Light & Sound Machines:
Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Light and Sound Machine?
What are these mental states and how do they differ from normal?
Who can benefit from this technology?
What happens when I have a session?
What is achieved in these states of mind?
How important is the sound?
What are "Binaural Beats"?
What is a light and sound machine intended to do?
What benefits are gained by the use of Light and Sound Machines?
How does one go about using these machines?
How can I use it for accelerated learning?
How can I use L/S to become successful? 
How often should I use it?
Who should not use it?
Which mind machine  is best?  Which one should I buy?
Why are LED'S used instead of incandescent lights?
What color light glasses should I use?
What tapes or CDs work well with L/S?
Can Light and Sound sessions help create lasting change?
Can I get a discount if I buy more than one?
What research resources are recommended?


 

What is a Light and Sound Machine?
Utilizing light and sound pulses at a specified frequency, these machines stimulate the brain wave activity of the user, leading the user's mind from normal waking consciousness to a variety of altered states of consciousness. These devices are alternately called "Mind Machines",  "L/S Machines", "AVS Machines (Audio Visual Stimulation)", or "SLED"s (Sound and Light Entrainment Devices)


What are these mental states and how do they differ from normal?
The specific brain wave frequency ranges and their associated mental states are as follows:

BETA 13-30 Hz: Normal waking state; attention directed to surroundings. Includes agitated, restless/"monkey mind" states which are especially amenable to treatment with light and sound stimulation.

ALPHA 8-13 Hz: Relaxed, tranquil, daydreaming, "inward awareness" state.

THETA 4-8 Hz: Borderline sleep; meditation state with access to the unconscious; creativity, learning, inspiration.

DELTA 1-4 Hz: Deep, dreamless sleep; trance state.
 


Who can benefit from this technology?
Light and sound can enhance the work of physicians, psychologists, therapists, body workers, any harried professional, as well as the individual experimenter who wishes to explore altered states of consciousness, awareness expansion and sensory stimulation.


What happens when I have a session?
With special light glasses, called "LiteFrames", over your closed eyes and headphones over your ears, you are immersed in colorful geometric patterns and entrancing sounds. The light and sound pulse rate shifts from state to state as the session progresses; brain wave activity will follow the pulse rate of the machine and fall into synch with the changes.


What is achieved in these states of mind?
The following are some of the areas being explored by users of these machines: psychological stress relief, deep relaxation, assistance in falling asleep, memory improvement, increased learning, stabilizing emotions, increased intellectual focus, lucid dreaming, greater sound can substance abuse reduction, sensory stimulation, increased physical energy. While some of these benefits have been substantiated by research studies, these machines are experimental and results will vary from person to person.


How important is the sound?
The entrainment mechanism is both visual and aural. Sound and music have been used for centuries in may cultures to manipulate consciousness. Drums, chants, and environmental sounds like wind and rain all provide strong mental pictures and associations. Pleasant sounds are much more enjoyable and relaxing than one-note beeps or tones, such as those used by other machines. Synetic Systems incorporates the most sophisticated sound generation circuitry of any light/sound device, employing digital synthesizers to generate complex wave forms, rich two- - and three- note harmonies, and moving audio sculptures. Use of special "audiostrobe" CD's can fully synchronize the lights with the audio program.


What are "Binaural Beats"?
Binaural beat generation is a sound feature on most of our Light and Sound products. Using two sound synthesizers in the audio circuit, and by specifying slightly different sound frequencies for the left and right channels, it is possible to induce a third frequency which is the difference between the left and right in the mind of the user. This is known as a binaural beat frequency generation. The perceived beat frequency is especially useful as an entrainment tool when paired with pulsing lights.

 

What is a light and sound machine intended to do?
Inside the special glasses are a series of  light emitting diodes (LEDs). These blink at very specific frequencies and can be easily sensed through closed eyelids. During the course of a session, these sequences of rhythmic light and sound patterns will change causing the mind to gradually become quiet and allowing you to feel deeply relaxed.

When you need to access different states of functioning, you can select a pre-set session that combines scientifically designed sequences of pulses light and sound frequencies. For instance, if you want to slow down and relax deeply or sleep, you would choose a program from the list provided with the L/S device, sit or lie back with the LED glasses and headphones on, and let the flickering lights and sounds capture your brainwaves and gently lead them into letting go.

If you felt fuzzy and unable to focus, you might choose an energizing program that uses faster, Beta frequencies that can sharpen your thinking and stimulate your energy.

Click to see a special article on "How do Mind Machines work?"

What benefits are gained by the use of Light and Sound Machines?
Getting into the flow by letting go briefly (but often).

