Music Software Review: Embertone Catalogue [VIDEO]

As we’ve pointed out before, Embertone have quickly carved out a name for themselves in the sample market with their low-cost high quality sample libraries. Many users have praised and embraced their design philosophies, whether they are designing quirky little virtual instruments or taking on orchestral ones, with a particular knack for solo instrument sampling. We have already reviewed a number of their libraries, and today, Chris Harris (AKA The Darris) explores a whole bunch of instruments from the Embertone catalogue in his two-part video review below. While most of these have serious uses in any serious work, some of these libraries, especially the freebies, come from a place of sheer fun and playfulness.

In Part 1, Chris checks out Embertone‘s brass and woodwind offerings, listed below along with their official Embertone blurbs:

  • Chapman Trumpet: “Chapman trumpet is brilliant, beautiful and smooth. It’s an instrument that just works – and it’s incredibly fun to play, because it sounds legit! Programmed to give you a responsive sound/feel, this thing will soar over the orchestra, but also fit right into whatever mix you’re working on.”
  • Mouth Trumpet: One part fun, two parts crazy and totally @#%$ing weird… Now with just one virtual instrument you can infuse some humor into your music, mock the brass trumpet, confuse your family and friends, all while enjoying strange animation on the main page of the interface.”
  • Ocarina: Amaya: Amaya is a true legato instrument, the first of its kind, and it was obsessively crafted. We’re talking Round Robin legato performances baby! 2X RR legato plus 2X RR portamentos, with an additional option to bump up the variation with RR neighbor borrowing. That means more variation for you!”
  • Jubal Flute: We discovered this one-of-a-kind instrument collecting dust in our favorite local music shop. It’s made out of hemlock, light as a feather, and sounds as if it were made by elven magic. Programmed with true legato, the Jubal flute is a simple and incredibly effective instrument. It has an earthy sound, evoking images of folk dances, mountainscapes, and encounters with Bilbo Baggins.”
  • Shire Whistle: Welcome to the Shire! … if you perk your ears up, you’ll hear something quite blissful: the sound of a beautifully-crafted SHIRE WHISTLE!
  • Crystal Flute: “Crystal Flute – an instrument made from glass which possesses a magical and expressive sound. We went back to our roots to make an expressive little instrument, a la Jubal Flute and Ivory Wind. This is an instrument that we’ve wanted to sample for a very long time. The tone is also similar to a concert flute, but wispier and more evocative. Some big technology improvements, but with a familiar interface. This flute will rock your world with an expressive and velvety low end, and a crisp and defined high register. With full vibrato and dynamic control, you can craft your own musical idea, without constraining yourself to rigid and predefined samples.”

Part 1 – Embertone Brass and Woodwinds:


In Part 2, Chris takes a look at Embertone’s percussion and freebies:

  • Jug Drums COMPLETE: What happens when you lock two sound designers in a space with 5 water jugs, 5 microphones, a laptop and an audio interface? Pure #$!@ing magic, that’s what! With oodles of round robins, 4 different playing styles, and a dynamic range equipped to shake things up, you’re going to love this instrument… It’s a new angle on the concept of “epic drumming”.”
  • Tomato Paste Kalimba: Crafted by some insane genius, the Tomato Paste Kalimba is useful even beyond the borders of Sub-Saharan Africa. This hybrid kalimba/tomato paste container resonates with a unique, intimate sound… and we couldn’t resist sampling it!”
  • GlockenpillarDon’t be deceived by his playful gaze, this instrument is capable of pure magic – with the sparkle of a glockenspiel, and the bite of a… caterpillar. Our first sampled creation, the Glockenpillar, is an instrument close to our hearts.”
  • Tiny GrandWe bring to you Tiny Grand, a beautiful 30-note toy piano with more personality than a truckload of recycled grand pianos… and also, as far as we know, the deepest virtual instrument of its kind.”
  • Intimate Strings LITE: It’s a free instrument, and in our humble opinions, it’s useful as hell. For standalone melodies or to supplement other string sounds, what you get is the sound of a string quartet… FREE!”
  • CanjoWe couldn’t imagine having more fun with a single string!”
  • HarmonetteThe Harmonette is a rare, antique instrument, and in all of our research we could not find a similar one! It looks like a recorder, but functions and sounds more like a melodica. And it’s super old – our best guess is somewhere between 60-80 years.”
  • AtmoraffeOur highest achievement: a super stretched squeezy toy which will keep you giggling for quite some time. Download this free instrument and let the fun begin!”
  • SCOREcast KitchenThis little gem was a SCOREcast exclusive for a few weeks, but now we’re breaking it out for the rest of the world… Enjoy the sounds of Oven slams, Glass bowls, kitchen lamps, matchsticks and more. We’re keeping it weird, people. And we’re proud to be a part of the SCOREcast community! If you don’t know about SCOREcast, well, you should.”
  • The KeyboardHAPPY APRIL FOOLS 2013! This is a prank we played on everyone on 4/1/13. It’s just an intricately sampled, unplugged MIDI Controller.”
  • ArcaneArcane centers around a séance, through which you must appease the evil Kontakt spirits. In order to progress and unlock the mysteries within, there are riddles and challenges to solve. Within this innovative product you’ll find a diverse assortment of sounds, and also an unforgettable experience inside Kontakt.”
  • Sensual SaxophoneEnter Sensual Saxophone – the digital solution to sax saturation. Tease the sound at the start for a caress of the ear, and then blow a long note that busts below the belt. With the sentimental setting of sensual sax, you’ll always have the right accompaniment for an evening that echoes with pleasure.”

Part 2 – Embertone Percussion and Freebies:

Every one of these libraries can be purchased and downloaded directly from the Embertone website

Written by: Christopher Harris

Christopher Harris is a film composer in the San Francisco Bay Area who enjoys spending time with his family and playing video games. Chris regularly posts videos of product demos and composition tutorials on his Youtube channel.

Film and Game Composers offers a wide range of interviews, reviews, guides and tutorials for composers and musicians who are interested in writing music for film, TV and video games.

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