A quick look at the L&S Synergizer

The Synergizer is an AudioStrobe decoder. It is nothing but an AudioStrobe decoder. It is, however, the best AudioStrobe decoder.

The Synergizer is the work of Tomas Cerny (TC-SoftWorks – link unavailable – I purchased mine from Transparent Corp) and was developed in conjunction with the father of AudioStrobe (AudioStrobe.com), Andrezj Slawinski, and it provides the cleanest, fastest AS response of any unit I have tested. It couldn’t be easier to use – just plug everything into the clearly marked holes, switch on and you’re away. If you enjoy commercial AudioStrobe titles then you will know that you’re seeing them just as the author intended.

L&SSynergizer-02-LR

Presentation wise, the Synergizer is basic. It arrives in a very plain white box with a photocopied label stuck on top. The unit itself is compact, well made, in an unobtrusive dark blue. No headphones are included. It uses two AA cells which last surprisingly well as long as you don’t forget to switch off. No provision is made for external power. The power switch is a bit of a weak point – low-profile slide action, often made inaccessible by 90 degree light-glass plugs. The manual is better than expected for such a simple unit.

With a good pair of headphones, the audio quality is superb – essentially unaltered from the source. I’m not aware of any device that completely filters the AS signal after decoding, but the Synergizer has less AS noise than any other I have tried – a plus if you like your sessions loud and bright.

L&SSynergizer-Glasses-Back-LR

The standard glasses are red/green and while their brightness isn’t as good as some, the switchable green/red/both and left-right/red-green mapping of the two AS channels is a huge bonus. In terms of comfort and construction, adequate. Mostly I use a pair of the much brighter MindPlace glasses.

MindExplorer-ScreenCap

Included with the Synergizer is the rather impressive Mind Explorer program. It’s not in the league of Neuroprogrammer or Mind Workstation, but it’s an incredibly adequate AVS/entrainment creation tool with some very advanced features, including 4 user definable waveforms and  a plethora of tone/beat/light modes (it’s worth downloading the manual just for inspiration!). I often use it as a tool for quickly experimenting with complex sound and light combinations, as it has a spectacular range of controls all accessible from a single screen, your choice of graphical or spreadsheet, and multiple repositionable windows for total control. Mind Explorer only exports to WAV, so you’ll probably want a suitable WAV-to-MP3 utility (always keep in mind that AudioStrobe uses a high frequency signal, easily lost in compression).

MindExplorer-ScreenCap2

The preset sessions included with Mind Explorer have a real original feel to them, and they’re fully editable, so you can freely ‘borrow’ ideas. They tend to be pitched higher than I prefer, but that’s taste for you. As the Synergizer and MindExplorer are so completely interwoven with AudioStrobe, you won’t be surprised to find spectacular AS lightshows.

ASColorOrgan-ScreenCap

And speaking of lightshows, another program, AS Color Organ, is included in the bundle. Color Organ is one of the very few tools available to control AS lights with any old music. Choose a music file (WAV only, sad to say), select a preset that maps lights to features of the music in various ways, and go. Once you see how the presets work, then start tweaking the filters and gains to your taste. Fun!

It’s unfortunate that these programs only support WAV – I really don’t like choking my hard drive with behemoth uncompressed files.

I use the Synergizer whenever I want to check an AS composition for correct levels and compatibility, and with NP2/MWS for client sessions, where its simple on/off, volume and brightness save weary explanations and cautions not to press or twiddle this or that.

If you mainly use pre-created content via an MP3 player, the Synergizer is a great choice, with its robust, compact construction and good battery life. It’s hard to justify the US$180.00 when a US$99 Sirius is almost as good an AS decoder and has built in sessions and other features. The bundled software is definitely value added, but it’s not something that everyone wants or needs – particularly if they already have NP2 or MWS. Overall, the L&S Synergizer has to be considered a purist’s machine, and if you’re a purist, you’ll be used to paying a bit more.

Cheers,
Craig

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • raisch  On July 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    The Light and Sound Synergizer is an ultimate piece of crap. My first unit failed after about 6 months of casual use. It was replaced by Transparent Corp free of charge. The second unit failed after about the same time. I did not return this unit and was compensated instead with a software upgrade by Transparent Corp. Before throwing the unit I opened it hoping to find the source of the problem. Sure enough I found a tiny wire which is connected to a big coil had broken of the soldering point. The coil is not supported at all and moves around during handling of the unit causing the wire to break sooner or later. The electronic board of the unit seems to be poorly made. Its definitely not worth the $200 charge.

    • CraigT  On July 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

      I’m sorry to hear about your experiences, and pleased that Transparent has looked after you. I hope you’ve had a look at the MindPlace range of units, as they continue to be my personal favourites.

      Cheers,
      Craig

  • kreto  On January 3, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Hi Craig
    have you heard more about The Light and Sound Synergizer problems like raisch describes

  • CraigT  On January 9, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I’m no longer involved with these products but the Synergizer has never been a machine I would recommend above others, particularly the MindPlace machines.
    Cheers,
    Craig

  • Irwin Cohen  On March 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I have been reading about the work of Dr. Jeffrey Thompson regarding brain wave entrainment. He has a product, the Audio/Visual Modulator with Glasses which I have been considering purchasing. According to the individual with whom I spoke at his office, Dr. Thompson’s recordings, which are recorded as WAV flies, should not be converted to MP3 because the compression reduces the integrity of the original files. She therefore suggested that I use a DVD or CD player. However, I don’t know much about the hardware, since a search of the Internet did not reveal any reviews, yours included. I was also told that Dr. Thompson uses a different way of recording his disks that doesn’t involve “collapsing sine waves,” or something to that effect. Please excuse the ignorance of these matters, but I hope you do understand my questions. Thanks.
    –IC

    • CraigT  On March 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Irwin,
      I have no first hand experience with Dr Thompson’s products. AudioStrobe, the most popular way of encoding light control in an audio file, uses a 19.2kHz tone which can be lost or diminishes by low bitrate MP3. Providing the MP3 is created using a minimum of 320kb/s everythin up to 20kHz will be retained. There’s a lot of hype about secret protocols.
      I doubt that there is any sound/light system that requires better than a high bitrate/low compression MP3. Of course, if you don’t get the results you want you’ll have to wonder if you should have followed the instructions.
      Cheers,
      Craig

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: