Review: Recorders by Embertone


Fantastic legato scripting and attention to the “imperfect” details are what make playback of Embertone’s Recorders surprisingly realistic. The streamlined and powerful interface make it easy to whisk your listeners away to the shire or other magical worlds.

Jump to the Demos of  Recorders by Embertone 

Jump to the Videos of  Recorders by Embertone


Review: Recorders by Embertone

Embertone Recorders is a fantastic little library of the recorder choir. Embertone is known for its stunning attention to detail, and Recorders lives up to the expectation. It contains Sopranino, Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass recorders to gracefully fulfill all your recorder whims.

Recorders is available for $60 from Embertone


One reason this library sounds so realistic is because the imperfections of these instruments were part of the design; for instance, that extra noise on the beginning of a note before the pitch really comes out is included. The library has three articulations: Long, Short and Trill. In order to play more than one note at a time when Long mode, you have to engage polyphonic mode by selecting it in the main window. You can play multiple pitches in Short mode without having to turn on polyphonic.

The interface loads all the instruments in one window and you can quickly switch between them by selecting one. Individual instruments have volume and pan control directly below the instrument’s graphic. You can combine individual recorders by selecting more than one at a time. There is also a combination mode if you want to have the widest range of pitches available and aren’t particular about which type of recorder is playing in which range. Just choose Combine Mode to activate this super-sized recorder.

Some of the most impressive features of this library are behind the scenes. The legato scripting in this library is fantastic. Using the pitch bend wheel also creates a seamless legato sound, bending the pitch in a highly realistic manner. The speed of vibrato can be controlled as well. One really interesting feature is that trills can be engaged on a note as you are playing it.

Yes, let’s say that again: you can play a long note, hit a key switch, and the note will trill.

Another really interesting bonus is the velocity scripting. At low velocity, the instrument will automatically add portamento in addition to the legato. If you hit a note at high velocity, the instrument adds an ornament.

There is very little to complain about in this library. Having put it through its paces on famous recorder licks from various films (the Shire theme from Lord of the Rings, Diagon Alley and Window to the Past from Harry Potter, that unforgettable section from Titantic) and of course a couple traditional jigs, I found the instruments are extremely easy to play and achieve a realistic-sounding result.

I did find on some of the notes the extra noise is more pronounced and can get in the way of realism if the same thing is heard several times in a row, but in general, I found that this detail helps make the performance seem more life-like. Another small downside is that the lower pitched instruments are much quieter than the higher pitched ones, which makes combination mode sound uneven over its range.

Overall I found this library extremely detailed, easy to use and surprisingly realistic.

As with all our reviews be sure to check out the official videos and demos below before purchase to make sure this instrument is right for you.

Recorders is available for $60 from Embertone


The library downloads at 5.5 GB and requires the FULL VERSION of Kontakt (5.1+).

Recorders is available for $60 from Embertone


Demos of Recorders by Embertone


Videos of Recorders by Embertone