Products that produce tactile feedback from audio signals have been around for a few years. The Buttkicker, a device which vibrates a drummer's throne so clicks or foldback can be felt rather than heard, is one such device. Never before, though, has a this type of technology been applied in the studio.
The Subpac is referred to by its makers, StudioFeed, as 'tactile audio technology' and transfers low frequencies directly to your body. The device itself looks like a flattened backpack with a black box attached, and sits between the listener and the back of their chair.
For producers, it is claimed the technology allows monitoring of low frequencies more accurately (from 5Hz to 130Hz), the experience of playing your track in a club, and very low noise, so it could be very useful for bedroom producers across the land.
Still in the prototyping stages, Subpac is being crowd funded via Kickstarter, but full production models are expected in the US in April and worldwide by May.
Despite it being early days, the technology has already garnered praise from deaf musicians, such as That Deaf DJ and other producers and DJs, such as Gilles Peterson of BBC Radio and Hank Shocklee of The Bomb Squad.
The production of the Subpac really relies on the Kickstarter fund reaching its target of $75,000 by April 6th. This looks likely though, with over half of the target having been pledged in only nine days. Pre-ordering through Kickstarter could be mean a saving off the final retail price of the Subpac too, if and when it comes to market. For US residents, $275 will secure your order, while international backers will have to donate $350 (plus shipping) for theirs.