I tinker a lot with mind-altering sounds in my spare time, and I figure it might be a good idea to keep a log of everything I've done. This is a journal of all my sound experimentation, and I'm going to try and keep current with it if possible. Keep a close eye on the page - if I upload a preset with a big-sized background file, chances are it won't be up forever (i.e. You snooze, you lose.)
NOTE - Everything I posted before 1/1/02 is on the Sonic Alchemy Archives page. (I ran out of space on this page - the file reached maximum size and my editor was refusing to open it. I'll add a link for the archive at the bottom inevitably.)
Same disclaimer applies that is on the Frequency Listing page. Use all information and presets and other stuff at your own risk. (TRANSLATION : Don't sue me, because I'm broke.)
!!! IMPORTANT !!! : For Brainwave Generator preset files here that aren't zipped, some browsers try to read them like text files. If this happens, use 'Save As' instead so you can get them onto a drive on your computer. Then it's just a matter of importing them with Brainwave Generator. (You'll need a registered version of BwGen to import files.)
I've been working on fresh music over the last two years. I just released a 40 minute album in the month of February called Well Of Thoughts. It was created for the RPM Challenge - see http://www.rpmchallenge.com for more information about how the challenge works. They should have the entire album posted on their website by the end of the month. I'm also planning on uploading it to the AMUC Soundclick page a little bit at a time. (And I also will send a copy of the album to Last FM, so they can put it in their library.)
Overall, the album is very eclectic and eccentric. Much of Well Of Thoughts is very percussive, with odd electronic synths. Although, there are tracks that veer away from this. (One track sounds like it belongs in a horror movie soundtrack, for starters.)
Here's the album imagery:
(P.S. - There's also a few other songs I did in 2006 on Soundclick. If you have some time to kill, be sure to check them out.)
I've grown tired of using binaural beats, and have been experimenting with other forms of binaural entrainment, including some of those included with the Brain Sound Studio software that Transparent Corporation offers. Brain Sound Studio can overlap its effects over other WAV files, giving it a lot of flexibility as far as the end result goes. (A particular entrainment preset will sound very different when using pink noise as the carrier versus an ocean soundscape as the carrier.)
I've also been experimenting with background noise via police scanners. I find this has properties that pink noise generated in a WAV generator will never have. (For starters, it's very unpredictable - a random frequency on a policy scanner can change with time. The airwaves are like a sonic ocean of sorts.)
As far as music goes, I've added two pieces to my AMUC page on Soundclick. One is a pretty straightforward instrumental piece I programmed in Buzz called Pandora's Box/Arod's Nap :
The other piece is a little odder. I call it Terrestrial Epitaph In Shortwave. It was me playing with stuff I had concocted in Buzz - but I used Adobe Audition to mix it into this weird tapestry of sorts. The premise - if the planet Earth were everannihilated, its only legacy would be the myriad of transmissions mankind leaked into the cosmos :
I still exist. =)
I'm currently messing around with Adobe Audition, trying to get the hang of mastering musical pieces (i.e. getting the volume levels and sound dynamics right). Compression and Expansion are a real bitch to learn, but the end payoff seems more than worth it.
As far as brainwave entrainment goes, I find myself using multiple entrainment programs at once in Windows XP. I find the results can be interesting in that they make for good ear candy. Although it's kind of difficult to anticipate their effects in terms of brainwave entrainment. Among the programs I'm using are Buzz, CoolEdit 96, Adobe Audition [just got that one], Bwgen (I'm a little bored with it at the moment), Neural Noise Synthesizer, and Atmosphere (for backgrounds).
I've also been playing around with mixing BwGen tones and drumtrack backgrounds. I'm avoiding the generic-sounding electronica drum tracks, and going after a more organic sound. I grew up listening to many progressive metal drummers, so monotonous electronica drums tend to bore me. You can get some interesting results if you use fixed rhythms for some of the drums (bass drum and snare drum), while using more randomized hits for the drum fills (fills often are typically high hats and cymbals). For the fills, instead of programming the drum to hit here and here and here, you tell it something like "whenever the frequency of X instrument drops below X amount, trigger the drum."
I posted a new song on my Soundclick page - I am going to abbreviate the name of this song to Rachel. This is a really strange one - I was poking fun at all those moronic spam messages I get in IM and email. (I had to upload this song with the 'parental advisory' field checked off. I don't think I've ever had to do that before.)
(Addendum 10/17/05 : I'm not too fond of the thumbnail I'm using for this song - after visiting Soundclick, can anybody come up with a better one? Preferably something with a PG-13 rating or under.)
I haven't done this lately, and probably should do it more often - here are a bunch of Brainwave Generator presets I was tinkering with at work:
The chord.bwg preset is my attempt to create a harmonic musical chord that also contains an effective binaural. When you have more than one voice, you'll often create accidental binaurals and monaurals due to the interaction of each voice with each other.
I found you can create harmonic results while avoiding the creation of these 'accidentals' by using open chords. An open chord is one with its tones not all in the same octave as each other. In this case, you want to have each note in its own octave.
In attaching the binaural to the chord, your best bet is to use the highest voice. While some find higher-pitched binaurals annoying, there's a big advantage to using it for the binaural. The lower the octave of the tone you attach the binaural to, the more likely you will throw off the harmony of the chord. This is because the space from one note to the next is smaller in lower octaves. If you add a big enough binaural to a really low tone, you could inadvertently end up at a completely different note than you were intending.
The other two presets involve ramping down to the Delta range. Since it's thought that binaurals don't work below 4.5 HZ or so, I tried using monaurals instead. On one of them, I also include a ramp-up back to Alpha, using binaurals.
While the Delta range is associated with deep sleep, I find the end result varies depending on what mental state you are in prior to listening to the preset, and whether you resist its effects or not. At work, I'm obviously going to resist the effects, since they'd frown me sleeping on the job. When used like this, Delta seems more like a tranquilizer or a quick refresher.
Although I wouldn't recommend messing with a Delta preset when doing very detailed work. It's better for the more repetitive/monotonous stuff. There's a bit of grogginess involved on a few of the occasions I've done this. That would obviously get in the way of more involved thinking.
Furthermore, I'm starting to believe that the same preset can affect different people in different ways, depending on their body or neurological chemistry. So, I'd suggest trying the preset out at home while doing light work before fiddling with it in a workplace environment.
Then there's the obvious warning about not using theta or delta presets while operating heavy machinery or motor vehicles. (I made the mistake of listening to Enya while driving on the expressway once. Creed also has that affect on me. It's like Sonic Nyquil.)
I actually took a stab at legitimately adding vocals to a music track I'm working on. It sounded okay, heavily processed, provided I stuck to the one octave range or so I can actually sing in. (I'll never hit a high note in a million years.)
Some of the most recent stuff I'm working on has vocal effects like this, but I need to sit on it for at least three weeks before I upload anything. (After three weeks, you can look back on what you created, and easily distinguish between the keepers and the duds.)
In the meantime, I did upload a new song to my Alternate Modes Of Underwater Consciousness page called Starfield Skyline. It was up to #29 on the Soundclick experimental electronica rankings, so (scarily enough) somebody actually likes it. =)
Also, a couple of my older songs have been brought back to life via garageband.com. I guess they had saved mp3.com's music archive. They let me store three of those songs on their site at no cost.
Yes - I still exist. I have been experimenting with getting those synthesized-computer voices to sing in a lifelike, realistic manner. I've had very limited results so far. It would be nice to be able to have some sung lyrics in my music, without me having to actually attempt vocals. (I think my voice probably could squeak by, with heavy reverb, and a million takes to get it right, but what can I say? - I'm too timid.)
4/1/04 <---- (nudge, nudge) (wink, wink)
This has to be the most USEFUL Brainwave Generator preset I've ever made. I've tested it out on some of my neighbors. This one is self-explanatory. GUARANTEED to cause SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. Download it and try it for yourself!
(Warning : Please read all disclaimers above first.)
I added another new song to my Soundclick artist page. This one is called The Greyscale Dreamstealer. Whereas the last song I spent weeks and weeks programming, this one came into being almost overnight. (That's usually how it goes - it's either one extreme or the other.)
I experiment a bit on this particular track - rather than programming out everything with excruciating precision, I tried something a bit more 'fractally' - I set the rules I wanted the piece to follow, and let the various modular machines interact with each other, creating some very interesting chain-reactions.
(Oh come on - go listen to it already - that way I can get on the Soundclick charts, and have false delusions that I'm a rock star. And why is it that electronic musicians NEVER seem to get groupies? It's not fair, I tell you..)
I posted a new electronica song to my artist page on Soundclick. It's called Trapped Behind A Mask. I really like how it came out. The dynamics of the sound came out much better than it has come out in the past. It's available for free download if anybody has some time to kill.
At work today, I fine-tuned the Fifth State preset.
I incorporated a slight pitch ramp to the two voices. As long as you leave the binaural values the same at the start pitch and the end pitch, the Harmonic Box will remain during the ramp. (I tested a midpoint, and found it had the same crossbinaurals, binaurals, and monaurals as the begin point and end point.) The pitch ramp drops the audible pitch down a semi-tone.
I also added two more voices - these two voices I put far enough below the first two voices so that you could have a second Harmonic Box that didn't interact with the first. (All cross-binaurals and monaurals would be well beyond brainwave entrainment range between voices 1+2 and voices 3+4. Here are the values of voices 3 & 4 :
Voice 3 - Audible Pitch = 376 HZ, binaural = 5
Voice 4 - Audible Pitch = 366 HZ, binaural = [-5]
This creates a Harmonic Box very similar to the one that voices 1 and voices 2 set up. The only difference is the monaurals and cross-binaurals are flip-flopped. The monaurals are 5 and 15, and the cross-binaurals are both 10.
You also get a harmonic relationship between each Harmonic Box. At the beginning, the two boxes are a major third apart. At the end, they're a perfect fourth apart. (In terms of "DO", a major third is DO and MI. A perfect fourth is DO and FA.)
Anyways, here's the new version :
(Attempting To Recreate) The Fifth State [Version 1.1]
Comments? Corrections? Feedback? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've made yet another Harmonic Box X preset. These things admittedly get addictive. It's kind of like the sonic equivalent of one of those mathematical magic squares. With this preset, I was trying to replicate the mental state that The Awakened Mind calls "The Fifth State". It is discussed in chapter four of TWA, incidentally. Note that The Awakened Mind is not the book that discusses Harmonic Box X - that is called The Awakening Mind, I believe. That is by a fellow named James Mann. The former was written by C. Maxwell Cade and Nona Coxhead back in 1979.
Basically, the Fifth State is a deeply meditative state, but one where the person is capable of interacting with others and doing simple problem-solving activities [like math]. According to TWA, people in this state had a blend of Alpha brainwave activity with lesser amplitudes of Theta activity circa 4-6 HZ and Beta activity circa 16-18 HZ.
I tried to replicate this blend using a two voice Harmonic Box X preset for Brainwave Generator. I used 500 and 490 as the two audible pitches, each with a 5 HZ binaural. (For voice 2, I did not use a -5 HZ binaural, which would invert the left and right channels. I tried that, and found I had better results without the inversion.) If you do the math out, the end result are two binaurals of 5 HZ, two monaurals of 10 HZ, and cross-binaurals of 5 HZ and 15 HZ.
Anyways, just so you know - this is undertested, so download at your own risk. (I don't foresee any grave consequences using this preset, though. I'm listening to it now, and nothing catastrophic has happened.)
Preset : (Attempting To Recreate) The Fifth State
Let me know if you get any good results, or even non-results. (And if you catch any errors in my math. I had botched it up at first, and then corrected it, so it's possible something might not have been updated.)
This is a new preset for Brainwave Generator I cooked up. I'm tinkering with using the Harmonic Box X method in conjunction with a rampdown [gradually dropping the binaural to lower frequencies from higher frequencies to coax a person to fall asleep]. It's kind of tricky doing ramps with Harmonic Box X, since if you don't get the ramp for the second voice perfect relative to the first voice, you end up destroying the Harmonic Box in transition. What I did with this preset was leave the audible pitch of the first voice constant, and then calculate the audible pitch of the second voice relative to that voice. Once I get the hang of that, then I'll try having the first voice ramp down as well.
I think with this preset, I do a good job maintaining the Harmonic Box through the transitions from one binaural value to the next. I was very careful with how everything sloped.
