Silent subliminals are recordings that contain inaudible messages designed to influence behaviour. The messages cannot be heard by the conscious mind, but can be heard by the unconscious mind.
Silent subliminals are not layered with music or ambient sounds of any kind. So, essentially, you are listening to a completely silent recording. You will not hear anything.
I should note at this point that subliminal messaging can be layered underneath ambient music such as ocean waves, rainfall or other natural ambience. However, this serves little purpose other than to create something audible.
However, many people prefer this because they can actually hear something, which gives them more confidence in the entrainment taking place.
What is Subliminal Messaging?
A subliminal track is made up of voice recordings transposed into high-level frequencies. These frequencies (the voice) penetrate the brain without your awareness.
A subliminal can target pretty much any area of self-improvement such as curing addiction, improving self confidence, reducing anxiety, weight loss, passing exams – it all depends on what messages the original creator recorded.
Naturally, people are skeptical. It’s a big ask for a listener to have faith in the effectiveness of a recording that they can’t actually hear.
To reiterate: if there is no music or nature sounds laid over the top, the track will literally be silent.
One advantage of this is that no one else can hear what you listening to.
This is great for work, or at home when you have other family members walking in and out of the room. Moreover, you can get on with other tasks that require your attention without being distracted- while your brain is being subliminally entrained.
How Do Silent Subliminals Work?
Silent subliminals infiltrate the mind and encode information into your unconscious mind.
Silent subliminals are created using voice affirmations, usually by an experienced hypnotherapist or guided meditation teacher.
The messaging is recorded and transposed to high, inaudible frequencies, and set at a level where the affirmations vibrate the tympanic membrane of the ear at the strongest yet safest level.
The frequencies of the voice are transposed above your threshold for conscious perception, and slip past your ears and deep into your mind.
In short: you unconsciously receive the original voice recording, and your brain decodes the frequencies to receive the information.
If you can get past quite literally listening to nothing, silent subliminals are cool in that you can listen anywhere at anytime and still concentrate on other tasks such as eating or driving, and even sleep!
How Do I Know the Recording isn’t Blank?
It would be pretty easy to sell fake silent subliminals, considering that people can’t hear them, but there is a way to make sure you haven’t been duped.
Simply play the recording to a dog and see if you get a response.
Dogs have a broader frequency hearing range than humans, and are very sensitive to high pitch frequencies. If your dog gives you a wink and a bark, you know the recording is good for its purpose.
Disclaimer: Some dogs may not respond, so try it on a couple.
Is Silent Subliminal Audio Suitable for the Deaf?
Studies have shown that when listening to any form of brain entrainment, deaf people do feel the effects of the frequency response process, which gives further credence to the theory that you don't need to hear frequencies to benefit from their effects.
A study conducted at the Medical College of Virginia in 1991 confirmed that just like those people with healthy hearing capabilities, deaf people can also enjoy the effects of subliminal messaging.
And because deaf people aren’t anticipating hearing sound in the recordings, subliminals may actually prove to be more effective for the deaf.
That said, deaf or able hearing people should not listen to silent subliminals at an excessively high volume. This is because the brain may perceive certain frequencies played too loud in the same way it does screaming and startling sounds, which can have an adverse effect.
Should You Try Silent Subliminals?
Skeptics might think the whole subliminal movement is a bit out there, but there is scientific evidence that subliminal messaging works.
This study from 1986 proved that subliminal messaging affected the imagery and the dreams of its subjects:
Based on the statistical data and certain drawings collected in this study, it would appear that the auditory subliminal message did have an effect upon the imagery and dreams of the subjects in the experimental group. The results of this study appear to indicate that the unconscious/preconscious mind is able to perceive a recorded verbal message that cannot be consciously understood at the high rate of speed at which it was recorded.
This research concludes:
Our findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that subliminal messages can be used to change our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and actions. Subliminal stimulation was shown to influence current moods, political attitudes, intentions, choices and decisions, and cognitive strategies
Though the research also states:
However, little is known about the longevity of these subliminal influences because these studies were focused mainly on immediate effects of subliminal stimulation. Here, we demonstrate that a few exposures to novel subliminal information is sufficient to influence delayed decision-making. The surprising impact of subliminal messages on rational, intentional, conscious behavior lends subliminal protocols to practical applications, of which advertising is just one example.
Silent Subliminals Vs. Binaural Beats
People often ask me how the two compare, but the two are very different beasts, so to speak.
Both entrain the brain, but in different ways.
Binaural beats entrain the brain to follow along and produce brainwaves of a specific frequency band that corresponds with a particular behaviour such as reducing stress or becoming more focussed and productive.
Subliminal messaging, on the other hand, communicates with the sub-conscious mind to change or instill a particular behaviour.
The sound of binaural beats is like a constant tone, or a rapidly pulsing sound wave. In our case, these are played under ambient, meditative music. The audibility depends on the mix of the track and prominence given to the binaural beats track within the recording. It does and should vary.
From the perspective of a music engineer, the idea is to blend the binaural beats track with the music (harmonize) so that there is no dissonance (conflict) and the recording is pleasant to the ear.
Interestingly though, like silent subliminal recordings, you don’t need to hear the frequencies in binaural beats recordings for them to be effective. We wrote about this previously in our article on binaural beats for those with hearing loss (read that here).
That said, some listeners generally like to hear the binaural beats frequency track, not least because it has hypnotic properties and may enhance the entrainment.
Binaural beats music may be more popular because of the fact that with subliminals the messaging isn't audible, so the listener really needs to have faith in their ability to work to begin with, and believe that the subliminal training is taking place – even if accompanied by music.
So could we combine the two. Absolutely, and that's something we're working on, so watch this space.