The MicroBeatMini

My first impressions were pretty much spot on.  In the MicroBeatMini we have a first class Audiostrobe decoder and the best bicolour display I’ve used.

Bicolour? Yes. The Audiostrobe standard provides two light control channels. The mBm maps these two channels to various combinations of red/green/white and left/right frames – the ten modes providing all possible combinations with bicolour provided by the three Complimentary modes and monocolour left/right provided by the 7 Alternate modes.

The images below show how the LEDs are arranged in the reflector. Good open-eye (ganzfeld) can be created just by placing a piece of white paper over the reflectors.

Battery life ranges from 2.0-2.5 hours at maximum brightness, maximum volume and 100% duty cycle to 3.5-4.0 hours with typical AS encoded content such as that provided on the sample CD. Charge from flat is about 2 hours. Top-up charging is no problem.

Cable tangle is almost eliminated when using the frame-connected in-ear phones, but there still remains the need to be cabled to an audio source. When using the supplied Koss headphones (which are surprisingly good) tangles will, of course, occur, encouraged by the dual cable entry, a pet dislike of mine.

The rubber light shield has straightened up since unpacking and now provides excellent light exclusion.

It’s a shame a standard mini-USB and 3.5mm sockets haven’t been used, as I always have a spare mini-USB cable dangling off my PC for charging my cellphone or connecting my camera and 3.5mm audio cable for all manner of devices. I’m never thrilled by having to keep track of more oddball cables. Fortunately the supplied carry bag improves the likelihood of keeping all the bits together.

It’s always difficult to establish “value” for an AVS product. The nearest equivalent product is the L&S Synergizer, also a pure AS decoder with no integral sessions. The only practical reason to choose the Synergizer over the mBm would be if you wish to use other colours or types of glasses (blue or amber, open-eye, see-thru, etc.). The Procyon still provides the most control over Audiostrobe performance, with its highly customisable analog and digital decoding, however I doubt that most users will ever have need for such tweaks. There’s plenty of cheaper AS devices, most with integral sessions, but the mBm trumps all others with its convenient form.

As I develop most of my AVS content using NP3 or MWS, the mBm is now my device-of-choice. Integration of either Bluetooth or an MP3 player would make the mBm perfect.

Cheers,
Craig

 

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Comments

  • Anonymous  On September 1, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for your review, Craig.
    So this device uses two LCD screen in it?
    And is possible to view some Videos connecting the unit to a iPod video or a portable DVD player like similar LCD glasses I’ve seen on the Web?

    Thanks.

  • CraigT  On September 1, 2011 at 7:33 am

    It’s always a pleasure to run a new piece of equipment through it’s paces, especially when it’s easy to say good things about it.

    The mBm looks like the LCD video glasses to which you refer. It is built using the same shell – see the link in the comment to my First Impressions post. Internally, however, it is entirely different. The display consists of 8 LEDs per side and the electronics are dedicated to AS decode – no video.

    Cheers,
    Craig

    • Anonymous  On September 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      Ok. Thanks for your info, Craig.

  • Anonymous  On September 2, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Hi Craig,

    since I have not received a reply from you maybe I sent my message to not working account (ondesign@paradise.net.nz), so I resend my message here:

    Hi Craig,
    how are you??

    After an year here I am… ;-))

    Procyon is my favourite AVS machine… yes Laxman is colorful, eye open feature is great, but Procyon with its Audio Strobe (I have AS CDs) is the winner.

    I would like to know what do you think about DAVID Pal with CES machine.

    I am interested in CES feature and I already read your review on your great blog.

    Frankly do you think that a little electric power can enhance AVS stimulation?

    Althoug I do not want to be a collector of AVS machines (I have Procyon, Laxman, NP2, NP3 and MindWorkstation) I would like to know if you seen this machines that seems miraculous too:

    http://www.karnak2000.com/regenerator.asp

    Have you read nothing about it????

    I would like to know if you know this other mind machine from another German manufacture called MINDFIELD.

    The product is called MindLight and it seems different from Laxman because depend by a PC to work and it seems that has not AudioStrobe capacity:

    http://www.mindfield.de/en/products/mindlights/mindlights-overview-order.html

    Instead of glasses they sell a led mask… I’m curious to read what do you think about it.