Anyways, I need to give it some fancy-schmancy name :
[MPT] Harmonic Box X (15 hz to 4 hz over 40 minutes)
And this background is needed.. It's only 800 kb - if you're too lazy to download it, it can be replaced with pink noise:
Pink Noise With Overtones And Other Crap
The background sound is very neat - it sounds like either a heavenly choir or a hairdryer. (Very relaxing..)
Note - This preset is largely untested. (Although, it sounds pretty damn nice on first listen.)
I'm beginning to think that binaural beats can have very different effects on a person, depending on what mental state they are in prior to listening the binaurals. Binaurals in the alpha range, for instance - I think a person listening to them while very groggy is going to be affected much differently than a person listening who has just consumed ten cups of coffee and is bouncing off the walls.
The Awakened Mind by Cade and Coxhead seems to reflect this. It divides a person's current mental state into two axises. One axis represents brainwave frequency (EEG), and the second represents electrical skin resistance (ESR). (I guess the higher your ESR is, the more relaxed you are. The lower it is, the more aroused you are.) So, two people may have their brainwaves dominant in the alpha range, but vary considerably in their current mental state, depending on their level of arousal.
I think this is something worth exploring further - I wish I had some cash for one of those biofeedback devices that measures both EEG and ESR. (I'm hoping I'll stumble across one at a yard sale for fifty cents, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part.)
Try the Brainwave Generator preset under the 12/11/03 entry if you haven't already. It's pretty potent as a sleep aid. I fell asleep twice with the headphones still around my ears, and that rarely if ever happens. Usually I'll remove the headphones before actually falling asleep.
I'm having a lot of luck using Brainwave Generator presets with two binaurals. While there's some argument over how the brain interprets multiple binaurals presented at once, I find that presets with just one binaural tend to get dull fast. Using at least two presets gives you room to create some nice harmonic relationships, which can spice things up. (It also creates some accidental binaurals and monaurals, so it definitely makes it trickier to anticipate in advance exactly what the preset will do.)
This is another preset I programmed recently - it's actually an offshoot of the preset from the last entry. I make this one spend a little more time in the theta range before one voice drops to delta. The two binaurals actually go in opposite directions in some parts of the preset. It's a guinnea pig sort of preset, so if you don't like being experimented upon, you might want to pass up on it. I doubt any effects would be severe, though. I survived listening to it more than once. I did get some sleep paralysis at the end of one of the listens, though.
This is the time of the year at work that is hellish for me. Essentially, we have so much to do, that the only way to get it all done is either pray the company hires some temps (HA!) or clone ourselves, and pray the clones don't ask to be paid.
I've doing a lot of reading up on color and sound. This is one article that caught my interest:
.. And here's my new artist page on Soundclick. I'm still in the process of uploading the music from the old MP3.com site. Right now, I just have the most current song I've finished [Streetlight Cosmos]. The others will be uploaded in time. Any links to the my MP3.com sites won't work. (Insert rant about how badly Mp3.com, Viviendi Co, and C-NET.com suck here.)
.. And those of you with Brainwave Generator may like this sleep induction preset dubbed ever-so-uncreatively "Going Down". It uses two voices that drop from Alpha to Delta over a long period of time [40 minutes or so, I think]. There's some nice harmonic interplay between the two voices. I haven't mapped out the "cross-binaurals" and monaurals created between the two voices, though. (If anybody does, please send me the results - it will save me the time of having to do it myself.)
Boomcar enthusiasts might find this article interesting : Vibroacoustic Disease
I'll go on the record though and say I don't -completely- agree with the last paragraph. :
"Listening to classical music, such as Mozart, can increase your IQ, heal the body, and increases brain development in babies. Classical music enhances abstract thinking. On the other hand, listening to loud, hard, grunge rock, rap, or new age music actually interferes with abstract thinking. Gansta/porno rap is a favorite choice for listeners addicted to loud, bass sounds. Gangsta/porno rap (for example, Eminem) and some acid or hard rock (Marilyn Manson) glorifies violence, suicide, illegal drug use, murder, killing police officers, rape, and promotes hatred against society, women, and the law."
I think "new age" is too broad and "loud, hard grunge rock" is too vague to make blanket statements about.
New age music covers a lot of different territory, and I think any attempt to pigeon-hole it all under one specific mental effect is doomed for failure. I can see perhaps ambient music having this effect. (On the other hand, for relaxation, ambient sometimes is the perfect thing.)
As far as loud rock goes, again - I think it depends on the band or sub-genre in question.
A lot of the "nu rock" with teenagers whining about how their parents are oppressing them by not letting them borrow the family Buick so they hang out at the mall and be non-conformists just like all their friends -- yeah, this probably contributes to mental collapse. (I think the lack of guitar solos, or any elaborate melodies or harmonies also contributes to this effect.)
On the other hand though, many of the progressive metal artists create music that I feel contributes to my mental prowess, rather than sapping my intellect away. (Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Symphony X, Spiral Architect, Liquid Tension Experiment, Green Carnation etc.)
Regarding the lyrics, I don't have a problem with violent themes, provided the violence serves some purpose, and isn't just there for the sake of being there. It's like violence in movies - many movies that were highly praised had violence in them. Take Fried Green Tomatoes, for instance, which depicts both domestic abuse and a murder to boot. What separates Fried Green Tomatoes from your average B-rated slasher flick is the fact the violence serves a plot device in the former, and usually doesn't in the latter. (Usually in the latter, the plot exists merely as a backdrop for the violence.)
Oops - as far as gangsta rap goes ... I really disagree with the article. The article says rap interferes with thought. I don't think this statement goes far enough. IMYACO*, I think gangsta rap leads to full scale de-evolution. Am I biased? Hell yeah! =)
(*In My Humble Yet Absolutely Correct Opinion)
It's been kind of wild the last few weeks. I learned about two weeks ago that MP3.com got bought out by some other company, who doesn't plan to maintain the current archive of music that MP3.com has collected over the years. (It sickens me - such a nice collection of music from independent musicians will be destroyed, and the company replacing MP3.com honestly thinks it's going to get all the MP3.com artists in the new artist service it is offering. Blah! I remain very cynical.)
So, I'm probably going to move all the songs I've created to another server, since MP3.com will no longer carry them after December 3, 2003. I may remaster those songs before uploading to a new host. (I really didn't have a strong handle on mastering when I had composed some of those earlier tracks.)
Also, I've found a way to generate frequency ranges corresponding to the wavelength ranges associated with each color, including infrared and ultraviolet. I've found many frequency lists erroneously list the wavelength value as a HZ value. See the entry on color from the Glossary page here for more information.
Also, here's a quickie Bw-Gen preset that I did. It's a simple downward slope from Beta range to Alpha range. I used a triangle waveform for the binaural. (Somebody on the BwGen mailing list had said brainwaves resembled this particular waveform, so I figured I'd give it a try.) I'm going to attempt to post my presets more often here - I had been holding back, since I honestly felt a lot of them were crap. Of course, if they are crap, I'll let you know, but you never know - one man's crap is another man's manure. You figure somebody might have a use even for some of the more crappy ones.)
This one in particular isn't that crappy - I'm kind of enjoying listening to the tail end of it. I have BwGen running through a Winamp visualizer preset. I find adding a visual component like this often helps assist the binaural. Something about working the ears and eyes with the same stimulus seems to enhance the entrainment.
I also find this works well with reading. I use that Readplease program, which reads aloud text files, and I'll often visually read the text from the page as the computerized voice says each word. The combination of seeing and hearing I find helps me remember whatever the text file says better.
I'm starting to find that if you want "non-sleep" results with delta and theta range binaurals, sometimes the best time to use them is after you've slept already. Otherwise, I find you're just likely to fall asleep.
Now, my vision is terrible. Saying I'm as blind as a bat is probably inaccurate. (Most bats probably have better vision than me.) So I was testing out the 3-4 HZ entry on the Frequency Listing. I had used Cool Edit '96 to generate a 4HZ 'internaural' over some pink noise, and was listening to that with the intent of not falling asleep.
Of course, I just got that new WWE Smackdown game, and my brain was toast from that and the workday, so within about a half-hour, I was out like a light.
The following morning, though, after I slept - I still had the Cooledit file running, so I put the headphones back on. The good news is, I got into a relaxed, but non-sleeping state. The bad news is my vision still sucks. I kind of question that particular entry, since 1) it's very vague, and 2) it's from the Silent Sounds website, which always has reeked of propaganda to me.
On an unrelated note, I added a new song to my AMUC site on mp3.com*. It's called Streetlight Cosmos. Just something I did on a real keyboard. (I'm pretty okay playing musical instruments with keys.) Overall, I like how it came out, save for maybe a teeny-weeny spot where I botched the editing up.
I've been contemplating adding some vocals to my songs. The thing is - I am not comfortable singing. I don't mind making sound effects and the like, but true, honest-to-goodness singing I've always been a bit hesistant to try. I'd prefer to find somebody else that can sing [well].
(MPT 1/3/4 - The mp3.com site is defunct, since it's run by a bunch of heartless corporate wankers. My music is now on soundclick.com.)
I made a preset based on the Harmonic Box method I mentioned in the 10/25/03 entry below. (See the link for the specifics.)
Rather than using just two binaurals - I found you can use more than that. And it produces some incredible results..
Check this Brainwave Generator preset out : 4 Voice Harmonic Box [8 HZ]
Within the description of the preset itself, it gives an explanation of exactly what I did.
Note - This is still largely untested, which is why I'm not posting it to the Brainwave Generator website yet. Use at your own risk. I used it last night, though - and my head didn't explode, nor did hamsters come out of my nostrils, or anything else grotesque like that. So, it seems relatively safe.
Last night, I was experimenting with "interactive" background soundscapes for Brainwave Generator. What I did was buy a really long audio extension cord at Radio Shack, so I could use my microphone a good distance away from my computer. I rigged up something using the Buzz modular music synthesis software, so that it would generate pink noise, and the input from the microphone would 'affect' the texture of the pink noise. I then set the microphone up next to my couch [my favorite sleeping place]. I played a Brainwave Generator preset, and the Buzz-generated background simultaneously, listening to the end result through a pair of remote headphones (remote headphones = godly). If I got bored with the background soundscape, all I had to do was move, and it would change the sound of it.
Incidentally, www.buzzmachines.com was having server problems, but is now back up. I posted a secondary link to download Buzz from, in the event the forementioned site goes down again.
I'm also learning how to make "harmonic boxes" using Brainwave Generator. A harmonic box is a method where you use multiple binaurals at once, arranging them in such a way that the accidental binaurals and monaurals created actually complement the main binaural, either being the same value as it, or being an overtone of it.
There was recent message posted on the Brainwave Generator message board that explains how to do this :
Harmonic Box X method with bwgen
The flash session here is pretty interesting - it merges binaurals with visual stimulation [strobe lights] and words on a screen. I think these three elements together are a powerful combination. When you introduce words to the mix, it kind of brings a whole other part of the brain into the mix.
Also in my online travels, I found this drumming tutorial site. (I'm trying to figure out how drumming works precisely, for my electronic music.) For a real rush, try turning on a whole bunch of the drumming examples at once.
Also, I found a website* which has some good background information on binaural beats. According to the research on this site, the maximum audible tone that binaural beats will work at varies by sex. (Males can hear binaurals at higher pitches than females. And the maximum pitch females can hear binaurals at varies during their <cough> 'cycle'.)
(* MPT 6/27/04 - The website in question no longer seems to exist.)
Check this article out :
Soundless Music Shown To Produce Weird Sensations
I think if anything, this article makes a strong case that subwoofers beyond a certain decibel level should be banned in residential areas. You figure, if people want to use them badly enough, they can always drive out to the middle of nowhere. That way, it's only their anatomy/hearing/mind they'll be mucking around with.
When I say "subwoofers beyond a certain decibel level", I'm talking the real extreme cases. Boomcars with subwoofers so loud, they parallel the volume of a train or rocket taking off. If you really think about it, isn't that the reason why most cities and towns have zoning laws? They do it so you don't have houses sitting right next to factories.
(On a sidenote, I guess there was one case where somebody in a boomcar was killed. (s)He had his subwoofers up so loud, (s)he couldn't hear the train coming.)
Not on vacation anymore.. Which leads me to exactly why I hate vacations so much. Now that I'm back at work, I have to catch up on my work, which pretty much ruins any revitalization my vacation might have given me. (It's particularly impossible to catch up on your workload when the phone is ringing non-stop.)
