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Chris Martin is using Subpacs to enhance Coldplay gigs for hard of hearing fans

Subpac, the wearable bass-responsive amp and speaker system has been a big hit with mix engineers, letting them feel the bass and more accurately sculpt it when their studio speakers and setup isn't up to the job of delivering the thing for real.

And now Coldplay are using Subpacs to enhance their gigs for deaf and hard-of-hearing fans, allowing them to feel the music.

It's an amazingly thoughtful idea and a great use of the tech. And it's all thanks to Martin's partner, the actor Dakota Johnson.

Appearing on CBS Mornings, Martin explained how Johnson bought him a Subpac for Christmas.

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"My partner, she said, 'I got you a Christmas present, a Subpac," says Martin. "She said, 'It's like what Finneas [Eilish] wears on stage when he's with Billie [Eilish].' And it vibrates, so it's useful for someone like Finneas to hear where the one is on the bass drum."

The band have been using Subpacs at gigs since May, after the gift gave Martin the idea of giving them out for free at gigs. 

"We want our live shows to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. For our D/deaf and Hard-of-hearing guests," they wrote in an Instagram post. "We’re proud to provide @subpac (wearable, bass-delivering vests), in addition to two sign language interpreters at every show," they wrote, adding that fans can email access@coldplay.com in order to secure a Subpac for them at the next gig.

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As to whether Martin uses the device himself when mixing is still unknown, but the smart idea – courtesy of Johnson – and its praiseworthy implementation is a great way to make gigging more enjoyable for everyone.

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