto's rave scene in the 1990s. "Todd brought me to my first warehouse rave in Toronto and it was the first time I'd been exposed to real sound system culture and what that means from a sound perspective," Alexiou explained in our interview. "Specifically how immersed you are in sound when you're at events...That was the initial spark to a number of years, just really thinking about the most interesting way to have people connect closer to music."
When Alexiou describes feeling full sound immersion, his main focus as well as the artists he aims to bring the SubPac to, is bass. "To us, as far as moving to a world that has a deeper connection to sound in music, you have to start with the bass frequencies. That's why the first people we went to go see were people who spent their lives crafting and perfecting low end frequencies," said Alexiou. "Those are the frequencies that move the most air and are the natural way that we feel that frequency range." The SubPac provides precise frequency response ranges from 5hz to 130hz.
In addition to being an ideal product for bass music lovers, it is also a tool for bass music producers who are able to gain a greater understanding about how their tracks will sound and feel in a larger scale without blasting out their neighbors or their ears with headphones. Alexiou explained, "If a producer or musician is making something in the studio, they really want you to get the deepest connection possible and headphones are great but...they don't really get across what the producers are trying to express." What one hears in the studio is completely different than what one hears through the monitors on a music festival stage. The SubPac helps these artists dial in the most precise levels they can between studio and stage. "It's very helpful for them in the studio and also allows them to produce a lot more on the road which is a big part of the touring musician's life," Alexiou mentioned.

Going through several iterations, the SubPac finally reached its sleek, light-weight and almost Batman-looking design within the past year and can be worn underneath or on top of clothing, adding to your style instead of taking away from it. Hip hop and R&B producer Timbaland was seen wearing a SubPac upon his own volition at the 2016 Grammy Awards, showing that interest in this music lover's new-favorite-toy is growing. "We've spent a lot of time making sure there was that optimal connection to the body which is really important for us because we're not trying to transmit sound externally, it is an internal, personal experience," said Alexiou. A very personal experience it is, as you can feel every minute vibration in the music's bass frequencies rumble and tickle its way through your back, spine and solar plexus. After a while, it feels as if the music is coming out of you instead of going into you.
Two key aspects that the SubPac team are also focusing on, is the preservation of hearing as well as providing an experience for those who have already lost their hearing. Few people know how damaging it can be to the ears after spending night after night on stage in front of blasting monitors. "So many people are suffering from tinnitus and hearing loss, it's like an epidemic in that community but that's also a bit of a sore topic," Alexiou stated. "It's hard for people that create music for a living to talk about it because they don't wanna be perceived as having their ears be less than perfect...You don't need to kill your ears to feel immersed in sound." The idea is that the SubPac can preserve hearing, at least in studio recording scenarios, by offering an alternative way to hear and understand bass frequencies.
During an event held by the Brainfeeder crew at an old theater in downtown Los Angeles, the SubPac team wired up the seats with their tremulous treats allowing audience members to experience the bass-heavy music of artists such as Eskmo through brain-feeding and body-pulsing vibrations. After the event, Eskmo approached Alexiou with an idea about providing a SubPac experience for the hearing impaired that would reshape the path of the SubPac. "It really just became a great relationship where he's interested in providing access to music for people that don't have it," explained Alexiou. For an event that Eskmo and SubPac created together called the "FeelHarmonic," they wired up chairs with packs where a group of hearing impaired children engaged in beautiful visuals that were synchronized with the vibrations of the SubPac. This gave them a rare opportunity to truly experience sound. One might wonder how Beethoven would have been affected by the SubPac.
While the SubPac began as a concept to aid producers in the studio, it ended up taking on a life of its own. New applications for this technology began to emerge as more people were exposed to it. It has opened up a new world of sound for those who cannot hear, saved the hearing of those who may lose it, and provide a physically immersive experience to music and video games that has never been felt before. With the help of producer/DJ, FreQ Nasty, SubPac will be launching a new platform that is a place where artists and fans of music can really experiment with and explore what physical sound is. Soon to be linking up with music festivals and possibly the Silent Disco circuit, SubPac is entering a new frontier where music is religion and bass is the higher power.

FeelHarmonic (San Diego) from ESKMO on Vimeo.

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