Check out Alternate Modes Of Underwater Consciousness if you haven't lately. I gave in and am paying www.mp3.com the five bucks a month so I can list all my songs at once. I posted two new 'songs' in the last two weeks. One is just a random noise session I did called "this clock doesn't keep time"*. While it's not a terribly well-structured song, I think I've gotten much better with the mastering of the sound file, and it really shows on this particular mp3. (I've gotten the hang of compression and normalizing and all that crap.) Some of my earlier songs are very well-structured, but the volume levels just weren't quite right.
There's also another mp3 file I uploaded called "Dynamic Noise Soundscape"*. This is more a soundscape that I use for meditation than an actual song. When I'm doing brainwave entrainment sessions in Brainwave Generator, I found the default background noises tended to get monotonous. Even longer background WAVs tend to get boring after a while, since after a few listens, you can anticipate where the sound file is going to lead next.
I dealt with this by using Buzz [powered by MIDI commands from a fractal music program called F-Prot] to create a more organic sort of background noise. (Gourmet background noise?) Even the DNS mp3 doesn't fully capture the spontaneity of this sort of background noise, since you're only getting a one minute clip of it. The best thing about it is the fact if I get bored with it, it's just a matter of clicking any number of randomize buttons in Buzz to change things up. I find it makes for some very good meditation. (It's nice paired up with binaural beats.)
(*MPT 6/20/04 - While most of my music is now on Soundclick, "this clock doesn't keep time" is actually stashed on my garageband.com page. It's a long story.)
Still on vacation.. (Did I mention I HATE vacations? I never know what to do with my free time.)
This Angelic Interference post on the Brainwave Generator mailing list caught my interest - it involves using brainwave entrainment around 40 to 45 HZ to prevent angels from influencing your decision-making. (Yeah, yeah - I know it's far-fetched, but it's colorful at least.)
I have the week off from work, and am cleaning out my computer. This is good for you, since it means I'll probably be uploading some of my Brainwave Generator presets. This one doesn't have a fancy-schmancy sort of name - I'll upload it under its "working name".
It's called [LUN] 7/27/03 [10 hz - open minor chord]. It was basically an attempt to make something with Brainwave Generator a bit more musical. The main binaural in it is 10 hz, which is ideal for relaxed but awake states. Listening to it now, it sounds like you might be able to sneak it into one of those Trance/Electronica songs pretty easily.
Speaking of which, I did upload a new "noise" track to www.mp3.com,although since I'm not a paying artist, they'll probably take their precious time making it available to be heard. (I'll let you know when they finally get around to it.)
This is a very slight adjustment to the Digital Monk Brainwave Generator Preset I had posted on 5/5/03. I adjusted how "deep" the preset gets. The original version would dip all the way down to 5HZ, and I wanted one that would get you into a relaxed state, but not make you TOO drowsy. (Chances are I innovated it at work, where drowsiness would be a bad thing.) It uses the same background as the original Digital Monk preset, so you may already have a copy of it sitting on your computer if you've downloaded that. I'm listening to it now, and it's quite nice.
Preset : Digital Monk (alpha mod)
Background Sound : Digital Monk Background
I'm keeping this short, since I have to work tomorrow. Here's a new Brainwave Generator preset called "Tiny Rubberband". Read the description in Brainwave Generator for more information. I'm listening to it now. It's a very pleasant effect.
I found a program online called Twizla. It's some unusual hybrid between a binaural beat program and a sound visualization application. I'm still figuring out how it works myself.
This is a pretty good website on astral projection/out of body experiences :
Piercing The Veil
It's a little new-agey, but I suppose in order to be into this sort of thing, you need to be either a bit spiritual, or be a techno-geek [like moi].
Some of the advice it gives for triggering an OoBE matches my experiences [in college] pretty closely. For instance, this site suggest sleeping 4-6 hours, then being awake for about an hour or so, and then going back to bed - this sleep cycle tends to lead to more out of body experiences. I will vouch for that - I found they happened most often when I had gotten up at an odd time at night, stayed awake for a while, and then fell back asleep. (I also found if you fall back asleep in the early morning hours, that's usually when an OoBE will happen.)
This site also suggests using brainwave entrainment around 4hz to trigger OoBEs. (This seems to reflect other sources as well.)
Now, as far as whether OoBEs are a case where you're legitimately leaving your body on some level, versus a situation where your brain is creating an elaborate illusion in a half-asleep mental state - I'm not certain. I think the jury is still out on that one.
Rap music sucks.
There - I said it.
I think 20 to 30 years from now, research is going to indicate that excessive ultra-low frequency vibrations are the sonic equivalent of second hand smoke. When I say "ultra-low frequency vibrations", think what is produced by subwoofers - it's the part of the music that you're not audibly hearing, but can actually feel the vibrations at work.
The trouble really begins when these subwoofers are installed on a motor vehicle. Then the person will go driving around in circles, blasting his music as loud as he possibly can. It certainly ruins the quality of life in a residential area. A residential area where you have these "rap music drive-by subwoofer attacks" well into the early morning hours is not going to stay a residential area for long. I think something needs to be done about this, and in many areas - the police are either understaffed or just don't seem to care.
Why am I posting this here? I think it shows how potent a force sound can be - it contributes to the environment that surrounds us, and can make otherwise wonderful environments go down the flusher very easily.
And yes, before anybody raises the point - I'm aware it's not just rap music fans that do the 'subwoofer thing', and I'm also aware not all rap music fans are subwoofer addicts.
Although, realistically - nine times out of ten, around here at least, it does seem to be largely the rap/hip-hop crowd that pulls stunts like that. You don't see people blasting polka from their cars at 3:00 AM very often. And I haven't had to shout at some Garth Brooks fan parked in front of my apartment and disturbing my sleep.
Rant mode off.
Quickie Bwgen Preset ---> Cyclonus.bwg
Here's the background ---> TONO-LOW.WAV
If you downloaded my "Machines" preset a few months back, you may already have the background sound sitting on your computer. This is another child of the original Machines preset. Even "Machines" posted here isn't the original, technically. I don't think I ever posted it.
Cyclonus I find is nice for relaxation/meditation. You have a binaural that fluctuates between lower beta and theta ranges on a 10 minute cycle. During that cycle, the audible tones change a few times to break the monotony. And you have a weird "slow whirlwind" stereo effect created by the background sound.
Give it a listen, why don't you? (I tried posting this one to the Brainwave Generator page, but it wouldn't accept it to due the file size of the background, which is about 800kb.)
Sleep Spindles = Funny-looking waves that hit the most during the tail end of sleep. Bursts of alpha activity [whereas most sleep is theta/delta-dominated as far as brainwaves go]. This article associates them with learning new skills [the brain "rewires" to improve ones performance with newly learned things]. It emphasizes that the last few hours of sleep are the most important :
Another good link I found on the same site : Scientists Create Lullabies From Brainwaves
Sleepy from work.. (To quote Mr. Gumby, "my brain hurts".)
Try this Brainwave Generator preset - I was zoning out nicely to it just now. It's called "Digital Kitty". I don't know where the name came from - I kind of arbitrarily chose it.
Odd that a preset with two 12 HZ binaurals could have that effect. It may be some other characteristic of the sound at work. (Modulation effect, maybe?)
This is a quickie Brainwave Generator preset I did. It's nice for meditation, as it gradually drops from 15 HZ to 5HZ. The background sound I cooked up in Buzz, using Cooledit 96 to master the file a bit. I like the way it came out. Grab it now, before I pull it to make space. (The WAV is about a meg and a half.)
Preset : Digital Monk
Background Sound : Digital Monk Background
Still busy at work.. (I already ranted about HIPAA, and won't bore you to death again.)
Here's a Brainwave Generator preset I cooked up called "Machines" - this is one of the children of the original preset. It's very nice, though - a nice highly-caffeinated sort of meditation piece. The repetition of a very small loop lends itself to meditation, and the 40 HZ binaural gives it a bit of a kick. The background sound has a machine-like drone to it. I had converted a graphic representation of zero-point theory (or something like that) into a noisescape using a synth software called Buzz. (Put background sound in your BWGEN directory.)
Sorry - I've been busy at work for the last week or two, dealing with all these new confidentiality requirements being enacted by that HIPAA law. HIPAA is evil! I mean maintaining confidentiality is very important in a workplace setting, don't get me wrong. However, the way HIPAA spells out how confidentiality is to be maintained seems very anal-retentive to me, and it creates a situation where it's $@#$ impossible to get any work done due to the sheer amount of federal red tape you're being submerged in. Of course, that's just my opinion, and NOT the opinion of my employer. I won't even mention who they are to avoid you connecting them with my opinion. =)
Now as far as music goes, I'm learning the art of mastering audio files - I have enough pieces of songs lying around to publish a CD, and I need to get them all sounding professional [and all at a consistent decibel level]. This webpage had some useful information on mastering music :
(MPT 7/11/04 - Syntrillium no longer exists - Adobe bought the rights to Cooledit.)
I also published a rough draft of an 'album', so I could go driving around in a car, playing the results. I find that's sometimes the best place to determine what songs sound the best, and which need further work. Your brain seems more aware of musical ear candy when you're driving an automobile. Perhaps it's because you're being bombarded with new visual scenery every second as the music plays - it's almost like a never-ending music video. Unfortunately, I only have a tape player in my car, so I had to burn to a CD - then record to a cassette tape. (Blah!)
I'm also working on a new song called "The Autumn Bed" - it's based on the various modes of F Minor. I might upload it to MP3.COM someday, when I get around to it.
(*Note - I had to pull this preset for the time being to make room for another. I'll probably restore it once I have a chance to convert the WAV to a lower-res version. MIKE 5/3/03)
Yet another [Brainwave Generator] preset - this one has some nice chord transitions. I will sit around at my musical keyboard, coming up with various combinations that seem to work well together. I find that a major triad [P1/M3/P5] going into a fourth chord with an added minor sixth (P1/P4/m6) - this seems to have nice results. I also have played around with another technique - taking the entire preset, abbreviating it into a very brief duration [saying 0.10 seconds], and using this sped up version of the preset as the background of the preset [Bwgen can loop it over and over again]. This potentially could be used to create some very rhythmatic backgrounds for Bwgen. Say you take the entire preset, and abbreviate it to a 4 second duration - then save it to a WAV. Then do the same thing for a 7 second duration, and save that to a WAV - then merge the two waves together using a duration that can accomodate both loops [say, 28 seconds]. This would create a nice rhythm, (If you want to make the background WAV smaller, you can always use smaller durations - what matters most isn't the actual durations used, but the ratio between the two durations.)
*NOT AVAILABLE*But, I digress - this is the preset : 3/25/03.bwg
*NOT AVAILABLE*And, this is the background WAV - put in BwGen folder : 3/25/03.wav
*NOT AVAILABLE* Note - that is the HI-RES version of the WAV. It's about a meg and a half. I'm putting it up for now, but if my allowable bandwidth measuring thingy begins to act up, I'll probably replace it with a lower res version. (READ : Download it while you can.)
And, sorry - I couldn't come up with a clever name for this preset - if you want to rename it something like :
"Abduction By Bikini-Clad Babes From Alpha Centurai"
"Spontaneous Combustion For Fun And Profit PRESET"
.. then be my guest. (Not that I'm saying it will do any of that stuff, but hey - we can dream, can't we?)
This is another [Brainwave Generator] test preset I did - I'm still tinkering with new ways to transition from one binaural to the next, rather than just use a simple ramp up or down from one binaural to the next. With this file, I use the technique I describe below on 3/16/03, but also incorporate a standard ramp as a third voice, kind of keeping it low, just to help guide the brain from one binaural to the next one. For the first segment, it transitions from a 12 HZ binaural to a 14 HZ binaural. Voice #1 is the 12 HZ, which gradually fades out. Voice #2 is the 14 HZ, which gradually fades in. Voice #3 is the "mover", which is a very low volume, but does gradually increase from 12 HZ to 14 HZ. The second part does essentially the same thing, but instead goes from 14 HZ down to 8 hz. The audio tones chosen produce some nice chords in the process, with the first two voices staying the same pitch, and the third chord gradually shifting as the binaural changes over the course of the preset. (The audible tone of the third voice creates some nice enharmonic flangering effects with the audible tones of voices #1 and #2.)
As far as "uses" of the preset go - eh, no intended use in particular - so I probably won't be uploading it to the BwGen preset archive anytime soon. I find it makes for some nice ear candy, however.
