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Understanding Tactile Dynamic Range

Dynamic range in an audio system is the distance between the softest sounds (noise floor) and full scale (loudest sounds before clipping).  In the real world we experience a huge dynamic range.  At night for example you can hear the tiniest mosquito buzzing in the room in one moment and the next a 100db police siren passing by.  In an audio system to accurately represent this experience you would need a dynamic range of more than 100db.  This would require the system to be calibrated so when the siren went by it produced the same 100db of sound pressure.  

Tactile dynamic range is directly related to the dynamic range of the system.  In the example you would want to feel the engine and tires rumble as the vehicle approached, passes and fades into the city.  This would require calibrating the SubPac to produce the tactile range in relation to the dynamic range of the system. This is important to the experience as an exaggerated engine sound that feels louder than the siren would not be realistic.    

The SubPac needs to be calibrated to reflect the dynamic range of your system to operate correctly.  Follow this guided calibration  http://thesubpac.com/download/subpac-guided-calibration-file/

Following good basic audio practices in relation to dynamic range will enhance your SubPac experience.  

Avoid clipping the output of your source device.  For instance many DJs let their mixer meters go all the way up.  While this looks cool, clipped signals will be truncated on their way through the rest of the system.  Clipped signals use up all of the headroom in the system. Its better to have the levels go half to three quarters up the master and let the rest of the system elevate it to the desired final level.  When you leave enough headroom, the tops of the waveforms will retain their crests and transients resulting in better sound.  The SubPac will be able to translate these waveforms to your body with room to spare.  

In the studio, you can send less level into the master to avoid clipping.  In this case when mixing you will turn up the monitoring environment to perceive the lower level as "right".  When listening to mastered music or mixes closer to full scale you will turn down your monitoring system.  For an enlightening, academic discussion of this we recommend researching the life work of Bob Katz and his K system at his website http://www.digido.com/how-to-make-better-recordings-part-2.html

Listen to a wide variety of music on the SubPac.  This is a great way to understand how tactile sound really makes a difference in how we perceive music and sound.  While learning what sounds great it's also important to learn what clipping and other unwanted artifacts feel like so you can avoid them in your mixes.  

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