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Thread string instruments (newbie)

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1 string instruments (newbie)
I'm totally new to the world of virtual instruments. I'm a guitarist/singer/songwriter. I want to add bass, drums, and other string instruments (i.e. banjo, mandolin, violin, etc.) to my recordings. Can anyone suggest software for string instruments? Does it even exist? Also, I don't have any midi hardware so I want something I can use to arrange notes via the old mouse and computer keyboard. As I said I'm a total newbie so I don't have a clue if what I'm asking for is even possible. Any help would be appreiciated.

First you need sequencer program. I'm using Cubase for this. I use Halion and Vsampler Vst for using sample libarier. For exelent sample libarys look at www.soundsonline.com. I suggest you yellow tools ebases for bass, drumkit from hell for drums and celitic instruments for mandoline and etc.

Have fun! If you have any question just ask.
are there any FREE sound samples out there? or are they pure crap and you'd recommend that I shell out the money for good samples?
Yes you bet. No money no good sound. :)
meh that's what I thought... Nothing's free anymore :cry:
Edirol orchestral for strings
Edirol Superquartet for keys, bass drums, guitar
What about the Celtic instruments? Is there a VST package out there that covers stuff like that?
Garritan Strings is good, also has solo instruments, Garritan Personal Orchestra is similar although has a whole host of orchestral instruments as well as strings. You can make up your own ensembles from the solo instruments so you can get some pretty realistic sounds.

The other way to go is to buy a sampler like Kontakt which comes with Vienna Symphonic Strings, which are absolutely great (better than Garritan) but does not have solo strings (just ensembles).

If You have a sequencer program like Sonar, Cubase or Logic you can manually enter notes into the program using a mouse, it's a very slow way of doing it but if you're a really patient person then it works.

In terms of Drums, Bass etc , Kontakt has these too, some quite nice drum kits and a few basses to get you gioing..

Theo C