One of the most popular items that has been discussed in the Gravitas Create Community has been bass monitoring. Specifically with using a SUBPAC and whether or not this piece of technology is worth the investment. A lot of producers, especially in the bass music scene, want to make sure their low end sounds good and feels good in their tunes. Not all bedroom producers can afford a nice sub, and most of the time a sub can be a little too much for a bedroom studio setup. Producers have been turning to alternative solutions and this is where SUBPAC comes in. This transformative piece of technology allows producers to accurately monitor their low end frequencies at a precise level without the cost of a high-end sub or without disturbing roommates and neighbors. The Gravitas Create team was lucky enough to partner up with SUBPAC for a Producer Q&A Series. Below is a summary of the session and you can click HERE to read the full thread in our Gravitas Create Community group.

SUBPAC is sound you can Feel. A revolutionary audio technology company, SUBPAC is bringing the Feeling of music and sound to the world. A new category of audio hardware, SUBPAC’s high fidelity Physical-Sound® technology profoundly enhances the traditional media experience by allowing users to actually FEEL sound throughout their body. SUBPAC is used by sound designers, music producers, VR and gaming developers, and other professionals looking to add an extra layer of visceral impact and immersion to the art forms that inspire them. With SUBPAC, users experience a far deeper connection to the transformative properties of music and sound. SUBPAC is a trusted production & audio monitoring tool that gives you a deeper, highly accurate connection to
your creation.

I’d love to know about other uses of the SubPacbesides music. I’m excited to see how the SubPac could be used in movies, video games, VR, and more. Can you tell us about ways the technology is being used in those realms?

SUBPAC Technology can be integrated in many forms of media. Using a SUBPAC at home while watching films can be as immersive as sitting in a large theatre with a big/expensive sound system (but a lot easier on your ears!). We rarely get to feel explosions and earth shattering sfx and music in that context. Sound designers and composers put a lot of work into creating these elements too and with a SubPac in the mix we can really get the best out of it! The same goes with Gaming and VR. Our wearable M2 works really with roomscale VR. Check out our cinema collaboration in South Korea (https://www.businesswire.com/…/SubPac-Partners-Largest…) and the IMAX VR experience centers (https://www.theverge.com/…/imax-virtual-reality…)

I’m in need of a bass monitoring system for mixing my original Glitch Hop/Psybass tunes and I’m planning to make the leap and buy a subpac soon. I use JBL 305 monitors and getting a subwoofer is out of the question right now. What can I expect in way of your customer service if my unit does malfunction?

Hey, great to hear you are looking into getting a SUBPAC and we understand your concerns. We assure you if there is any problems at all we will refund/replace your SUBPAC. Our customer service team will be available to help you set up and get the most from it!

I saw the concept car having Subpacs in the seats. Is there any plan on having something like these commercially available in the future?

The Peugeot Fractal concept car with Amon Tobin! For anyone who hasn’t checked it out: http://www.peugeot.co.uk/concept-cars/fractal/. While we cant mention too much, be assured SUBPAC technology will be an integral part of the future of Automobiles. This extends further than just music listening/enjoyment, there are many ways we can use tactility in an auto context; to reproduce engine sounds/feeling in electric cars, feedback for alarms signals etc. Lots of exciting possibilities! Watch this space! More about our collaboration here: http://subpac.com/peugeot-fractal-concept-car/

What is a Subpac optimized track and what steps go into making it one?

SUBPAC Optimized tracks are productions where the dj/producer/label have used our technology during the creation, production or mixdown process to really tighten up the lower frequency range. Some producers have utilized the Technology in different ways than others –Pinch from TectonicRecordings and Kode9from Hyperdub Records have really blown us away with their Optimized creations. one of our favorite is “Flow Like Water” by CloZee –check it out here: http://feel.subpac.com/creator/clozee/ -Every SUBPAC optimized track, samplepack or game is guaranteed to blow you away while using your SubPac, its also our seal of approval! If you sign up to our ‘Feel’ creators program http://feel.subpac.com/members/#formand supply us with your creations (Music, sound, film, games +) we will check it out and if we like what we feel, it will get the stamp of approval from our team and the Optimized tag. We will also help promote it to all our followers!

What process and settings do you use to reference your tracks with the SUBPAC?

