Expressive E and AAS Release the Imagine Software Instrument

Expressive E and AAS Team Up on the Imagine Software Instrument to let you easily play with a new variety of sounds—acoustic, organic, and alive from the resonant bodies of real-life instruments.  

Paris, France, September 9, 2021 — Expressive E’s new Imagine plug-in instrument captures the qualities of different real-life instrument bodies and modifies and combines their acoustic characteristics to create an imaginary acoustics landscape.

Thanks to a playful, multidimensional approach, Imagine allows you to have evolving textures, including several dimensions to explore for each preset. This unique approach produces mysterious, inspiring, unknown sound dimensions from familiar-sounding elements.


Imagine is the result of a collaboration between Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS) and Expressive E.

Imagine results from an exciting collaboration between Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS)—the foremost pioneer of acoustic physical modeling software instruments — who provides the sound engine — and Expressive E, a company grounded in the mission of improving the way musicians interact with sounds by creating a much more intuitive and powerful music-making experience.

“At the forefront of a new generation of controllers that provide multidimensional expression, Expressive E’s expertise proved to be a perfect match for our physical modeling technology,” says Marc-Pierre Verge, CEO of Applied Acoustics Systems. “They created a flexible and playful interface based around real-time manipulations that allow one to morph between layers of resonating objects. This inspired their sound design team to create a brilliant library of rich organic soundscapes to explore.”

To inform and refine its own expertise in expressive sound design, Expressive E spent months working with a panel of professional musicians, composers, sound designers, and producers to develop hundreds of Imagine presets based on artist feedback.

Imagine UI

Imagine's user interface

Imagine is now available in VST/VST3/AU plug-in formats for macOS and Windows at a price of $/€139. => Video links — Walkthrough videoHear Imagine in action

An Exciting New Acoustics Landscape

Every Imagine preset combines two instrument layers, which can be swapped out easily to quickly generate surprising, new sounds. Each of the layers results from transforming and coupling two resonant bodies such as tubes, bars, skins, and strings together, and then exciting this unique combination with a mallet, a continuous noise signal, or sequences.

To encourage a lively approach to sound design, Expressive E has harnessed the complex math of physical acoustic modeling with macros that provide simple and flexible control over the characteristics and intensity of a sound’s excitation, expressivity, and the cleverly embedded modulation system that makes achieving vivid and evolving textures easy.

Any Imagine user can quickly modify and combine the acoustic characteristics of real-world instruments to create exciting new fantasy instruments for which the laws of physics don’t apply.

“Imagine feels extremely responsive, and I really like how you can explore completely different timbres and behaviors with just one patch,” says Olivier Arson, an award-winning composer and producer. “Another playful and sensitive instrument from Expressive E!”

Explore Physical Modeling in This Course

Physical Modeling Explored course

Learn all about Physical Modeling, including AAS instruments, in this AskVideo course 

Enhance and Articulate: Modulation and Effects

Each of Imagine’s macros contains a multi-stage envelope generator (MSEG) that introduces motion and morphing into sounds with the flick of a switch. Users can add to the huge collection of both simple and complex envelopes by saving their own. Behind the scenes, Expressive E has optimized the intelligent modulation system so that you cannot create a dead zone; just dive in and explore!

Imagine's FX section

Imagine's effect section

There is also a complete set of expressive modular effects designed for real-time manipulation, such as creating fluid articulations, breaks, and drops. Each preset’s dual layers share two effect slots with options such as frequency shifter, vibrato, and distortion, as well as dedicated delay and modeled plate reverb units, taken from Expressive E’s award-winning Noisy synthesizer.

“Imagine offers a very unique combination of physical modeling, audio effects, and modulation sequencers, which makes it a joy for both movie scores and sound design,” says musician and artist Chapelier Fou.

Imagine Perfect Hands-on Control with Touché and Touché SE

Imagine’s sound-design dimensions are an ideal playground for Expressive E’s Touché and Touché SE, which open a whole new universe of sounds and playing articulations, fully compatible with Touché and its software companion, Lié.

Imagine Specs

  • MacOS 10.13 // Windows 10 (M1 isn't natively supported yet)
  • Recommended minimum CPU: Intel Core i5-7400 or ryzen 5 2600 Formats: AU / VST / VST3 64 bits only
  • Contains: 400 factory presets - 300 Instrument presets -150 arpeggiator presets - 200 MSEG presets
  • For more information about Imagine, visit the Expressive E website.

About Expressive E

The French electronic instrument developer Expressive E has created many award-winning products, including the Touché and Touché SE controllers, the noise-and-resonance based synthesizer Noisy, and the Arché physical-modeling instruments. Its highly anticipated first hardware synthesizer, Osmose, pushes the limit of keyboard expression, providing multidimensional control while respecting the player’s acquired keyboard skills. All of Expressive E’s creative tools focus on its mission to improve the way musicians interact with sounds by creating a much more intuitive and powerful music-making experience.

The company debuted its first product, Touché, to bring the same emotive depth, playing sensation, and expression from acoustic instruments to the world of synthesizers and electronic music-making. As with an acoustic instrument, the users’ fingers tap, press, or trace across the wooden touch plate to create new sounds with astonishing dimensions.

Expressive E builds an open ecosystem of hardware and software products, letting musicians rediscover their hardware and software synths simply by using Expressive E’s presets in its Lié software or in its soundbanks, such as the MPE Collection for any MPE-compatible controller, or by creating their own presets in the Lié software.

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