The phenomenon of the binaural beats, which is the basis for digital drugs started with a discovery made in 1839 by a research scientist from Prussia, named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. The effect is real and proven, but does not live up to the over-hyped sensationalism about digital drugs. Saying digital drugs have a similar effect on the brain as LSD, marijuana, heroin, or cocaine is false.
Professor Dove’s primary interest was in meteorology and studying weather patterns. He noticed that tropical storms rotated counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere.
When it came to how the brain processes sounds, Professor Dove may a fascinating discovery when he uncovered the phenomenon of binaural beats. Hearing binaural beats is possible when two very similar, yet slightly different, audio tones are listened to using stereo headphones.
The binaural tones heard by each ear need to be in the frequency range of less than 1,000 Hertz (Hz) for a person with normal hearing to notice them. The effect is similar to an optional illusion, where the mind tries to make a connection from what the two eyes see. In this case, the mind tries to make an evaluation of the slight differences in what the two ears hear. This is why the effect is more noticeable when using stereo isolation headphones, to block out all other ambient noise.
Take, for example two sound tones that are in the middle range of human hearing. If a 310 Hz tone goes into one ear and a 300 Hz tone goes into the other, the difference of 10 Hz, between the two signals, creates the perception of an audible beat in the sound. In reality, there is no beat in the sound, yet the brain tries to make sense of the difference in the two frequencies and place them in the auditory field. To the listener, it seems like the beat is coming from somewhere inside the head.
If the difference between the two frequencies is more than 30 Hz, the phenomenon of binaural beats disappears and the sounds are separate as two very distinct frequencies. In addition, this is why the effect is more noticeable with headphones, rather than listening with speakers. When using speakers, the sounds mix with other environmental noises and the binaural beats are more difficult to hear.
To be able to place a sound in space, and know where it is coming from, is a major survival technique. The way the brain determines this is by checking the frequency and the time difference between when on ear hears the sound as compared to the other one.
There is a well know effect called the “cocktail party effect”, which allows a person to concentrate on a particular sound or conversation in an otherwise noisy room and still pay careful attention to that sound. With binaural beats, the brain is trying to make sense out of sound frequencies that are very close to each other in the frequency spectrum and this causes the perception of a “beat” occurring.
Medical Applications of “Sound Drugs”
It was not until one-hundred thirty-four years after Professor Dove made the discovery of the binaural beats phenomenon researchers found them to be very useful. His name was Gerald Ouster. Professor Ouster recognized the importance of this in helping animals and humans locate sounds. He also was able to demonstrate that patients with Parkinson’s disease lacked the ability to perceive binaural beats, so this discovery became a diagnostic tool for that disease.
Oster discovered that women are more able to experience binaural beats than men, especially when menstruating, suggesting there is the hormonal involvement of estrogen in the process.
Proven Medical Therapeutic Uses for a “Music Drug”
The old saying that “music soothes the savage beast” is very appropriate when it comes to the actual real effects of these digital drugs. One of the prominent research institutes in this area is the Monroe Institute. Scientists at Monroe, explore the alternative states of human consciousness achievable without ingestion of any chemical substance.
In 2003, the Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, published a definitive paper about a randomized double-blind study. This study, based on using the Monroe Institute’s hemispheric synchronization (Hemi-Sync) musical recording during surgery, determined the effect of the music on the amount of analgesia needed to keep the patient sedated during physical surgery. The results were outstanding. Bariatric patients, who listened to the Hemi-Sync recordings while under surgery, required one-third less analgesia. It is a well-known fact that patients under anesthesia maintain the ability to hear things. By providing these calming Hemi-Sync tapes for them to hear, the patients went to a deeper relaxation state that required far less anesthesia.
The work of the Monroe Institute studies the binaural beat effect. The playing of two different tones, which only differ by being disharmonious by 15 Hz combined with positive verbal messages in the recordings, is the reason for the amazing results. Other tests show that the amount of analgesia needed was up to 78% less, while the patient listened to the Hemi-Sync tapes as compared to the control group listening to a blank tape.
The results were statistically significant. Those patients who listened to the Hemi-Sync tapes required far less analgesia than others in the control group did.
Digital Drugs Definition
Over-hyped claims have no support in the medical research. Nevertheless, the sensation of binaural beats exists and does have some therapeutic applications. A person’s brain function shifts by the stimulus of certain frequencies. This is brain entrainment and the brain matches the frequencies heard through a process called frequency following response (FFR). FFR works to increase the brain’s harmonious frequency outputs to match those heard and responds to visual cues as well. Brain wave frequencies are in the range of below 40 Hz.
Stimulation of brain frequencies increases certain types of wave patterns:
- Gamma waves, below 40 Hz, come from when a person is in a very alert state of consciousness.