    Have a nice day,

    Rosario 🙂

    • CraigT  On September 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Sorry for my late reply. I have changed email… craigtavs@gmail.com… and your message was marked spam and I haven’t checked that heap for a while.
      Great to hear that you’re still enjoying AVS.
      The Regenerator looks to be another machine obscured by mumbo-jumbo – I’d have to meet it in person to form an opinion beyond that.
      Mindlights looks pretty cool, and it would have to be to justify the price. I have experimented with several cobbled together visor arrangements, including the Trifield that I posted about a while back – all good but no better than simple closed-eye glasses (except for the particular hemispheric stimulus of the Trifield).
      Realistically, AVS requires nothing more than flashing lights/pulsed sound – everything beyond that is ornamentation. I always assume that a device proposed for AVS provides sufficient stimulus to be useful – beyond that it is just the user experience that is being manipulated. All of the numerous devices I’ve used deliver the stimulus, varying only in features and form.
      CES works fine too – as does rhythmic tapping on the back of your hand. The brain responds to beats wherever it finds them. The principle is simple and hard to screw up 🙂
      Thanks for drawing another couple of devices to my attention.
      Cheers,
      Craig

      • Anonymous  On September 7, 2011 at 6:53 am

        I was sure that this two devices would enconter your curiosity, Craig 🙂
        I am tempted from Mindlights machine since it should help in tinnitus noise, another trouble I have from years… Then, I have noted that Mindfield sells the machines on eBay at discounted price (something like 100 $ less than regular price).
        In case I will buy it I will write my opinion about it here, soon. OK?

        Thanks.

  • Riz  On September 6, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Hi Craig,

    A very useful blog and I also loved the introduction. I have two questions:

    1) I am interested in meditation, sleep help and trippy type experiences. I have been meditating for years but have no idea of the great stuff on your website. I am unlikely to spend loads of time on the computer building my own sessions or controlling the device at any deep level. I had gathered that Procyon was your device of choice, Laxman seems to be another competitor and it seems you have liked MBM too. Given my needs and likely use which of these (or some thing else) would you recommend?

    2) Have you heard of Lucid Light Stimulator which seems to be a light device capable of inducing powerful and trippy experiences. Though seems to be very expensive. Any views.

    • CraigT  On September 6, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Hi Riz,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      The Lucid Light Simulator appears to be a device that is shrouded in the mystical. Any flashing light source can induce changes in consciousness – no mystery there.
      If you’re not interested in writing your own sessions then an Audiostrobe device gives you access to the largest range of content – any number of CDs designed for any manner of purposes. If you like the idea of a device with it’s own built in sessions (very good ones) then the Procyon combines this with an excellent AS decoder – best of both worlds. The Laxman has it’s own sessions but does not have an AS decoder, however AS encoded sessions are being encoded specifically for the Laxman.
      As a first device, to find out what you really want to be doing, I have no hesitation in recommending the Procyon. There is no need to spend large sums to get into effective AVS.
      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Anonymous  On September 6, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Many thanks Craig for your very helpful post. Would all of these devices work with my iPod to play my own mp3 content?

    I might get a session on Lucid light stimulator in next few days and would be happy to share my impressions. Ideally I want to buy on of these light and sound machines before that to be able to compare the experiences if they are comparable at all.

  • Anonymous  On September 6, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Also if possible kindly comment on mbm vs Procyon. Many thanks.

    • CraigT  On September 6, 2011 at 8:53 am

      The mBm and the Procyon will accept input from any MP3 player or other audio source. Unless the content is AS encoded there will be no visual output, although any music with high pitched sounds may trigger the AS decoder.
      The Laxman is an MP3 player in its own right and has no inputs for other devices.
      The key differences between the mBm and the Procyon are:
      Procyon has inbuilt session the mBm does not.
      Procyon is true three colour (RGB) while the mBm uses red, green and white in varous combinations to display the two AS channels. For AS the Procyon can be programmed via its editor software to map the two AS channels to the three colours as desired.
      The mBm has all but the audio source included in the eyewear, meaning the only cable required is the one to the audio source, while the Procyon will end up with four parts; audio source, Procyon, eyewear, headphones.
      I’ll be interested to hear your impressions of the LLS.
      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Anonymous  On September 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Dear Craig thanks for this very useful comparison. In terms of end result ie quality of experience which one you think is better. Better sound better visuals better overall experience. Open vs closed eye experience.

