Field Effect Audio Technology™ (F.E.A.T.™)
You used Monroe’s Hemi Sync in some of your earlier projects. Why did you switch to using this new technology?
In 2005 I began collaborating with Monroe Products to produce “Metamusic” versions of some of my CDs. Metamusic combines Monroe’s patented Hemi Sync® binaural beat technology with musical compositions to enhance the listener’s experience in various ways. In the case of my music, the goal was to create and incorporate Hemi Sync mixes that would support and enhance the shamanic journey experience that my music is inspired by and primarily designed for. “The Shaman’s Heart with Hemi Sync” was the first project I did with Monroe Products and in 2006 it won the Visionary Award for “Best Inner Space/Meditation/Healing CD”. The success of The Shaman’s Heart with Hemi Sync resulted in two additional single CD collaborations with Monroe Products: “Spirit Gathering” in 2006 (Metamusic version of “Not Without Risk”) and “Deep Time Dreaming” in 2007 (Metamusic version of “Wachuma’s Wave”). “The Shaman’s Heart Program – The Path of Authentic Power, Purpose & Presence” (4-CDs with verbally guided exercises) was released in 2008.
Although the Hemi Sync mixes created by the Monroe engineers worked well for these projects, I became increasingly frustrated by the fact that I could not be more actively involved in the creation of the Hemi Sync mixes for my music. In order to protect patent and copyright concerns, Monroe Products established a policy requiring that only their audio engineers (Monroe Products employees) would be involved in the creation of Hemi Sync mixes. Regardless of the merits of their policy, I felt strongly that the ideal approach would involve creating the musical compositions and the Hemi Sync mixes together in the same manner that two or more musicians typically collaborate as opposed to the Hemi Sync mixes being applied after the final mix of the musical composition was complete. In my view, applying the Hemi Sync mixes to a composition after the final mix stage is at best a compromise and my dissatisfaction with this process motivated me to explore other options. After three plus years of research and development my efforts eventually resulted in Field Effect Audio Technology™ (F.E.A.T.™) – an audio technology that is specifically designed to address: 1) the intentions, goals and rhythmic complexities of my music; 2) the ongoing development of The Shaman’s Heart Program exercises and related projects; 3) my HoloShamanic Strategies programs and activities; and 4) is in complete theoretical alignment with my understanding of transpersonal theory and the nature of reality.
How is F.E.A.T.™ different from popular brainwave entrainment (BWE) approaches like Hemi Sync, Holosync, and other similar products?
Most BWE products use binaural beat technology exclusively and require the use of headphones to be fully effective (see the research links for detailed information). Other BWE products also incorporate monaural and isochronic beats which do not require the use of headphones. F.E.A.T.™ is a complex and unique integrated system of isochronic and binaural beats with specific drum and percussion rhythms and patterns. The combined harmonics, spatial audio processing and auditory driving support a natural state of coherence and balance within us and our immediate surroundings – a phenomenon that I call Field Effect Resonance (F.E.R.).
F.E.A.T. involves synchronizing both hemispheres of the brain and inducing expanded states of consciousness that are optimal for inner-exploration and self-discovery. In addition, F.E.A.T. activates and entrains the heart, physical body and the entire bio-energetic field with the brain creating a condition of unified coherence, harmony and balance of the person’s whole being – a unified field of experience. In other words, the listener’s entire being is involved in the experience. Going even further, F.E.A.T. assists in training the conscious mind how to accurately perceive and effectively interact with the larger understanding of reality, commonly referred to as the “Field.” F.E.A.T. was conceived and developed within a theoretically integrated framework of quantum physics and field theory, neuroscience, psychoacoustics, transpersonal psychology, indigenous healing practices and ancient wisdom traditions.
Does F.E.A.T.™ require the use of headphones?
Technically the answer is no. Only the binaural beat component of F.E.A.T. requires headphones to be fully effective. That said, I strongly recommend the use of quality headphones for the following reasons:
1) Headphones help to isolate the listener from outside sounds and other distractions supporting a more ‘internal’ focus. All of the audio projects that incorporate F.E.A.T. are designed with internal focus as a foundational ground for the listener’s experience to build upon.
2) Quality headphones provide a much better listening experience in terms of greater nuance and sonic detail, a larger, more 3-diminsional sense of the audio field, and allows for very specific adjustment to the audio field left/right panning by the listener if desired. F.E.A.T. utilizes a unique form of spatial audio processing that is best experienced with headphones. In fact, I personally use headphones for the majority of the final mixing and mastering of F.E.A.T. projects so if the listener wishes to hear and experience the audio exactly how I mixed and mastered it, please use quality headphones. If for some reason the use of headphones is not possible, the listener can position her/himself between stereo speakers at equal distances from each ear
Can F.E.A.T.™ create Out of Body (OBE), Lucid Dreaming or similar extraordinary experiences?
