I recently got this running on my Mac and finished up a busy period. Now I'm eager to spend some time with this program and am interested in hearing what other people are doing with Gnaural besides sleep and deep meditation. I'm certainly planning on exploring that but there's limitless possibilities.
I'd also like to hear from people embedding their own music - I've been a musician for most of my life and have always been planning on working with binaural beats and my own music... didjeridus, Tibetan singing bowls and gongs for the most part. The combination should be quite potent but I'm a bit overwhelmed and trying to figure out where to start.
Peace through music,
Hey Tom, i like your sentiments. I find it is good to "keep things simple", 85% of whatever one wants to achieve seems possible with 15% of the effort, then 85% of the effort is to achieve that extra 15% of the goal :) Where am i going here... well, take the default schedule in Gnaural -- it looks so intricate, but i am sure that if i just erased all of it and and locked one binaural beat voice at 3.8Hz, i'd get the basic effect of the current one, just not all the minute parts that subtly help induce the state i am looking for ("spikes" to keep me awake, gradual decent, base frequency shift, pink noise, etc.). But the beat is there, and i can lock on to it.
And while you may lose 15% of the effectiveness or whatever, the benefit is that now you can slide that one datapoint to new frequencies without having to move all the other baggage around with it.
SO when it comes to your music, you might want to start by importing a stereo WAV file of one of your compositions in to Gnaural (as an "AUDIO FILE" voice), and then just create one Binaural Beat voice with only one datapoint. Then with that one datapoint, go to the Base Freq. screen, and slide that data point (or right-click it) to get it's base frequency in the same key as your song (say, 440hz, 220hz, or 110hz if your song is in A). Basically, you've just created another instrument in your piece, but this one is designed to try to get the brain to lock on to it.
that's just one approach, and the logical "most direct" way i can think of; but there is an infinity of ways you could approach it.
First of all, thank you for the super cool software! I'm a musician too, and as a musician, I of course feel the need to take things to the next level... :-) my goal is to have just one track, where the binaural tones are actually made from modulating the music itself, not as a second voice layer. I've tried loading my music into the Binaural Voice but can't seem to make it work... Any advice? I suppose my next step might be to load everything into ProTools and tweak one side up, say 5 hz and the other down, say 5 hz for a net of 10hz? Thank you so much....
Mike Stop Continues
Krais, I think you'll benefit from learning what I've learned about this.
The most important part about binaural beats (and beats in general) is a steady pulse. Using ProTools or other programs to transpose up and down a few hertz will not provide this, because in order to transpose audio without stretching it, every DAW in the world will granulate the audio, so that it will stretch a few milliseconds by the desired amount, and then layer those chunks over one another to prevent the time differential. This means that, as I'm sure you understand, that if you transpose two versions of an audio track like this, what you'll end up with is a mush that gives the impression dissonance rather than the desired effects of binaural beats.
For this to work, you cannot work from recorded audio. Whether you transpose an entire mixdown or individual instrument tracks, you will only make the song sound worse.
Luckily, you're very clever to aim for binaural beats in your music, and there are two ways that we have available to facilitate this.
First, you can work with synthesizers. In my line of music, I haven't used a real instrument in years, and I'm sure that you're at least a little interested in synths already. Find some good softsynths that allow you to tune the instrument. Most of the bulky ones do. If you can't seem to find an option for it, check the help file. Some synths have back-door tuning available. Remember this won't work with sample-based synthesizers, although NI Battery does allow old-style pitch bending without granulation. And it's awesome, and some day, they'll realize they should pay me to say that.
The other great option for encoding beats in music, when you aren't yet ready to delve into the world of endless synthetic possibility or you have pre-recorded instruments mixed down is to use phasers, flangers, modulators, vibratos, and chorus effects. Yup! Effects are awesome.
It's important to remember that when you use such effects, to make sure you use effects that allow you to specify a specific value in hertz, because you know why. Your result will NOT be binaural beats if you simply apply these effects. You WILL receive much of the benefits by using these kinds of beats, but you aren't there yet.
The really impressive binaural stuff happens when you take one mono instrument, and pan a copy to the left and right. Apply the same modulation effect with the same exact frequency to each, THEN invert the phase of the modulation effect (NOT THE TRACK) on one side or the other. Naturally, this will require an effect which allows for a phase inversion, but this feature is pretty common on these kinds of effects.
