Superbooth 21: Expressive E Imagine, new physical modeling synth plugin with Applied Acoustics Systems

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For Superbooth 21, Expressive E matched up with Applied Acoustics Systems for a new colorful physical modeling Synthesizer plugin named Imagine.

We can also welcome new software synthesizers at Superbooth 21. A completely new plugin comes from the French company Expressive E, which will also be showing the Osmosis to the public for the first time. A video will come on Wednesday, so stay tuned.

For their new Synthesizer plugin Imagine, they teamed up with the Canadian physical modeling experts of Applied Acoustics Systems.

Expressive E Imagine

Expressive E Imagine

Imagine brings together Expressive E’s know-know for expressive playing technology ad AAS for deep physical modeling engines. Don’t be surprised, at different points you feel at home like with AAS plugins (Chromaphone 3, String Studio VS-3 …). Many features are strongly reminiscent of products from the Canadian developers.

The plugin consists of two independent layers that are fully customizable. Swap them out to generate quickly new timbres. Each layer uses a coupling + exciting technology where you excite two different resonant bodies using different triggers. A technique that is also known from the Chromaphone 3 plugin.

In Imagine, you can choose tubes, bars, skins, and strings as resonant bodies. A mallet, a flexible continuous noise signal, or sequences are available as exciters. Yes, it looks like a C3 engine takeover, however, the sequences and the customizable noise generator make the plugin different. To simplify the workflow, Expressive E decided on a simplified approach to physical acoustic modeling.

The resonant bodies, as well as exciters, are equipped with a small but efficient set of parameters making it easier to twist sounds in new directions. Plus, macros give you a simple and quick way to modify parameters on the fly.

Modulations & Effects

The developers did not save on modulation. Each of Imagine’s macros features a multi-stage envelop generator (MSEG) that puts your sounds in motion. Thus, you get four macros and 4 dedicated envelopes to play around This section ships with a neat collection (200) of both simple and complex envelopes. Or just design your own and save them right in the interface. According to Expressive E, they created an intelligent modulation system so that you cannot create a dead zone.

In addition to the complex envelopes, individual parameters can also be modulated with an LFO and envelope and thus bring movement/life into them. Imagine also includes a wide range of expressive modular effects. Each reset’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

Expressive Control

Unlike traditional PM plugins, the focus here is also on expressive playability. Thus, Imagine works nicely with modern multi-dimensional controllers like the Touché, Touché SE or the upcoming Osmose. With these, musicians can add to the organic, acoustic sounds yet another layer of complexity.

Expressive E and Applied Acoustic Systems sounds like a very exciting match. Expressive playing meets powerful physical modeling tech in a new synth plugin. At first glance, I like the design, the feature set, and the sound very much. I’m very curious to test it myself. It definitely has Chromaphone & String Studio elements but also those who are new and interesting: deeper modulation, versatile noise generator, sequencer as an exciter…

And EE and AAS, I hope you partner up once again in the future for a next-generation hardware PM synth. That would be awesome.

Expressive E Imagine is available now for an introductory price of 83,40€ instead of 139€. It runs on macOS and Windows as a VST, VST3, and AU plugin. It requires macOS 10.13 ((M1 isn’t natively supported yet) or Windows 10.

More information here: Expressive E

Superbooth 21 News

Plugin News


    • as I wrote: it has elements of Chromaphone & String Studio VS-3 but also new comes: more versatile noise generator, sequencer as an exciter, more modulation options…

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