Friday, April 10, 2009

Pimping Hella Sound

If there is one thing I know, it’s that new, start up companies love to have their name attached to the word “pimp” on internet searches. So, John at Hella Sound, You Are Welcome. I could attach a one armed midget reference to this post to really make Google go nuts but I won’t. (whoops)

John has been an F.M.S. supporter for many months now and I appreciate his enthusiasm, misdirected though it may be. He seems to like this blog. I suspect he might also have been a huge fan of Family Matters if that is any indictment of his judgment.*

Anyway, John has a cool new site called Hella Sound. It’s “running music, synced to your pace and designed to burn calories.” No, it’s not a method for you to put on earphones, sit on the couch and try to shove a whole, unbroken Dorito into your mouth** while the sounds of Hella Sound melt away your waist line. You still have to run. Or work out.

This is a musical accompaniment to your work out. A soundtrack for your run. And it is timed to your running pace. Pretty cool eh? You can use your legs to keep the beat to the music instead of looking like a douche bag playing air guitar or air drums*** as you knock out the miles.

Also, it’s original music. Not some lame Muzak version of existing hits.

Here’s how it works: You go to Hella Sound, you buy their first offering How To Turn Around a Bad Day (more songs will be coming soon!), you download it to your iPod or mp3 and you RUN. Pretty easy.

First, though, you’ll want to calculate your pace to know which speed/pace of the song you’ll want to download. It’s simple. He even has helpful instructions here.

Also, John tells me he has performed each song at each different pace. He has NOT sped up or slowed down the same song artificially.

I have checked this first tune out myself. I downloaded it and put it into a loop with some other existing music on my mp3 and set it to random play.(Note: The song is 30 MINUTES long!) I narrowed the number of songs down so How To Turn Around A Bad Day would repeat a couple of times. I listened to it in parts three different times during a 2 ½ hour long run. I also heard it again during some speed interval work a few days later.

Here’s my honest review:

When the song comes on, I did find myself automatically syncing my stride/pace up to the beat of the music (so it is important to select the correct speed of the song!). The song is completely instrumental but it has a number of different stylings that progress you through the 30 minutes: indie rock, funk, jazz, Latin, African drums, bass. When the tune came on, I used it as a chance to remind myself to relax, loosen up, let the music turn your legs and focus in on my breathing and stride. I did find myself being carried down the road on a tidal wave of sound. I didn’t expect this. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the concept at first but I DID match my stride to the song beat and just go with the flow!

I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction on the long run. But how about a speed workout? Obviously, when doing speed work, your stride quickens…your pace is different. The tune came on right in the middle of one of my 800 intervals. It didn’t match pace. I noticed that it didn’t match and immediately tuned it out. There, it didn’t work as well.

Overall, I think it is a pretty cool concept but one that is most useful during your steady pace longer runs. For me, I’m not sure the style of music fits me for non-stop 2 ½ hour running. I’m not saying that I didn’t like the style - it was an entertaining change of pace to what I normally listen to – but not something I’d choose to hear for 2 ½ hours straight. However, as part of a mix of songs, it was terrific!

My recommendation? Go to Hella Sound, buy it, and put it into your song rotation. When it comes on, use it as your queue to reconnect to your body, focus on your breathing and stride, relax, and pump your legs to the beat of the music!

Also, John is offering a special $1 discount (the song normally costs $5 for 30 minutes of original music!!) to Feet Meet Street readers. You can get it for $4! Just enter – appropriately enough – LLAMALLOVERS (note the double “LL” in both spots) after you select Add To Cart in the “add coupon” location.

Where else can you get 30 quality minutes of running music for less than a Wendy’s #1 without onion, regular size?

C’mon, help out the small, entrepreneurial start up!

Also, John has informed me that he has a bag of orphaned kittens and that he intends to drown one every hour in his bath tub unless someone orders the tune that hour. Not a kitten lover? Well, after he works through the kittens, he has a bag of puppies. Don’t like puppies? Guess what’s next? That’s right, a bag full of grandmas.****

Won’t you save a grandma today?

Happy trails.

This post was brought to you by a one armed midget pimp. And the National Consortium of Kitten Drowners. And, of course, weird internet searches.

* I have no evidence to back this up. Just connecting some dots.
** My typical Saturday night, by the way.
*** I still reserve the right to air drum to Rush songs.

**** The information in this paragraph was completely fabricated…as far as I know.


tfh said...

I just previewed the song on their site-- not bad. I've noticed every time certain songs come on my iPod I do increase my turnover. So can't I just pick the 180 steps per minute option and use that as a tool to up my stride rate? Hmmm...What would a llamallover do? (WWLLLLD.)

Kristina said...

My, my, you're prolific lately. You must've had these posts saved up while you were "on leave."
While the kitten-, puppy-, and grandma-cide won't get me to buy it, I'll just assume that fourth in line will be the drowning of chocolate chip cookies. That'll get me to buy it.

X-Country2 said...

What a cool concept! Good luck to John.

aron said...

such a small world, i just met him last night!!! site is very cool!

John at Hella Sound said...

This for me is like getting a stellar review in Rolling Stone, sans the omnipresent weird caricature illustration. You, good sir, rock the ropesack--thanks for helping spread the word!
(Also: the briefcase full of unmarked bills should be arriving shortly by courier, as requested.)

Note: no kittens, puppies or grandmas were harmed in the making of our music. Yet.

Vava said...

Amazing! In a past life as an audio engineer I always said that this type of thing would be a great idea, but I never got up off my lazy ass to do what John did. I will definitely check this out.

Viper said...

Good luck John. I'm sure there are lots of runners who'll dig this. Not sure associating with Nitmos was the brightest business decision though.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Definitely check out HellaSound, it's a great concept and John has done an awesome job executing it.

Being able to choose your own BPM makes a huge difference. (Speaking as someone who has some of the cheesiest music in the world on my iPod solely because it's the right beat. John saved me from a cover version of ABBA tunes, and worse, thank the Lord).

sRod said...

Awesome idea! And actually good music!