Mind Machines

Is it worth getting a mind machine so that you can see the Audiostrobe tracks? Does photic stimulation make that much difference?

Yes and yes.

Therapeutic applications aside, a good Audiostrobe or mind machine preset lightshow is just plain fun. With machines like the Sirius at just US$99.00 doing a superb job with Audiostrobe, and bringing a few very cool sessions to the party itself, there just seems no reason for not diving into the whole audiovisual stimulation experience.

At the serious level of brainwave entrainment based therapies, photic stimulation is invaluable, particularly for alpha and beta sessions, where the higher flash rates show excellent frequency following in the visual cortex and a better than average likelihood of inducing entrainment elsewhere. Photic stimulation on its own has been surprisingly effective for migraines with both 30Hz alternate flashing and user chosen flash rates.

Just for fun and recreation, the kaleidoscopic visuals induced are totally engrossing. When I’m tired, I’m happy to just lie back and drool to the stunning imagery, with an NP2/MWS session, a mind machine preset, or my own music. You might think it would just be a symphony of reds when viewed through closed eyelids, but once the brain gets in on the act of trying to interpret the featureless flashing, the range of colour, shape and motion becomes spectacular – the actual colour of the LED often diminishes to little more than an ambience to the mind-created extravaganza.

Any seasoned psychonaut will find the closed-eye visuals a goldmine, recognising many, many things from their chemically induced excursions.

A good proportion of the current  mind machines include Audiostrobe decoders, meaning that they will display the light signals in Audiostrobe encoded content. As far as I know the Sirius is the only machine that includes what might be called a ‘colour organ’ mode, where any music hooked up the the auxiliary input will modulate the lights. The Sirius even has a built in microphone to drive the lights with ambient sound (it’s kind of cool chanting into the microphone with the glasses on!)

I started out using Neuroprogrammer all by itself. It worked well enough (depression and anxiety) to convince me that I was onto a good thing, and to go on to purchase a Procyon. The Procyon (in AS mode)  increased the subjective effectiveness of most sessions that I used, particularly at theta and above. Standalone, the Procyon has 50 excellent sessions that make full use of the full colour glasses. Alternating between NP2 and Procyon sessions of similar design kept me captivated for long enough to enjoy the full results. Most importantly, the pretty lights captured my attention-span-of-a-gnat interest and kept me coming back for more.

Since then I’ve accumulated a fairly representative selection of current mind machines. While each of them has its virtues and vices, not one of them is a dud. One thing I will say of mind machine manufacturers, they approach session design with a lot of thought and integrity. If you want to learn how to design a good session, take a good look at the sessions provided with mind machines. It is usual to see advertisers of content-only CD products referring to trials and studies that support their particular strategy. It’s useful to note that most of the machine manufacturers are founding figures in the AVS industry, people who designed early prototypes and participated in  the research that the johnny-come-latelies are quite freely quoting to promote products that are often very mediocre interpretations of what is effectively public domain research.

And, of course, hardware is hardware. There’s nothing quite like holding a new piece of technology in your hands.


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  • gary  On August 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

    hey craig, perhaps you can best advice me on my purchasing of a light machine. i don’t know why this isn’t standard info but i can’t seem to specificily find the answer to my question.

    i have the mind work station and i want a light machine to connect with my puter or my iphone when using the brainwaves. i can’t find info to direct me to which will work..i think the sirrus would be good but i would like your opinion plz.

    also looking at the white or blue 12 led glasses..trying to decide which is best for studing as im a 46 yr old medic going back to college for social worker and i need all the help i can for learning..

    and advice will be most grateful.. ty gary

    • craigtavs  On August 7, 2009 at 11:32 am

      Hi Gary,

      The Sirius, Proteus or Procyon all work superbly with Mind Workstation, and each has features that justify their price – it’s just a matter of how much you want to spend.

      The Sirius comes standard with white glasses, the Proteus with red/green, and the Procyon with red/green/blue. I suggest you just make a start with whatever comes with the machine you choose.

      The 12-LED glasses are great for studying as long as you don’t need reading glasses as ‘stacking’ glasses is a bit unwieldy – I’ve got contacts for the occasions that I want to read with AVS. I prefer the white 12-LEDs, but I know a couple of people who are in love with the blue – personal choice prevails!

      The Procyon uses a non-standard connector for the glasses, so you’ll need the adaptor cable from MindPlace to use any of the standard 3.5mm stereo plug type glasses.


  • gary  On August 7, 2009 at 11:23 am

    sorry for the typos as i didn’t proof read until after i sent it…

  • gary  On August 8, 2009 at 8:44 am

    thanks for you help craig..perhaps you should become a distributor..lol..just one more confirmation plz.. the 12 led glasses from transparent, will they work with the procyon? i see they have a adapter in mindplace but transparent states that the glasses wont work with mindplace equip. i know the marketing plan is to keep us at their site but if they can’t offer what is best suited for the need then i would think they would explain that thier product is adaptable..anyway just my plan for us all getting a piece of the pie theory..

    thanks for your advice and experences. i’ve been reading them on several forums…by the way i did just order the procyon from amazon.. saved 15 bucks shipping..lol..gary

    • craigtavs  On August 8, 2009 at 10:04 am

      Hi Gary,

      You’re welcome! I am a dealer/affiliate for a few vendors, however my location on the other side of the universe, I mean world, makes the economics look rather sad, with exchange rates and freight and so on. I also place high value on being an independent consultant, so that my opinions aren’t substantially influenced by suppliers.

      The Transparent glasses work as-they-are with the Sirius and Proteus and work fine with the Procyon with the MP supplied adapter cable.



  • Sumathi  On April 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Hi, I am total newbie considering an ave device for home use after a session with a theraphist and came across your site. It gives a lots of inputs that I find useful including your Sirius review. I find the laxman appealing for comfort mainly but very much out of budget. I was just wondering if the glasses for Laxman are compatible with say the sirius, david or procyon?

    Can you also comment on the comfort factor of the various glasses on these models?


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