Despite the huge array of music apps for the iPad, I’ve never found a really good solo violin app. You can use Garageband’s strings section as a solo violin if you turn all the other instruments off, and ThumbJam has a violin, but neither of these are particularly convincing.
So one of the reasons I have done more recording with my Mac than my iPad recently is that I bought the wonderful Friedlander Violin from Embertone. At $120, it’s many times the price of the average iPad app, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
It requires the free Kontakt player, which can run as a standalone app on the Mac, or an AU plugin within Logic Pro X. The instrument uses a staggering 3.5Gb of samples, and while it worked OK on my 2011 iMac with 4Gb RAM, it certainly ran a lot better when I upgraded to 20Gb RAM.
I can’t say I’ve really scratched the surface of what it’s capable of – one of the interesting features it has is the ability to use TouchOSC on the iPad to control the expression of the playing of the violin. But even without that, it’s a terrific virtual instrument.
Here are 4 tunes I’ve recorded using it….
…and for comparison, here’s the original recording of the second of those tunes (“August”) played with Garageband’s (rather anaemic) violin.