Sónar+D MasterClasses

SEAT - Sónar +D Barcelona

During Sónar+D 2019, Timoni West, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, Jorge Del Bosque, Kyle McDonald, Ludovico Vignaga, Madeline Gannon, Richard Devine, Ben Cerveny and Emmanuel Biard & David Leonard gave masterclasses about immersive content, 3D audio, sound design, machine learning, robotics, conversational AI & and urban scale computing at the newly inaugurated Sónar+D Auditorium by SEAT.
New Masterclasses from this extensive program of masterclasses led by the best international specialists in creative technologies will be made available to watch online every Monday starting from September 23rd.

Tega Brain and
Sam Lavigne

Online from:
23rd of September

Ways to predict the future

In this talk, digital artists Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne lead us on a deep dive into the current state of online surveillance and how data is collected and used to try to make predictions of what, how, and when we desire. Through shedding light on the business model of prediction, the artists explore strategies for leveraging regimes of prediction for agendas outside of capitalism.


Online from:
30th of September

Synthesis and Sound Design

An essential primer for students of sound and professionals alike, artist and composer Richard Devine lays out the building blocks of synthesis and sound design. Setting out real world examples from his extensive career creating soundtracks and sound effects for film, tv, advertising, video games and web interfaces, Devine connects the ports between analogue and digital synthesis, how to patch and field record, along with dispensing advice to those wishing to follow in his path.


Online from:
7th of October

The Future of Humans and Machines: Human-Robot Interaction across the arts, sciences, and society

After 50 years of promise and potential, robots are starting to make their way out of the lab and into our everyday lives. But how should we coexist with these intelligent, autonomous machines? Led by Dr. Madeline Gannon, a multidisciplinary designer inventing better ways to communicate with machines, this Masterclass shows how art and technology are merging, and what this could mean for human-robot relations in the future. In this class, Gannon addresses the latest developments in advanced robotics and how artists are pushing the boundaries of human-robot interaction, while questioning the implications of this work for society.


Online from:
14th of October

Immersive Audio [R]Evolution

You’ve certainly heard the word “surround” before... you might be familiar with the term “binaural”… perhaps you’ve seen “3D sound” or “ambisonics” written somewhere…and maybe you even got to experience them once. However, in an era where everything seems to be “immersive”, it’s easy to become confused by all the labels.

This masterclass from sound technologist Ludovico Vignaga gives an experts’ view on the most significant concepts and tools that are shaping the next generation of sound experiences and music creation. Focusing not only on technological advances but also the artistic process and applications of the same, this is a talk guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing.


Online from:
21st of October

The City Is A Collaborative Sculpture in Possibility Space

We have now entered the era of urban scale computing. Today our cities are based on systems and communities, navigated through applications which allow users to participate and collaborate - in many contexts simultaneously - regardless of demographic and technical literacy. Meanwhile, software infrastructure provides services in the context of society as a whole and is shaped by local governance and the values of the culture that it serves. How should we approach the design of services and experiences in this new paradigm?

In this masterclass, Flickr co-founder Ben Ceverny posits an approach that might look something like game design, where the designer is sculpting a whole narrative universe that overlays a new grammar of use onto familiar landscapes, providing a semantic model for AR, immersive, and situated or gestural interactions.

del Bosque

Online from:
28th of October

Conversational AI: Creating Speech Enabled Experiences

Conversational AI has become ubiquitous, and it is enhancing experiences at home, public spaces, during commuting and at leisure time. ‘Speech’, defined hereas a human-computer Interaction modality driven by the human voice) is also opening new creative pathways for interaction designers,sound artists and musicians.

In this MasterClass, Jorge del Bosque will present an introduction to Voice User Interfaces (VUIs), their main technical components and the multidisciplinary fields driving the agenda on speech interaction. The session aims to inspire creative technologists to experiment with the techniques and tools, developing their own voice user experiences and combining them with sound and music production tools.

Emmanuel Biard
and David Leonard

Online from:
4th of November

Stage design

It’s no coincidence that the most foward thinking musicians in the world trust their stage shows to the lighting designer Emmanuel Biard. Togther with his close collaborator David Leonard - responsible for the coding and mechanical engineering of these complex stage structures - Biard has gained a reputation for innovative and inventive staging employing lasers, mirrors and moving parts, that leave audiences speechless.

In this Masterclass the duo reflect on past shows performed at Sónar for artists including Daedelus, Evian Christ, Koreless and this years Endless Power show by Lotic, explaining their process and fascination with sculpting light into impressive and transgressive forms.


Online from:
11th of November

Limits of Learning

At its most basic, machine learning (ML) means automating tasks by providing examples (training data) instead of writing instructions (code). Fueled by the rise of new algorithms, new hardware, new toolkits for efficiently solving complex problems, and huge datasets compiled from everything from sensor networks and surveillance cameras to social media, machine learining has come of age.

In this MasterClass, Kyle McDonald provides an overview of the contemporary ML landscape, with an emphasis on techniques that are accessible and relevant to artists and other creative people. Providing a framework for understanding how techniques and toolkits are related to each other, with some discussion of the social complexity behind their development and dissemination, this class will result in a better understanding of ML and providing a new starting point for self-learning of future techniques and developments.


Online from:
18th of November

Best practices for virtual and mixed reality design

In 2019 UXP design has come a long way from Windows. As computers become ever more integrated in our lives, how we interact with them has similarly undergone a revolution in concept and design. From Augmented Reality (AR) to Virtual Reality (VR), and applications from gaming and social media through to art, design and engineering, the realm of spatial computing is finally opening its doors.

In this masterclass, Timoni West details best design practices for making truly interesting and top-tier mixed reality experiences across various types of devices, illustrated by examples of great immersive, best tools for brainstorming, and common pitfalls to avoid.