The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

My Recorded Cover Songs – Smells Like Teen Spirit

May 28th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Carl's Ludwig Standards I had a magazine that had the sheet music to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit around the time it came out in the early 1990’s. I had been playing it and decided to record it. My original mix of this song sounded a little “small” and I was embarrassed to play it. It was mostly due to the recording process I used then. The other day I decided to re-mix the tracks of the version I had recorded. I think this mix is much better.

I had done a re-mix of these tracks about a year ago, but I really wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. I am much better at lining up out of sync tracks now than I was then. I used several methods to sync these tracks, but the one that gave me the most satisfaction was stretching the audio, quantizing it the nearest sixteenth note and then manually editing the stray beat transients, I didn’t use that method on all of these tracks, but I wish I had.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

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I recorded this song in about 1992. I played the guitar from the sheet music, but just played the bass and drums parts pretty straight forward. I didn’t put a lot of effort into duplicating the original recording. I also didn’t add any new parts to it either. The guitar is a Fender Stratocaster electric. The bass is a Rickenbacker 4001. The drums sounds are from a Boss Dr. Rhythm drum machine and were played on Yamaha MIDI drum pads. I originally recorded the song on my analog Yamaha MT-1000 4 track recorder using dbx noise reduction. I transferred it to my Fostex VF-16 digital multi-track and processed it with Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer and Sony Sound Forge 9.

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My Newest Recording – Wipe Away The Tears

May 13th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Martha (Butcher) Fuller Wipe Away The Tears was a song I wrote after my mother-in-law (Martha Fuller) passed away in 1994. I can remember being on the patio of her house in West Jefferson, Ohio when I wrote most of the song in my head. I just felt as she was still with us. It was a sad song to write, but it came out with little effort.

I did actually have some of the main lyrics bouncing around in my head for a few years but had never been able to apply it to a song. After I recorded it, I immediately copyrighted it and posted it on MP3.com. I was actually getting a lot of plays on that site until they were shut down for purposely posting copyrighted material, without permission. During that time I got one memorable e-mail from a man in Germany who told me he thought Wipe Away The Tears was the greatest song ever written. Heavy, man, heavy.

Regardless of whether it is or not, many have told me it is the best song that I’ve written. It is a very emotional song for me, but I did find comfort in writing it.

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The acoustic guitar I played was a Takamine. I played the electric guitars on a Fender Stratocaster. The bass was a Rickenbacker 4001. The drums were Ludwig’s. I also played tambourine as well. This re-recording was made in the early 21st century sometime (2002?). I was hoping to resurrect the original recording from 1994, but most of it is missing. If I ever find it I’ll re-mix it and post it. It was more “unplugged” than this version. I did some editing and changed the arrangement in places, but I have played this song just about the same since I wrote it.

I recorded all tracks on my Fostex VF-16 digital multi-track, then transferred the them to my computer via my Iomega Jaz drives. I processed the audio with Cakewalk Sonar v8.5 Producer and Sony Sound Forge v9.

My Recorded Cover Songs – I Can’t Explain

May 11th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Kayla and Morgan (future rock stars) I Can’t Explain is one of those songs  that when I pick up an electric guitar, I end up playing it. It’s a pretty easy song to play and it’s just a lot of fun.

I recorded it a few years ago. It came out pretty well, I think. I was doing my best to imitate Keith Moon’s drumming style. As a non-drummer who plays drums (?), I don’t think I did too badly.

Here it is…

I Can’t Explain

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I played electric guitar on a Fender Stratocaster The bass was a Rickenbacker 4001. The drums were played on my Ludwig’s. I recorded the song on my Fostex VF-16 and  processed the audio with Cakewalk Pro Audio v9 and Sonic Foundry Sound Forge v5. (I think)

Propaganda Then..And Now: Truth Is The Enemy

May 10th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Pretty Flowers "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, THE TRUTH IS THE GREATEST ENEMY OF THE STATE." — Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

My Newest Recording – This Place (Is Not Your Home)

May 8th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Dean Fuller I originally wrote and recorded This Place (Is Not Your Home) in 1995. My inspiration was my father-in-law Dean Fuller. My mother-in-law, Martha (Butcher) Fuller, had passed away about a year before. They lived in an old beautiful brick home behind the Catholic church in West Jefferson, Ohio that Dean, a home builder,  had renovated. They had been spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in Florida since the mid-1980’s. Prior to that we had some wonderful holidays with them and it made me sad that I no longer saw them except during the late spring and summer. Right after Labor day, they’d disappear south. Dean passed away two years later.

This song was written about that sadness, but also the journey that Dean, and all of us,  make through life and that we really only have one real “home”.

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The analog tracks were originally recorded in about 1995 on a Yamaha MT-100 II 4 track cassette recorder using high speed (3.75 IPS) and dbx noise reduction.