    I really appreciate your help.

    • CraigT  On September 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

      The Procyon offers the broadest range of possibilities – bicolour AS and tricolour internal sessions. The Laxman offers spectacular open-eye visuals, but open-eye is of dubious value below high alpha (<10Hz). The mBm's arrangement of LEDs in the reflector and easy mode selection result in exceptional closed-eye visuals, although there are many factors other than the light configuration involved in the mind's perception of the actual light stimulation.
      Each machine has it's own characteristics – without experiencing them for yourself there is no way that the subtleties can be expressed. In the first instance it comes down to picking which features appeal and which best suits the way you intend to use the device.
      Cheers,
      Craig

    • Celina  On May 15, 2017 at 1:48 am

      Enhorabuena por tu blog.Me gustaria a ser posible?? me agregases al msn o me dieses una dirección de correo la cual pueda consultarte una cosa en privado?? Gracias Mi correo es lumohlss@lotzail.cym

  • Riz  On September 7, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Dear Craig,

    Many thanks for your help. Its all very new for me and i feel like a kid in the candy shop with loads of candies and labels that i do not fully understand. So some more questions for you and I appreciate your generousity.

    1) Photosonix Nova Pro 100 with Color track glasses. Have you used it and how would that compare to a MBM or Procyon?

    2) While comparing MBM and Procyon you wrote: “For AS the Procyon can be programmed via its editor software to map the two AS channels to the three colours as desired.” How difficult or complicated is this programming?

    3) Reading your reviews and comments it seems to me that the visuals on MBM are more interesting than on Procyon. Can you please confirm.
    However it seems Procyon offers good inbuilt sessions in addition to the ability to buy and use AS content. MBM also comes with some 10 AS CD’s equivalent materiel but its always good to have more specially if Procyon inbuilt sessions are really good.

    4) You made a comment about Procyon being true 3 colors but you also said MBM has three colors. Since I know nothing about true and false colors, a one line comment explaining the difference would be really appreciated.

    • CraigT  On September 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Hi Riz,

      I haven’t used the Nova Pro or the Colortrack glasses, however their Innerpulse with True White glasses is a perfectly fine machine, but not one that I would use in preference to the mBm or Procyon.

      The Procyon Editor can be downloaded from the MindPlace support page. It can be used to write complete Procyon sessions and to adjust various functions. Switching AS mapping is simple enough. The instructions for setting up the Procyon drivers need to be followed closely.

      The AS standard provides two light control channels, one encoded on the left audio, one on the right. With devices that have more than two light channels, the two AS channels are mapped according to the user’s wishes. The Procyon defaults to the standard red/green but can be set to any combination of the red, green and blue LEDs – red/blue+green, red+blue/green, etc. The mBm has ten colour modes as listed in the manual – red/green+white, green/white, etc. True three colour refers to any device that has red, blue and green channels that can be independently controlled – the internal sessions of the Procyon and the Laxman use the RGB model to create a full spectrum – 100% R+G+B = White.

      I found some of the mBm colour mappings particularly striking however perception is subjective and also dependent on audio, ambient lighting, mood, use of medications/substances and the viewers ability to see rather than watch. I’m very impressed by the mBm display.

      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Anonymous  On September 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Could these light and sound machines in any way damage the eyes? Do they emit any uv rays? Is there any research on their long term safety? Have they affected your own eyes?

    I am very grateful for your patient help.

  • Anonymous  On September 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    And what about their safety for the brain and nervous system too. Thanks

    • CraigT  On September 8, 2011 at 11:02 am

      The various glasses use LEDs which emit monochromatic light, a single wavelength within the spectrum, hence no UV. White LEDs generally use UV to activate tricolour phosphors, same as a standard fluorescent light the UV is absorbed by the phosphors.

      I have heard of no cases of eye damage and after innumerable hours of use I have experienced no harm. Keep in mind that most glasses are intended for closed eye use. Open eye devices such as the Laxman use indirect illumination.