The result will be a particularly potent binaural beat, the likes of which will grab the listeners ear with consonance and fluidity (unlike some other methods of putting beats in music).
Another option is to keep said instrument track in the center, and create two sends for the modulation effect and pan the sends to the left and right (remembering the inversion). This works really well for vocals.
And remember, if you're in need of a hypnotist-producer, Mike Stop Continues to do it best.
I had a strange experience where at one time I was using gnaural on a 15 minute run cycle, I was dreaming for several seconds at a time. On the last dream, it was merely an image, not a situation. The image though, I'm positive was archetypal. It was a triangular frame covered in eyes, on it's side, in front of what I think was a bookshelf. So project 1 is that I'm trying to find if the mind can be induced to a state where it thinks in either its most basic archetypal form, or into a sort of 'receiving' state that has usually been associated with religious imagery. Can you put the brain into a state where it thinks in what appear to be visions? I don't mean this in a kind of spiritual goal, but can the state of mind be recreated of those that claim to/believe they have had religious visions that has shaped so much of religion's iconography?
Project 2 - my main project. When I use binaural beats, particular around 4hz and 8hz, I have strange blinking phenomena, and rapid eye movement. I'm trying to hook up some EEG or fMRI scanning to see what parts of my brain are active at this point in time.
You just gave me some huge 'aha!'s... Binaural beats are really just chords like any others. Octaves, fifths, etc. feel 'happy,'... it's no mystery to me now that binaural beats do the laundry list of things they do. Maybe the 'bad trips' people sometimes report are just dissonent intervals?
There was a great program related to this subject a few weeks ago on PBS "The Music Instinct: Science and Song" worth checking out.
It makes sense that a "steady pulse" is important - true notes. I still feel the need though to push the envelope and find a way to 'embed' binaurals into the say, rain, waterfall, or whatever your white noise selection might be - as opposed to using it as a bandaid on top on top of the drone. There's got to be an elegant solution...
I've always been fascinated by synths - Korgs and Moogs in particular, but I've never ventured beyond my Telecaster and old school tube amps. If you could bring one synth to your island, what would it be?
Yo Anarchisttomato, re. religious imagery:
There are basically two ways in which imagery can be perceived as religious.
One, if it is associated with religious symbolism that is already known to the individual. For example let's say that you are having a sequence of more or less random visual images, such as might occur in the hypnagogic state. In the midst of all this you see a guy with long hair and a beard who says "remember, it's about loving God and loving others." Raised in a Western context it's easy to spot that as an impression of Jesus. An image of an eagle means one thing to a American, and another thing to a Native American, and so on.
Then there's the degree and depth of meaning that the individual associates with a religious symbol. A Christian who sees an image of Jesus may take that as deeply personally meaningful. A Muslim who sees the same image would recognize Jesus as a prophet who preceded The Prophet Mohammed, but won't have the same deeply-felt sense of connection as s/he would to symbolism that comes directly from Islam. (Muslims as a rule do not seek out imagery or personifications of The Prophet Mohammed, as they consider it idolatrous to worship him as an individual rather than worshiping Allah, the deity; whereas in Christianity, Jesus is the personification of God, the deity.)
So then we come to various images that may be felt to be religiously or spiritually meaningful even if they aren't directly associated with religious symbolism a person has learned during their life.
What I think may be occurring here is the convergence of two independent mental events. One is the image itself, and another is the emotional reaction to it. This is one of the reasons that psychedelic drugs were found useful in psychoanalytic therapy in the mid 20th century: Westerners had no prior context for understanding a rapid flow of visual images, so everything they saw was potentially meaningful and thus a potential point of departure for analysis of its meaning. Which brings us to….
Two: the deeply-felt sense of personal meaning in relation to something larger than self. That is a formal description of the emotional state that occurs when there is heightened activity in the contralateral temporal lobe (the temporal lobe on the side of the brain opposite the side of one's writing-handedness). (Michael J. Persinger, numerous articles in the journal _Perception and Motor Skills_.) When the object of that sense of meaning is religious, by definition having to do with the deity/deities, the Ground of Being, or the soul and the hereafter, the experience is felt to be a religious experience. (This sounds tautologous and to a degree it is: religious experiences involve the elements of religion.)
