Effective Sessions

AVS/brainwave entrainment works.  Auditory and visual stimulus always leads to corresponding , EEG measurable response over the sensory regions of the cortex. This stimulus increases the likelihood of other regions of the brain exhibiting the same rhythm, suggesting that other regions are engaged in activity associated with these rhythms. If beta is prevalent, chances are that you are focused and thinking clearly, alpha suggests that you are calmly aware and critically contemplative, theta indicates receptiveness and observer-point awareness of thoughts and surroundings, while delta indicates a withdrawn state that may be applied to sleep or meditation. In no case does the secondary response (entrainment) guarantee that the individual is actually using the induced state or benefiting from it. The nearest to assured usefulness is in therapeutic protocols addressing a correctly identified deficit.

The stimuli available with the likes of Neuroprogrammer or Mind Workstation vary in persuasiveness. In order of raw entrainment potential – isochronic, monaural, (MWS only – Harmonic Box X), binaural.

Noise can be used as the primary entrainment, in which case it is comparable in usefulness to isochronic beats (assuming strong amplitude modulation –  less modulation or frequency band modulation the lower the impact while making the sound more comfortable). Noise can also be used as a blanket, either with entrainment or without, to suppress other rhythms. Natural noise sounds such as surf or rain are good for this too. Noise types in order of raw effect – white, pink, brown. 

Isochronic, monaural and noise work fine together. Binaural really doesn’t play well with others and I consider its effectiveness highly doubtful above delta.

Once the basic beat is established the balance of other sounds is a matter of personal taste. As long as the beat is distinct and there is no evident conflict or interaction with other sounds then the session will be effective.

If your specific desire is to strongly entrain to a particular rhythm then I would start with a solo isochronic beat on a pitch 10-20 times the beat, and become familiar with your response to that pure beat. Within reason the rule for pitch selection is slow beat low pitch, fast beat high pitch. Once you have a feeling for the beat you can then add noise at whatever volume leaves the beat clear. You could then add entrainment to the noise. From there you are free to add background, try the different entrainment types and so on, building on the firm base of what you know works (not necessarily pleasant, but pretty much assuring entrainment) to pleasingly balanced sessions tailored to your own taste and response.

The sessions included with NP3 and MWS are simple examples of good balance between appropriate stimulus and listening pleasure. It is worth spending time using these sessions, examining their structure, reading the descriptive text and experimenting with the basic session options.

An AudioStrobe device can greatly increase effectiveness and pleasure –  light stimulation is very persuasive and the visuals are stunning in themselves. Usually I advocate the seeing-without-looking/hearing-without-listening strategy for effective use of AVS however it is well worth spending some time just gazing awestruck at the complexity of the visuals. A simple answer to which device is best doesn’t exist – each has at least one characteristic that differentiates it from all others – the importance of that characteristic to you is the point of definitive choice.

Most of all, have fun. AVS works much better when you’re enjoying the whole experience – creation and use.


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  • Rodney  On May 4, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Any chance your sessions you have on ITunes could be put out for the Andriod and Amazon Fire?

  • Rodney  On May 4, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Or is there a way I can get them directly from you?

    • CraigT  On May 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

      Hi Rodney,

      The Quattuor sessions were commissioned by Innovex, the MicroBeatMin i people, who develop i apps. I’m happy to createsessions for Android or whatever if a developer wishes to commission me.

      Please contact me at craigtavs.gmail.com if you wish to discuss rates, etc.


  • ken rosmarin  On May 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Hello Craig,

    I purchased the quattuor ipad app and have used it daily despite not owning any visual audiostrobe device. It seems to have an effect on my brain and my mood. However, I would like to actually see in realtime my brainwaves on a computer screen or ipad screen while listening to yours and others brain wave entrainment audio/visual sessions. Could you recommend needed hardware and software to achieve this. I am willing to spend $500-$1000.

    Also, you have my heartfelt thanks for creating and maintaining this blog. Your personal insight and in depth experience that you so generously share is very much appreciated. As far as carbon based units on this planet go, you are right up there with the very best this planet has to offer. Thank you.

    • CraigT  On May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Hi Ken,

      Wow! Thank you for your generous praise.

      I have been very pleased with the Pendant and BioExplorer, but this is an expensive option

      Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to play with any of the low-cost options now appearing on the market. There’s a lot of discussion about these on the TransparentCorp forum, where Brewmasher seems to have valuable experience.

      I can think of nothing better to know than one’s own mind. Enjoy the AVS/EEG journey.


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