I am experimenting with a new means of transitioning from one binaural to another in Brainwave Generator. Normally, what I would do is introduce a binaural at a set frequency, and then gradually lower the frequency to whatever state I was trying to achieve. With this example I am trying a different approach. I have two separate binaurals, one at the "before" frequency, and one at the "after" frequency - at the beginning of the preset, I start with the "before" binaural at 100% volume. Over a 10 minute period, the volume of this gradually goes down to zero. For the "after" binaural, this one starts at 0% volume, and rises to 100% over the 10 minute period. So, you gradually switch from the "before" binaural [12 HZ, in the example] to the "after" binaural [8 HZ for this example]. Around the 5 minute mark, both binaurals are at 50% volume.
So far, I've had nice results with this transition method. But I'm still testing it out.
Note to self - I find I have consistently good results with the "In The Moment" preset for Brainwave Generator when my sinus congestion hampers the circulation around my eyes. I had difficulty reading the menu at Dunkin Donuts today because my sinus congestion was so bad, it was really cutting into the bloodflow to my eyes. Listening to this seemed to help a little bit. While the congestion isn't completely gone, it certainly feels better. (I probably need to tweak the nose supports on this pair of glasses as well - it tends to weigh down the bridge of my nose the way it's set up now, which probably doesn't help things any.)
Sorry I've been quiet lately. I needed to equip my new computer to web-publish.
Regarding what I had said below about finding a binaural that might have rejuvenation effects. Realistically, I don't think we're going to find a sonic fountain of youth or anything. Although, one frequency range that might be worth dabbling with is circa 1.05 HZ. This is what the entry says on the Frequency List :
1.05 Helps hair grow + get its color back [RA]; pituitary stimulation to release growth hormone (helps develop muscle, recover from injuries, rejuvenation effects) [HSW]
This seems to be hopeful - you both have the mention of growth hormone, which others have associated with rejuvenation effects. And then you have a second source mentioning "Helps hair grow and get its color back".
Of course, the problem is - I'm not sure binaural beats work quite that low. I've heard that binaurals do not work below around 4 HZ. I'm not certain if that has any rational basis, though. It might just be an old wife's tale (old computer geek's tale?).
Check this WAV file out - it's called Static Downtime. I had used as a background in a Brainwave Generator preset, and it had nice results. It was generated by an application called Coagula, which is a hybrid art program/sound generator. You can use it paint a pretty picture, and it can render that picture into this organic-sounding WAV file. (They sound phenomenal, since they tend to take full advantage of the separate left and right channels, creating some very neat stereo effects.)
From http://www.renewtrientstore.com/neotropin.html :
Growth hormones decline with age in every animal species that have been tested to date. On a daily basis, humans produce about 500 micrograms at 20 years for age, 200 micrograms at 40 years, and 25 micrograms at 80 years old.
This site links the reduction of Growth Hormone to the aging process. (It also incidentally attempts to sell you on some miracle drug to reverse the aging process.)
Now, while I'm not advocating that you go rushing out to purchase whatever drug this company is selling.. Theoretically, if we can determine what brainwave frequency encourages the production of growth hormones, and then use binaural beats to coax our brainwaves to that frequency, would the results have anti-aging effects?
When you consider that as you get older, your waking state brainwaves gradually rise, and as you get older, your growth hormone production rate diminishes.. Perhaps these two things are tied together. If children produce the most growth hormone, and have waking state brainwaves in the theta and alpha range, I think THAT is where we need to go for rejuvenation effects. (Heck, infants have brainwaves that are dominated by delta waves - that's why we remember so little from that early on in our lives.)
So, you figure the range worth testing for rejuvenation effections would be 10 HZ and below.. I think the Delta Range offers the most promise - this is below 4 HZ or so. The brainwaves of adults get down this low during deep sleep. (And I don't think they call it 'Beauty Sleep' for nothing.. )
This would be something that Brainwave Generator would be very useful in testing.. (Now I'm tempted to make a preset..)
I call this preset "My God, It's Full Of Stars". I'm still tinkering with the volume/phase modulation effects from yesterday, but I also incorporated some chords into the mix. The base frequency the chords are built on is 215 HZ, half of 430 HZ, which some say is a better base than 440 HZ for music. For binaurals, I use 10 HZ for all the voices. Each voice modulates in volume twice as fast as the prior voice [counting background and noise]. None of them modulate in phase with each other.
I'm still getting the kinks out of it, but I got such euphoric results with it, I'm throwing a copy online for any willing guinea pigs out there. (Just don't blame me if you develop pyrokinetic powers and manage to blow up your refrigerator, or develop the ability to telepathically communicate with gorgeous alien babes from Alpha Centurai, who abduct you and take you away on their spacecraft.)
The background sound for this preset you might already have - if not, here's a copy of it : (10k-20k.WAV) It was used on another preset I uploaded to the Brainwave Generator page.
This Brainwave Generator preset is a weird curiosity. I had actually been trying to make a preset based on the 1.05 HZ entry on the frequency list. The entry associates this frequency with regrowing hair, and getting your original hair color back.
Now, the end result I got is much different. (Of course, it's hard to test if the 'hair' part actually works - since the results wouldn't be immediate for that.)
I had used 1.05 HZ for the binaural beats, BUT, I also was inspired by another Brainwave Generator preset [Theta Relaxer by email@example.com], and added volume modulation to the various voices at 1.05 HZ. I find this has a terrific potency. (I've also heard that binaurals won't work under 4 HZ or so, for whatever reason.)
Anyways, this preset has three voices, plus a layer of pink noise. All these elements modulate in volume at 1.05 times a second. Each is out of phase with the others, and it creates almost a "circling" sort of feeling.
I found when I listened to this, it was very entrancing - I got very close to sleep, and had some "audio dreams." (When I say audio dreams, I mean that sort of dream where there's no visual component - you only get these random soundbites playing in your mind's ear. It's almost like you're hearing the audio portion of some television show or an old radio show.)
Give this a listen - and if you have interesting results, give me some feedback.
It's been kind of crazy the last few weeks - in the HMO world, this is called "Open Enrollment Season". For those not familiar with open enrollment season, it's what keeps manufacturers of aspirin, valium, and alcohol in business. Basically, it's the HMO equivalent of hell.
Although, this has given me a lot of incentive to fine-tune my Brainwave Generator presets that deal with concentration and sinus congestion relief.
For the former, I've been tinkering with my Too Much Coffee preset. I lowered the volume on the voice that has the audible tone that shoots way up - I found it was overkill. I also paired it up with a different background sound that I designed in Cool Edit - I find it's more bassy, and creates a better contrast to the higher pitched tone that contains the binaural. I was using it at work with some good results. Moderate sinus congestion relief and a heck of an energy kick.
So, here's a modified Too Much Coffee preset. Here's the new background sound you need for it : 1.8 HZ flangered noise. This background is actually a lower resolution version of the one I used, but I'm listening to it now, and it hasn't lost any of its impact, really.
I've also put some thought into brainwave frequencies, and how each corresponds to different levels of data entry. (For those computer gearheads out there like me who do a lot of data processing.)
I find 8 HZ is where you typically are at with the REALLY repetitive, montonous stuff - the sort of entry that requires the least thought. The stuff where you're not even going to remember what you were typing 15 minutes later.
10 HZ is a little more involved stuff, but still fairly easy - this is where you begin having information to enter that is relevant for one person in particular. (Name/Social/Address/etc) - it's still very easy, though. 10 HZ is a good level to be at when you want to be alert, yet not feel all stressed out. In terms of brainwaves, it translates out to "happy, yet awake." Sources seem to attribute 10 HZ to good listening skills, since you can easily go up into the low beta range if you need to do some intense thinking, and easily go down into the theta range for some creative problem solving. (Theta range is very good for creative problem solving - that's why when you have a complex problem that needs to be dealt with, sometimes the best thing to do is sleep over it. Your subconscious mind will chew the proverbial cud while you sleep.)
12 HZ and up is for the more elaborate data entry - generally, the more numbers you have to enter, the higher up you want to be with your brainwave frequency. (You don't want to be TOO high up, though - you'll just get yourself all spazzed out, which actually can lead to slower data entry and more errors.)
12-14 HZ also seems good for data entry where you're running into one problem after another - as opposed to that data entry that requires you to just type, with minimal thinking. (We've all had stacks of paper to be processed that were like this - where every single application was a big mess, and required a highly specialized strategy to deal with properly.)
This is another new brainwave generator preset. Somebody had told me in Instant Messages that they had luck meditating with 3.5 HZ binaural beats. "Feeling Of Unity With Everything" and "Remedy For Depression & Anxiety" are two things that seem associated with this frequency. I put together a quickie preset that gradually ramps down from 12 HZ down to 3.5 HZ. It uses a rather low audible tone to carry the binaural. Listening to it makes me feel a little strange - I'm still testing it out, though. Perhaps I can come up with some better words to describe the feeling after a few more listens.
The preset is called 'Many Were So Submerged' - it's a reference to a Spock's Beard song.
This is a Brainwave Generator preset I've been meaning to post for a while now. It's more artistic than it is practical, so I'm not posting it on the Brainwave Generator webpage. (I had posted a similar preset like this before, and the response I got was something to the effect of "you have WAY too much free time on your hands"..)
The preset is called Sinus Music Scale, It's similar to another preset I had posted here called Sinus Music. I basically took all the Rife frequencies associated with sinus congestion and other related problems, and arranged them into a musical scale, using higher and lower octaves of some to fill in the gaps. I then used them to create 'music' of sorts. (Well, it's more like a series of droning chords that gradually change - the end result is very mesmerizing though.) For the binaural beats used, I wasn't that picky, really - they begin "high" and work their way lower - and gradually go back up again. You'll feel a little drowsy as you get into it about five minutes. I found myself having a lot of spoken word dreams as well, with random thoughts entering your mind as they often do when you're on the verge of falling asleep.
I also posted a quickie MP3 to my artist page - it's called A Desire To Rewind. Very new-agey, with a mock slide flute that sounds very convincing.. It's only about a minute and some odd seconds long. I had been considereding expanding it, but it seemed best not to tamper with something that worked. Here's the link :
(Addendum 5/6/04 - The link now goes to my Soundclick site. MP3.com ceased to be. (Or ceased to be anything relevant, at least.)
It's been a wacky few weeks - every happens at once. My car is in desperate need of replacing. My computer was supposed to get new memory chips EIGHT weeks ago, except Compaq dropped the ball and won't take some responsibility for their multiple bungles. (Do NOT -ever- purchase any parts from Compaq directly - I'm not sure who is worse - their customer service or the shippers they use.)
So, I've been a little busy, to say the least.
I did manage to program a nice ambient soundscape - it's about four minutes long. It's called "Choir On The Endless Sky". You can download the MP3 here :
It's a little long to be used as a Brainwave Generator background, but it's a beautiful listen by itself, and I suppose you could also convert it to a WAV and do some selective clipping to get it down to the right size to be a Brainwave Generator background.
(This ambient soundscape is currently available online, except it's on Soundclick now, not that OTHER site, which sold its artists down the river quite a while ago. -MPT 10/17/05)
I'm also tinkering with a bunch of other stuff. I found a neat numerology book which gives a table that lets you convert a person's name into numbers - and if you can convert their name into numbers, you can also convert their name into various harmonic intervals and chords. (A chord basically is a relationship between three or more numbers. An interval is a relationship between two numbers. 3:2, for instance - is a Perfect Fifth.)
I also have been playing with the frequencies a fellow named Hans Cuosto came up with - he basically took the revolutions and rotations of planets, and converted them into sound frequencies mathematically. (He takes the fraction of the revolution a planet completes in one second, and then raises it by doubling the octave until its in the audible hearing range.)
While I am not convinced these tones have any special properties [like Cuosto suggests] I think this sort of thing has musical potential. Say you're doing a musical piece on the planet Mars, for instance - what better sound frequency to use for the composition than the note associated with the planet Mars? You can base all your other notes from this one central frequency. (i.e. an altered tuning.)
I finally have a lead about what those "Pyramid Frequencies" on my compiled Frequency list mean (thanks to Kyle Creasey) - he directed me to this website.
"Dr. Carl Benedicks (a Swedish scientist) discovered that the pyramid produced a resonance or frequency inside."
So, I take it the Pyramid Frequency (inside) of 33.0 HZ is the resonance frequency inside the pyramid. As far as what the Pyramid Frequency (outside) of 9.41 HZ represents, I'm still stumped.
