What about String in your composition?

i have a little question about the use of string library.
in most of strings library we can find string ensemble and separate desk ( violin 1 & 2, viola, cello, double bass)
the question is :slight_smile:do you always use string ensemble or separate desk ? and in the case you use string ensemble do you intend to transform the string ensemble section into a separate string section ?
i often use string ensemble in order to go faster but the result is not the same, the balance is not the same than in a separate string section . do you agree with that ?

thanks a lot


I’ve occasionally used ensembles for sketching, and have even actually used them in more electronic-focused pieces - but even then, I almost invariably get annoyed with the limited control, and switch to separate desks, and for orchestral pieces, I tend to start directly with that.

With Cubase, it’s easy enough to edit multiple tracks together, and I tend to play one part at a time anyway when recording, so I don’t really have much motivation to use ensembles anyway.

As for the end result, I almost invariably use separate sections + first chairs (often Spitfire Chamber + Solo Strings) - so typically10 tracks; more if I use performance legato patches, as then I’ll typically have to use another set of patches for other articulations.

For modeled strings (still just experimenting), it’s somewhere between all individual solo instruments (positioned with C2Audio Precedence + Breeze), and modeled first chairs + sampled sections. I think there might be a good compromise between expression and sound to be found somewhere in between those extremes.


Well, my natural individual way of writing/orchestrating is based on traditional instruction (Rimsky-Korsakov, Hector Berlioz) so I just prefer to use separate sections whenever possible–I Violin, II Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, but that’s when I try to write more cinematic or film score type of pieces. If I’m doing more hybrid/trailer stuff, ensembles are OK, though I sometimes still write for I Vn/II Vn.

The weird thing with strings is you’re not going to hear any real difference between 16 violins or 32 like you would when harmonizing an a4 horn sample where you technically get 8 horns or more, which then sounds a bit unrealistic.