365 DotU, Day 110 Is All About The Fiddlin’

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.

The result? Well, check it out in this little meta!meta!cover (Ann Wilson covering Robert Plant covering The Youngbloods) of “Darkness, Darkness”:

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’!


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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