      AV stimulation affects consciousness and as such the entire neural system is affected. As noted in most manuals, mental disorders or substance use can make the results unpredictable. This applies to any method of altering consciousness. Ultimately the purpose of AVS is to facilitate desired changes in consciousness, and in my experience it is an extremely useful tool for this purpose.

      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Mark P.  On September 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Craig,

    It’s been awhile since we were in touch. Since I’m doing almost everything in MWS, I sold my Laxman. Just too much work to recode the lights. I primarily use the Proteus, since the audio is cleaner than the Procyon, and I don’t mess with light alterations. I haven’t listened to an onboard session for months, and there appear to be no updates coming from MindPlace. So, I take my case with iPod, Proteus, glasses and headphones. This is intriguing to me. Have a few questions:

    1. It sounds like these are comfortable. Do they completely block the light from the outside, i.e., could they be worn on an international flight in the dark without freaking people out?

    2. Are the earbuds that come with it good quality? Do they seat well in the ear to block out some of the outside noise? I have a pair of UltimateEars custom that I use for travel, but would be nice not to have another set of wires. I definitely don’t use headphones when I travel – too much bulk.

    3. Will the case fit the unit, cables, with a set of in-ear phones and an iPod Nano? Good travel size?

    Let me know what you think. I always appreciate hearing about your experiences and your journey in life.

    BTW.. am also keeping my eye on this:
    http://www.hmb-tec.de/HMB-TEC/AVS.html

    Could be another travel answer, especially if the eyewear connector would allow for the use of the various Proteus light frames.

    Take Care,
    Mark from Colorado

    • CraigT  On September 9, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Hi Mark,

      Good to hear from you.

      The light shield allows a little light around the edges, but with closed eyes is is more than adequate.

      The included earphones are, to my ear, just fine. They are comfortable but provide only slight attenuation of outside sounds.

      The case comfortably hold the mBm itself, the Koss headphones, cables with plenty of room to hold an iPod or suchlike.

      The HMB/TEC unit looks very tidy and it appears that the glasses are standard MindPlace. In what is becoming a crowded market where I have come to assume that each device does what it claims to do, the HMB/TEC justifies itself by its compact iPod oriented design. Unfortuately there’s not enough information on the website to form any meaningful opinion and their email link doesn’t work.

      Cheers,
      Craig

      • Mark  On September 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

        Thanks Craig,

        I can feel my wallet becoming lighter already.

        By asking about the light shield, I was thinking more about, like, if you were in the seat next to me on a dark international flight, what would you think? Weird eyeshades? Wonder what movie he’s watching? Or – what kind of kook is this guy?

        I did get an email from the HMB/TEC people. The unit will not be ready until the end of the year.

        Blessings,
        Mark

      • Mark  On September 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

        BTW.. another Australian company providing the casing?

        http://www.22moo.com.au/Products/VideoEyewear/Video_Eyewear.html

        Mark

  • Riz  On September 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Dear Craig,

    Many thanks for your help. Based on your recommendation I have gone ahead and ordered a procyon which should arrive tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes.

    Riz

  • Mark P.  On September 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Got one ordered. Will pick it up Saturday. I’ll post comments after I’ve had a chance to use it a few times. I told them I heard about it on your blog, Craig, and they said to say, “thanks.” Thanks for the heads up on this. Looking forward to trying it.

  • Mark  On September 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Well, I’ve had the MicroBeatMini for a few days now, and I really like it. It’s comfortable and does a great job with AudioStrobe titles, as well as AS sessions that I have put together in MWS. The ability to alter the light schemes is nice – it gives you some variety that wasn’t there before. I agree with Craig that using non-standard cables is a concern, so I may have to acquire a spare set just for protection down the road. The onboard earbuds are acceptable, but just average. Several years ago I invested in ultimateears custom molded earphones, so I’m very spoiled. I still need to use those on a few cuts that I have used lower frequency beats that just don’t come through well with the onboard phones. Still, I must say, to just plug my iPod Nano in and go is very nice (and even with my ultimateears, it’s still a cleaner wire set up). I wish the battery life were a bit better, but having a rechargeable battery is a good feature. The lights are excellent, and it is nice to have all of the controls for volume, brightness and light selection right on the headset. Because I rarely use the Procyon or Proteus onboard programs, this mBm is now my go-to AVS system. Let clutter, better lights – there’s a lot to like about this.

