Music From Brainwaves


In this video, via WBURDr. Richard Boulanger, professor of electronic production and design at Berklee College of Music, demonstrates and speaks about the prospects of translating brainwaves into music:

“I don’t think this is exactly the music that I’m imagining in my head,” notes Boulanger, “but it is kind of interesting that what is in my head is producing these kind of sounds and this kind of music.”

In the video, Boulanger demonstrates the Soundmachines BI1brainterface – a module that works with inexpensive EEG headsets and translates brainwaves to control voltages that can be patched into a synthesizer. Details on the module are available at the Soundmachines site.

“There’s an exciting future ahead with these devices,” he adds,”This is just a baby step.”

15 thoughts on “Music From Brainwaves

  1. I’ve been playing about with this kind of thing too:
    My explorations have so far only been “offline” and more akin to sampling brainwaves to make music with (as in that track on Soundcloud), but I’ve also successfully used some sampled brainwaveforms to modulate parameters of a Microbrute. Interesting stuff.

  2. One of the great things about playing an instrument is that it simultaneously engages the brain in a multitude of tasks. Reading the score, coordinating the body (fingers, breath etc.), listening and and anticipating changes. There’s a lot going on in there. Perhaps it would be easier to monitor the brainwave(s) of DJs?

  3. More datapoints from the brain would be usefull… just like with a real EEG

    We did some scientific experiments back in the days in the university-lab … neurofeedback-experiments to be precisely

    Quite amazing stuff but with color-changing-tasks

    Imagine the brain as a big self regulating modulator

  4. its one of this ideas that sounds good on paper but in reality it won’t work half as well.
    speech is probably the most accurate translation of thought, the core of our mind works through visual images which are expressed through the spine to the vocal chords. So for me singing is the most natural way of expressing thoughts (when I say me I mean we, because singer I am not), I have often thought about hacking one of those devices that people who have damaged their throats put against their neck to speak. it could be fun.

  5. Dude, if you are going to wear a TIE, fix your freeking COLLAR! Or are we going for a ‘mad scientist’ thing?

    And to remain on-topic: I’ve heard much more interesting output using the BI1brainterface. It seems like an interface that takes a while to ‘dial in’, both on the scalar side of patching (variations of a given brainwave freq equals HOW MUCH effect on the CV side) as well learning how to use the interface – it takes a little time to learn to modulate your own brainwaves in musically useful ways, Probably not as hard as learning to play a clarinet say, but probably a little more effort than playing keyboard.

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