Most people need to learn to relax deeply and let go of the stresses and concerns of their life, even for a brief period like 15 - 30 minutes once or more per day for a while. Often sleep will not provide this kind of release and rest. Light/Sound devices can induce the Theta state in which the mind can shut down and allow the body to rest profoundly. A week or so of daily sessions can create some amazing differences in our ability to handle stress and respond in more creative, less reactive ways. When coupled with tapes/CDs that have properly scripted change messages, mind machine users have found that they think more clearly and positively, feel happier and calm, and have more energy and fewer health problems. You will start to have more times in which you perform optimally, like a well-conditioned athlete in the "zone."

How does one go about using these machines?
Whenever you can take at least 15 minutes or more, find a quiet place, sit or lie down, and select a session that matches your goal, ie relaxation, learning, energizing, etc. Start the session. Now the most important thing to do... NOTHING! That's right, don't do anything. Don't try to relax or even pay attention. Just let whatever may happen, happen. Let go and let the lights and sounds carry you away. You may drift off and feel like you went to sleep. That's fine. This is not a test. You can't do it wrong unless you try to force it.

Resist the "Type A" desire/compulsion to do something! That's exactly how you got so stressed out to begin with. The L/S session can give you the opportunity to "stop the world" for a little while and get off the treadmill of effort and worry.

If you let this "time out" happen, you may be amazed to find out that you will become more productive, efficient, and cheerful. That means that the time you spent doing nothing has been some of the most valuable time you can spend!

How can I use it for accelerated learning?
3 techniques for different situations:

L/S systems can accelerate learning in several ways: before studying, during, and after. Before studying, if you feel spacey and unable to concentrate, try an energizing, Beta session. During studying, try an alpha rhythm with just the headphones alone if you have to read. If you want to learn taped material, use a deep relaxation session and let the words sink in to your subconscious. When you study the written material later, you will find that you understand it at a deeper level and can recall it easily. After a study session, try a deep relaxation program and let yourself drift off. This has been found to "set" the material for better recall.

If you have test anxiety, try a deep relaxation session before the test and visualize a successful outcome as you start to relax.

How can I use L/S to become successful? 
The secret to effective creative visualization:

Your subconscious mind can do amazing things when you give it a chance. Here's how to do it: first, find those sessions and frequencies which create a state of deep relaxation. Once you have spent some time in this state, you will have more energy and less demands on your body/mind. Next, when you start to get relaxed during a session, visualize yourself doing or having what you desire. Make this visualization as real as you can, full of colors, feelings, sounds, smells, etc. Then just let go and trust your subconscious mind to make it happen for you. You may be amazed to find that reality will become more and more like you pictured it with little effort on your part! Give it a try!

You can also make your own tapes to reprogram your subconscious. Use an endless  loop cassette such as one used in an answering machine (Radio Shack carries them). Now record a few minutes of positive, present tense affirmations. If you put them into 3 persons ("I, John, feel relaxed when I take tests. You, John, feel relaxed when you take tests. John feels relaxed when he takes tests."), you should get the best results. Again, the secret is to play these tapes while in a state of deep relaxation while your conscious mind is on vacation. It really works and costs a lot less than visits to a hypnotist!
 


How often should I use it?
Use your mind machine as much as you like. Many people use it first thing in the morning to get sharp and focused. They might use it again during the afternoon as a power nap instead of drinking coffee. Others will find that it calms them down better than alcohol or drugs and use it when anxious and confused.

Try L/S when you want to enter into a creative state and come up with a new ideas or solution to a problem that has eluded you. It may come during the session or later as an AHA moment.
 

Who should not use it?
If you have a seizure disorder or are under a doctor's care, you should definitely consult with your health care provider before trying L/S.
 

Which mind machine  is best?  Which one should I buy?
All machines do basically the same thing; put you in your choice of brainwave state (beta, alpha, theta, delta). The first thing to consider is: "do you like to fiddle around with technology, or generally never use the advance features of the equipment you buy?" If you like to fiddle around, then look at the machines with the most features, otherwise look at the minimal feature machines. Now go by your budget.

We recommend starting with the Galaxy, determining if you like the basic effect of pulsed light and sound, and then deciding if you really want to get deeper into programming and customizing sessions (most people don't need all the additional features).

The new Proteus  has all the advanced features almost anyone would need as well as an upgrade path that will allow users to download operating system changes for free as they become available. It is now possible for the Proteus and the ThoughtStream GSR biofeedback system to interact.

If you know that you will want to experiment with frequencies and patterns by designing your own sessions, consider the Proteus, or the  Mind'sEye. While most people will never use the advanced features of these devices, other features of these devices such as enhanced sound and BiColor glasses in the Proteus will make them useful for both novice and advanced users.