    Thanks for posting about this for the rest of us to hear about it. BTW, mBm customer service is excellent.

    • CraigT  On September 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Great to hear you have your mBm and that my words did not lead you astray 🙂
      Cheers,
      Craig

  • marius cesar pereira  On December 25, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Hi Craig,
    I have been looking for a place to buy the microbeatmini, but the site is out.
    are you aware of any problems with the manufacturer of mbm?
    Marius from Brazil

    • CraigT  On December 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

      Hi Marius,
      No problems that I’m aware of. I’ve been in contact with the Microbeat people over the last few days and their site, microbeatmini.com, is working fine from here. Of course, the time of year being what it is, they’ll be taking a few days off here and there I expect.
      Cheers,
      Craig

      • marius cesar pereira  On January 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

        Hi Craig,
        I am still having problems to get in touch with microbeatmini, its site does not open here in Brazil, do you have an e-mail from mbm I could use to get in touch with mbm. Thanks Marius from Brazil

  • John  On January 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hello Craig, I am in search of a great AVS. My primary goal with this is Altered States due to the fact that I do Phase/OBE Sessions regularly. I wish to purchase a unit that will enhance my experience even further. Before reading your posts here I was leaning towards the Laxman. I was looking for the best thing out there and have learned that quality comes at a price. I currently use my MP3 loaded with Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones. I would appreciate any advice you may have.
    Thank you, John from Minnesota

    • CraigT  On January 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Hi John,
      I can’t arrive at any final conclusion beyond… https://craigtavs.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/which-is-best/
      You’ll find reviews of most available machines – Procyon, Proteus, Sirius, Laxman, Microbeat, Innerpulse, David PAL and a couple of others. If you are considering AudioStrobe encoded material played on an MP3 player then Microbeat, Sirius, Proteus or Procyon are all excellent. The Sirius is an absolute bargain and a great way to try Audiostrobe without spending a lot of money. Once you get a feel for what you really need then you might consider buying a more advanced device or one with features better suited to your usage.
      If you haven’t already done so, download a free trial copy of Neuroprogrammer 3 or Mind Workstation from Transparentcorp. These provide numerous sessions using a variety of audio stimuli plus AudioStrobe plus the option of adapting/creating your own sessions. Once you purchase a Transparentcorp product you will have access to the Member’s Area of their website where you will find a wide range of member contributed sessions, including quite a few for Altered States (I cannot attest to their effectiveness – I write sessions to meet my own needs).
      I hope you find satisfaction!
      Cheers,
      Craig

  • John  On January 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Hello again Craig, thank you for your quick reply. The comment I made of quality coming at a price was supposed to mean I wish to find the best quality I can get and I understand I will have to pay for it. The unit I wish to find has to have superior sound and visual. I was told while in a Astral vision to get the best thing out there, quality wise and not to spare any expense getting it. That is why I was leaning more towards the Laxman. In most reviews I have read of it, it was an entirely different experience and others were saying it trumps the other units on the market. I am having problems finding a USA distributor of the unit. I don’t quite understand why that is, for if this unit is really that good, then why don’t they have a USA distributor? There is a huge market over here in the USA. After reading about the Procyon, my final 2 choices are between that and the Laxman. Do you find the Laxman worth the expense?
    Thank you
    John from Minnesota

