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MindState, a cheaper I-doser

23 Jan 2013

I've always been interested in exploring the mind. One way to reach altered states is through Brain entrainment or Brainwave entrainment. By using EEG it is now known that for different mental states, the brain resonates at different frequencies. These frequencies range from 0-100 Hz (and over 100). The EEG page has a nice table explaining the states that go with the frequencies.

The idea of brain machines, is to stimulate your mind using external impulses and to get the mind to vibrate at the same rate as the external impulses. This can be done through all your senses; sight, touch, hearing. The ones that are most easy to stimulate are hearing and sight. You can look into blinking lights and listen to pulsating sounds (Isochronic Tones). The ear can hear frequencies roughly in the range of 20 - 20.000 kHz. This means that the interesting frequencies from 0-10 (depending on your interests of course) are normally not audible.

The brain can however be tricked into hearing these low frequencies by playing two slightly different tones. One into each ear. If the frequencies are not too far apart, the brain will not hear two separate frequencies, but it will hear a single frequency in both ears and also a pulsating sound going from the left to the right ear. This is called a Binaural tone.

Online Binaural Beat generator

Try free binaural beats online.

I used to own a brain-machine. It came with pre-programmed sequences and a pair of glasses with red blinking lights. Later I learned that it's not too hard to create these 'binaural beats' by yourself.

I discovered a great program called SBaGen written by Jim Peters. This program enables you to create your own tone sets and add your own background sounds to create a rich binaural beat session. I have used it a lot. The only downside is that you need to run it on a pc / laptop. Sometimes I fall asleep during a session and having a laptop beside me does not feel that good. I wish I had a binaural beat creation program on a smaller device.

Binaural beat generator for the iPhone

I found a number of programs for the iPhone. But those programs only offered a limited set of pre-recorde or pre-porgramed sequences. So I decided to create one. It took me a good while to get to grips with Objective-c and Core-Data. Also working with Audio buffers and get low latency has been quite a challenge for me.

The result of all this is MindState. You can now create your own binaural beat sessions on the iPhone using MindState: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mindstate/id578089517

MindState comes with 20 pre-programmed sessions. But you can create as many sessions as you like. You can layer a lot of Binaural tones on top of each other to get a stronger or more diverse effect.

Other features:

  • realtime audio synthesis, no pre-recorded sessions
  • create and store as many sessions as you like
  • layer as many voices as you like (as many as your hardware can handle)
  • layer as many backgrounds as you like
  • set different start- and stop values on a voice for volume, carrier- and beat-frequency
  • session keeps playing when screen locks or using other apps
  • session mixes with sound of other apps like iTunes
  • export and import your Sessions with iTunes Sharing
  • export and import your Sessions by email
  • crashing waves background option
  • Export and Import your Sessions with iTunes Sharing
  • Export and Import your Sessions by email
  • Crashing waves background option 

MindState is not Hemi-Sync ®

Hemi-Sync (short for Hemispheric Synchronization) is a trademarked brand name for a patented process used to create audio patterns containing binaural beats, which are commercialised in the form of audio CDs often accompanied by a guiding voice.

I am disappointed that the techniques used in Hemi-Sync are not accessible to everybody. It is heavily protected and patented. With MindState you can freely experiment with Binaural Beats.

Give it a try. I hope you enjoy it.

Please share your experience and knowledge with the rest of us.

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