One of the most versatile of all stringed instruments, the violin is used in practically every musical genre from classical, jazz, rock and pop through to bluegrass, country and folk. It’s equally at home as a powerful and sonorous solo instrument, as well as in larger numbers as a full violin section.
With the volume of players required to create a big orchestral sound, many producers working within the constraints of a budget often opt for high quality sampled strings. These can be realistic when scored intelligently by a skilled arranger who thinks like a string player, but can’t recreate the inflections and nuances of a highly musical violinist.
Samples aren’t presently able to imitate the complexity and subtlety of sound created by a professional violinist but a handful of strong string players used on top of sampled strings can sound convincing and this is now the combination of choice of many film score composers.
Even so, for music of a more exposed nature where professional players are required, it is worth noting that if musicians are of a sufficient quality, a relatively small number can still make an impressively large sound.
At ‘String Section’ you can hire any combination from a solo violinist, to a full symphony orchestra-size section of 16 first violins and 14 second violins, creating a rich and stunning 30-piece violin section. This can also be achieved by overlayering as few as one player and this is a technique we’ve perfected over the last 12 years. It can only be convincingly done using an expert player who possesses pinpoint accuracy in rhythm and intonation (as well as creative microphone placements to re-create the recording of a proper orchestral violin section).
Whether you are looking to record an online violinist for a pop track or hire fiddle players for a folk track or want advice about recording a violin or violin section, one of the group will certainly be able to help you.
Some of the violinists who play regularly in String section include:
Vaughan Jones studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal College of Music in London before working with various orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. He now arranges for strings, plays chamber music with his String Quartet, works as an online violinist and leads ‘String Section’ in recording sessions.
In 2007, Vaughan switched from an 18th century violin to a modern instrument handmade by Martin McClean of Northern Ireland and now owns two instruments made by this luthier.
In 2008, Vaughan Jones and Reiad Chibah (viola) released a critically acclaimed disc of lesser known chamber works for Violin and Viola duo which has been broadcast on classical radio stations all over the world.
‘Brave and impressive performances… ‘ – The Gramophone
In 2010 and 2011 Vaughan released two discs with the Manor House String Quartet called ‘I Saw Three Ships and other carols’ and ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and other carols’ which featured 46 of his original string arrangements and became a classical best seller, played extensively on classical radio stations all over the world.
‘… It is superbly done… ‘ – Music Web International
‘… the playing and recording are first rate… ‘ – Classical Source
‘… this disc should definitely get it’s share of turns in your CD player this holiday season… Vaughan Jones (Violin), Louise Bevan (Violin), Adrian Smith (Viola) and Julia Graham (Cello) are all accomplished musicians and perform these seasonal tunes with the right blend of ensemble discipline and festive flair… ‘ – Classical Music Sentinel
Vaughan has also composed and produced an album of relaxing orchestral music, scored for String Orchestra, harp, piano, flutes and oboes. It is called ‘Music for Healing’ and is available on itunes and amazon mp3.
In 2012, he released a further relaxing album, designed to help babies and children sleep, called ‘Little Star Lullabies’….again, this is written for orchestral instruments and the musicians of string section supply the string orchestra and soloists.
The Hidden Violin received the following reviews:
‘An important, interesting recital that fills big gaps in the solo violin repertoire with premiere recordings – “Vaughan Jones treats all this music to the romantic playing style it deserves. Between his performances and his booklet note you sense great commitment to the project…..’ Music Web International
‘. . .placed down with great care by technically pristine playing’ – The Gramophone
‘A gifted pupil of Kató Havas, Vaughan Jones plays all these pieces with unfailing technical command and interpretative clear-sightedness. His full-toned 2011 Martin McClean violin proves ideal in this repertoire…’ – The Strad magazine
Louise was born in Cheltenham and studied at Trinity College of Music, London, winning many prizes and scholarships. Solo performances include the Beethoven Concerto at Bournemouth Winter Gardens and ‘The Lark Ascending’ for BBC Radio 3. Louise freelances with a variety of Orchestras throughout the country including Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, CBSO and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She regularly works with The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Manor House String Quartet. Louise also composes and arranges music and was invited to perform her ‘Five Scandinavian Pieces’ at the Dorset Composers’ Festival in 2007.
David studied violin, piano and composition at the Purcell School and the Royal College of Music in London. He became a member of the BBC Concert Orchestra at the age of 23 and has also played with the Royal Philharmonic, the orchestra of English National Ballet, the Halle Orchestra and worked extensively in both the UK and Europe. David has a wealth of experience in music for screen and has appeared on many commercial recordings. As an experienced composer and string arranger, he has worked on several TV commercials for companies including St Ivel, Jamesons, Eurostar and Lancia, so certainly knows how to record a violin.
Gabrielle Painter has performed throughout Europe, Canada and the United States as soloist, chamber musician and Orchestral leader. Recent concerts include solo performances at the Royal Albert Hall, chamber music recitals with the Szabo Trio throughout Europe and broadcasts on Lyric FM. She has been guest artist at the Banff Centre of the Arts, London Festival of Chamber Music and numerous concert series and festivals. Gabrielle records regularly with the major symphony orchestras and has played on numerous albums and film soundtracks.
Judith Templeman (Violin)
Judith studied at RNCM (1995-1999) gaining a first class honours degree, later studying at the Juilliard school of music in New York with Dorothy Delay. She has played with the majority of the countries leading orchestras, often leading the orchestra or section. As a soloist, Judith has been involved in many recital series including the Barber Institute, the Walton Centenary, the Southwark Cathedral, Tanglewood Festival and Sunday Morning and Seiji Ozawa Hall with concerto performances around the world in Frankfurt, Japan and New York. In recent years, Judith has co-led the second violins of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and now sits as number five first violin in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.