From a strictly scientific perspective, all we can say is that an individual has had a particular kind of experience, not whether that experience points to an objective reality of some kind (e.g. whether the experience of encountering the deity points to the objective reality of a deity). From the perspective of an individual's spiritual development, it's always important to retain the element of humility, which in this context translates to the willingness to reflect on the fundamental uncertainty of the objective truth of an experience.
By this I mean, if you are spiritually engaged, and you have an experience of, for example, an encounter with the deity, it's important to not let it go to your head or act upon it precipitously, but to integrate it within the framework of your overall course of spiritual development and give yourself time to reflect upon it in the context of your life as a whole.
The downside risk of internal exploration is what I call "psychedelic fundamentalism," which is the belief that one's altered states experiences are literally true and compelling of immediate action. One of the areas where this often comes up is with personal reports of encounters with extraterrestrials (ETs). Yet if you read those with a thoughtful eye, what you find is that most of them sound like lucid dream reports. When someone has one of those experiences and literalizes it, they may end up going down the proverbial rabbit hole and getting sidetracked into all manner of conspiracy theory and so on. But if they take it as symbolic, it may lead them to reflect more deeply upon the subject of intelligence and wisdom as cultural values for intelligent species anywhere in the universe.
Buddhism has an important lesson in this regard: that as an individual practices meditation over a period of years, they may encounter all manner of extraordinary experiences and phenomena, but that they should not let themselves become distracted, and instead they should remain dedicated to the goals of compassion and enlightenment.
Is this useful?
Hey man. :)
Some interesting insights, although the key point I should have stressed there is the images that are *associated* with religion/religious ideas, which seem to be in most cases archetypal in nature. I'm very much of a Jungian persuasion, and strongly believe the psyche has certain geometries that become outwardly manifest in so many kinds of art, design, and so on - whether religious or non-religious. I was wondering if maybe I'd accidentally tripped over a certain something in brainwaves and states of consciousness that would create a very archetypal expression, that some others may have regarded as a religious vision. Anything archetypal usually has a strong effect on someone, very often a profound one.
I must point out that not all Christians believe Jesus is God in the 'Almighty' sense, but many believe him to be in a lower position to his father, Yahweh/Jehovah/Iehovah, and wouldn't revere an image of Christ. The Trinitarian doctrine only began to appear around the second century onwards, after the founding beliefs started to slip amongst the congregations, and external religious influences began to permeate Christian doctrine, with Greek philosophies and Emperor Constantine being the biggest influences on Trinitarian Dogma in later Christianity.
As for my own experience, I merely believe I saw something that came from the deeper parts of the psyche - nothing more really…. ;)
@Anarchisttomato I just recently saw an article regarding a specific section of the brain that has now been identified with religious experiences. I wish I could tell you where it is, but my reason for getting into binaurals and such is I am trying to find ways to bypass some white matter damaged in a car accident that has left me with a memory very similar to an Alzheimer patient. I am sure a little creative googling could come up with it as I know it was on one of the online versions of mainstream news where I saw it, I just don't remember which one. Hope it helps.
Wow, thanks man. If you can think of any key words or a website name I can google, that'd be great. :)
My current project is enhancing traditional mantra meditation. The base Delta voice and beat I am using is 0.5 hz is slow and deliberate in rising and falling. You can then repeat any mantra to the rhythm, one word per deliberate beat. For example, Om shanti, shanti, shanti or Om Mane Padme Hum.
I also run a 3 Hz Delta voice at a quicker pace aimed as background "resonance." I keep this running for a period of time repeating the mantra on Windows Media Player, then slow the tempo down on the base voice in small intervals every 10 minutes. Media Player has a tool for slowing down the pace of a recording. Eventually I am at a very slow pace. Then I listen only to the resonance.without the base voice. The repetition by then of the mantra continues automatically. Then there is a point where the mantra is repeating itself with no conscious effort. At that point you can just experience the resonance or listen to inner sounds that have developed, such as high pitch sounds in left and/or right ears or a deep hum from the throat area.
Then I follow up with meditation sessions listening only to the sounds and feeling the vibration with no mantra involved.
Tingling and other sensations develop at the third eye chakra and crown chakra.
I am trying to develop a meditation style that is not bound by sectarian belief. It should not be limited by Hinduism or Buddhism. I suppose it could be called connecting with a universal source that should be there for everyone.
I will be trying to use Gnaural software to try to develop this concept further.