- Beta waves are in the range of 13 to 39 Hz and exist when a person is active.
- Alpha waves are in the range of 7 to 13 Hz and come from a state of relaxation and REM sleep or dreams.
- Mu waves are in the range of 8 to 12 Hz and found when the body is sleeping.
- Theta waves are in the range of 4 to 7 Hz when the body is in NREM sleep.
- Delta waves are below 4 Hz and the body is in a state of deep dreamless sleep.
Biofeedback is a system of monitoring the brain wave patterns to train the person how to access various levels of relaxation and more easily enter the alpha wave state. Relaxation techniques are probably the most useful application of sounds that get you high. There is evidence that hormonal stimulation occurs as well. Nevertheless, the amount of hormonal changes and the effect on beta-endorphins like dopamine from using free digital drugs is mild.
There is no reason to pay big prices to test the effects. Just search YouTube or for digital drugs free download to get some digital drugs free. Just do not expect outrageous results when enjoying a relaxation state induced by digital drugs or even a slightly heightened hormonal state.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE DIGITAL DRUGS WHILE DRIVING A VEHICLE OR OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY. That is common sense. For exploration of alternative states of consciousness, find a safe quiet space, where one is not to be disturbed, and then test the experience. Another caution is for those with a history of epilepsy especially when combining the audio technique of binaural beats with visual stimulation. Because the brain responds to this stimulus, it is possible to accidently induce a seizure for those with epilepsy.
The nice things about experimentation with binaural beats is, if the experiment is uncomfortable, simply stop listening to the audio recording and rapidly your brain function will return to average conditions.
Digital drugs are nothing more than binaural beats created by a sound field illusion as the brain tries to process the location of the sound based on the frequencies and timing characteristics. The tones are Isochronic, which means they differ from each other only slightly.
The supposed hallucinogenic states induced by digital drugs are far-fetched exaggerations. No such effects are reproducible using digital drugs. If fact, if a person wants to achieve such a state they will be sorely disappointed with the effect of digital drugs. The effect of digital drugs is observable, but not strong. Achieving a hallucinogenic state is easier using sensory deprivation (staying in a dark room or in a nice warm water bath with no stimulus). Another method is deep meditation for prolonged periods. These methods work better than digital drugs.
The hype about this effect is seriously overblown. In Oklahoma during 2010, parents of one school received a letter warning them of the effects of digital drugs and how kids were “i-dosing.” This happened because a few students were apparently intoxicated at school from the effects of listening to these digital drugs.
Nobody bothered to pay attention to the “placebo effect” which shows approximately 30% of all individuals will have a reaction to any supposed stimulus, simply by believing it will have an effect on them.
The placebo effect combined with a form of self-hypnosis is probably where this hyped hysteria came from. Controlled studies show effects are real, but not nearly as strong as those popularized by the media.
Reactions to ban digital drugs and make them illegal are following from the hype of illicit manufacturer’s claims that these digital drugs replicate the same highs as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and bring one closer to God. Frankly, this is all bullshit. Most intelligent people already know this. To get high off music, simply listen to Bach, Mozart, or Chopin. Classical music of that caliber creates an alternate state of consciousness.
Stupid teenagers waste money buying these digital drugs online when many are available for free download. Teenagers act out as if they are so high from listening to this stuff, nevertheless in reality, there is little harm done. Digital marijuana and “Gates of Hades” brands are nonsense.
No one except a gullible teenager or his or her seriously uninformed parents might believe there is such as thing as digital marijuana. You have to be out of your mind to believe this nonsense. It is all a swindle to get kids to download a music piece that sounds terrible. They pay up to $3.99 for the privilege of being ripped off.
We already have plenty of mind control stuff out there, in television programs, video games, and therefore this over-the-top reaction to digital drugs is rather silly.
Here are some descriptions of digital drugs from a website marketing this stuff to the guillble:
- Orgasm – The peak of pleasure.
- Cannabis – Relax it is legal, safe and non-addictive.
- Cocaine – Unlike real cocaine, this digital drug is not harmful.
- Heroin – A mild euphoria creates sleep time.
- Sexual Stimulant – Increase the pleasure for both men and women.
- Touch of God – Playing solitaire with God to learn how God loves you.
These claims are so outrageous as to be laughable. At least they are not the real drugs. There was a time when someone sold “pet rocks” and made millions until everyone figured out the hype. The Internet marketing of “digital drugs” is simply more of the same nonsense.
This is too bad. The scientific basis behind this effect is useful. The hype is degrading the legitimate research efforts into finding applications for using binaural beats in medical diagnostics and psychotherapy. More exploration of the use of binaural beats is possible for enhanced learning, reduction of anxiety, lessening the need for anesthesia, and behavioral modification using these techniques in self-hypnosis. There is definitely further research needed in these techniques, just do not believe the hype.