This is the second part of the serie Taking Your Strings to the Next Level. To watch and read the first tutorial
There are three factors that we should keep in mind when we want to find out what makes good string music.
First and foremost, the quality of the writing. Second, the quality of the players. And third, the quality of the instruments.
Regarding the writing, this is dependent on the composer. If he or she has good knowledge of idiomatic articulations and string textures, then we can expect a good string composition.
But music is nothing on the paper or midi notes. We need sound to create music, and for this, we have the players and their instruments.
In the case of virtual instruments, we don't have humans to perform our music, but we have instead, in most cases, little pieces of performances which are commonly known as samples.
Sample libraries are the instruments of the midi programmer and the midi programmer is the player.
Good virtual instruments are those that are as versatile and customizable as the real instrument. But there's a downside of it. Versatile tools can be tricky to be used sometimes because they require more than a simple plug and play.
It is crucial to be a good "player" when we have a good instrument in our hands. A Stradivarius may sound like an annoying fly in the hands of the untrained violinist. In the same way, a great sample library may sound like a toy in the hands of an unexperienced midi programmer.
In the following video there's an example of first-class orchestral writing with the predominance of strings. The music is worldwide known and very difficult to be simulated with samples. However, with some versatile libraries and careful midi programming, we can make any masterpiece come to life with amazing expressions.