this is a little example of how much equalizing can add to the sound of strings.
The piece itself is a little cue called 'Melancholy' that I wrote for this movie project: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=47585. The piece itself describes the melancholy and loneliness of the protagonist, even when he is in company. I wanted to have a dark but rich strings sound, slowly moving but with strong intensity.
The first 18 seconds are what plainly comes out of the notation program. Up to then the 'strategic' decisions are taken concerning instrument and note choice and basically the dynamics. Composition-wise most has been done at that point, but it is not 'sellable' of course .
Secondly the phrase is repeated in a first reworked version (sec. 19 to 35): dynamics are played instead of notated. Both versions already benefit from the fact that in GPO the dynamics are linked to crossfading samples, so little timbral variations are already there. This version already sounds much nicer, but still not threedimensional.
Starting at 0:35 min comes the final version. It includes better positioning in space plus some tricks to make the music more lively. The most important is the dynamical EQing, a technique I have learned from Steven von Kampen. It includes constant adjustion of the timbre by subtile EQing. For GPO users: very much can already be done with busily using cc24 of the upgraded version (X-Folder patches).
More on that here
I don't know if it works for you but for me there is a transition from the second to the third version. It seems to get life there.
I constantly watch the demand of newer and better strings samples, and indeed the strings often stick out in midi work. And the better the original sound material is, the better are the possibilities. But what I ask myself is whether any new samples or software will ever be able to replace the human decision to make the sound a little softer or brighter right in this moment - as we for example can do by EQing.
So I think there may be a programmed disappointment if the (correctly diagnosed) notorious problems with strings are being adressed with new libraries only. The more I work with samples, the more I tend to regard them as raw material (nevertheless valuable).