After many difficulties and apparently dead-end paths, I finally finished a mix of the first of three movements (originally composed as a sextet in 1993, revised for string orchestra). Instrumentation: Vl I, Vl II, Vla I, Vla II, Vc I, Vc II, Cb. The title of this movement is The Voice of the Stream.
Here is the link to mp3 file: https://app.box.com/s/fytxfrnb2231nq4ehv9n
GPO strings- 1) Can't get them smooth enough in 16th note passages, especially pp repeated figures like g-e-g-e-g-g-e etc. Plus, viola is the weakest set of samples to my ears.
2) I tried using Miroslav Philhamonik for the 2nd Vla section & 2nd Vc section, as phasing would be an issue with GPO. However, very frustrating, as the samples all swell way to much on sustained notes (I couldn't get rid of this effect in my DAW by messing with modulation and velocity parameters); sought support, but to no avail. Plus, issues with controlling volume input from the SampleTank engine. MP samples seem to be designed for molto espressivo.
3) I wound up using only the section samples; after trying to mix in solo instruments to liven it up a bit. Unfortunately, merely copying tracks without going back through and totally redoing velocity, modulation, durations, etc. does not work. I even tried building sections from individual instruments, as I know some have advocated, but I have a life, after all, sort of...
4) Finally for the 2nd Vla and 2nd Vc sections I duplicated the 1st sections, changing things like portamento, CC21 and CC@2; then froze those two tracks to avoid phasing issues. That worked, I think.
In GPO I used the Large Symphonic Concert Hall Convolution setting, as it seemed to work for my ears at the time. However, you'll notice a fairly thick texture at times. I have done no EQ or other adjustments to date.
Thank for any suggestions you might have. John