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Home » Audio Gear, Strange and Weird, Synthesizers

The thought-controlled synthesizer

Submitted by on May 5, 2009 – 11:03 pm 3 Comments

A person named Krischan Schallenberger decided to find out what would happen if he hooked up a 1970s modular synthesizer to his brain.

The idea being that using biofeedback, he is able to control the synth with his brain.

I’ve seen a lot of devices that claim to read your mind, but this is one of the best applications I’ve seen so far. Sometimes I think that Jean Michel Jarre owned one of these thought-controlled synths and was channeling his brainwaves when he wrote Oxygene.

Here’s what the device looks like all hooked up:

Ok, Ok, sorry to ruin it all for you, with this was a photoshop job.  I got really excited when I saw it myself, so I thought I’d make everyone else mad too.   I’d kill for a thought controlled synth.  I guess this one is getting close – at least we could have a thought-controlled vocoder.


  • gaskin says:

    pretty good photo! it is possible though, even if it isn’t quite how we think. but using an EEG, and special software, there are a few applications you can ‘control’ (very loose term here) with your mind on a PC (or Mac). Nothing amazing, though: stacking blocks, making a picture appear (not of your choosing) and other things; the algorithm is simple though: if your brain exhibits this or that pattern of waves (something you can control, if with great difficulty, and usually not for very long), flip switch A, B, or C etc. resulting in a stacked block, piece of a picture, or whatever.

    Yeah, we’re not very good at this stuff yet. Hopefully in another decade we’ll have the brain completely mapped and be able to put it to better use. There -is- a prosthetic arm that’s controllable by implant though. That’s pretty sweet.

  • arjun says:

    See this link: the brain orchestra

    It’s kind of funny, but the real-life brain controller looks just like the one in this image.

  • maddbull says:

    aw, man! the problem is, your synth is too big. hahaha!

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