CF Reviews

Excruciatingly Honest Opinions About Health and Fitness Products.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hella Sound Running Music

So what is Hella Sound?

It's a new company that produces original music designed for running. They've just released the first 30 minute song, "How To Turn Around a Bad Day," and they're hard at work on more to be released soon. (The download sells for $5, although if you are a Cranky Fitness reader you can get it for just $4. Or perhaps you can win one for free! (See below).

What's cool about Hella Sound songs?

Here's some product info straight from the source:

  • Because the songs are 30 minutes long, you don't need to assemble a whole playlist for your run
  • Each song is available in 10 versions to accommodate runners' stride rates: 140, 145, 150, 155, 160, 165, 170, 175, 180, 185
  • The tempo is consistent throughout, so it's perfect for long runs
  • They have several methods to identify the right song version based on stride rate
  • The music is extensively road tested to make sure it feels good to run to
  • It's original music played on real instruments--not the typical boil-in-a-bag techno remix stuff

The first song has already gotten great reviews--even one from Nitmos at Feet Meets Street, who is a very reliable source about All Things Running (even though he does apparently pal around with folks from the National Consortium of Kitten Drowners.)

Here's a quote from Nitmos:

"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!"

Now I wasn't skeptical about the concept--I know I like running to the beat of music paced for my tempo. But what I was more worried about: would I like the music? I know from reading other people's playlists that there a humongous difference in what people like to listen to; and I figured there was a good chance I'd have to wait until there were more songs available to find one I liked.

But I found I really enjoyed running to this first one! It's instrumental, so there are no lyrics to analyze and criticize, which I often do with pop music because I'm a neurotic freak. The song has a good beat which helps motivation, but it's also complex and intricate enough not to get boring over time. And the fact that the "song" unfolds over a half hour allows for themes to recur. This cohesiveness allowed me to get more "trancey" during my run than I would with a playlist full of different tunes that come and go.

The one downside (for me)? In keeping with title "How to turn around a bad day," the song has four major sections: "You're Starting Off Tense," "You're Warmed Up," "Time To Have Fun," and "Blast to the Finish." And parts of the beginning section--"You're starting off tense" do sound a bit jangly. Some people will probably love that but the sharper edgier sounds weren't really my favorite. But the music soon smoothed out and I found it very invigorating. It's great to run to a beat that keeps you moving!

(FYI: the man behind Hella Sound, John Frenette, is a very cool guy, and has been a good friend to Cranky Fitness. And he's got some great articles you can check out over at his blog at the Hella Sound site. Also, to quote Nitmos again, (because Nitmos always cracks me up): "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!")

How To Win a Free 30 minute Download:

Since downloads happen magically on the web and not via postal delivery, anyone from any country can enter! Just leave a comment explaining why you would like to have something new to listen to while you are exercising. Two winners will be chosen by the Random Number Generator. A third winner will be chosen by me based on mysterious criteria known only to myself! (But there's a good chance it will involve a comment that makes me laugh).

Please leave a comment by Tuesday, May 5th; winners announced sometime the next day on Wednesday May 6th. Winners need to claim their download by sending an email with your email address to Crabby McSlacker at Gmail dot com by midnight Saturday May 9th.

Also, for those who don't win, you can still save a buck if you want to download the song. Just go to the product page, add the song to your cart, and enter the promotional code: CRANKTASTIC.

UPDATE! WINNERS HAVE BEEN DECLARED! Go to the winner post over at the regular Cranky Fitness. Thanks for playing!


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