Making More Of MIDI Strings

For those of us who don’t have an orchestra stowed away in the basement, the simulation of a string section is a remarkably useful addition to the DAW toolkit. But despite ever-advancing music technology, it’s not easy to sound like the real thing…

Stringing The Audience Along

Many film score composers will sketch out their work using synthetic strings, but this will only be a placeholder for the duration of the composition phase – any reasonable sized movie production will record the final score using actual musicians.

In fact, even the best producers in the world can’t really get an authentic sound out of software alone – in this interesting post over at Audiotuts, George Strezov advises that even if you can get one actual violinist to play a simplified version of your parts, mixing this in with your synthesised strings will produce a notably more impressive sound.

Experiments with MIDI

If you want to add a certain element of space and depth to a MIDI string piece, you could always play it through your monitors and record the output through a microphone in your room – the position of the microphone, the layout of your room and the characteristics of the microphone itself will colour the sound in a variety of ways, and this new recording can be mixed back in to add texture to the part.

Playing it through an amp, or a variety of outboard effects, could shake the sound up further, if that suits the type of production you are trying to achieve.

If you want a few string-based MIDI files to begin playing around with, you could try these pieces by stringsound, or these classical favourites from scena…


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