A hundred violins may play softer than one

John Holmes “reiterates that only with a large group can you get a truly soft sound. Sure, a solo fiddle can hold its own against a hundred fiddles: a hundred fiddles are never a hundred times louder than a solo at the same dynamic, since there’s no such animal as “a same dynamic,” or even a true unison, except by computer. But a hundred fiddles can play softly more convincingly than three: by the nature of things they’re more in tune.”

Ned Rorem (2000) Lies: A Diary 1986-1999.  Cambridge: MA: Da Capo Press, p.82.