Multiple violins worth it?

Hello everyone,

Please forgive my simple questions. I have HALion Symphonic Orchestra.

  1. What’s the difference between Violin I and Violin II? I know in an orchestra they would play different parts but why are there different samples/instruments?

  2. Is it work layering things like violins? Since I can control the volume, does it actually help to have multiple violins playing at the same time or do the samples all just overall and give the equivalent of one violin played louder (assuming they are all playing the same note) or are VST’s smart enough to make them sound different?

(1) In some seating arrangements, the 1st violins sit on the conductor’s left, the 2nd violins on the right. Assuming right-handed players, the sound holes on the 1st violins will face toward the audience, while the 2nd violins’ f-holes will face away. There will be a slight difference in sound due to the different acoustics of this situation. In other seatings, there may be a less extreme difference of hearing angle. But there’s still some difference.

(2) There are ensemble presets for an entire violin section, and this is probably what you want. Any ensemble sounds different than a solo instrument due to slight timing differences between the players. (Called a chorus effect.) It’s not just about volume. I suppose you could set up 16 tracks of solo violin to create sections, but that would be a lot of work and CPU. At the other extreme, there are presets that do all string sections at once (as a group). These may be useful when you’re working something out, but I wouldn’t use them in the final version.

There are many articulations available in HSO. A and B violins are useful for divisi, Alt has different alternating sounds of upstrokes and downstrokes. These are all useful. HSO is an amazing value for the money.