This is a quickie Brainwave Generator Script I came up with - it's very simple, but seems to produce nice results. Basically, it's just a binaural that begins around 10 HZ, and goes up 25 HZ. Somebody had said 25 HZ can help with anxiety. (I'm cynical of this - at best, it might create some kind of overkill jogger's high which creates a feeling of euphoria for short durations, but I bet it would cause more stress for prolonged periods of time.) I kept the audible tone very low and consistent. That sudden rising pitch into the "dolphin" range as the binaurals go up - it drives me kooky.
I found as the binaural rose from 10-18 HZ, my vision got better due to the circulation in my head clearing up. I found it easier to focus, and reading complicated text became much easier. I still haven't listened to the whole thing all the way through though.
[P.S. - Some feel 16 HZ causes "calcium ion migration" in the brain - if you feel this is dangerous, you can always reprogram the binaural to quickly skip over 16 HZ, going from 15 HZ quickly up to 17 HZ or whatever.]
I found some basic information on Solfeggio Tones. The word Solfeggio comes from the notion of using syllables to replicate musical scales - think The Sound Of Music. (You know? Do, a deer, a female deer, Re, a drop a golden sun, Mi, a name I call myself.. yadda yadda.)
The context the person on the Brainwave Generator group was using Solfeggio Tones in seems different though. The Solfeggio Tones spoken of here seem to be in reference to some 'research' by a Dr Leonard Horowitz and a Dr Joseph Puleo. Supposedly they discovered a six note musical scale formed from mathematics hidden within the Bible. It's strongly implied that the various sound frequencies that comprise this scale have healing properties of some sort, but being the left-brainer that I am, I remain cynical of that - I've yet to find any accurate description of how Horowitz and Puleo 'discovered' this scale in the Bible. I'd be very interested in determining that.
This was one webpage I found that described their work - there's not much detail, but it's sufficient for an overview.
I'm trying to figure out what Solfeggio Tones are. Somebody mentioned them on the Brainwave Generator message board. Here's my websearch on them. I'll probably post a definition on the glossary page once I collect enough info.
I'm also [as usual] trying to find sonic means of improving vision and reduce sinus headaches. The Brainwave/Cymatics list has an entry saying 3-4 HZ affects physical vision, but it doesn't say how it affects it exactly. It's kind of a tricky frequency to experiment with, since normally I do this through my headphones at work - and unfortunately, any brainwave entrainment affects at such a low frequency would make you very drowsy, if not putting you asleep completely. (Sleep at work = bad.) To offset this, when testing 3-4 HZ brainwave entrainment effects, I typically will include a 14 HZ brainwave entrainment effect with it, to keep me awake..
I've also been tinkering with mixing noise with different rates of modulation together - it creates something similar to odd-time drum beats. I think there' a lot of potential for noise to be used for percussion in music. Noise enhanced by various effects not only can simulate many of the sounds of your standard drumkit, but I'd argue it probably has more flexibility, since you can literally create "noise" percussion sounds based on an infinite number of pitch settings, modulations, and other sound-enhancing effects.
I'm also working on yet another song for my MP3 Artist Page. This one may be the first to have some dubbed over voices [if I can get copyright permission]. Also, the Structure/Dementia* MP3 Station is also constantly being updated. (It's a diverse tapestry of different kinds of electronica - I prefer the stuff that is melody-driven over that "dance floor"-type stuff.)
(*Structure/Dementia doesn't exist anymore. It was one of the casualties when Mp3.com decided to sell everybody down the river. MPT 1/14/04)
Check out "Derailed In A Train Of Thought"* on my Alternate Modes Of Underwater Consciousness page. It's a piece of progressive electronica that I did.. I tried to build it up around variations of one recurring melodic theme, and I like the way it came out..
(MPT 6/20/04 - While my current AMUC page is really on Soundclick, this particular song actually exists on a garageband.com page I have. They saved MP3.com's archive of music apparently, and let me restore three of the songs there for free.)
It's been a hellishly busy week for me - aside from the usual chaos at work, I'm in the process of trying to get a car (one that actually WORKS), and find a functional, but portable bed. (I've been in the habit of having unorthodox furniture for sleeping - hell, I could probably fall asleep standing up if I tried hard enough. Although, ten years from now, I don't want to be making some chiropractor rich - so I probably want to get a real bed.)
Anyways, that's why I've been so quiet. I created a new song for my Alternate Modes Of Underwater Consciousness page on MP3.com - it's not up yet, though - I like the results, for the most part. The song is [or will be] called "Derailed In A Train Of Thought". The music really lives up to the name.
I'm also working on some newer electronic music that incorporates brainwave entrainment into the mix - I found a nice combination of panning modulation, reverb, and synthesized sounds that will make your head stand on end. I see potential here - using frequencies in the beta range for more "exciting"/"tense" parts of the music, and then using the lower ranges [theta and below] for the dreamier, more calm musical passages.
On what I was saying in the do this with 7/22/02 entry, I hit a slight problem trying to brainwave entrainment where you could - in order to do this, you'd need to find a way use sound to affect one hemisphere of the brain or the other separately, and sound I guess doesn't work like thatmore "affected" by . The left side of the brain isn't sounds in the right ear or anything like thattakes the sounds from . Basically the brain both ears and sound. That's the basis [does its best to] merge them into a singular for binaural beats slightly different sounds - the brain's [failed] attempt to merge too together.
So, in order to use the research below to affect moods, perhaps you'd need to use some other medium to do the brainwave entrainment with. Possibly applying alpha-rate pulsing lights to one eye, and beta-rate pulsing lights to the other? I wonder if they sell goggles that let you create strobe-light effects, but at different rates per eye. That's what you would probably have to do.
I suppose you could use ultra-low frequencies, not intended to be heard, but felt - in order to create the brainwave entrainment with different frequencies for each side of the head. I have a pair of "bass-heavy" headphones I bought that suck terribly for listening to music - perhaps those would work.
You could also do it with electromagnetic fields, a slower one [alpha range] applied to the side of the head of the mood you were trying to "relax", and a faster one [beta range] applied to the side of the head of the mood you were trying to "stimulate". So, if right side controls "sad" and left side controls "happy".. To create happiness, you'd want to the alpha frequency on the right side, and the beta frequency on the left side. And to create sadness, reverse it. (Play with electromagnetic fields at your own risk, though - there are devices on the market that use electromagnetic fields for brainwave entrainment.)
Wired For Sadness, Discover Magazine
It's late, so I'm going to make this quick - let me just say this article gave me an idea. I think you could create brainwave entrainment sounds based on this research here to affect a person's mood. I could see two potential uses - one is as an anti-depressant. The other is as a depressant. (I know, you may ask "what possible use could the latter have?" - but hey, sad songs sell.)
I'll get around to uploading the Cooledit Preset Library I was talking about on 7/18/02. I haven't created many subscales. I typically will arrange them when my job is very slow, and I'm only doing one thing at a time - which wasn't happening last week. I was doing on average 600 or so work-related tasks at once, and my sonic tinkering is the first thing to go when things get busy [read : INSANE] like that.
I'm also working an equal-temperment version of that 20 note scale - something where every note is the same ratio relative to the last. It tends to make for a more flexible scale, although you might not get as "nice"-sounding intervals.
In the meantime, here's a bunch of windscapes for the Buzz-enthusiasts out there that will make you feel like a million bucks. This is a ZIP file with about five very small Buzz songfiles in it. (If you don't have Buzz, sorry.. I might do these up as MP3 files when I get a chance.)
Play these in Buzz using a good pair of stereo headphones to listen. "Light off" all three pink noise generators by raising the "Initial" slide up for each. And make sure you hit "Play" as well.
One of the noise generators I rigged up to a Rymix's Flaserbox Effect and his Stereobox Effect as well, and it turns the brain into jello. It gives it a nice massage.
The other two noise generators are hooked up to modulator effects. I rig it so the noise goes back and forth from one ear to the other at a rate of 8HZ and 12HZ respectively. (Except for the last couple song files, where I changed the 12 HZ to 14 HZ, and the 8HZ I dropped down to a very slow 0.322 HZ.)
I'm still experimenting with the scale I mentioned on 7/13/02 - I guess a good name of it would be the "nickel" scale, since the multipliers run 1.05, 1.10, 1.15, etc relative to the base frequency. This isn't an equal temperment scale - which might be one of the flaws of it. Unlike the Western 12 note scale, each note is not the same amount up relative to the last. This means it would be tricky to play something that would require changing the key of the music midway through - at least on standardized musical instrument. Computers can get around limitations like this, since they don't need to be tuned to a specific scale - the entire range of sound frequencies is open to them at once.
I have been creating subscales using some of the notes of this scale. I created a version of the "major scale" that uses the following multipliers relative to the base frequency - 1.0, 1.10, 1.25, 1.35, 1.5, 1.7, 1.9, 2.0. (So, for 200 HZ, that would be the following frequencies in the scale : 200, 220, 250, 270, 300, 340, 380, 400.) It sounds very similar to the major scale of Western Music, except it has a slightly different "color" to it - it's a subtle difference. I'm doing up a Cooledit Script with examples of all these scales.
There's also a "piano" script for Cooledit I'm working on. It lets you try out the various chords of this nickel scale. Some are very similar to the chords of Western Music. [The major and minor triads of this scale are nice]. There are some other chords that are more alien to us (like the 1.0-1.15-1.5 combination of tones). And, of course, there are some tones that sound as bad as a chorus of car horns honking. (It's to be expected.)
Hopefully, I should have that Cooledit Script file loaded by this weekend.
Im experimenting with a chromatic
musical scale based on the number 20. The ratios it uses for each
note runs like this - 21/20, 22/20, 23/20, 24/20, 25/20, 26/20 ..
all the way to 40/20, which would be an octave relative to the
base frequency. In decimal format, that would be 1, 1.05, 1.10, 1.15,1.20,1.25,
etc .. until you hit 2.0. You just multiply the base frequency by
any of these values to generate the various notes of the scale.
Say 200 HZ is the base frequency.. These would be the notes :
|1.05||Flat Semitone/Subminor Second||210 HZ||Semitone of Western Music has a multiplier of 1.059.|
|1.10||Flat Wholetone/Submajor Second||220 HZ||Wholetone of Western Music has multiplier of 1.122.|
|1.15||Subminor Third||230 HZ||It's midway between the wholetone [1.122] and minor third [1.189] of Western music. It has a nice sound to it used in conjunction with the base frequency and the perfect fifth. (A minor triad using the subminor third in place of a minor third.) Also creates some interesting effects using it with the diminished fifth [1.45] in this scale.|
|1.20||Just Minor Third||240 HZ||This is the purest minor third of them all, based on the ratio of 6:5 (1.20). Western music uses a minor third of 1.189. Usually the "just" version of an interval creates the beautiful harmonies. In the case of a minor third, though - we're so damn used to the "color" of the minor third of Western Scale, a just minor third sounds strange to us used in chords. (Blame it on heavy metal, who made a living off the minor third of Western Music.)|
|1.25||Just Major Third||250 HZ||A just major third, based on the ratio of 5:4 (aka 1.25). This scale hits the major third perfectly - the diatonic scale of Western music has a slight error, coming only as close as 1.256. There is a beautiful harmony between a just major third and the base frequency.|
|1.30||Flattened Fourth||260 HZ||One of the few notes this microtonal scale 'fails' on - it doesn't hit a Perfect Fourth well, which would be 1.33333. Instead, you get two imperfect fourths in 1.30 and 1.35 - you can probably get around this by sliding between them if you're using an instrument that leds you glide. Or perhaps quickly play back and fourth between the two.|
|1.35||Sharpened Fourth||270 HZ||See above note.|
|1.40||Augmented Fourth AKA The Tritone AKA The Devil's Note||280 HZ||It's the "tritone", the bane of the Roman Catholic Church and the love of grunge and hardcore musicians everywhere. It possesses the weakest harmonic relationship with the base frequency, but it's not completely without it's charm. Blues will often use it as a quick transition between the Perfect Fourth and Fifth.|
|1.45||Half-Diminished Fifth?||290 HZ||The "tritone" is sometimes called a diminished fifth, so I guess technically this would be a half-diminished fifth. Not something you see in Western Music at all. I think it's uses are limited, but it possesses a strange harmonic relationship with the subminor third. You might also try it in conjunction with the just minor sixth and harmonic seventh, and possibly the supramajor seventh.|
|1.50||Just Perfect Fifth||300 HZ||A 'just' perfect fifth, based on the ratio 3/2 - the diatonic scale of Western music doesn't hit this perfectly. (Although it comes reasonably close.) So, as far as this note goes, this is an improvement over the Western diatonic scale.|
|1.55||Subminor Sixth||310 HZ||I haven't really tinkered with this one yet. It might be a good transition point from the fifth to sixth, but it's uses are probably rather limited.|
|1.60||Just Minor Sixth||320 HZ||Based on frequency 8 to 5 (i.e. 32/20) - this is what Western Music strives to achieve with its minor sixth, but doesn't quite hit it on the nose.|
|1.65||Neutral Sixth||330 HZ||This one kind of runs midway between the minor and major sixth of Western music - I'mnot sure how useful it would be.|
|1.70||Supramajor Sixth||340 HZ||This is a case where Western music's major sixth comes closer to the just ratio of 5:3. Western music's major sixth is 1.682xbase frequency. The just major sixth would be 1.667xbase frequency.|
|1.75||Harmonic Seventh AKA Subminor Seventh AKA Augmented Sixth||350 HZ||This one is a very special ratio - 7/4 - which is very alien to Western music, but is used frequently in music in other cultures. The closest thing we have to this in western music is a minor seventh [1.782xbase frequency] - but the harmonic seventh is more pleasant than the minor seventh, and has a different 'color' to it.|
|1.80||Just Minor Seventh||360 HZ||The name for this one is debatable - some consider the truest minor seventh to be the ratio of 16:9, or 1.7778xbase frequency. And some consider it to be 9:5, which is what 1.80xbase frequency is. The minor seventh of western music is 1.782xbase frequency. So depending on which one you consider to be the 'true' just minor seventh, the minor seventh of this microtonal scale either hits it perfectly, or is even further off that that of Western Music|
|1.85||Submajor Seventh||370 HZ||It's a little bit lower than both a just major seventh [1.875] and the Western major seventh [1.8888].|
|1.90||Supramajor Seventh||380 HZ||Slightly higher than the just major seventh. So, essentially, this microtonal scale gives you two major sevenths you can experiment with.|
|1.95||Diminished Octave||390 HZ||This is a strange one - there's nothing in Western music like this. I'm not sure how useful it is. I haven't really played with it yet.|
|2.00||Octave||400 HZ||Your run-of-the-mill octave - and so the scale begins again.|
Of course, you don't need to use every "note" in this scale at once - like the diatonic scale of Western music, you can create subscales using some of the notes. (Really, it's very rare that all the notes of Western music are used at once [i.e. the chromatic scale].) Since you have more notes to choose from, I think this 20 note to an octave scale would give you more flexibility in creating subscales.
