School of machines, making & make–believe

How do we listen with all the noise in the age of information? How are our hearing senses linked to our emotional experiences? How can we better understand the relationship between humans and our environments mediated through sound?


Course Description

Ecoacoustics is an intensive four-week program led by artists Florence To and Antoine Bertin.

Combining elements of spatial recording, virtual reality sound design, and audio installation practices, participants are invited to develop an immersive experience using the unique 4DSOUND system, of which there exist only two in the world.

Leading an exploration of materials, form, human body, binaural recordings, interactive audio, and listening practices, participants are taken on a journey to reveal new and unexpected sensations.

Our listening reality is intimate, tactile, spatial, social and temporal. Using creative, analogue and digital means of bending the sense of hearing, students are invited to explore the idea of a sound-driven virtual reality. Listening through the ear and vibrations through the body, the group will devise original strategies of blurring the boundary between the virtual and the real.

We will survey different techniques and their applications to gain insight on the future directions of sound. How can these techniques help us in creating stories that cross the boundaries of traditional design? As we investigate spatial sculpture and architectural environments, we will gain further understanding of psychoacoustics and creative learning through physical objects.

This workshop will take you from the intricacies of the ear to the surface of the skin, learning within resonant spaces, and journeying through the new possibilities in sound experience design that have emerged through the boom of virtual reality. Learning to design sound composition through storytelling not only through digital but within intuitive crafts to create an individual learning and listening process throughout the program.

In this course, you'll walk away with skills in

-Binaural recording techniques and 360 audio mixing
-Interactive sound design with basic MaxMSP skills
-Tactile audio: Vibrations sensed by the human body
-Multiple channel audio techniques
-Recording and Mixing of original compositions
-Explore the architecture and mysteries of the hearing apparatus.
-Create your own binaural recording rig (dummy ears)
-Learning various processes through sound adaptation
-Investigating how sound is perceived within different environments
-An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators in the field of sound installation, virtual reality sound design, audio experience design.
-Creation of final sound experience open to the public on final day of program.


  • Artist / Student (Full Time)*
    €1950 (€1750 Early Bird discount**)
    €2250 (€1950 Early Bird discount**)

  • Women and persons from LGBTQ+ and other under-represented communities in the tech field highly encouraged to apply!

    *Includes in-class materials, use of space, and professional mentorship
    **Early bird ends 19/03/2018

    Note: If you'd like us to seek out your accommodation for the month, please add €525 to the above fee.

Spatial audio culture

-Technical and cultural history of binaural audio.
-Architecture of the ear and psychoacoustics of hearing at 360 degrees.
-Critical listening: Game, VR, and AR work.
-Group speculative sound design: what may the listening devices and experiences of tomorrow be?

Spatial Recording Survival Skills

-Ear Training: Enhance your spatial listening capabilities.
-Making your own binaural rig (by moulding your own ears)
-Spatial sound recording practices (mono -> stereo -> binaural -> ambisonics)

Immersive sound production

-360 audio storytelling: bringing voices, soundscapes, effects and music together in a narrative.
-360 sound editing and mixing. From binaural to multichannel systems.
-Haptic audio design: Immersion through the muscles and bones.

Spatial sound experience design

-Creative collaboration techniques applied to audio work.
-Combine skills and explorations to create an immersive experience at Monom - Berlin's Center for Spatial Sound.
-Run your installation publicly, get feedback and visibility.

Course Outline

Week 1: Tools and Techniques for creating spatial sound experiences utilising props and fabrication as necessary

Week 2: Introduction to spatial sound recording and binaural field recording techniques.

Week 3: Getting familliar with the 4DSOUND spatial sound system at MONOM- Berlin's Center for Spatial Sound.

Week 4:Creation of collective sound experiences open to the public on the final day of the program.

Who is this program for?

This workshop is geared toward artists, designers, musicians, and anyone interested in experimenting with tactile materials, and the possibilities of storytelling with perception and spatial sound. There are no formal prerequisites. Everyone interested is encouraged to apply!

Related Links

About MONOM - Berlin's Center for Spatial Sound
About Ecoacoustics
Interview with Florence To
Interview with Antoine Bertin
Alt FAQ!

Noqturnl is an overnight performance exploring the threshold between waking and dreaming. NOQTURNL art director Florence To and composer John Connell share a deep interest in the way technology and media can alter perception ­ affecting the formation of our personal and social constructs, both positively and adversely. They have been collaborating with spatial sound collective 4DSOUND since 2014 to explore how spatial audio­visual technologies can encourage constructive environments for self­-reflection, creative ideation and social interaction.

In the Eyes of the Animal For this project Antoine Bertin in collaboration with Marshmallow Laser Feast created a virtual reality experience with binaural sound design. It enables users to encounter a forrest in a brand new way. A 360º film, it is an artistic interpretation of the sensory perspectives of three species natural to the site.

Through the Ears of the Bats This collaboration between Antoine Bertin and Marshmallow Laser Feast is an audio instillation that allows users to experience echolocation and hear the world from the perspective of bats.



  • Florence To /

    Art Director and Installation Artist Florence To merged her skills into digital technologies in 2011, designing and performing sound and light installations after completing a Masters in Design at The Glasgow School of Art in 2007, specializing and working in tailoring and textiles for 8 years. To originally developed her installation work in underground and disused spaces using its defects as an advantage. Through working in various disparate architectural environments guided her research further into cognitive and emotional triggers; exploring the effects of experience within space, the physical presence within vibrations, and how different sensory arrangements can create an emotional and psychological impact.

    The Scottish-born artist has been invited for artistic residencies at the Société des Arts Technologiques [SAT] in Montreal, 4DSOUND Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest, and The Spatialization and Auditory Display Environment [SpADE] in Limerick. To has exhibited, performed and given workshops at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijon, Southbank Centre in London and most recent installation ‘EOAN’ was supported by the European Network for Contemporary Audiovisual Creation [ENCAC]. She is currently part of a creative fellowship with the DCN (Department of Clinical Neuroscience) in Edinburgh.

  • Antoine Bertin /

    Antoine Bertin listens his way around science and sensoriality, environment and audio storytelling, data and music composition. He creates experiences combining elements of immersive sound, interactive storytelling and tangible material, bot as an artist and founder of sound-driven creative studio Sound Anything. His work has been shown at Tate Britain, Palais de Tokyo and Sonar+D. He collaborates with Marshmallow Laser Feast, The Guardian VR, NTS radio.