just wondering if there's any way to soften the rather abrasive, metallic sound of the solo viola? It seems to be a weakness of most sample libraries for some reason. Perhaps it will be better in the promised update? Just compare to the lovely Gagli violin for instance!
I'd check out Gary's Orchestration course - "Cantabile melodies however are not so frequently written for violas as for violins and 'cellos, partly because the viola tone is slightly nasal in quality and better fitted for short characteristic phrases" - maybe that's why?
the viola has a very pronounced melacholic sound...
using the viola section for a slow melody rather than the violins in the same register is quite a contrast. I happen to have a personal preference for using violas over violins where I can.
I find in fact the GPO viola in its lower register can indeed make for quite a beautiful melancholic sound and I have stared trying ot make use of this--it's just higher up that it's rather grating. But it's true that you hear relatively few cantabile melodies perhaps with the viola in string quartets. Ultimately it's a trade off between getting something to sound good now and something that will sound wonderful with the next GPO version!