Today I would like to tell you a little bit about my favorite solo violin library in the World. It is the “Joshua Bell Violin” Kontakt virtual instrument by Embertone, and here is why I can’t stop playing it and fell in love with it at first sight.
Let me give you a quick overview first. Joshua Bell Violin is a solo violin library, for Kontakt 5 (Player), crafted by Embertone in collaboration with Joshua Bell, one of the most renowned violin players of our time. Beyond everything else, this is the sound of his violin and him playing it, and that is really the biggest magic because what the folks at Embertone managed is to capture that.
Let me tell you 7 things that make this library absolutely unique.
The next Level of true Legato
Legato transitions are crucial and almost always one of the first things observed by everyone using sample libraries. Especial with string instruments the quality, character, and “aliveness” of legato transitions can make all the difference.
With this library, Embertone took it to the next level and recorded every note-to-note transition on Joshua’s instrument.
And not just that, they also did that for every one of the 12 styles, Bow Change, Slur, Portamento, with different speeds and dynamics… I have never played violin on a keyboard that felt so real and alive.
The next thing I want to point out is how well this library can be customized to you, and your style.
Joshua Bell Violin makes a point of capturing not only the style of the player and the Instrument but also your own.
Embertone has built an Articulation-System, that lets you decide how this library behaves, so, you don’t have to mold your playing style to it, but it will fit you. Therefore you can set Keyswitching, CC’s, Aftertouch, Velocity, Playing Speed, Pitch Bend, and more… it’s all available for you to personalize.
The magic continues at the programming that makes it feel like you are a master violinist, even if you are just noodling around the keyboard. But whilst this often happens on the back-end, Joshua Bell Violin has whole settings page dedicated to this, offering you control over many behaviors, of this marvelous instrument.
Vibrato, the real thing (and the other)
For those of you that have never had the pleasure of hearing Joshua Bell play, I’ll let you know that vibrato is especially important when it comes to his particular tone and character.
So Embertone went ahead and recorded a full set of each, vibrato and non-vibrato, so you could have the natural vibrato of him playing at your disposal as well. Should you, however, find that not to be to your taste, Emberton’s very well-regarded, scripted vibrato is included as well, in case you would rather have full control over it.
There is a certain number of articulations you just kinda expect these days, but Embertone trumps again with “Joshua Bell Violin” with over-delivering, and including some more unusual but extremely valuable articulations like an incredible set of ricochets, super-flautando sustains, tasto + ponticello sustains, and even true-legato harmonics (bows, slurs, and portamento)
Because of everything mentioned before, the experience of playing with Joshua Bell Violin is already amazing. But it is an audio product after all, and thankfully this is just not another one, this library excels! Recorded at Berklee Studios (formerly known as Avatar Studios) by no one less than Richard King, the sound of this library is perfect for a solo violin. Intimate, private, honest, with just enough room to let the character of the player and the instrument come to life.
If this isn’t enough I recommend heading over to Emberton’s website, where they created a great walk-through video, showing all the features I haven’t mentioned yet. It is hard for me to find anything with this library I dislike. To be honest I just completely love it and if you need a solo violin in your collection at all, what are you waiting for.
It is a bargain at this price, and while it isn’t the right violin for every context, I don’t want to miss it for the world. The interface is intuitive, the sound is amazing, and while there is a lot of depth and customizability, the sheer joy it is to just play this library out of the box, with its amazing sound, really is its biggest selling point.
- Price: 199,- $ USD
- Virtual Violin made for Kontakt 5 Player
- Performed by the legendary violinist Joshua Bell
- The tone of a priceless Stradivarius
- 12+ true legato styles
- Flexible performance modes
- Advanced copy protection
More Details / Download Link: Joshua Bell Violin