Brainwave Music for medical VR

As you probably know, I like to work with sound in VR. But there is more than that, I pretty much got my life and can’t stop thinking about spatial audio everyday.

But this time I wanted to take it one step further. I teamed up with a Munich company called Brainboost, who are specialized in neurofeedback. This means that we are measuring the electric activities (EEG, Electroencephalography) of the brain and using the data in real-time to create an experience for stress relief.

VR works great because you avoid any distractions from the outside and can really focus on the session. But with sound design and music, you can even influence the emotions of the patient. If you do it right, it helps to get immersive but also calming at the same time. This is what triggers theta brainwaves and reduces beta waves. Like this, you can learn what your brain needs to do in order to reprogram itself to avoid stress in a longterm way.

The creative and technical challenge as an immersive audio producer is to have music that:

  • is not too boring for longer sessions, but also not too exciting to avoid higher heart rates
  • is not too many loops are used to be repetitive, but also not too distracting so that the patient knows what elements to listen to
  • create a progression that ends into an uplifting feeling to give the patient a feeling of achievement

This project is under development and stretching the boundaries using sound in combination with brainwave. In the meantime, we are experimenting with binaural beats, isochronic tones and immersive 3D audio.