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Measuring brainwaves is not just for neuroscientists anymore – new affordable consumer level EEG devices ( & even some toys) do a respectable job at measuring tiny voltage pulses given off by neurons firing in the brain. Cool – but how shall we use these new found sensory powers? To automatically compose electronic music, of course!

Those interested in listening to beats made by their own brains (with help from a MindSet device) can download and run the MindSet Beat Sequencer code for Processing. The software has not been optimized/streamlined as of yet, but if you familiarize yourself with the required proMIDI & MindSetProcessing libraries, it will likely make sense. Those without a MindSet might consider modifying the Beat Sequencer code to automatically generate MIDI loops by choosing random patterns every second or so (fun!).

As I mentioned in the video, I struggled with recurring connectivity issues between the MindSet and Processing within Mac OS 10.6.7. (still unsure as to a cause, though a snafu in the serial RXTX library seems possible) Removing the device from Bluetooth preferences, shutting down, rebooting, and re-pairing the device was my only therapy. Sean Montgomery (author of the Biosensing Primer in MAKE Volume 26) assures me he had no such issues using WIndows.

Subscribe to the MAKE Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it on YouTube and Vimeo.

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!

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