FIRST AND FUCKING LAST WARNING!!! IF YOU HAVE EPILESPY OR ANY PREDISPOSITION TO SEIZURES DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT ENGAGE THE ABOVE LINK. AND EVEN IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD THEM BEFORE BE WARNED THE DEVICE LINKED TO FROM ABOVE MAY VERY WELL INDUCE SEIZURES ANYWAY.
Okay, that being said, this is freakin' awesome. I have been toying with the idea of building a Dream Machine for quite a number of years now. Several times I've downloaded specs, diagrams, instructions and the like but A) Have never had the time to follow through and B) Bullshit. I could have made the time if not for letting my lack of experience with electronics intimidate me in inactivity. Whatever, the point is I've always wanted one, was never proactive enough to build one, and now someone has put one on line. Thanks to whoever did this and thanks to Klintron at Technoccult for linking.
So here's the deal. Gysin and William S. Burroughs used to use this thing to induce certain states of mind. Alot has been done with this kind of technology since they were sitting in that little hotel at 9 Rue Gît-le-Cœur in the Latin Quarter of Paris, hacking reality with analog turntables, lights, mirrors and polaroids. This is the root of alot of the modern technoccult movement and the dream machine especially is interesting as hell.
The science, briefly, goes like this. If you apply certain frequencies to the brain, the brain's frequencies will harmonize. You can do this with sound or flicker, anything that can be taken in at the senses and sent straight to the brain. And we know that certain states of mind occur at certain frequencies, i.e. - lucid dreaming occurs when the brain is between 0.1-3 Hz (for a nice full breakdown of more states and frequency correspondencies go here:
Now, I know some of this has been bastardized by cheap new age 'music' companies. I've seen people buy these fairly expensive CD packages from our store that claim to have the appropriate frequencies running under music with titles like, 'Ocean Pleasure' or 'Discovery by Moonlight' - hey, they may very well do what they claim, but the imaging makes people not take it seriously. Take it seriously. You can do some weird shit like this.
You cannot generate 0.1-3Hz Audio frequencies with any speakers I know of. Speakers, a common transducer that takes one form of energy and turns it into another (micorphones being the reverse type of transducer) commonly come with a range of 40 Hz - 40K Hz because this is the practicle range of human hearing. Plus, the lower the frequency, the bigger the physical transducer, ie speaker, you need to project it. So there are probably specially built speakers out there in audio labs or audiophile homes/workshops, but chances are pretty good you and I are not going to come into contact with them easily.
Questions? Yes, ah, you in the back in the tan chino's.
'Why bother, you just said the range of our species' hearing is 40-40k, so if you did build a transducer capable of projecting 0.1-3HZ, we wouldn't be able to hear it, right?'
Yes, well, you FEEL it.
Also, funny thing about the way the brain works, take a conventional pair of consumer grade headphones. Check, they'll undoubtedly have 40-40k response. Put them on and sit with a signal generator (okay, I realize most folks won't be able to have a signal generator at their disposal, but if you know anyone with computer recording programs, especially the magnificent Protools and you'll have access to one). Now run one frequency through one channel and pan it all the way to the right. Next run a frequency 3 Hz more or less through the other channel and pan it all the way to the left. The difference, 3 Hz is what your brain will 'hear' and harmonize with, so technically you can produce off the scale freq's with conventional transducers.
My friend Grez and I used to have a little experiment we'd pull on people at parties. We had our protools set-up in the basement of his crib, and there were always parties there. I'd fire up the computer with a room full of people and pump 40 HZ through one speaker on one side of the room and 45 HZ through the other using Protools' signal generator. There are certain frequencies that will induce unease, disorientation, etc. We'd have a room full of people drinking and wanting to see what we were doing with the band recording wise and unbeknownst to them we'd start running this frequencies through their brains and people would start to act weird (this could be thought of as my CIA phase I guess, experimenting on people without their knowledge of it).
So now that I've rambled on enough, check out that dream machine. Put it on, get comfy, close them eyes and stare at the flicker. Set it to whatever state you want to induce. I'm not saying if you set it to 3 Hz you will fall over into lucid dreaming, but your if you expose yourself to it long enough you'll drudge up some weird states of mind. And if you can record a disc of that 3 hZ audio and fall asleep with 40 in one ear and 44 in the other, you'll kickstart lucidity.