    • CraigT  On January 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Hi John,
      The three machines that I routinely use are the Procyon, the Laxman and the Microbeat. Each is a quite different device and they are all fit for purpose, each with its quirks. The Procyon is a three-colour (RGB with closed-eye glasses) standalone unit with highly configurable AudioStrobe decoding with external audio input and sophisticated integral synthesiser/light controller (Procyon Editor for programming). The Laxman is notable as an open-eye RGB visual machine and is centred around its integral MP3 player (Laxedit for adding beats and light control to MP3 files, some Audiostrobe titles being adapted to Laxman format). The Microbeat is purely an AudioStrobe device notable for the integration of decoder, glasses and earbuds into a single package – any AudioStrobe decoded content can be rendered in any combination of red, green and white. You can download the manuals for each machine and get a feel for how they will meet your needs. The Laxedit and Procyon Editor software can also be downloaded. Designing sessions with the machine specific editors can provide results otherwise unobtainable, notably true RGB control. AudioStrobe is the most accessible format for experimentors, providing colour-mappable two channel light control with the Procyon or Microbeat and Neuroprogrammer or Mind Workstation or from an expanding range of recreational and purpose-specific AudioStrobe titles available from numerous sources. The Laxman is the machine I generally show to first-timers – the supplied session visuals are stunning. You will have no difficulty purchasing from Europe. The Procyon is the machine I generally lend out when a person wants to experience therapeutic/psychoactive effects using the excellent integral sessions (and that I still enjoy and find useful – the Procyon closed-eye RGB experience is quite wonderful. The Microbeat is the one I now use most for developing, testing and enjoying AudioStrobe material.
      As far as Astral Vision is concerned each machine has an equal probability of being of value but none will, of themselves, bring about that experience. If you’re aware of the quality of the device in use then your mind is still dominated by beta which will preclude such experiences – no machine I’ve evaluated is bad enough to be so intrusive. Of far more importance is the design of the session and your own preparation.
      Cheers,
      Craig

  • John  On January 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for that extremely detailed review, you have helped me immensely with my final decision.
    John from Minnesota

  • John  On January 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Hello Craig, one last question for you. Have you heard anything good or bad about Lucia, the Lucid Light Stimulator from Austria? Also, have you heard a price on the unit yet? They had said on facebook that they were going into production in the Summer of 2011. That unit looks quite interesting and exactly what I feel I am searching for in a AV experience.
    Thank you
    John from Minnesota

    • CraigT  On January 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

      There are numerous devices out there that claim benefits beyond those supported by the fundamental principles of audio visual stimulation and brainwave entrainment. Generally they use a novel/luxury package and/or proprietary stimulus. The only device of this type that I have reviewed is the pRoshi which I found to have distinctive and useful characteristics although the price is hard to justify and it is a “one-trick pony”. Unfortunately I do not have the resources to evaluate most of the exotic, highly priced devices and the developers don’t seem all that interested in technical reviews – you’ll notice how hard it is to find an objective review as opposed to user testimonial and developer techno-babble. Exotic devices tend to have a cult-like following, exhibiting “emperor’s new clothes” syndrome, people feeling compelled to claim results justifying their expenditure and to remain part of the “enlightened”. The Lucia is a candidate for this category – only trial will tell. AVS is not the only self-development field that suffers from this problem. There is no magic bullet.
      A general purpose AVS device, particularly one with advanced light control like the Procyon, or AudioStrobe with complex session design using Mind Workstation can create almost any novel stimulus – the trouble is working out just what is actually special about the device/protocol being promoted.
      Products implying that they can emulate hallucinogenic substances are overstating their capability. A psychonaut experienced with the use of a particular substance can use AVS to recall the sense of that substance and to interrogate their recollection of the journeys. AVS visuals reminiscent of those seen under the influence of psychoactive substances are not equivalent to the experience created by the use of chemistry. Self-deception is always a danger when exploring these places.
      As far as I’m concerned the most powerful setup for a serious experimenter/psychonaut is a Procyon, Mind Workstation, an EEG and willingness to climb a steep learning curve. If you know the effect you’re after and it is possible to induce the effect with AVS, then the effective stimulation can be created with this combination. There are definitely effects beyond the fundamentals of AVS that can be achieved with complex stimuli.
      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Antony  On January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Graig, As a profoundly deaf person, you have greatly impress me with your truly phenomenal, exponential, and indispensable knowledge, followed with your most extraordinary expertise with different sophisticated Light and Sound Machines and Audio strobes Cd’s on the Market. My serious and fundamental raised question to you is: Can the profoundly deaf and or hearing impaired benefit light and sound machine and Audio Strobes cd’s on an equal footing as hearing people’s reported success ? Has there been any conductive research from L / S companies world-wide to date ? And have they received any genuine testimonials from deaf people, as same ? I look forward to hearing from you on this point, Kind regards, Antony Jackson, Isle of Man.