The acoustic guitar I played was a Takamine. I played electric guitar on a Fender Stratocaster. The bass was a Rickenbacker 4001. The drums were added recently using a Korg nanoPad MIDI drum controller and Session Drummer 3. The keyboards were played on a Cazio CZ-101 FM synthesizer. I also replaced the tambourine from the original tracks with a new recording. Syncing the tambourine from the original recording would have been very labor intensive and I hated that performance anyway. During the lead break I obviously became distracted and lost the beat. (good riddance)

As on other analog to digital re-mixes I’ve done lately, I had to piece this together from audio tracks that were not in sync. This project was especially difficult because during the original recording, I did not use any rhythm device or metronome, just my own sense of timing. I think I did pretty good, but that made no real consistent timing reference to work with.

I played the original analog tracks into my Fostex VF-16 digital multi-track, then transferred the tracks to my computer. I processed the audio with Cakewalk Sonar v8.5 Producer and Sony Sound Forge v9.

My Musical Projects: Backward Guitars

May 5th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Alexander Fisher (1976) I was reading a copy of a guitar magazine back in the early nineties and in an article they described the process to record a backwards guitar on a music project. I evidently was recording a song I wrote called Hate Me Hate You and used the tracks I had recorded to test this guitar effect.

Really all I had to do was turn the tape over and start recording in reverse on one track while playing the others for a reference. All you do is just follow the dynamics of the sound you hear. Then turn the tape over, rewind and listen. I think it mostly turned out well. The full recording is over four minutes long so I edited it down to around a minute and a half. Four minutes plus of it doesn’t bore me a bit, but it might you.

Coincidently the band R.E.M. read the same article and about a year later, they released an album called Monster with a track on it called What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? that contained a backwards guitar part. I read an interview later on that said they had gotten the idea the same place I had.

I am going to re-do this song (sans the backward guitar) pretty soon. I really think the music has a cool groove. I hadn’t noticed the groove before, but always liked the lyrics I wrote for it.

Hate Me Hate You (instrumental)

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The analog tracks were originally recorded about twenty years ago on a Yamaha MT-100 II 4 track cassette recorder using high speed (3.75 IPS) and dbx noise reduction.

I played electric guitar on a Fender Stratocaster and/or an Ibanez Les Paul. The bass was a Rickenbacker 4001. The drums were originally played on a Boss Dr. Rhythm drum machine.

I played the analog tracks directly into my computer using a stereo JVC audio cassette deck hooked to a dbx noise reduction unit. I processed the audio with Sony Sound Forge v9.

Coaxial Communications Newsletter, December 1982

May 4th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

My Coaxial ID I started at Coaxial Communications Inc. of Columbus, Ohio in September 1982. I had worked for the other cable TV companies ATC, Centel, and Warner/QUBE previously and had been in electronics since I was fifteen years old.

When I was hired at Coaxial as a Field Engineer, I originally worked for Doug Grace and with Walt Snyder, Charles Hanchett (SIC?) and Dave Folk. I ended up as a maintenance tech and left around 1988. I came back to Insight in Columbus (previously Coax) in 2004 after working in cable, telephone  and microwave broadcast technologies during the interim.

Someday I’m gonna write a book, seriously.

Here is the “Coax” newsletter from December 1982. I have had this since then and have kept it in pretty good shape considering its age. I find it hard to believe there was so much to talk about back then that it might’ve needed published monthly. That was even before The Beechwood Lounge, I think. (What did we do before that came along, The S.W. or The Eskimo Igloo?). There’s plenty of classic names in this, Lynn, Harry, Donna, etc. I am listed in it as a new employee and for my birthday that month.

click here to view the newsletter in PDF format

To download the PDF file, right click the above link and choose save link as…, then save it somewhere on your computer. You can also open it and choose save in your PDF reader.

My Recorded Cover Songs – My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)

May 1st, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

Boss DR-550 "Dr. Rhythm"One of the benefits of not working and being unable to do so, is that I have had plenty of time  to go through some of my old recordings. If you have been reading my blog posts (or Facebook notes), you know that I am trying to rescue some of my analog recordings from the late 80’s and early 90’s. I have many tracks that I can spend many hours working on in a self-induced digital audio bliss. Unfortunately others are cast in stone and not much can be done to them. Usually the reason was that I was low on tape and instead of keeping things that I could have had fun with later, I erased them.

One of those recordings was a mix of me tearing through Neil Young’s My My, Hey Hey. I remember I got the sheet music in a magazine and turned on the recorder and my drum machine and started to play the song. It sounds like I added a bass and maybe there are two guitars, but the rhythm is from the drum machine. I added a mid-tom and crash cymbal over top of the drum’s from Session Drummer 3, just to break up the monotony of them. Other than that, It is what is was then, as it is now.

Regardless, I think it’s pretty cool so I thought I’d post it.

My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)

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I hear a few things I wished I had done to this song, but I think this took about an hour to put together back then. Spending that much time on someone else’s song was my limit that day, I guess.

The analog tracks were originally recorded in about twenty years ago on a Yamaha MT-100 II 4 track cassette recorder using high speed (3.75 IPS) and dbx noise reduction.

I played electric guitar on a Fender Stratocaster and/or an Ibanez Les Paul. The bass was a Rickenbacker 4001. The drums were originally played on a Boss Dr. Rhythm drum machine.

I played the analog tracks directly into my computer using a stereo JVC audio cassette deck hooked to a dbx noise reduction unit. I processed the audio with Cakewalk Sonar v8.5 Producer and Sony Sound Forge v9.