I am using Audacity to transfer my reel to reel and cassette tapes to my computer. It takes a little learning, but, so far, I love it.

For $99, you can't go wrong with the Shure SM58. But if you can go up to $129 you can get a mike more suited for the violin.

Small-Diaphram Cardiod mics on a budget:

Audio-Technica PRO 37 : This is a nice little mic and cheap, cheap, cheap. I bought mine for $99 (it’s a great live fiddle mic, and it’s super small, so I can keep it in my fiddle case and always have it on hand). Can be a little on the bright side, so some EQ might be necessary, but you could spend a lot more and get a lot less.

M-Audio Pulsar II: A good, neutral-sounding SDC in the same price range as the Pro 37.

Beyerdynamic MC903: This has a reputation for being the poor feller’s KM84, though it seems a little warmer, less bright than the Neumann KM84. Depending on the fiddle, I usually prefer it to the 84. Quality build, excellent sound.

Mic technique:

Finally, a word on where to put the mic. In the studio, fiddle players tend to go with an overhead mic positioned about 8-10 inches from the instrument. Beyond that point, use your ears. Some mics sound better right over the bow, others are better down the fingerboard. Some mics sound better on axis, others are better off axis. Sometimes it depends on the song.

_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton