NeuroProgrammer 2

I haven’t really been avoiding writing about NeuroProgrammer. It’s been more a case of deciding just how passionate I wanted to be.

NP2-Sessions

NeuroProgrammer 2 was the first brainwave entrainment product I ever purchased. The entire evolution of my interest is founded on the wonderful experiences I had with NP2.

Like many, I started with the two weeks free trial. I went on to purchase NP2 Pro without the slightest hesitation.

Minutes after completing the download, I was listening to my first professionally crafted brainwave entrainment session. The way NP2 launches straight into session selection, with the three session groups neatly tab arranged, makes it clear that NP2 wants to be listened to. The Session Recommendation Wizard, that runs when you first launch NP2 and any time you wish thereafter, does a great job of refining the displayed session list to those most likely to be of benefit to you. This Wizard is a very good place to start when choosing sessions – just run the Wizard from the Tools menu and answer the questions as they apply to you today.

NP2 ships with a set of sessions that showcases the best interpretation of most of the protocols that have shown promise in small scale clinical trials. The Help system is one of the best BWE reference sources around. All have AudioStrobe tracks, and if any session is going to work from a purely theoretical perspective, these ones will. The general purpose sessions are equally well considered.

Most of the sessions supplied are read-only, with only the few samples in the User folder available for editing (Pro version only – Home does not have the Session Editor). Rumour has it that NP3 will come with fully editable sessions. In the meantime editable versions of all the sessions are available on request on the Transparent user forum, or I have copies that I’m allowed to pass on on request.

NP2-SessionEditor

While it takes time to know how to create a good session, the Session Editor’s simple graphical interface will have you writing sessions in no time at all. The main thing to remember is that left clicks, double-clicks and right-clicks do different things all over the place – most advanced functions are accessed by means of double-clicking or right-clicking the object of interest. As simple as it appears, there’s a lot of functionality just below the surface.

Being able to create a surprisingly complex session is nice, but where NeuroProgrammer excels is in its session customization features. Even if you don’t want to delve into the arcana of entrainment theory, you can take any of the supplied sessions and make them your own by changing background tracks, selecting which tracks will be played (background, noise and/or tones), lengthening or shortening the session, changing the overall pitch, adjusting levels of all the entrainment effects and adding scripts and suggestions. Once you’ve tweaked a session to perfection, you can save the Config. You can save all the configs you want, so you can tweak a session many different ways and save each permutation.

If you’re into hypnosis/NLP, then NP2 includes a reasonably adequate tool for microphone recording (I usually do my recordings with Audacity) and graphical sequencer for timing recorded elements. There’s a good selection of suggestions and a few induction scripts included – they’re a useful guide for creating your own. The sessions that include “hypnotic” in their name all use the sample induction scripts. The dual induction is the generic form of the technique known commercially as Paraliminal (Paul Scheele’s baby). NP2 also knows about Text-to-Speech and comes with Microsoft Sam – other voices are available from third parties.

A Super Learning Tool is included that allows you to import any audio training material and have it played over an optimum learning frequency, and timed for best retention.

A very useful feature that makes up part of the Customization system is “Session End Options”. With this you can have you computer shut down/stand by/hibernate at the end of play, play another session, launch another application, or just sit there and wait for you.

NP2 can have multiple AudioStrobe tracks so full control of the two channels is a breeze. The AudioStrobe Configuration Tool ensures compatibility with any AS decoder.

I have been seduced by Mind Workstation. As a techy tinkerer the lure of almost unlimited control was too much for me. If all I had wanted was to make use of brainwave entrainment technology and to occasionally create an effective and enjoyable session, then NeuroProgrammer would have met my needs. As it is, I’m immensely grateful that I did my early learning with NP2, as it smoothed the learning curve into MWS a great deal – knowing the terminology really helps when you’re suddenly faced with the leading-edge top-end entrainment studio software.

I would most heartily recommend NP2 to anyone who just wants to see if brainwave stuff works for them. If it’s going to work for you at all, it will work with something from the NP2 session collection. I’d also recommend it to anyone who thinks developing AVS/entrainment content might be a fun thing to do. If you really enjoy creating sessions, then there’s a very reasonable upgrade path to MWS – you have very little to lose and a great deal to gain by starting with NP2.

My wife and I both routinely use NP2 for audio-only sessions. The Sleep Induction for Chattery Minds is a favourite of mine, and Lori has had much relief with the Sleep Induction for Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain. I often use the alpha relax sessions in the background while I’m reading a novel. One of the things I like about many of the NP2 sessions is the very fact that they don’t have all the frills – once you have the tools that MWS offers, there’s a real temptation to clutter the show up.

I think it’s pretty well known that NP3 is somewhere just over the horizon. A lot of user requests have been acknowledged, so it will be interesting to see what emerges. I wouldn’t worry about waiting though – NP2 is plenty good enough, and there will always be a reasonable upgrade path.

Cheers,
Craig

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Comments

  • wasted  On August 19, 2009 at 10:15 am

    And what about Sbagen?

    Thanks!

  • craigtavs  On August 19, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Hi,

    sBaGen and BWGen are both free utilities that I have played around with and they both do a perfectly fine job of creating entrainment content but they lack the polished user interface of a commercial product. As with many such products, both have enthusiastic followings.

    I’ve been pondering how best to deal with such products, and your enquiry will nudge me along.

    Cheers,
    Craig

  • wasted  On August 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I do agree with you that SBagen is lacking an UI. I’m not a console fan, but when you have an old PPC Mac you simply can’t start windows and therefore NP2 in a virtual machine. And it’s really sad that the company behind the product doesn’t want to invest into the mac scene. So right now I’m stuck with SBagen, but it gives me the kick to start learning how to use it.

    Thank you and greetings from Berlin

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