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What's that banging noise?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by GraceB, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    I've been using Lifeflow for 2 months now and used another company's product for 4 months before that, so am really a beginner with brainwave entrainment.

    I find myself distracted when meditating with Lifeflow by that banging or thumping noise on the tracks...like driving with a flat tire or like an unbalanced washing machine. At first I tried to focus more on the other sounds, but my awareness just goes to that sound. Finally, I have just allowed my awareness to go there, since it does anyway, but it feels quite activating for me...like a heartbeat faster than my own. I never noticed a sound like that on the other company's recordings or on the music used in the neurofeedback I had, so I thought at first it was an error in my track, but then it showed up on the next track too so I see that it is intentional.

    What IS that noise? What function does it serve? How so you suggest I be with it so as not to detract from the meditation?

    Thanks for you help!

    Grace
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Grace and welcome to the community :)

    It's good that you ask this question because you should not hear any banging noises unless perhaps your headphones have extra settings switched on. Any extra filters (Bass, treble, dolby etc) on your headphones should all be switched off. The soundscapes (nature sounds etc.) simply mask the entrainment which should be almost inaudible. You can turn the volume down really low and you will still benefit the same from the entrainment.

    You could try meditating without headphones also. I may have misunderstood what you are focusing on during meditation and wonder what technique you use.

    Here's a link about the principles of meditation and entrainment that you may find extremely helpful:-

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...nciples-meditation-entrainment.html#post12298

    Please let us know if this helps and I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  3. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    Thanks, Pollyanna. There isn't any setting on my headphones, but I did take a look at the equalizer settings on the iPod I was using. Sure enough, when I played around with several settings I found that they changed the banging sound. I still hear it on all the pre-set EQ settings on iTunes and on my iPod/iPhone, but Lounge and Pop were the best (go figure).

    THEN, I poked around online and learned how to create my own custom Equalizer setting and how to get that onto both my iPhone and iPod. In general, I needed the first two sliders to be as low as they can possibly go to eliminate the thumping, although I can still hear it no matter how low they are. Maybe I just have super-good hearing in those low ranges? Anyway, I played around with it to get it just perfect, then created a special equalizer setting for LifeFlow tracks.

    Along the way, I learned how to set specific songs to always use a particular equalizer setting by highlighting the song in iTunes, right-clicking and selecting Get Info, then going to Options and choosing the equalizer setting I created. So then no matter what player or speakers/headphones I use, it'll always give me the setting that eliminates that sound. Voila!

    Thanks for giving me the first clue that led me to this solution. Maybe others will be able to use it well. The tracks are much more pleasant now...although I do hope that this messing around with the equalizer isn't going to inadvertently mess with the effectiveness of the track. Do you think that's a problem?

    Warmly, Grace
     
  4. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Grace,

    It's no so much that you want to create an EQ setting to eliminate certain sounds, what you want is an EQ setting that Doesn't alter the original sound from how it was recorded, otherwise you can alter the effectiveness of the entrainment sounds. This is why Polly said to check your headphones in case they were effecting the sounds to produce more Bass etc. automatically.

    Yes, there is a 'heartbeat' sound on the tracks and on some tracks it's more noticable than others. This is the entrainment beats. However, in general these shouldn't be that noticable (I think Polly was perhaps misguiding a little by saying you shouldn't hear them). If you are noticing these things a lot then perhaps, as Polly says, you just need to turn the volume down. The purpose of meditating with the tracks is not to put focus on the tracks themselves but on your focus of meditation (mantra, breath or whatever technique you use), so how 'pleasant' they are is not really relevant, except if you choose to play them over open speakers (in which case the binaural beats won't be effective, just the monaural and isochronic tones).

    Hope that helps

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  5. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    Thanks, Giles. The volume must be the issue, although I don't feel like I have it on very loudly. It turned out that adjusting the EQ didn't transfer to my iPod anyway, so it only helped if I'm listening on my computer and if it undoes the effect then it doesn't make sense anyway.

    The file as it comes to me in the download definitely is dominated (to my hearing, anyway) by the thumping sound. I wouldn't call it background at all. I will lower the volume and let the tracks be less in my awareness as I meditate now.