No, I'm not dead - I've just been doing a lot of stuff lately that really isn't worth posting here - I've been reading up on the soundtracks for film music. Some of the chords and other techniques used in horror movies are fascinating - like the "Hitchcock chord" - which is a minor triad with a major seventh - it's very unsettling. I've also been "researching" the soundtracks used in cartoons and video games. (READ : I've been watching a lot of cartoons and playing a lot of video games.)
I also had been playing with some Brainwave Generator presets - nothing really developed or terribly useful, though [yet]. I had been tinkering with using Brainwave Generator presets that start at an awake mental state [12 HZ] and gradually go down into the "tweener" state, almost asleep but not quite [8 HZ]. I've been doing artwork while wearing headphones with the binaural beats being pumped in, to see if I got more 'creative' ideas for art pieces while my brainwaves were down around 8 HZ. (Has anybody ever tried anything like this?)
I thought of a way to create new harmonic intervals. (Interval=two tones played together). Before I can explain, I need to go over some background information first :
So, my idea is to create a sweet and sour "chord". Have a root tone [say 100 HZ], and then put in one ear a major third to the root tone [i.e. a 125 HZ tone], and put in the other ear a minor third to the root tone [i.e a 120 HZ tone]. So, you're creating a happy harmonic interval in one ear, and a more ominous harmonic interval in the other. I am curious how the brain will assemble the two tones together.
This incidentally, also creates a binaural. You have a 120 HZ tone in one ear, and a 125 tone in the other. So you get a 5HZ binaural between those two tones.
I cooked this up in Cool Edit, and listened to it with headphones. The end result : I found 100 HZ was slightly too low to really appreciate the harmonic relationships at work, BUT -- what a hell of a kick the binaural had. Whoever said lower tones tend to make more potent binaurals wasn't kidding. It made my brain feel like JELLO.. (In a good sort of way - that probably needs to be pointed out, since usually brains being made to feel like JELLO would be considered a not so good thing.)
You can download the file here - it's a CoolEdit Script file (MORE2.SCP) - you want unzip it, and put it in your CoolEdit directory - and then load it in under the "Cool Scripts" option, and then run the one at the very top, that begins "100HZw5bin". (The other scripts there are other random tinkering I've done in Cooledit - feel free to try them out too.)
Also, this is a simple Brainwave Generator preset that's on a similar theme. It's called NEW HARMONY. I think the only significant difference is I introduce a 14 HZ binaural to the root tone. I was at work, and 5hz binaurals tend not to make for productivity, so I need something higher to counteract it. I found the CoolEdit script had more pronounced results, though.. (If you have no idea what Brainwave Generator is, go here.)
Finally, I uploaded a new electronic song to my MP3 artist page - it's called The Nightmare Muse. It's the epilogue to a very long piece of composed electronica that I haven't programmed yet -- er, actually I have. It's just in a million files on my computer, desperately in need of some arrangement. Give it a listen, why don't you? Dig the thumbnail I'm using for it.. :
(Sorry - The Nightmare Muse track is currently not available online since my mp3.com artist page is defunct. I have an artist page on Soundclick now. Once I've had a chance to remaster this track, it will appear there. ( http://www.soundclick.com/AMUC ) - MPT 1/14/04.)
I want to learn more about the frequency 432 HZ - somebody had included it in a Brainwave Generator preset, and seeing I don't have it on my frequency list, I wanted to get a better idea what its significance is. (I guess some earlier cultures used it for their "A" note instead of 440 HZ..)
Universal Dances 432 is a webpage that gives some information about 432 HZ. It's kind of hazy, though - one of those informational webpages that makes you go "Hm".
The Brainwave Generator preset that included this tone is 'Astral Projection 22/40' by Big Phil. You can find it near the top of the Brainwave Generator 3.1 Presets Listing.
I also did a Vivisimo Search using 432 HZ as the search phrase. Here are the results. One of the summaries for the links there listed 432 HZ as the "Sun Tone", which has really fired up my curiosity..
I'm experimenting with using natural "space noises" as the background for brainwave entrainment files. When I say space noises, these more often than not are electromagnetic disturbances from space that interfere with radio. (Since true sound doesn't exist in space, technically..)
What I did was I used the "Big Bang" WAV from this page as the background, and then used CoolEdit to add a 14 HZ brainwave entrainment carrier over it. (Cooledit uses phase modulation for the brainwave entrainment - the left and right channels move in and out of phase with each other 14 times each second..)
14 HZ, incidentally - seems to help maintain mental alertness. And I find it tends to give me a quick energy boost. It must enhance the production of the body's natural stimulants and painkillers, I'm willing to bet.
P.S. - the sounds on that page would also be good for the background of Brainwave Generator presets, I'm willing to bet. It might take some clipping to make a sound that plays continously with no pauses, but that's pretty simple.
Okay, that damn CROW is outside my window again, tormenting me - I discovered she has her nest in the tree that practically hangs above my kitchen window - so I get to hear the crow be territorial all day - I gave up trying to ward it off, though - now I'm trying to record the sucker - you figure I might be able to make some interesting ear candy out of it. Also, I doubt a crow could sue me for sampling him/her - they typically don't have the cash to hire a lawyer..
On another tangent, my "intuition preset" for Brainwave Generator - I kind of lost interest in it for now. I'm giving my mind a break to rekindle itself. Although, I did get an interesting email, suggesting that possibly gamma waves [40hz] could be used in conjunction with delta waves to create a sonic environment where one achieves the mental state associated with sleep, while supressing the sleep itself, and possibly minizimizing the fragmented thinking that often comes with sleep. So, I tinkered a little bit with my intuition script to test this theory out..
I eliminated the staticky backdrop that gradually was introduced as the binaurals descended into the "sleep" range - I honestly think that might have contributed more to the sleep than the binaurals themselves did. Perhaps the 40 HZ binaural does somewhat neutralize the effects of the descending binaurals. I also made another adjustment - I dropped the bottom point the binaurals descend to well into the range of deep sleep [while maintaining the 40 hz binaural throughout]. I'm still playing with the preset myself, but if you're interested in checking it out, here it is -- I call it Gamma/Theta Test. Again, if you download it, all risk is yours. Let me know if you have any interesting results with it.. (By 'interesting', I mean stuff like ESP, Out Of Body Experiences, Kundalini Awakenings, Telekinesis, Encounters With Attractive Bikini-Clad Angels From Dimension X, etc..)
I'm still working on my brainwave generator presets to create bursts of intuition in people - see below for the details and the method to my madness. Here's a new version of my intuition preset. (It's called Intuition3 - there was no Intuition 2 - actually, there was, but it sucked, so I probably won't post it.)
I made a couple changes to this version - First, I introduced a true 40 HZ binaural, rather than just having a 40 HZ audible tone - somebody suggested that a binaural would work better, since it would help create brainwave synchronization that an audible tone may not create. I used a 160 HZ audible tone for the 40 HZ binaural. Secondly, I dropped all the audible tones down a major third [divided their values by 1.25], except for the 40 HZ tone and the 160 HZ tone, which I left alone - I did this so that 40 HZ and 160 HZ tones would be a lower octave of the root of the changing harmonies produced throughout the script, serving as the foundation for these harmonies. (These two tones are kind of droning - they don't really change at all, and such monotony really belongs in the bass, I think.)
I've given this a few listens, and the results make me feel strange, especially as the two moving binaurals begin to descend down into the theta range, and the noisy backdrop kicks in. My thoughts begin to get very hazy - kind of the way they do right before you fall asleep (which makes sense, since this is the theta range we're talking about here.) As far as whether it creates INTUITION, though - it's hard to say. (How the heck could you test that? Intuition is hard to test, since it's hard to measure.)
I am working on a brainwave generator script to create bursts of intuition in people - this preset began with this entry on the Brainwave Generator message board. Somebody has posted about some research that was done - they used gamblers as the test group - they would show the gamblers a screen with four representations of cards on it, and then ask them to guess which of the four cards would appear by itself on the screen next. While their accuracy was on the level of random guessing, EEG readings indicated that when the person was looking at the card that would turn end up being the one that turned up - the amount of 40 HZ [gamma] activity in his brain increased. So, while he may not have known which card would turn up next, something in his brain obviously did.
I feel this might be what causes intuition in people - that gut feeling where we know something to be true, but have no rational reason why we know it to be true..
I think the trick is to get the part of the brain that "knows" what will happen in advance to communicate with the conscious mind -- so, my idea was to create a script with a 40 HZ tone constantly going in the background [musically, it can serve as the bass-line] - then, have a second binaural that starts off at 12 HZ (a good starting point for any binaural), and gradually works its way down to theta range, associated with dreaming and the subconscious mind - I have the script stay down here for a while, and then gradually work its way back up into the upper alpha/lower beta range. 14 HZ, which is good for paying attention - it's an awake/alert state.
I've seen similar scripts used for encouraging creativity - since creativity is often stirring about in the subconscious mind - and the trick is to get it to communicate itself to the conscious mind - Theta governs the subconsious mind - Beta governs the conscious mind, and Alpha is kind of the bridge [the last corresponds with the very relaxed state on verge of falling asleep, but still awake]. I feel this approach also can be used for an intuition script, since intuition operates in much the same way.
This is what I have for my Intuition preset so far - I am listening to it as I type this, and the results sound very good (it's making me feel euphorically amazing.) -- I'm actually using two different tones to create the binaurals that descend into theta range and then head back up into alpha/beta - I do this to create some nice harmonies to make it less boring. There's also a nice noisy backdrop I use during the theta part of the script to help get the brain into that "dreamy" Theta state.
[P.S. - If you have the "Override Visual Options" toggle turned on, shut it off - this preset has visual options included - if you use that Override toggle, the strobe light won't function right.]
I uploaded a quickie electronic song that I programmed - it's called Passing Through Clouds. It was originally intended to be guinea pig to master converting to MP3 format, but the results came out very good - it's a quirky synth piece, with heavier segments and ambience intertwined. It's only about two minutes long, so it should be a quick download..
