Recording A Layered String Section For Electronic Productions

We’ve got another fantastic tutorial that we shot with the team over at Riverside Studios in Berlin – this time with film music composer and producer Emanuel Bender, who shares how to record layered violins to create a string section in a dance music production. Watch the full tutorial inside to get a taste of how simple it can be to create an advanced strings track with just a few takes and a single instrument.

  • The mic that Emanuel uses is an Audio Technica AT4033a (available on Amazon for $399), which is a cardioid condenser microphone. Emanuel uses this mic because he finds it captures the “softness of the strings” well – if you want sharper recordings of transients, he recommends a small diaphragm microphone.
  • To record a sound that emulates a string section (like an orchestra) stay about 30-40cm (~1.5 feet) away from the mic when setting up.
  • For gritty, staccato sounds, record closer to to the microphone to get more of those details.
  • In your DAW, pan the tracks to the left and to the right to create various “players” in the space of your track. Think of it again like a seated orchestra – each instrument will be in a slightly different space.
  • For treatment, Emanuel uses a UAD Teletronix LA-2A compressor, iZotope Alloy 2‘s Exciter, and AustrianConcert and Lexicon 224 reverbs.
  • Not much EQing is needed on strings, except for a simple low cut.

Hear some of Emanuel Bender’s work in the Soundcloud player embedded below:

Special thanks once again to Riverside for helping to make such an awesome production-oriented series. Watch more great tutorials from this live instrument series: 

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