Choosing the best volume for your Brain Shift Radio experience

Brain Shift Radio's rhythm tracks stimulate your brain. To get the most out of this stimulation, it is important to set the volume at an optimal level for you and for the type of track you're listening to. This article explains how to do this effectively.

Most of the tracks are designed to be played at a low volume. Low volume for BSR tracks is defined as a volume that is below a conversational level and easily fades out of your awareness after a few minutes. This level is almost always lower than a typical music listening level. When in doubt, we highly recommend starting very low and turning up the volume if you are not seeing the desired results after one track plays.

Important: Playing tracks at a volume that is too high can result in overstimulation, which may make you feel agitated or anxious. If this occurs, please turn down the volume so that you can reap the benefits of a proper level of BSR stimulation.

Setting the Volume Based on Category

You can often use your listening category as a guide to what volume level works best. Here's a breakdown of the recommended tolerances.

Low Volume Categories:

The following categories require a very low volume for best results. It's often best to turn the volume all the way off after it begins playing and then slowly raise the level until you can barely hear the music.

  • Calm: Keep the rhythms low. You may also mix the balance all the way to the right toward the ambient track and slowly bring it left toward the rhythm track until you can just barely hear the rhythm behind the ambient.

  • Focus: Keep the rhythms really low. Like with the Calm category, may also mix the balance heavy on the ambient track to push the rhythms into the background.

  • Sleep: Keep both the rhythm and ambient low. If you're not asleep after the first track, turn it down some more.

Variable Low or High Volume Categories:

The following categories contain rhythm tracks that, depending on their instrumentation (see next section), can handle a variety of volume levels.

  • Brain Boost: Single drums should use a low volume whereas multiple pecussion instruments can handle higher volume levels.

  • Energy: Most tracks are multi-instrument and, as such, can be listened to at higher levels.

  • Meditation: Most of time low volume works well, but feel free to turn it up if you want.

  • Uplift: Like the Brain Boost category, keep the single drum tracks low and use whatever is comfortable for multi-instrument rhythm tracks.

Setting the Volume Based on Instrumentation

The Brain Shift Radio's rhythm tracks are orchestrated in two ways: Single drums and multiple percussion instruments. Here's how to set the volume for each:

  • Single drums: By and large, single drum tracks are intense and contain a significant level of stimulation. Stimulation, by the way, can be most easily defined by the complexity and variability of the rhythmic structures. The higher the level of stimulation, the more important it is to keep the volume low. When in doubt, turn it down.

  • Multiple percussion instruments: For the most part, the rhythmic patterns in multiple percussion instrument tracks are more straight-forward (read: simpler) and more repetitive (read: like regular music) and, as such, your brain can take more of this stimulation than for the single drums. This means that you can crank it up if you like.

Note: If you are unable to discern whether a rhythm track has single or multiple instruments, start with a low volume.

Setting the Volume Based on Tempo

In many of the descriptions for the rhythm tracks we have included basic tempo notations. These are listed at beats per second (BPS - you can read more about BPS here). The key point to know is that the faster the rhythms (higher BPS number) the more stimulation you're getting. So by that marker, faster tempos require a lower volume overall or a higher ambient mix ratio (more ambient, less rhythm).

Setting the Volume Based on Intensity Level

Brain Shift Radio tracks are each assigned an intensity level, between 1 and 5, within each category. These are marked by the icon associated with the track. C1, for example, contains less stimulation than a C5 track within the Calm category. Generally speaking, please take more care in setting a low level with the higher intensity level tracks than you do with lower intensity tracks.

Note: If higher intensity tracks are bothersome to you then you may want to choose a lower intensity track rather than (or in addition to) lowering the volume.

Setting the Volume Based on Your Brain Type

This is the most difficult parameter from which we can recommend the best volume level for you, however our experience over the last 20 years gives us some insight into different brain types. Here we break it down to just a few broad categories:

  • High arousal: High arousal people are those who are highly responsive to their environment. High arousal people tend to be more easily over-stimulated by sensory input and may be described as being sensitive. If you find that you avoid certain types of sensory stimulus (loud restaurants, for example) or if you tire easily in response to sensory input, please take great care in setting the volume (lower is better) and turn it down if you feel any agitation.

  • Low arousal: Low arousal people tend to be less reactive or responsive to their environment. Many low arousal people seek out sensory input. A classic example is someone with ADD, who fidgets in order to focus. Low arousal listeners can handle a higher volume, so please turn it up (slightly) if you find the recommendations listed for categories, instrumentation and tempo don't bring you the benefits you are expecting after listening to one track.

  • The rest of us: If you're neither easily over-stimulated nor sensory seeking, then simply follow the basic guidelines listed above for categories, instrumentation, and tempo to find your optimal volume. 

Remember: If you have any questions or want some help (or just some moral support) in setting the volume please don't hesitate to contact us at support@brainshiftradio.com or 800-659-6644.



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