    • CraigT  On January 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Antony,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Yes. Visual stimulation suffices most adequately. The earliest of devices were purely light – from spinning segmented discs in front of a light source, through numerous permutations of flashing lamps and LEDs and onto exotic devices such as the pRoshi. My own experiments with EEG have made it plain that light is a stronger stimulus than sound and that visual stimulus invariably reinforces audio while it cannot always be said that audio reinforces visual.

      You’ll find supporting research on the Mind Alive, Transparent Corp and MindPlace websites – I don’t have specific links at hand just now.

      Any machine that supports AudioStrobe will meet your needs perfectly – Procyon, Proteus, Sirius, MicroBeat Mini would all be good choices. The Laxman would be an excellent choice for its exquisite full colour open-eye visuals, however it doesn’t directly support AudoStrobe though it comes with a very pleasing set of default sessions and many AudioStrobe titles are being adapted to it. As the visuals are of particular value for you the Procyon has much to recommend it being the most programmable full colour (RGB) device – the effects possible, as demonstrated by the programmed sessions included, are quite amazing. The Procyon is more programmable than the Laxman, the Laxman is easier to program. Open-eye visuals are nice but closed-eye is more useful – anything below mid-alpha loses a lot of effectiveness with eyes open. The Laxman can be used with eyes closed and the Procyon can be crudely adapted for eyes open use. Tricolour is nice and it does open up some additional possibilites but it is not intrinsically better than bicolour as much of what is perceived goes beyond the apparent stimulus – full range colour visuals can arise even from a single colour device – the MicroBeat is a very convenient AudioStrobe-only package and its visuals are superb, the Proteus is a great bicolour AudioStrobe device with the benefit of programmability and inbuilt sessions comparable to the Procyon while the Sirius remains absurdly good value for AudioStrobe and non-programmable integral sessions.

      Some AudioStrobe titles are more recreational than functional – the light track being more about pretty patterns than actual stimulus, with the audio providing pleasing sounds more than stimulus. I don’t know how useful these would be to you – I haven’t ever bothered to try any of the ones I have without sound. That said, there are plenty available that use and build upon what might be called “best practice” for audiovisual stimulation, with both sound and light delivering targeted stimulus.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Christopher Haskins  On March 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Greetings,

    I’ve been using AVS for quite a while. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, and have found that AVS helps with pain (distracton) and sleep. The best purchase I’ve made recently was a software program called Neuroprogrammer 3 by “Transparent Corporation”. I believe it’s referenced above in another message. This program allows you to use any of their preloaded AudioStrobe setups, or you can edit them, or create your own original program. They have a “toolbox” of editing parts that anyone can use. The Editor is excellent and simple.

    The interesting part is that all the programs are essentially output in AudioStrobe format. You can play them on the computer, you can play them with your AVS hooked up to the computer’s sound port, or you can “Export” them as “MP3” files for IPODs or whatever. So basically, you can create unlimited numbers of AudioStrobe sessions for any purpose.

    For those that want multiple options, Neuroprogrammer 3 has sessions for just visual (AVS or computer screen), just Audio for Speakers or headphones, and any and all combinations. We use one of the “just Speakers” setups which runs as a “sound machine” at night…

    Just my 2 cents worth. I plan to get the MbM to compliment the Neuroprogrammer 3 program.

    Christopher

    • CraigT  On March 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Hi Christopher,

      Very pleased to hear that AVS is proving useful for you. It seems to be particularly good for problems that doctors have difficulty nailing down and treating, such as fibromyalgia.

      I highly recommend Neuroprogrammer and its big brother, Mind Workstation – you’ll find links in my links section. Both work superbly with the mBm – MWS + mBm is my usual Audiostrobe session development system.

      Thanks for your coment – I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the mBm.

      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Anonymous  On August 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Dear Craig,

    Which EEG device do you suggest for playing around with MWS and Procyon. I have looked at Emotiv EPOC and Neurosky but cant compare them. What to look for when finding and EEG machine for this purpose.

    BTW I have now been through couple of Lucia sessions. It is a light only entrainment device that uses strong white LED lights.

    I found the entrainment effect to be quite strong compared to Laxman and Procyon that i own.

    However, I cant justify a price tag of 20,000 euros or so. If it were a 1,000 euros i would have purchased it.

    • CraigT  On August 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Hi,

      I can’t comment on the new low cost EEGs as I haven’t had the opportunity to try them. The only device I am familiar with is the Pocket Neurobics Pendant in conjunction with BioExplorer – a very capable combination.

