I’m available as a string arranger, whether or not you are also looking to get the recording done ny me. Arranging is probably my favourite part of this job, and I’m always looking for interesting people to collaborate with, so get in touch!  At the core of my writing is the basic idea that the string arrangement should always serve the song. Strings can do much more than just the ubigiotous pad backgrounds though, and I love getting creative and finding new ways to support the song. I have studied both classical composition and jazz arranging and a lot in between, so whatever style you are looking for, I can help. I will send you mock ups done with virtual instruments along the way, so that any changes you require can be dealt with quickly. I’m currently offering my arranging service for the very low price of only 100 US $ for standard length song.

Solo recordings

I offer solo violin and viola recordings in any style or genre for albums, film scores, games and media music. Recorded to the highest professional standards with an Avantone CV28 (my favourite mic for violin/viola) through Apogee preamps and converters, ready to drop in to your production. My current rate pr line for a standard length song is a flat fee of only 70 US $.

String quartets and small ensembles

I have spent years refining my approach to the art of creating convincing quartet recordings from parts tracked one at a time, giving you full control over each individual line in the mixing stage. For this I join forces with a local cellist, most often the the very musical Quynh Lephan featured in my intro video, so that I can offer complete quartets or any other string ensemble size you may desire. My current rate for a full string quartet recording is only 280 US $.

String orchestra

I have spent years experimenting with ways to create a larger texture while avoiding the usual pitfalls of multi tracking such as phasing and a one dimensional sound. I now have a solid bag of tricks up my sleeve to create a convincing illusion of a large string band playing together in a nice room at the same time. When layered with high quality samples, the results can be quite amazing. The price for this service is always based on a pr case estimate of how much work is involved, but the more overdubs you require, the lower the price pr take, and it will always be much, much cheaper than hiring a full orchestra, studio and recording engineer. Whatever your budget is, I am confident I can offer you something that will increase the production value of your music.

Midi overdubs

I have done extensive work for film and media composers looking to enhance the realism of samples by blending it with the real thing. Often just 1-3 real recordings layered with the samples will greatly enhance the realism of the samples, and since I record everything dry, mixing the real recordings with your virtual orchestra is straight forward. As with all my overdubbing services, the more overdubs you need, the lower the price pr take. Whatever your budget is, I’m confident I can do something for you that will lift the quality of your productions.

Samples programming/mixing

Add samples to your real recordings for added depth. In addition to my string orchestra recording service, I also offer to program samples using state of the art strings sample libraries to blend with the real recordings. This can add a lot of depth and variety to the sound, while maintaining the realism the real recordings bring to the party. It can also be a cost effective solution if your budget doesn’t allow you to buy 50 individual real recordings to create a large texture. Only 30 US $ pr hour, and yes, you can buy this service as a stand alone, but adding even just one real recording will greatly enhance the realism, and I’ll be happy to make you a custom offer that fits your budget.


Are you uncertain if the arrangement you wrote is actually playable? Maybe you have questions about string articulations, bowings and how to notate them – I can help. For 50 USD you get one hour of my complete attention over Skype, instrument in hand, ready to play and show you everything you have questions about. It’s basically all access to a professional string players brain for a full hour.

Midi clean up, string orchestration, score preparation

Are you having your composition recorded by real players, but wrote it in a piano roll in a DAW? Need parts? I can clean up your midi (remove key switches, etc..), orchestrate your parts and turn them into notation that will make sense to a real player, with proper markings for all the different articulations and colours strings are capable of. For this I charge only 30 US $ pr hour.


Arranging From $ 100
Solo Recording$ 70
String Quartet Recording$ 280
Full String Orchestra RecordingFrom $ 450
Midi overdubsNegotiated, depends on complexity and number of parts needed. The more, the cheaper.
String Samples Programming $ 30 pr hour
Consultation$ 50 pr hour
Midi clean up, "light" orchestration, parts preparation$ 30 pr hour

All rates based on a standard length song of 3-4 minutes. These rates are not set in stone, but I do believe they are very reasonable compared to what else is out there. Whatever your budget is, I am confident that I can do something for you. I often do special offers, so whatever you are looking for, don’t hesitate to get in touch, and I will do my best to help you.

Ready to get started?

If you have more  questions or are ready to get started, get in touch below.

Get in touch

Frequently asked questions

Who is The Steely Dane?

In short: Danish violinist/violist/composer/arranger/producer Nicolaj Møller Nielsen. Read more here or check my personal website here.

How can I pay

I accept credit card payments through Paypal. You do NOT need to have a Paypal account for this! You can also pay by direct money transfer from your bank to mine. Or you can come to Hanoi and pay me in cash – it’s a fun place to visit!

What is the return time?

Usually about a week, but if you need it as short as 1-2 days.

Where are you based?

I Hanoi, Vietnam! I know, unusual place for a musician and the truth is that it’s a horrible place to be a musician. The SteelyDane Strings is my attempt to continue to make a living as a musician, and collaborate with creative people around the world, even though I have to live here. So why move at all? Let’s just say there’s a girl….

If I order an arrangement, what styles can you write in?

I’m fairly adept at assimilation different styles. It’s a tremendous help if you are specific in your instructions. A lot of people ask me to “just write what you feel like” but it almost always turns out they had a much more clear idea about what they wanted than they thought. For this reason, I always ask for reference tracks. Send me a few tracks with string arrangements that you like, and I will spend some time listening and assimilating before I start writing.

What if I want a larger section recorded in one go?

I usually record my arrangements one part at the time the way I learned from Davide Rossi, but if you want a whole quartet or section recorded as a group, that can be arranged too. It will increase the return time and cost a bit, since I have to rent a studio and hire players, but for some projects it’s worth it!

What gear do you use?

A lovely French viola build by Claire Chaubard a few years ago and an unknown German violin from around 1890. As for the cellists I hire, I’d have ask them. I record through an Apogee Quartet, which has industry standard converters and preamps. My two favourite mics are an active ribbon mic from Golden Age Project and a vintage tube condenser mic from Avantone. Both have been custom modded and upgraded with a better ribbon and tube respectively to sound amazing. Should you require a specific mic or gear, I will rent it.

Will you play live with my band or group?

Probably yes!

Get In Touch

To get started on your string recordings or ask me a question, send me a message here. Unfortunately I can't receive attachments through this form, but you can send your track later. 

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