EMOTIV EPOC and max any user's feedback?

Aug 9, 2011 at 8:14pm

EMOTIV EPOC and max any user's feedback?

HI all, i was thinking of trying the EMOTIV EPOC brainwave helmet which is delivered with some possibilities to track OSC data from and into max, i was wondering if it really works and how well.. abnybody has it already out there and has tested it?

Aug 12, 2011 at 9:25pm


am dying to know the possibilities, and would love to get my hands on one…

Aug 20, 2011 at 5:02pm

it looks good i think i’ll get the research package!
Anyone has any info?

Aug 20, 2011 at 9:36pm

I would love to try bringing in a small set of brain signals (from the Cognitiv suite probably), transforming them into similar frequencies (Delta, Theta, etc.) by making cycle~ beats, and then see whether the feedback from hearing them makes one gradually more “settled” into those brain patterns. Possibly there are ways to do it with lights too. This way, you can determine some nice resting or meditative states, then try and “get there” through practice and feedback. Eventually you may not need the feedback, which would be ideal—you could practice it anytime. I know this has been done before, but with more intrusive EEG equipment…hope the EMOTIV has enough clarity to make this work.

All that said, with audio/visual feedback of frequencies like this, there is always the chance of seizures, even with those without any history of them. Anyone trying these kinds of experiments should be aware of this…though not sure what kinds of precautions to take. Maybe a buddy system :)

Aug 20, 2011 at 9:55pm

EMOTIV is a known scam, search for that, some comments from the comments

“This thing is such a scam. I knew that the second I read that it had a built in gyroscope…that little baby is what is doing all the mind reading magic. It has obviously been programmed to work in a way that the user believes he/she is thinking the actions, but insead its the gyroscope picking up the slight movements of the users head that gives the actions.”

a friend also noted its probably using the contact pads to read small muscle tension in the face, might be worth the trouble.

i picked up two mindflex toys while i had the chance, 1/3 the price and hackble to give you some tetha magic. http://frontiernerds.com/brain-hack

Sep 19, 2011 at 4:40pm

does anyone know if it is possible to route more than one Emotiv headset into Max with existing external(s)?

Otherwise I received one recently. Unfortunately didn’t have the time to do some proper tests. But it seems to communicate flawlessly with Max using the “official” external (from Emotive site). And it is really hard to train yourself to focus your mind in order to be able to mentally control things. I wasn’t too successful I might say but I tried it only once.

PS: I don’t believe Emotive is a scam. But I will have that in mind when testing it next time:)

Sep 23, 2011 at 10:35am

Anyone tried connecting more than one Emotiv headset to computer? I am planning to do some installation that’s why I would need to know…

Sep 27, 2011 at 2:53am

I got mine a few months ago (the 299$ one). It did not work on a mac then (I dont know if now does)

I must agree that the gyroscope works great !!! but for the mind reading part I am not so sure.
It seems that it is random. the “training” is hard and not accurate. Sometimes it works but I think it is very hard to use it in a live performance unless you are a guru :-)

Anyway I am not satisfied with the product !
Maybe I am wrong and I did not try enough…
Just thought I should share !!!

Sep 27, 2011 at 3:00am

This looks more promising as a tool I believe !!!


  1. eyewriterdiy.pdf
Feb 13, 2012 at 7:44pm

Hi all,
maybe you are interested into checking my last performance involving EEG detection, butoh dance and multiple visuals.
It was presented at the Institute of Sonology, the Royal Conservatory, Den Haag, last 2nd February.

The sound is all live-generated in Supercollider based on the EEG signal,
and the visuals in Jitter.

You can find two video excerpts here, a summary:
and the whole piece:


I am available for questions on the hardware if you need..


Feb 26, 2012 at 8:47pm

Hi Alberto, what hardware did you use? Was it compatible with max/msp on mac?

Feb 26, 2012 at 9:59pm


“I must agree that the gyroscope works great !!! but for the mind reading part I am not so sure.
It seems that it is random. the “training” is hard and not accurate. Sometimes it works but I think it is very hard to use it in a live performance unless you are a guru :-)”

What gyroscope? I don’t think there is a gyroscope in Emotiv headset…?

You have to know certain things when working with EEG based devices. IMO, the most important thing one needs to know is that muscles causes a huge amount of noise in EEG signals – therefore the user needs to be completely still and relaxed for some relevant results.

Here is a copy/paste from Emotiv forum, it explains few things:


Are the main signals that the Expressiv suite coming from EMG and EOM signals? While the Affectiv and Cognitiv suite are receiving mostly EEG signals.



Exactly correct. We detect lateral eye movements using the EOG signal (induced signal from the eyeball dipole rotation), EMG from all of the different facial muscles, using intensity and a localisation algorithm to detect the muscle combinations. These signals feed the Expressiv suite.

Affectiv uses heavily filtered brain signals to remove the muscle components if present. All detections are based on the distribution of characteristic brain frequencies and correlated group activities across the surface of the brain. Affectiv detections also use an adaptive algorithm to adjust the scale to suit the user’s range and base level of each emotion, otherwise Excitement would barely flicker for test pilots and would always be pegged against the top marker whenever I fill in my tax return… We scale it so you’re “calm” or “excited” relative to your own normal range, rather than some global range across our training subjects.

Cognitiv allows for some muscle component in the signature in order to allow novice users to obtain reasonable results (note- we ensure there are some brain components by attenuatng the muscle components but we don’t drive them out of existence). As users become more experienced they rapidly learn that pure brain signals work better. Further training updates (or deleting old training data and using only brain signals) allow experienced users to get very good control using pure brain signals. When this situation is reached, as long as the action signature itself doesn’t have consistent muscle components then in normal use the detection works even in the presence of facial expressions – which is the whole point of making an unobtrusive interface, so you can be yourself and still work the detections.”

Feb 26, 2012 at 10:47pm
Feb 26, 2012 at 11:21pm

thanks, good to know. but the gyro data is unfortunately not available in “official” (Mind your OSCs) Max external. does anyone know for any other external?

Mar 1, 2012 at 4:00pm

Hi t, yes the EMOTIV has a gyroscope ad works pretty well. The data is easy to access but you have to decode the encryption key which is not impossible but a bit tricky there is a post on github that i can point you to. Then you have to compile some libraries to send osc, but me and a friend we did that and works for mac, i can send you some stuff and you can give it a try, you ca also access the raw EEG data in this way. But you need the encryption key.

Mar 1, 2012 at 4:01pm

Sorry Nick for the late reply, i used the EMOTIV epoc it is not completely mac usable, they released a beta MAC drivers, but if you use the process i described above you don’t need their esoteric software.

Mar 3, 2012 at 10:06am

very interesting, sonology always sonology ;-) I miss my time there.

Mar 3, 2012 at 11:09am

ciao Phantasmeano, when have you been there? are you still in Holland? write me on my email so we keep the list clean of private stuff.


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