    I do like the idea, though, of listening to Classical Magic and Optimal Learning when I am not meditating/while I work and those are hard to enjoy with that sound in them. Maybe I just need to get used to it.

    In any case, thanks for the insight.

    Grace
     
  6. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi again Grace,

    Please bear with me here because I am not technically minded at all :eek: and may be repeating what has already been suggested.

    If you listen from your computer with the exact file you downloaded from PM website and plug your headphones in to computer (making sure your computer audio settings are switched to flat setting i.e. no equalizer etc.) and there is no problem, then it must be an issue with your ipod settings.

    I play Classical Magic, Creative Flow, Optimal Learning and Nirvana (over open speakers) when I'm working, during business meetings, having dinner etc. and we don't hear any banging so I'm sure something is wrong with a setting somewhere. You don't have to get used to this :)

    Maybe you can check with support staff (they are really helpful) unless someone from the community answers first.

    Hope this is of help and wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)



    I
     
  7. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Grace, Im no expert on lifeflow, but the other tracks like Classical Magic, i do own and they give nothing but pleasure...and at times needed concentration.. Banging could be just be a simple setting... i do have a blue ray player that when certain audio tracks are played cause a popping sound. I have always played entrainment style tracks without any enhancement features that are so abound today.... please be assured the ones i own are benefical to my daily life..PS i'm a natural meditator that doesn't use lifeflow.... sorry Lifeflow team :) or is that ;) this is the perfect community.......and thats the truth
     
  8. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    Well, Karmoh and Pollyanna, its certainly encouraging to hear that you don't hear the banging.

    To be clear, I DO hear it no matter where I listen to the tracks when I play them as they come on the download. I was able to reduce the noise on my computer by playing with the equalizer, but understand from this thread that doing that might reduce the effect. In any case, whether the unhelpful setting is on my iPod or the computer or both, I did LOVE hearing the reminder, "you don't have to get used to this".

    I'll definitely call the support team. Thanks for your encouragement!
     
  9. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    Pollyanna, is there a way to reach the support team by phone? I can only find the process of creating a "ticket" by sending an email.

    I did that and had a disappointing experience. It took them 3 days to respond, and then they didn't answer my question....just congratulating me for already knowing to turn off the equalizer. So I replied with as clear a statement as I could of the problem and what I've done that isn't working to fix it. I suppose it will take another several days to hear again. I'm about to get my 3rd month of LIfeflow and am still having this horrible banging problem.

    Any suggestions for getting a better response from the support team?

    Grace
     
  10. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Grace,

    Did that 3 days include the weekend? I've found the support team quite quick to respond, but as with anyone, I'm sure they have times when they are busy, or if it's the weekend, it won't be "office hours".

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  11. Tech Support

    Tech Support Administrator

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    Hi Grace,

    I have sent you an email but thought I would post some of it here to help anyone else if the come across this issue.

    The hardest part of solving these types of issues is to pinpoint where the issue lies.

    If the tracks play fine on the computer then the issue is not the downloaded track but in the playback on the device (or the transfer).
    If it was just the ipod that had the issue I would assume it was that, however since you are having the same issue on your iphone also, this may point to your headphones.

    Do you use the same headphones when you listen to the tracks on your computer?
    If not could I suggest that you try the same headphones on your ipod or iphone that you use on your computer.
    This should rule out any issues with your headphones if the problem still exists.

    Equalizer settings on Iphone: On the Iphone the equalizer is in "settings" then "music" under "EQ".

    If the headphones are ok and the problem still exists, then it may be the headphone jack, but again if the problem exists on ipod and iphone then the chances are slim that both would go at the same time.

    I have seen instances of itunes distorting tracks when being imported due to faulty USB to ipod cable but this would normally happen to all music tracks and easily noticed.
     
  12. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi again Grace,

    I have contacted support who will be contacting you again. Not sure whether they work week-ends. Jodie said your email was sent late Friday evening and that she sent you a reply on Monday morning so maybe they don't work week-ends (or not every week-end)

    Your email to support stated that you have no problem when listening from your computer and the problem you have is when listening from your i-pod or i-phone. Perhaps someone you know, someone in the community, or the instructions for your iphone/ipod will have the solution.

