Back in 2002 I wrote a short little instrumental piece for string quartet. Even fifteen years ago, the technology to make it sound decent was either not possible or severely overpriced to do so. Which meant that I ended up recording the four parts individually on the PS5 using a keyboard set to the various string parts. It worked, but I always wanted to hear it done with 'real' or 'better' strings.
Now, it's possible to do that on my well-known shoestring budget. Someone turned me on to a free program called Musescore2, which you can use to create scores and play them back. Nothing new about that; I was using a program called Mozart back in '02 that could do this. But the playback abilities have become much more realistic than the synth sounds from that time. I had recreated the score for the quartet in a program called Finale (actually, the paid version called Songwriter) and Musescore was able to import and read the file. All I needed to do was make some tempo adjustments, add notations for dynamics to the parts, and then use the basic mixer console in the program to pan, set levels and add reverb. Then I exported the mix into Audacity to compress it slightly in order to even out the balance and make the levels somewhat higher.
The result is that it sounds pretty darn close to a real string quartet.