MWS Engines

I’m guessing that Mind Workstation Engines get a lot less use than they deserve. I’ve started to get into the habit of considering whether there’s an engine that will do the job better before I start sculpting in the graphic editor.


My personal favourites are the Data Table and Timed Input/Output Engines. It’s almost ironic, but, having the most powerful graphical AVS editor at your disposal, sometimes it’s nice to use spreadsheet entry. The Data Table is simple list of values, applied to the Action controlled parameter at a rate determined by the update period. The Timed I/O engine allows you to list a set of frequencies and durations. Both these engines can be much quicker than tweaking nodes into place, or having to repeatedly open node dialogues. This is a great way to set up the basic structure of a session. The engine’s Actions can control parameters other than Entrainment Frequency – any variable of any track is accessible. Also useful is the facility to loop back to the beginning, for endless sessions. Ideal for constructing all-night sleep pattern sessions for apnoea or lucid dreaming.


Then there’s the Random Engine. Basically anything you do with random beat is going to be experimental. There’s a few protocols out there that use random stimulation, but there’s little independent information on their usefulness. I personally find them excellent for creative visualisation – a random spread over theta/alpha is brilliant. You get to generate a random number within a range you specify. If you were wanting to control beat frequency you might choose 5 to 15. Then you get to decide how often you want a new number generated, the controlled parameter to change. Advanced options allow you to round your random number. Reasons for this become apparent when you look at the Formula/Expression engine.  You can open up a whole new random generator to control the update time. These are things you’ve just got to play with to get a feel for their effects.

The Formula/Expression Engine is a major tool for anyone trying to emulate protocols they’ve read about. This engine allows the output of any other engine to control any output parameter after undergoing sophisticated mathematical, logical, conditional, statistical or chronological manipulation. There’s some very clever variables for passing information back and forth between engines. If you’ve used Excel, the formulae will be familiar, otherwise you’ll be in for some time with the MWS Help. This engine, in conjunction with the Random engine is useful for computer generated music.

The Formula/Expression Engine will probably require a bit of book-lernin’ from the MWS Help, but the others respond well to the play-and-learn strategy.

As always, have fun!


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