Music Science
Collin’s Lab: Brainwave Beats
”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbp6-8YWgQc&feature=youtube_gdata”

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.

27 thoughts on “Collin’s Lab: Brainwave Beats

    1. Use the Mindset library and hack back on what doesn’t work. They’re basically the same piece of kit.

      I too have problems with the BT, as the PC I’m using it on has
      its own incompatible BT preinstalled. I’m going to try it on one which doesn’t.

      1. (fyi – different avatar, same Collin)

        Yes, that’d be the first strategy I’d try. The Mindwave uses an RF dongle instead of BT so it might alleviate our problems altogether.

  1. Cool stuff, Colin, but if you sped up the BPM and/or allowed for a higher resolution than 1/4 notes, you’d get much more interesting, dynamic patterns. The data is being a bit too harshly quantized.

    1. I tried – speeding things up sounded a bit too chaotic. Extending the pattern list resolution to 16th notes would make things more interesting – sure it could be dynamically generated too.

  2. Hi Collin,

    Amazing video, gonna try it out and scare the cat!

    I was wondering about the M4L patch you used, can you make it available at all?

    Thanks

  3. Hi Colin,
    I bought the MindWave just because of your hint, thank you very much.
    But: could you please upload the file  <> a second time somewhere?
    I tried the OSX native Archive Utility and got “The Unarchiver” as well – with the outcome that it ll create *.cpgz and *.rar in a loop. When trying to open this one in Windows 7 I am told the *.pde is “destroyed.”
    Many thanks in advance and:
    best regards from Germany,
    Paul

  4. Hi, I’m having trouble downloading the code as other people have said.  Great idea, was laughing into my cornflakes the morning I saw this.  Perfect mix of science and fun.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  5. Hi, I’m having trouble downloading the code as other people have said.  Great idea, was laughing into my cornflakes the morning I saw this.  Perfect mix of science and fun.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  6. That seems like an interesting device… has anyone tried to take it a part ? I am curious about what it’s actually made of…(dry electrodes, Bluetooth ?anything else?)  it might be the case that people can build their own without too much hassle for much less than the price

  7. Duuuude

    I messed my pants when I found this video. I have been researching for months how to sonify eeg data using my Emotiv Epoc.EEG device. Can I get there form here or do I need to buy the mindset? This may sound strange but this is a actual dream coming close to becoming true. Very happy. THANK YOU!!!!!

    Dan

    1. I was wondering if you had a working copy of MindSetBeatSequencer-110505b.zip as the one on this page is corrupt. Could you send me a copy please.

  8. Hi Collins, very nice video.
    I tried downloading the zip file, but I cannot unzip :
    file #1: bad zipfile offset (local header sig): 0

    would you mind sending me the file, I am prety exited to try your code out.

    Cheers men, and thanks

  9. I was wondering if you had a working copy of MindSetBeatSequencer-110505b.zip as the one on this page is corrupt. Could you send me a copy please.

  10. any chance to get another link for
    MindSetBeatSequencer-110505b.zip

    file seems to be corrupt.. thanks!

  11. Hey! This is amazing. But the MindSet Beat Sequencer code zip link seems to have a damaged zip file.

    Is there any way the link could be updated, or someone who downloaded it when it was working share it?

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