Ganzfeld Extravaganza

After trying sticking all sorts of diffusing material between the glasses’ LEDs and my eyeballs, I finally realised that reflected light rather than diffused light was the way to go for ganzfeld bliss.


The glasses in the photos are the ones I use with my Procyon. The Philips on-ear phones were gently modified and attached to the arms of the glasses with cable ties, the cabling neatly routed with the glass’ cable and cable tied. The glasses no longer tuck behind the ear, but perch very comfortably over. One small victory in the war against cable-tangle.

Back to ganzfeld. Ganzfeld is the name for the phenomenon first reported by Arctic adventurers – it’s what the mind does when deprived of visual stimulation by a total, complete, entire field without differentiation, such as in a white-out. The Laxman does a full colour ganzfeld par excellence. And now, with new, advanced, technologically superior white A4 paper, so does the Procyon. Of course, this will work with any machine that has glasses that work with the A4 mod. Whether your machine does ganzfeld or not, it’s worth having a look with any session.


Take one (1) sheet of A4 80gsm white offset paper. North Americans may substitute one (1) sheet of white 50lb letter offset paper. Those not suffering from any form of obsession can use any old sheet of white paper.

Fold piece of paper in half (short edge to short edge). This will make an approximately A5 sheet comprising two layers.


You may need assistance for this step. Place your glasses on the very tip of your nose, and, with a session displaying, move the glasses down until the LEDs are below your field of vision when you’re looking forward and slightly up. I found it was all perfect when the bridge of the glasses rested on my upper lip. Hold the paper with the fold upwards and slightly curved over the top of the glasses and up to your forehead. Using some form of tape (Transparent Scotch tape in the example) you or your assistant can now tape the paper in place. Two pieces of tape will suffice at this stage, as you will now take a pair of sharp scissors and cut around the front of the paper, following the contour of the glasses. A third piece of tape can now be placed at the bottom, attaching the paper to the bridge of the glasses.

You are now ready to lay back, or sit up, whatever it is you do, and enjoy the wonders of ganzfeld. The true wonder of this quantum leap in open-eye photo-visual stimulation technology is that it offers whole field illumination – top-to-bottom, left peripheral-to-right peripheral. But wait, there’s more – if, perchance, you have monochrome glasses, or glasses that do the left/right frame thing, then this system will give true left/right hemisphere stimulation.

How do you make a ganzfeld? If your mind machine doesn’t have the ability to control the LEDs in a steady, flash-free manner with suitable brightness control, you can simulate the effect by using a flash rate well above our vision’s fusion frequency. Anything above 50Hz will be fine, 100Hz is as good a HD television.

If you’re using NP2/MWS and an Audiostrobe decoder, you can modulate the AS track with a 100Hz rate. If you want to use all of the NP2/MWS tricks on your light show, you can replace the AS track with a tones track pitched at 19.2kHz and modulated with any isochronic beats you wish. A third option is to use noise to trigger the AS decoder, as demonstrated in a noise based MWS session I posted on the Transparent user forum a little while ago. Volume or any other amplitude effect will alter brightness.

Whether it’s mind machine or NP2/MWS driven, long slow fades between colours look spectacular – the lighting from below is a natural for sunset/sunrise emulations.

Much to my surprise, the reflected light is sufficiently bright for closed-eye use too, and seeing what is seen under those circumstances does much to refute arguments that the glasses’ LED configurations contribute significantly to the closed-eye visuals.

Anyway, I hope you have fun with this simple little trick, and if you decide to make money with it, just remember, you saw it here first!


P.S. If this little experiment has whetted your appetite for open-eye viewing, the Laxman goggles, available as accessories from Neurotronics, fit the Procyon lightframe connector and work perfectly. What a great add-on for the Procyon!

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