I'm still alive - just been very busy lately - this was some stuff I was tinkering with at work while doing my data processing thing :
As usual, Im spending much of my time trying to develop a sonic headache cure, since I tend to get plenty of headaches. (HMOs and headaches seem to go hand in hand.) I began yesterday tinkering with Cooledit. I improvised a couple scripts using 160 HZ tones. 160 HZ is said to create rapid relief from headaches and to help with head colds. Although I believe this was tested with electromagnetic fields rather than sounds, so it's not absolutely reliable.
I generated 160 HZ tones, using
some enharmonic overtones leftover in the tone generator from an
earlier session. Enharmonic overtones would be frequencies pretty
damn close to 160 HZ, but not quite - this creates something in
the same ballpark as binaural beats. I think theyd be
monaural beats, technically. It creates some nice tension in the
tone - its sort of like a flanger effect. I didn't really
have any results with any of these Cool Edit improvisations,
though. (I'll post the Cooledit scripts for them inevitably - I
just need to get them off my computer at work. I didn't think the
results were that great, but I find some days I'm more receptive
to my sonic concoctions than others. Sometimes the weight of the
headphones counteracts any pain relief from the sound generated.)
I also tried a variation of the 'Too Much Coffee' brainwave generator preset I cooked up. It originally was intended to be a sinus/head circulation sort of preset - it just incidentally also acted like caffeine, for some odd reason (most likely that's caused by the gradually raising pitch.)
In this variation, I added in some true binaurals, which the original version lacks - theres a 10 HZ binaural in there - 10 HZ is associated with relaxed but fairly alert states - Ive also seen it used for headache relief. Theres also a 6.5 HZ binaural mixed in there - 6.5 is in the theta range, and in terms of brainwaves, is associated with instinctive mindless states. When a process becomes so well-known that you hardly are paying attention as you do it, thats typically the theta state.
Unfortunately, I sabotaged the results by drinking a coffee (good old Dunkin Donuts - what a wonderful place). My headache cleared up, but chances are it was the caffeine at work - I cant be sure the Brainwave Generator preset is responsible.
Arrrgghhh! I need to create a sonic bird repellant - this crow in the tree outside my kitchen window is driving me -nuts-. It just chirps or croaks non-stop - doesn't sound like it stops for anything, even air. That's my next Holy Grail - a synthesized sonic means of getting rid of crows. (Anybody have any ideas? I know those ultra-sonic devices can generate high-pitched frequencies that get rid of other pests - certainly a crow must also have a sonic Achilles heel.)
I found a very good example of music infused with binaural beats - the frequency of the beat this artist uses is in the theta range. (Our brains generate this frequency when we're dreaming.) Here's the link to the song, created by an act/band [??] called Scryerworks. Listen to the song in hi-res mode with headphones. (Actually, I suggest just downloading the MP3 - it's not -that- big.)
Here's my radio station again as well - I'm going to try and collect some other experimental music there, including stuff with binaural beats and other brain-altering techniques. It's called /Structure::Dementia/.
(And that's what the name will stay as - I promise I won't change the name again!..)
(Well, for at least a week..)
(MPT 6/20/04 - The band and radio station links above no longer exist, since MP3.com ceased to be.)
After having terrible
sinus pain and pressure much of yesterday due to an abnormally
high pollen count, I was able to find relief by listening to my Too Much Coffee Brainwave Generator preset. Its funny how a
preset wont work at all on some days, yet on the other days,
it works almost instantaneously, almost as if it struck some
resonant chord in you. It really shows how your mental state and
other variables probably do effect how well a preset works. You
can be more 'receptive' to binaural beats in some states than in
Right now, Im fooling around with chords. There are really two ways you can learn chords. The first is in terms of the ratios of the frequencies that make them up. (Us numerically-inclined left-brained geeks really like that approach). The other way you can learn them is in terms of musical theory. Im trying to learn both, since each allows you to stumble upon harmonies you wouldn't have ever thought of with the other.
Music theory assigns labels to different sorts of chords. Chords that feel very nice where they are called tonal chords. They are to a song what and they lived happy ever after is to a story. Its a nice place to end music on. Then you have dominant chords, which are a little less stable and a bit more tense - the ear isnt comfortable with them. Finally, you have sub-dominant chords, which are kind of like a compromise - theyre more melodious than dominant chords, but not quite as comfortable a place to end a song as a tonal chord. (This is the sonic realm where heavy metal typically lives. The combination of one note, its minor third, and major fifth is a prime example of a sub-dominant chord.)
Each type of chord has its role to play - you need a little bit of everything. While logically, you'd think "well, why not just use all tonal chords, since those are the nicest?" - that would be BORING! It would be like an AOL chatroom where there was never any fighting and everybody got along. (I know - it's a pipe dream.) Just as a story needs some tension, so does a piece of music.
Of course, why am I learning this all in the first place? Simple! Let's face it - long before us computer geeks were tinkering with binaural beats to alter mental states, classical music was already having that effect on people. Chords are a potent thing - they can contribute to relaxation, euphoria, and every other mental state under the sun. So, if you are attempting to create a binaural to calm you down, for example - by knowing what chords historically have a calming effect, you could use that information to make a binaural all the more potent.
I changed the name of my "radio station" from Sonic Alchemy to Structure::Dementia. Turns out somebody else already was using the Sonic Alchemy name for his station/work, and I just wanted to protect his space and distinguish my own station - the URL changed too :
I'm trying to hunt down some of the screwiest electronic environments that I can to include on this station. I highly suggest you download the higher resolution feed if possible - those low-res MP3s destroy electronic music. They don't just destroy it - they completely butcher it.
(*Structure/Dementia is defunct - Mp3.com ceased to exist in any recognizable form in December of '03. -MPT 1/14/04)
Hey, my attempt at a MP3.COM radio station --> Sonic Alchemy The full URL is :
I'm playing a lot of ambient/electronic/experimental stuff. Digital soundscapes that create an environment that the mind can really swim in - headphone music, definitely. Some of it is mine, and some is from other artists. I'm still building this up - if you like it, be a sport, and pass the URL around to your friends.
(See above note. -MPT 1/14/04.)
My eyes are really sore today. Staring at this godawful small print on the report that Im doing is really doing a number on them. It also feels like I have some sinus congestion behind the eyes. Im going to try to use my Too Much Coffee brainwave preset to see if I cant clear it up a little bit.
Some info about this preset - it starts off with a lot of background noise, creating a Ganzfeld sort of environment. Both of the binaurals used are well below 4.0 HZ - some consider 4.0 HZ the lowest frequency at which binaural beats work. The carrier tone for one of the binaurals starts off low and gradually gets very high - the volume is kept at a reasonable level, and the background noise acts to cushion it a little bit - I suspect this is what causes the waking up effect - since realistically, the binaurals, even if they do work - wouldnt be responsible. In terms of brainwaves, frequencies that low would be found in a sleeping state, and certainly wouldn't function like coffee in any way, shape, for form.
After listening for a while, I find it really helps me to wake up. The pressure behind my eye fades somewhat. Either that, or the energy rush makes me less aware of the discomfort. (The body creates natural painkillers when its in an excited sort of state..)
The congestion behind my eyes is back, and my eyes are bugging me in general - Im blasting a preset called Eye Scale, which basically takes all the Rife frequencies associated with the eyes, and attempts to generate some harmonic chords and intervals using them. (For the record, an interval is two tones that form a nice sound combined. A chord is three or more tones that form a nice sound when combined.)
The effects are nice - I feel the congestion behind my eyes teasing as if it will clear - and it seems like the circulation around my eyes picked has up somewhat - but the effects aren't very strong either. Of course, since I need to take my headphones off now and then to do my job, that probably impacts the results. I listen to it some more, and its pleasant, particularly the synthesized whispy wind that serves as the background sound. (If you download the preset, you're going to need this file as well - put it in your BwGen directory.)
(Sorry for it being a quiet month - I've been a little busy..)
This morning I had sinus congestion right around the sides of my eyes - between my eyes and ears. I attempted to use a Brainwave Generator preset I cooked up called "sinus headache treatment" to remedy this problem. This is not either of the ones that I posted on the Brainwave Generator preset page - I believe it's an earlier ancestor of "headache/allergy sinus take two" which some said didnt work well.
"Sinus headache treatment" begins with a combination of binaural beats - one at 20 HZ, another at 20 HZ that quickly drops, and a third that starts at 0.8 [which some say is too low for binaurals] and goes up to 1.8 HZ.
I found it didn't really help - although I admittedly didn't give it my full attention - the job always has to come first, and if the phone rings, the headphones have to come off.
I find the high pitches tend to get on my nerves - again, reinforcing my theory that high pitches work best at low volumes.
I have supplied the preset above for anybody who wants to tinker with it or use it as fodder. One strange thing about many of my "sinus/allergy/headache" presets is the ones that don't work on headaches often have other uses that I wasn't intending when I created them. "Too Much Coffee", for instance - was originally intended to be for sinus/allergies - and it ended up being something I used to keep myself alert and awake while on the job. I found my typing rate soared when I used this preset. (Then again, somebody else claimed it caused them to fall asleep, although they were relaxed at the time. It shows you how the brain can selectively choose some attributes of a preset while ignoring others, depending on what mental state the person is.)
This is another Brainwave Generator preset I did - it's called Cycler II. (Okay, I admit I've gotten kind of lazy with the preset naming process.) I find it to be very pleasant - the three tones that make up this preset I arranged to make up some nice harmonic chords. Two of the tones contain binaurals that rapidly shift from 33 HZ to -33 HZ. (Somebody on the Brainwave Generator mailing list had said he had good results doing this.) The third tone houses a 1.8 HZ binaural. (Some research shows binaurals don't work below 4 HZ, so this element is kind of iffy.)
Since this preset isn't as "well-defined" as some of the others, I probably won't upload it to the Brainwave Generator preset page.. I do find the end result to be very pleasant, though. Play with the visual options forced on - they tend to work very well in conjunction with the sound element.
I've been listening to a Brainwave Generator preset I cooked up for about an hour now - I am experimenting with presets with very small segments looped large numbers of times. This one I call The Cycler. It's a pair of binaurals - one 12 HZ, and another which goes from about -15 HZ (inverted binaural) to about +12 HZ. The end result is nice, especially since I arranged the tones to create a harmonic interval. (They have a ratio of 1.75, a harmonic seventh - up to a 1.83 ratio, which is a .. minor seventh, I think.)
The end result? It seems to keep the brain occupied - a good way to kill time if you have nothing to do.
MP3.COM finally validated my Hell's Kitchen soundscape - give it a listen. Download the higher-res version. Those low-res MP3s suck terribly, since they're only mono, and not stereo. My MP3 Artist Page is http://www.mp3.com/AMUC , incidentally.
I'm also experimenting with a new technique in Brainwave Generator - rather than creating a long preset segment and only playing it once, I'm creating a very small preset segment [10 seconds] and looping a good number of times. I find you can produce some interesting effects this way.
(*MP3.COM became more or less defunct in December of 2003. Hell's Kitchen is currently not accessible. If anybody is dying for a copy, email me. The main artist page link above has been rerouted to my new Soundclick site. -MPT 1/14/04)
Still waiting for MP3.COM to validate my most recent "song" - I use the term song loosely - it's more like an extended ambient soundscape I did while cooking my meal. (Amazing the sorts of reverb effects you can get using boiling pasta as the source.) I tried using it with Brainwave Generator, but I guess it's a little bit too long.
In the meantime, here's a quickie Brainwave Generator preset I cooked up called "Magic Blend". It's just something I was fiddling with on a whim - I didn't really intend it to do anything particular - although, I find [for me, at least], it makes me feel really light on my toes. It also created a sensation of "ghost movement" - kind of like how you feel when you spin around in a circle for a long time, and then stop - and it feels like everything is still moving - but in this case it felt more like a wavering back and forth.
To breakdown the 'ingredients' of this preset, it's three tones, pretty much :
I'd be interested in hearing any unique effects you experience from this that I hadn't mentioned above. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
P.S. : Despite the name, I don't consider this one to "bless" the listener with any magical abilities, so don't get pissed off if you're not able to fire magic missiles or summon the dead or pull a rabbit out of your hat after listening to this. The name is more of a coffee reference.
MP3.COM finally validated my windscape - I switched the link below to my artist page on MP3.COM - it's at http://www.mp3.com/AMUC. This is intended to be listened to with headphones using a program that can loop the MP3 and crossfade in between each play - Winamp can do this.