      I rarely use EEG these days. When I first got the Pendant it got a fair bit of use, mainly to learn what it felt like with the various rhythms. Once the feeling is familiar there is no need for feedback, and the familiarity doesn’t need an EEG to acquire as it’s pretty obvious when you’re “in the zone” desired. The only time I use it these days is to verify the potential effectiveness of novel stimuli or commercial sessions. It is important to understand that an EEG recording showing activity at a particular rhythm does not necessarily mean that the brain is engaged in activity associated with a particular rhythm – dominant delta and gamma does not a monk make.

      The new EEGs address one of the major problems with solo EEG recording – poor connections. There’s nothing more frustrating than recording a thirty minute theta session only to find that you have recorded nothing but noise. Another issue is the tendency to think about the EEG during the session – such thoughts make it difficult to get below a 10Hz rhythm.

      As for the Lucia – arrange your Procyon glasses so that they illuminate a white surface (wall, ceiling or whatever) in a dark room. You will be amazed at how well this works open- or closed-eye. The key is darkness as you will know if you have used the Procyon in bright light – contrast is everything. This is especially effective for sleep or deep mediation sessions as it eliminates distracting cable-tangle.

      Cheers,
      Craig

  • Anonymous  On August 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Just to add, lucia does not use any glasses its a standing lamp like structure. Closed eye sessions. Visuals are amazing and even after the sessions you feel a glow for some time.

  • Paul  On November 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Hi Craig
    Thanks for the great info. I have just purchased a pair of the mBm. They will hopefully arrive next week. I am also looking into an EEG headset. Can you make any recommendations? I know you mentioned that your not much into EEG nowadays, but just wanted to know if you had any thoughts. I am planning on using it with the Koss headphones. I am worried that I will have too much gear on the head. It will be to use with the transparent corp suite.

    • CraigT  On November 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

      Hi Paul,

      I’m sure you’ll enjoy the mBm.

      I only have the Pendant EEG with BioExplorer. You’d get the best info from the Transparent forums – lots of discussion of low-cost EEG devices.

      People are using all sorts of combinations of sound, light and EEG – the head can accommodate an amazing amount of hardware. Cable tangle, of course, is an ever-present joy and EEG requires a bit more care in keeping still and not moving the electrode placements.

      Cheers,
      Craig

      • Paul  On November 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        Hi Craig
        The mBms arrived, absolutely love them. The sample CD is superb, truly immersive. Really shows off their capability. How do I mirror the same sophistication in NP3. All I seem to get is flashing on & off in a mono-tone repeated pattern. Surely these glasses are more programmable? Is there some other software I should be using? How was the sample CD created? Which software? Any suggestions, ideas would be much appreciated.

      • CraigT  On November 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        Hi Paul,

        Awesome!

        Could you give me the names of some of the sample tracks?

        If they are the ones I wrote, then they were created in Mind Workstation.

        There’s lots of sample sessions with NP3 or MWS that can be used as the starting points for your own experiments. And experimentation is the key. Soon you will have seen and heard for yourself what all the controls do. Then take the pieces and rearrange them into unique and exciting sessions.

        For outright effectiveness nothing can beat simple beat and flash. Everything else is there only to modify the experience in some subjective manner.

        Cheers,
        Craig

  • Anonymous  On January 23, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Had my first experience yesterday with the real Lucia no3, it was
    unbelievable, its something out of this world, all i can say is this:
    its really all that i have read about it before and much more,

    Within
    a few minutes i was in a different world seeing gorgeous colors and
    well set patterns shaping and merging, some of them are in serious mode
    and some are making you light up like,

    I had a 17 minute session
    and when got out it felt like i slept for many hours, was a different
    person afterwards, felt sharp and energized, boosted with confidence and
    power,

    Thinking about purchasing one and bring it back to NY so
    people can use mine and enjoy a session for a small fee to help cover
    the cost.

    • CraigT  On January 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing that. I must get around to experimenting with Lucia-like hardware. I’m most intrigued by the reported Lucia experiences. Seems the Lucia might be like the pRoshi – delivers great results but no one really knows why.

      Cheers,
      Craig

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