You've probably heard of binaural beats. In case you haven't, here's a quick rundown: Stereo sound is supposed to deliver a different track for each ear (channel), but unless it's a directional sound or musical effect, the tracks will most likely be identical. The brain doesn't like to become confused, so this is usually the case. However, when there's a slight difference between the channels, the brain will try to compensate by merging the two. This natural adaptation will create a fake audible beat, hence "binaural beats."
A frequency of 4.5Hz (beats per second) has been used in many shamanic traditions to make it easier to enter a trance state. Where shamans had to employ drums and shrooms, the modern psychonaut can recreate the same effect by merely listening to a binaural beats track. There are many such recordings on the net that use different frequencies. Gnaural lets you create your own.
Gnaural lets you assemble elaborate creations by superimposing multiple tracks, called voices. Each voice can be a binaural beat, pink noise, isochronic pulse, a sound effect, or a custom audio file. The frequencies can be manipulated by editing "data points" over four spectrums. Each data point can have a base frequency, a beat frequency, volume, and stereo balance.
You can play around with these variables until you make your ears bleed. Alternatively, you can import various samples from Gnaural's SourceForge directory. Once you're happy with the results, you can export them into a Windows WAV file, OGG, and into several other uncompressed raw audio formats.
Unfortunately, not every audio file will work with Gnaural. I know that the first thing you might want to try is to integrate these beats with your favorite Strauss composition, but Gnaural is very picky when it comes to formats. So if you find yourself in a bind when trying to turn Also Sprach Zarathustra into a binaural delight, you better check the support forum. Most questions have already been answered.
- Combines multiple voice tracks
- Preset voices (binaural beat, pink noise, isochronic pulse, custom sounds)
- Data point edit system with independent volume, frequency, beat frequency, and stereo balance)
Gnaural can be a useful tool for research projects that involve binaural beats, or for individuals that want to create custom binaural tracks. For the rest of us, it can be a fun past time.