Music Australia News

New Tech Lets Australians With Hearing Impairments Experience Music

Jasmine Crittenden
| December 8, 2015

Australians with hearing impairments are experiencing live performance, thanks to a Los Angeles-based DJ, FreQ Nasty. Currently on tour around the nation, he is hosting a ‘Silent Disco for Deaf and Hard of Hearing’ at every gig. Attendees are able to experience FreQ Nasty’s music physically, through new, tactile-audio technology called SubPac.

SubPac has been employed in other countries, including the Dominican Republic and the United States, but this is its first application here. “It’s the first time [it has] been used in public in Australia,” FreQ Nasty told The Music. “I toured with one for producing while on the road in Australia last year, but this is the first time we are giving small groups the opportunity to experience the SubPac.’

SubPac works by transferring low frequencies to the body. Users place an object shaped like a backpack over their shoulders. It contains speakers, polymers and electronics, which communicate sounds – like those of a kick drum, bass or Roland TR-808 – in the form of vibrations.

FreQ Nasty said ‘[SubPac] allows people to experience the physical dimensions of sound, transferring sound vibrations directly to the user’s body.’

SubPac was created by StudioFeed, an organisation dedicated to technology and community based in Los Angeles, London and Toronto. Members include engineers, academics, architects, entrepreneurs and artists.

FreQ Nasty’s Australian tour will conclude in Brunswick, Melbourne this weekend, with a show at Rubix Funhouse on Friday 12 December and another at Rubix Warehouse Venue on Saturday 13 December

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