It is at least all about finding new ways to capture fiddle sound. This is something I struggle with. It’s hard (for me, anyway) to capture a violin/fiddle sound that is both natural and actually pleasant. When I first started playing about with Garage Band, I had the worst time getting a violin sound that was even passable, no matter how well I played. It was always thin and kind of gross — a kind of nasal gibbering that was only manageable with a lot of reverb (and sucked in an echo-y sort of way even then). I’ve played a traditional violin into mics, I’ve played an electric violin through the mixer, I’ve mic’ed the amp through which I’m playing the electric, and it’s never been especially pleasant to listen to.
I think I may have finally solved the problem (at long last). First, I acquired a decent stage condenser mic. Second, I ran it through the Mackie with the same treble and bass EQ that I use for my voice. Third, I tweaked the violin recording pre-set in Garage Band. Fourth, instead of playing the electric violin through the mixer, I just played my traditional violin into the mic.
This recording still has some problems, of course — I think the voice isn’t balanced as well against the other instruments (acoustic guitar, fiddle, electric bass, GB drum loop) as it should be, and there are some tonal corrections I still need to figure out for the guitar and vox. Just the same, I like the naturalness of the fiddle sound on this one (most of the time). It’s crunchy and full and a little warmer than I’m used to getting when I just plug the electric violin in to the mixer. Yay! Larnin’!