Up Close: Imaginando


From Touch Technology to Music and Beat-Making: In the late 2000s, Portugal-based software developer Nuno Santos was engaged in a fascinating dual life—serving on a team that developed touch technology to interact with digital content in public places like museums while gigging as a DJ using Native Instruments Traktor and using Ableton Live for music production. In 2014, merging his passions for music and technology, he launched Imaginando, a startup dedicated to creating original products that would make music production accessible to more people, centered around dynamic audio-visual experiences. With apps available across mobile and desktop, the company’s innovations are designed to inspire artists to expand their own creative potential. One of the most amazing aspects of Imaginando’s success story is the fact that Santos started it with his own money that he earned from developing the first version of an Ableton Live controller called LIVKONTROL for mobile devices. In 2015, he converted this software into Imaginando’s second official product, LK, a flexible remote application offering tight integration with Ableton Live and providing access and control of its projects as well as powerful generic MIDI control and sequencing.

Imaginando Flagship Products: The company’s first official product was TKFX, a full-fledged Traktor controller for iOS and Android devices. In addition to full decks, looper and mixer control with a jog dial, it allows the user to control Traktor effects in a powerful and intuitive way using an X/Y pad for each effect unit. In 2016, Imaginando released DRC, a powerful virtual analog polyphonic subtractive synthesizer that, through analog circuit modeling, recreates the characteristic sound of an analog synth within a minimal but strong set of parameters. Santos says it captures “all the great features of '80s synths.” A later product, FRMS, is a virtual hybrid synthesizer that combines Granular, FM, Subtractive and Additive synthesis using a flexible layering system. It produces a wide variety of possible timbres, with a sleek and modern interface. Released in 2021, VS - Visual Synthesizer is a groundbreaking software that allows creating audio and MIDI reactive visuals in a way that is intuitive and easy for musicians, becoming the most successful product of the company to date.

BAM: In many ways the sum of all previous Imaginando experiences, BAM—released in November 2023—is a complete music production studio/beat maker and music maker that gives users every tool they need to quickly bring musical ideas to life. With an easy-to-use interface, it offers the opportunity to become an accomplished beat maker in minutes. BAM comes loaded with a variety of built-in synthesis engines and effects, oscillator synthesizer, sampler, drum synth, analog bass synth, analog emulation of drum elements, as well as filter, EQ, delay, chorus, compressor, saturator, etc. Another selling point is the extensive sample library, which offers a wide array of sounds that are easily accessible via the built-in sample manager and recorder. In April 2024, the company released BAM 1.1.0, an updated version with audio loops support, a new house themed sound bank and other features.  

Quote from Nuno Santos: The idea behind the brand is to provide music software products to help people follow their dreams. We hope they never stop dreaming and trying to make exciting things happen. Imagining is a continuous process of creating and dreaming. We provide beautiful, easy to use solutions with friendly, modern interfaces to make our customers’ musical goals easier to accomplish. Our greatest reward is seeing creative souls being able to express themselves by using the products we have created.

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