Research from The Monroe Institute has demonstrated that audio BWE can induce and support the specific brainwave states that are optimal for these experiences to occur. However, Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., arguably the world’s leading authority on non-ordinary states of consciousness and also one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, states that such experiences come from within the person and are directed more by one’s inner guidance and wisdom as opposed to the method(s) used for inducing non-ordinary states. This is true whether one is using audio BWE products, psychedelic substances, breathwork, shamanic journeying, meditation, yoga, etc. The method used to induce non-ordinary states acts as “non-specific amplifier” of one’s unconscious material. In psycho-spiritual terms, this is analogous to “parting the veil” or “opening the door” to the transpersonal realms of consciousness where virtually any experience is possible. Other critical components related to one’s experience in non-ordinary states are the person’s intention, “set and setting”, and so on (see “Creating Sacred Space” in The Shaman’s Heart Program user’s manual.
It is important to note that the BWE frequency mixes and rhythmic patterns/tempos used in F.E.A.T. are primarily oriented toward inducing and supporting states of consciousness that are optimal for focused meditation, deep inner exploration, shamanic journeying, enhanced creativity, accelerated learning and body/mind integration. These are predominately alpha and theta brainwave states as measured with EEG. However, as noted above, F.E.A.T. not only involves BWE and synchronizing both hemispheres of the brain, F.E.A.T. also activates and entrains the heart, physical body and the entire bio-energetic field with the brain creating a condition of unified coherence, harmony and balance of the person’s whole being – a fully embodied, unified field of experience.
Is F.E.A.T. safe for anyone to use?
Field Effect Audio Technology™ (F.E.A.T.™) is quite safe for most people. However if you have a history of seizures, auditory or mental disorders, do not listen to F.E.A.T. without consulting your physician or other qualified healthcare professional. NOTE: you should not listen to F.E.A.T. or any other BWE technology while driving or operating equipment that requires focus and attention.
A foundational component of F.E.A.T. (repetitive drumming and percussion patterns using specific tempos) is based on ancient technologies of BWE that date back almost 40,000 years in the earliest indigenous/shamanic societies. In other words, this component of F.E.A.T. has been safely utilized longer than any other BWE technique or strategy throughout human history.
Are there any scientific studies showing F.E.A.T.’s effectiveness?
Over 50 years of research has been conducted on the use of binaural beat technology. Much of this research is quite good and there are many peer-reviewed studies that cover a wide variety of applications and research questions. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ page to cite and reference individual studies but I have provided links to what I believe are the best sites and resources. In addition to the studies themselves, there is an abundance of literature that describes how BWE technology works including some well produced videos. The majority of the findings related to binaural beat and isochronic beat technologies can be theoretically applied to F.E.A.T.
F.E.A.T. is currently being field-tested and so far the reports are extremely positive with some data suggesting that F.E.A.T. is much more effective than I could have imagined. For example, the following is a report from my colleague Jack Stucki who has 40+ years of research and practice with bio-feedback, sound and energy technologies:
I have been able to collect a bit of data, both subjective and objective, on the “Heart Beat Meditation” with F.E.A.T., and the “Earth Om - Sacred Resonance”. With both there is a wonderful entrainment with heart rate and heart rate variability, a significant decrease in Frontalis EMG (muscle tension) and a significant vasodilation to both the finger tips and to the toes as measured by dermal temperature. In the six subjects tested four showed an increase of 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more. One individual, diagnosed with Raynaud's Syndrome, and another with chronic daily migraines and very cold hands, registered an amazing increase of more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The subjective comments have been amazing as well—every single one very positive—but the best to myself was: “Not only did that take me into my heart: after a couple of minutes or so all there was was heart”. This was the lady, a 47 year old with Raynaud’s, whose baseline finger tip temperature was 61.83 degrees Fahrenheit and warmed to an amazing 95.2 degrees during the Heart Beat Meditation. Please note that the room temperature was at 71-72 degrees and no covering was placed on her hands. A three degree increase is considered significant and this was an increase of about 33 degrees! “Feel my hands” she exclaimed after the session with joyful tears in her eyes. Your creations belong in every practitioners’ arsenal. Keep it up Byron, you definitely have gone beyond ANY OTHER music I have ever used in my over forty years of practice.
– Jack Stucki, RMT, BCIAC
As I receive more data I will post it on the website and also send out announcements related to significant findings. I also hope that you share your experiences, comments, questions or concerns with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org