    As Giles has said they really are very helpful and I'm sure there will be a simple solution to your iphone/ipod

    Let us know how you get on and I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)

    P.S. Ooops - they beat me to it hehe
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  13. Boris Badenov

    Boris Badenov Member

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    Hello

    In my opinion the thumping becomes more noticeable when you are using a low frequency response headphone/speaker. For instance, if I listen to the tracks with my UniTone headphones it sounds like I'm riding with a flat tire. If I use my Sennheiser PC36 headset, then it's fine. If I use earbuds with my IPod it's fine as well. The problem lies in the low frequency response of my UniTone headset: 20 to 18,000 Hz. My Sennheiser headset's response is 40 to 18,000 Hz. That 20 Hertz makes all the diffence in the world and it really doesn't have much to do with the equilizer (I don't think as I don't fool with it).
    I'd say if you could look up the frequency response of your speakers or headphones then you'd have a solid starting point. A higher response headset will cause it to be unnoticeable.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  14. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    Thanks for stepping in for me Pollyanna. Yes, the three days I waited bridged a weekend. Sounds like they don't work weekends. Grant from Tech Support did write to me (and posted above) a very helpful note that prompted me to very carefully try listening in a variety settings (from computer, iPod, and iPhone, through internal and external speakers as well as with each of 3 pairs of headphones I own and through car speakers). I made sure each time that the equalizer settings were off and that no bass boosting or other enhancements were involved. I still hear the sound...the headphones are worse than the stereo speakers and the car speakers are the worst of all.

    I actually think that Boris Badenov may have hit on it though! All the headhphones I use have frequency responses of 5 to 22K Hz....even lower than the ones that make the sound audible to Boris. I thought that was going to be a GOOD thing, but perhaps its the problem. I'm encouraged anyway that someone else has heard this noise.

    Sounds like I need get different 'phones!

    Thank you so much, Boris, for weighing in! I'll send a note to TEch Support too just to see if this seems a likely explanation to them.

    Grace
     
  15. Boris Badenov

    Boris Badenov Member

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    I see in the FAQ that Project Meditation recommends the Sony MDR-XD2000 headphones with the movie setting switched off. The frequency response of this headset is 10-22,200 Hz. The movie setting provides a bass boost so my guess is that switching that off moves the frequency response up enough to eliminate the thumping sound.
    I really think this will solve your problem.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  16. GraceB

    GraceB Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Well, i've finally gotten the bottom of this banging noise thing. Turns out that the one place I wasn't looking was actually the source! After working with Grant from the support team, I ruled out the tracks, iTunes, the equalizer, my iPod, speakers and headphones....and Grant suggested that I have other people listen to the tracks through the same headphones I'm using to see if they can hear the noise. They cannot. So, oddly enough, the deal is apparently that I am hearing the lower ranges where most people don't.

    I suppose this shouldn't surprise me, although it did. The main reason I am using Lifeflow is to help me keep my uber-sensitive brain synchronized and stable. For years, I had really debilitating migraines and seizures that would be set off by the tiniest changes in the environment. Neurofeedback helped me tremendously to be able to tolerate certain kinds of light and sound that my brain was over-reacting to, but I continue to be very sensitive to all kinds of stimulation (wireless internet, changes in barometric pressure, noise, lights, etc). I guess it sort of makes sense that I'm picking up sound energy (I do "feel" that banging noise as much as hear it, or that's how I hear it).

    Anyway, so just in case anyone else out there is annoyed by the thumping/banging noise, I'd suggest working systematically through the steps to find the source and including one's one brain in the system as well.

    Many thanks to everyone who offered suggestions along the way. At this point, I'm just forming a different association with the noise to make it less irritating. Instead of thinking of it as sounding like an unbalanced washing machine or like driving on a flat tire, I am just associating it with the lovely zone I get into with LifeFlow and allowing that to be a more positive thought.

    Grace
     
  17. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Grace,

    Glad you finally got to the bottom of it.

    Hugs

    Giles
     

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