If you will want to experiment with the combination of Biofeedback interacting with Light-and-Sound brainwave entrainment, you should consider the Mind'sEye - ThoughtStream Combo or the Proteus - ThoughtStream Combo
 

Why are LED'S used instead of incandescent lights?
Light emitting diodes--LED's--are state of the art solid state devices that convert small amounts of electrical energy into light. They can be switched on and off much faster than incandescent lights, producing the crisp strobe-like pulses which have been shown to be most effective at inducing patterns of brainwave activity. They also create very pure colors--again an important factor in the alteration of consciousness and brainwave activity.


What color light glasses should I use?
L/S Mind Machines using "Ruby Red" light glasses have the unexpected ability to create the mental image of many colors in ever-changing patterns. 

There are light glasses with two different colors, (blue/red) and (green/red). The blue/red tends to put your mind into a very visual state. After several minutes, the colors and patterns tend to go away leaving you to use your "mind's eye." The green/red produces a wide array of very unusual colors. This is great to stimulate imagination as the colors you see are not common ones.

We will be offering the new TruWhite light glasses which are becomming very popular. You see all the colors of the rainbow with TruWhite. An additional advantage  is that the color white has no color emotional associations attached to it; it is clean. People's personally experiences in life radically filter one's response to specific colors. If someone had very negative experiences as a child and their room was painted green; green is not going to have the traditional healing effect for that person. It is nice to have color choices when working with the public to let them decide. Basically otherwise, the warm colors (red, orange, yellow) have an excitatory (stimulating) effect; and the cool colors (blue and green) have an inhibitory (calming)effect.

In November '03 the ALLcolor Visual System became available. Using just one set of lightframes with a 'color control console' you now have left/right eye control with over 4,000 colors, shades and blends to choose from.

What tapes or CDs work well with L/S?
You can use any audio material you wish, from relaxing music that you enjoy, to tapes you create with affirmations, to sophisticated combinations of binaural beats and messages may be the perfect background for facilitating theta voyages!


Can Light and Sound sessions help create lasting change?

A Dialogue about using L/S to create real lasting change:

Metaprogramming  intrigues me. I have a number of ideas that get fairly far out so must limit this to a few concrete ideas. If you can record your voice onto a cassette, you can play the tape back while you run a light/sound (LS) program that leads your brain waves into the theta zone of hypnagogic revery. In this state, your censor (along with the rest of your sphincters) relaxes and allows the affirmations (in 3 persons, ie "I, you, he enjoys regular exercise and healthy foods.") to land on the fertile soil of your unconscious where they will germinate and bloom into new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors over the next few days and weeks. When you suddenly notice these changes and wonder how they happened, you will have taken the first step along the amazing road of hypnosis.

You can come up with lots of other ways to use this technology. The Galaxy comes with excellent instructions and you can find more material in print and web publications. Your awakened creativity will reveal solutions for any challenge. Simply put the question before your consciousness, start a LS session, and let go of control and efforting, secure in the knowledge that, liberated from your tyrannical, narrow conscious mind, the larger part of your self, the body/mind, can restructure reality in an ecologically appropriate way that will bring your desired outcomes miraculously, as if by magic. Call it grace, call it higher power, call it a cab... it really doesn't matter, because it works.

This process takes various amounts of time (immediately, a day, a week, or a month) depending on a number of factors, but it will happen if one allows it to. New users often try too hard to help the LS instead of surrendering to it. Many people fear letting go because their environment / culture has taught them that that way madness, mischief, and sin lie. They also fear freedom (see E. Fromm), but that's another discussion.

So give it a week or two of at least a session a day (more if possible). Just nodding off for 30 minutes while using LS can work wonders for stress reduction, energy, and the immune system.

I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of periods of complete, deep relaxation. Even without additional verbal input (subliminals, hypnotic suggestions, etc.), letting your body/mind "off the hook" for 20-30 minutes once or twice a day will work wonders by  freeing up energy and creativity, releasing endorphins, and helping restore balance, attentional flexibility, and degrees of freedom in thought, feeling, and behavior. When this process begins to take effect, you will have taken the crucial first step necessary for rejuvenation and the unlocking of your awesome natural powers.

Good luck to you. Let me know if you want to try a system (the Galaxy makes most sense as a starter and as a resale system) and we'll hook you up. Keep me posted on your progress.
 

Can I get a discount if I buy more than one?
Yes, you can buy them from us at a discount dependent on quantity. You can also enter into a referral partnership with us. Let's discuss actual percentages via email or phone (425.765.6996) if you're serious about sharing this technology with your contacts.
 

What other resources are recommended?

  See our Research Paper Bibliography

"History of Sound and Light"

Light and Sound Review

Article on "Photic Driving"

How do Mind Machines Work?

Brainwave Entrainment

Introduction to Light and Sound

E-Interview with Robert Austin