I also sent another one of my concoctions to MP3.COM for approval - this is a three minute ambient piece I did with nothing but a microphone hooked up to my computer - the input was wired through Buzz, and fed through a reverb and stereo-effect filter. I had the microphone on the perch in between the room with my computer and my kitchen - as I was cooking my supper [pasta] - the microphone took the typical kitchen noises - the clanking of pots and the boiling water, etc - and converted it into this alien soundscape. It's very neat sounding - I call it "Hell's Kitchen" - we'll see if MP3.com can verify this one in a reasonable amount of time, but I wouldn't get your hopes up.
(MP3.com is no more, or at least not as it once was. It's a victim of corporate America. The link has been redirected to my new Soundclick site. -MPT 1/14/04)
(SIGH) I'm still waiting for those slow-pokes at MP3.com to "validate" my nice windscape - since it's a soundscape intended to be looped, they may not interpret it to be a "song", and hence are taking their precious time validating it.
In the meantime, I'll upload the file here : Windscape 1/10/02
(Windscape is currently not available online. MP3.com bit the big one. Some would argue it's still alive, but I think it's more undead than living at this point. My new artist page is http://www.soundclick.com/AMUC. If anybody is really dying for a copy of Windscape, email me at email@example.com and I'll see if I can't find it. - MPT 1/14/04)
I'm currently learning about the Ganzfeld effect - essentially, it was discovered during an expedition to one of the poles that in conditions of absolute blinding snowstorms, where all you can see is white no matter where you look, it has some strange effects on the brain. In terms of sound, white noise has been shown to make a person more susceptible to binaural beats and other sonic means of achieving altered states - since the brain hears no "message" in the noise, it will begin to disregard it, looking for messages and stimulii from other places [the binaural beats, for instance].
I have always found random noise to be a very loud form of silence for this reason - after a while, the brain reacts to it the same way as it would to silence - so, the randomness of noise leads to the brain disregarding its existence, and focusing on the stimulus you mix with the noise, yet the random noise is loud enough to block out other sources of sound nearby that might be distracting. (neighbors, relatives, etc)
I discovered something this morning, playing around with a Brainwave Generator preset, listening to it via headphones -- I find if you 'layer' the noise you use for a Ganzfeld effect, it has a much stronger impact. The preset I was using had "rainfall" as the sound backdrop, so I had that source of random noise - what I found made the preset more potent was to have a second layer of random noise, perhaps not piped into the headphones, but blasted via speakers in the room you're in. I had used a radio frequency scanner with the antenna removed to create the second source of noise. (I also have a refrigerator with a motor that periodically goes on nearby and a heating system which also creates a nice hum, which also added to the overall experience.)
I developed a neat-sounding windscape - it started out as just me listening to pink noise with headphones using my Buzz software. And I got kind of bored with that - so I hooked up an equalizer and some drums/reverb and fiddled with the controls a little bit, and before I knew it, I had a very elaborate soundscape that made for some very interesting ear candy.
I uploaded it to www.MP3.com - it should be validated in a day or two. When it is, download the actual MP3 file - chances are it will sound like crap if you downloaded the low-fi version of it. It's not really a big file anyways - it's intended to be listened to with stereo headphones - loop it with a media player that supports crossfade. (Winamp rules for this. Crossfade will keep out abrupt stops from one play of the file to the next.)
It's amazing how something as simple as an equalizer can take simple static and make it into a sonic adventure. It's really nice to vegetate/meditate to.
My 11 minute electronic/experimental song that I mentioned/plugged below has a grand total of 2 listens. (Does that make a rock star yet?)
Anyways, below are some quick notes I jotted down while at my job - I had been using various Brainwave Generator presets as I did my work :
Woo! MP3.com finally has my 11 minute electronic/experimental song that I created for kicks online -- let's PRAY this link works - AMUC - that's the artist name I chose, BTW. It stands for "Alternate Modes Of Underwater Consciousness". If you have a nice, fast internet connection, download the full MP3 - it's about ten megs, so it might be a little too much for those of you with a phone-line connection, though.. (Sorry, I don't think I could program a two minute song if I tried. Electronic music lends itself to short songs almost as poorly as progressive metal does.)
(Mp3.com = R.I.P. 12/2003 - Digital Scuba Dreamtime is currently not available online, but I do want to upload it to my new Soundclick site once I complete the mammoth task of remastering it. MPT 1/14/04)
(sigh) MP3.com still hasn't approved my artist name and song - blah. I uploaded the BUZZ version of my song to The Scene United, but as luck would have it, the site is down as of me typing this due to problems with unusually high traffic - blah.
I'm reading a book right now called THE CYCLES OF HEAVEN by GUY L PLAYFAIR and SCOTT HILL - it discusses how heavenly bodies and other cosmic forces may be affecting human biology. And we're not talking the "astrological" variety of effects - the authors [so far] have taken a very logical approach to this topic - noting how planetary cycles may influence sunspot cycles, which in turn might influence weather patterns on the earth.
There was a mention of an old experiment to test the effects of vibration on human biology - what they did was take a person and put them in a special chair that would vibrate up and down a certain number of times each second -- at certain rates of vibration, the subject would complain of various pains and other ailments (shortness of breath, etc) -- I'm debating whether to incorporate this table into my brainwave/cymatic frequency list.
It's interesting how a lot of the frequencies associated with various ailments by this test line up with other frequencies on my list associated with "good" things. It shows you how much the method of "taking in" a frequency can impact the results. A frequency in the format of an electromagnetic field could have a much different effect than one in the form of sound or vibration or (pulsating) light. (Which is why I'm so careful to include exactly how the frequencies on the list I compiled were generated..)
I am in the process of uploading one of my electronic songs to MP3.com - it's not validated yet by MP3.com, but once it is - I'll post a link so you can access it. It's 11 minutes long. I call it Digital Scuba Dreamtime - it began as a simple attempt to create a sonic headache cure using the Brainwave/Cymatic Frequency listing here and some good old-school experimentation.
That gradually evolved into an 11 minute monstrosity - which is hard to categorize in terms of genre - it has an ambient/electronic feel to it, with periods that are heavier and more structured. You miss out on 3/4 of what's happening without a good pair of headphones, though.
I moved into a new apartment - I finally got my phoneline up and running.. I've been using a frequency scanner with the antenna removed to produced noise to help me fall asleep. (Pink noise is all fine and dandy, but it gets expensive to leave a computer running all night to generate it - so any cheats I can find I will take advantage of.)
There are some other interesting noises this apartment makes - it's heating system has a nice motor sound to it - it has a certain clunky rhythm to it that is very hypnotizing. Also, the refrigerator, which is on the other side of the wall where I sleep - it produces an interesting sound when it's internal fan turns on - it's a very strange chord.. harmonious in an enigmatic sort of way - I might try recording it and try to figure out exactly what chord it is.
I've been in the process of trying to get a new place to live, so pardon me if I've been rather quiet lately. About what I was saying below, it does seem that pink noise does have a naturally sedating effect - I was playing a CoolEdit-generated brainwave entrainment file with a 12 HZ wave included, and it put me to sleep since about 10:00 last night to 9:00 the next morning. I had been playing it in WinAmp, using the crossfading option, which creates a smooth transition when you loop a file, which I suspect may have added to the "sleepy" effect. (see below)
Since CoolEdit's Brainwave function uses a phase modulation* sort of effect to create the brainwave entrainment, technically [despite what I may have said in the past] you would need headphones to experience it, I suspect.
Furthermore, WinAmp's crossfading option, while it does create a smooth transition when you loop a wave, there is still a bit of a lull between one play of the file to the next. (It sounds like ocean waves coming and going almost.) This would almost turn the entire length of a file into a giant entrainment device. If you have a sound file that plays for five seconds, and there's a momentary lull in volume, before it repeats - that's almost functioning as a .20 HZ wave - which is extremely low - and theoretically could help put somebody to sleep.
(*CoolEdit's Brainwave function entrains the brain by having the left and right channels go in and out of sync with each other a certain number of times a second. So, if you use 5 HZ as the entrainment frequency - the right channel might 'go ahead' of the left channel five times each second. It's kind of like the audio equivalent of double-vision. When a person has vision problems, and his two eyes send different pictures to the brain - the brain will desperately try to merge the two images together. It creates a situation where the double-vision will try and move towards a single-picture, and when it fails, go back out to two images again. And it will do this periodically, over and over again, since the brain is a stubborn bastard, and never wants to give up putting the two images together, no matter how futile an effort it may be.)
It's been a quiet couple of days here - I've been very tired from work - and I find when I'm tired enough - anything I play with that has pink noise in it will put me to sleep, no matter what embellishing or tinkering I do to the sound file. (There's just something sedating about pink noise. It might be how similar it is to the ocean.)
Anyways, I've made some headway into who this Keely fellow mentioned in the Brainwave/Cymatic Frequency listing is. I got an email from a firstname.lastname@example.org,who said Keely designed something called a Krell Helmet - it sounds like some sort of EM brainwave entrainment device. I'm trying to dig up more information on that now.
In the meantime, I found a nice webpage describing the functions of the left versus right side of the brain - it might be useful if you want to play around with brainwave entrainment sounds that affect one side of the brain in particular.
I've noticed the frequency list I've compiled has been popping up here and there across the web - part of me is very proud - it's good to see the information being put to use..
Although another part of me is kind of bummed out - seems like a few sites just slapped the information up, without giving any credit at all to where they got the info from. One site didn't even include the bibliographical information - which to me is very inconsiderate of the researchers and other sources who went through all the trouble to research all this stuff.
Note to self - Do more compiling over weekend to make other copies of the list I compiled obsolete. =) Although, that's admittedly getting more and more difficult - it feels as though I've tapped just about every brainwave/cymatics frequency list known to man. I might have to [gasp] go to the library next if I want to expand this sucker any further.
I want to develop the glossary a bit more next - I'm trying to research some of the more elusive words that seem to pop up - I've made some headway into what the blazes a magic window is - next I want to try and dig up a definition for "Pyramid frequency" - I've looked everywhere and I've yet to find a good definition for that one. (Anybody?)
Wow. Exhausting day - I'm being trained on a new job at work and apartment-hunting all at the same time..
I found a nice article, though - in my web-surfing - Epsilon, Gamma, Hyper-Gamma and Lambda Brainwave Activity and Ecstatic States Of Consciousness. Some of the article is about how some yoga masters can get their brainwaves down very very very slow, even below what is typically accepted as the slowest brainwaves (about 0.5 HZ). Such mental states they associate with deep meditation, suspended animation and other altered states of consciousness.
Now, as far as creating brainwave entrainment sounds to get the brain down to states this slow goes - binaurals supposedly don't work below 4 HZ - so you'd have to use some other method besides binaurals to create the brainwave entrainment. Some sort of modulation effect, maybe - I'll have to tinker around..
This strange sound I call "Listening For Aliens" - it evolved from the waveform I was playing with below. Use an MP3 viewer with a loop option, and try listening with headphones - also shut off any stereo or 3D options your sound card might have - the 3D/stereo is built into the file. Warning - keep the volume low when you first load this and then raise it gradually to a comfortable level - just not sure how your speakers compare to mine.
P.S. - I find this sounds the best using Winamp - have the crossfading output plugin turned on, and it will loop smoothly with no gaps from one play to the next.
Found a nice waveform on one of the sites connected to the one in my 1/3/2002 entry - it ties into a concept called "spinpath to zero point" - they had a mathematical representation of it (check the top of this page) - so I used an instrument for my Buzz program to convert that picture into a neat waveform - I created a neat little meditation sound using it - I added in some funky 3D stereo effects to spice it up a little bit. Here's an MP3 of it. Load it up in a player with loop capability, and try listening to it with headphones. I don't find it sounds as good through speakers.
If any Buzz programmers want the original Buzz file this comes from, feel free to email me.
(Warning - keep the volume on your speakers low when you initially load this - not sure how your volume levels compare to mine.)
I am one tired computer geek - the open enrollment monster is kicking my butt at work. [If you work for an HMO, you know what the open enrollment monster is, and if you don't work for an HMO, you're better off not knowing.] I did find an interesting website that has a potpouri of links relevant to this whole sonic alchemy thing - feel free to check it out : Global Heart & EKG Biofeedback Studies/Heartbeat2000 - HEART BEAT MUSIC, LOVE & PLANET RINGING
NOTE - See Sonic Alchemy Archive for everything before 1/1/02. (Sorry, I ran out of space on this page.)