In much the same way you would use headphones or monitors except the SUBPAC gives you access to feel those lower frequencies. We would recommend you A/B tracks you have previously worked on and compare to relevant reference tracks in order to calibrate your SUBPAC effectively. You really do not need the intensity on the SUBPAC up that high if you plan to accurately monitor your bass and subbass.

What’s next for SUBPAC? Any new products or updates to the current line in development?

We are always working on new things. We can’t say anything more. Right now we are really happy with the response to our current products and are alway thinking of ways to incorporate as much of your feedback as we can into the new ones.

Who are some of your favorite artists to test your SUBPAC with?

That’s really hard as there are so many! Across our team we have many different styles of music and artists we love but the classic Dub producers like Lee Scratch Perry (official) and King Tubby are always a great start! Some labels we are really feeling right now that cover Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Grime, Footwork and bass weirdness are: Ram Records, Exit Records, Gravitas, System (V.I.V.E.K), Hyperdub, Circadian Rhythms, TekLife and Bokeh Versions. Dig into these labels and their roster of artists and you will be in for a great feeling sound journey.

My question is this: do you have plans to develop a SUBPAC that is strictly for studio use? I noticed that there is a non-flat frequency response with the older models of SUBPAC (although I haven’t tried the newest ones). Is it on the agenda to either smooth the frequency response of all models in the future or offer separate models for musicians and consumers?

Great question, it is hard to find a balance as our technology is great for many different people in all sorts of industries and also of varying skill levels. You will find the 2nd generation of SUBPACs are alot more accurate. Our goal is to create the highest fidelity physical experience possible, for everyone. We want everyone to enjoy the same experience from creators to the fans.

Can you tell us about the early days of SUBPAC? Who started the company and where did they get the idea from?

Our founders John and Todd were really into physical sound, they got their fix by exploring soundsystem culture and raves in Canada. The next step was them wanting to be able to recreate that feeling of physical sound outside of the club/rave environment. They set up http://studiofeed.org/ — a network for the advancement of music/sound and the SUBPAC was it’s first baby! Two generations of product down the line, many of our favorite artists in the mix and teams in major cities around the world and we are still continuing to push the concept of physical sound! We have only just started…

What are some interesting ways that your products are being used that you didn’t expect to see?

We have had archaeologists use our wearable while sonically mapping ancient monument sites using geophones, people using hydrophones with SUBPACS to feel Whale calls and one of our favorite partners MLF (http://marshmallowlaserfeast.com) have used our tech in some crazy and completely bonkers projects, we highly suggest you check them out!

Is the SUBPAC compatible with SPL Phonitor mini and/or SPL Phonitor 2? If so, how would one go about hooking both of them up?

Yes they are! With either the Phonitor 2 or Mini just take the headphone output straight into the input of the SUBPAC then your headphones would connect to the headphone output of the SUBPAC.

Are any SUBPAC models capable of handling high impedance headphones? I own the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 250 Ohm Edition and was wondering if they would work well with SubPac products.

Yes, the SUBPAC works with most headphones, just make sure to keep the input levels low from your source after you connect it to the PAC. The input on the M2x has a high gain for low level devices like phones. With some planar headphones like Audeze, you might need a DAC as a preamp like you would listen to them normally.

Ever since I started using my SUBPAC I noticed that when the vibration reach a certain volume level they become audible (even through headphones). Is this normal? Is the company looking into using dampers to minimize and clarify the sounds coming from the device?

When using your SUBPAC it helps to take into account the type of chair used (if using the seatback S2) as well as the intensity levels you set on the unit itself. Providing you set up the output levels of the device you are connecting correctly, you shouldn’t need to really push the intensity up that high. While it may be fun to turn it all the way up, you will find it works best and is more accurate when set at a moderate level.

Definitely interested in trying the SUBPAC. Are there any demos at Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc?

We totally understand! Experiencing theSUBPAC in person is important and the best way to really understand the power of feeling sound. Here is a list of stores that carry the SUBPAC: http://subpac.com/in-store/ –we are always updating this. Also, we have SUBPAC offices in Toronto, London and Palo Alto. If you are in those cities please email us info@subpac.com and we can arrange a personal demo. We also have a 30-day money back guarantee! You can try it out and if you are not satisfied you can return it. SUBPAC pays shipping both ways.

For more information about SUBPAC please visit their website at www.subpac.com.