Hey everyone, I’m comin’ atcha today with some news on a highly innovative, emerging technology that I think you all should know about, especially if you’re making any kind of electronic or bass heavy music. It’s called the SubPac.
I’ve had my eye on this piece of kit for a while now, and they recently came out with a fresh new edition, so I’m going to give you the lowdown on it.
First up, I’ll answer the question you probably all have,
WTF is a SubPac?
Think back to a time you were at a festival or a club with a really large sound system. There’s just something different about listening to music on a PA that big. It’s the way the sound hits you. When you’re experiencing music on massive subs that can move enormous amounts of air, you feel the music as much as hear it. The audio becomes tactile. The SubPac brings that experience of tactile audio into your studio. It’s essentially a wearable subwoofer that you feel, but don’t hear.
Think of it like a bass backpack that adds in another dimension to your listening or mixing experience. It’s especially useful in a couple of applications. Say you live in an apartment or a suite where you can’t have a sub. The SubPac gives you the upside of being able to feel the sub without pissing off your neighbors. Another advantage is adding an additional sense into the mixing experience. Sub can be really difficult to get right in your mix, so the SubPac allows you to use both your sense of touch and your sense of hearing to accurately gauge the low end.
The SubPac I have here is called the S2 which is a second-generation seatback edition designed to be placed behind you on a chair. It’s useful for anyone from music producers who write bass-heavy tunes, to people playing video games, to people looking to amp up their home theater experience. There’s also an M2, which is the second-generation wearable edition. The M2 is appealing for DJs or people who just want to add another dimension to their listening experience, and they need the SubPac to be portable.
How it Works
In the box, you’ll see the SubPac seatback pad, which contains the transducers and battery pack. It’s designed to be leaned against so your back contacts it with maximum surface area. There’s also a control unit that has an 1/8” line-in and headphone jack. There’s a clip to attach it to your belt or a strap that goes around the arm of your chair and a set of elastic straps with velcro bracers are designed to attach the SubPac easily to your chair.
You can run the SubPac off either batteries or the included power supply with charging cables for any region of the world. To set it up, you strap the pad to the back of a chair, and find a spot to clip on the control unit. The SubPac sits on the back of your chair, just like a lumbar spinal support. I, personally, found it quite comfortable. Behind the chair, you can see the strap system holding it in place. It was super easy to set up. I had mine up and running in minutes.
To connect it to audio, you take a stereo miniplug and connect it from your computer or playback device to the control unit. Then you plug your headphones into the control unit.
You can also use Bluetooth. There’s an included power supply with a selection of world-wide compatible cables, or you can run the SubPac on the built in lithium ion batteries. It’s got an impressive 6 hour life.
Why a SubPac?
When you’re producing or mixing, attention to the low frequencies is essential. As a mix & mastering engineer, one of the most common problems I encounter is in the sub range of the mix. As a teacher, the single most common uncertainty my students have is whether they got the low end of their mix right.
Low end is so difficult mix because you can’t accurately hear sub in most home studios. It’s either an issue with the monitors being unable to correctly reproduce sub at sufficient volumes, or more commonly, for the room itself to be at fault. Things like frequency accumulation and phase cancellation can make it really tough to properly hear the sub in your mix.
The SubPac takes the room out of the equation and allows you to use your sense of touch in addition to your hearing to add a valuable extra dimension into the equation.
What’s New in the S2?
This is version 2 of the SubPac. The second generation SubPac S2 has:
- New tactile transducers
- New ergonomic shape for maximum body contact and comfort.
- Slimmer control box.
- Bluetooth 4.0 input with A2DP streaming.
- High capacity Li-ion rechargeable battery now runs 6+ hours per charge.
Thanks for checking out this intro to the SubPac. For more info and to pick one up, follow the links included with the video or just head on over to The Sub Pac website I’ll catch you guys soon. Peace!