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

The Linear Canvas

My Newest Recordings – Mean and Cruel (remix)

June 15th, 2012 . by Alexander Fisher

Alex FisherMean and Cruel is not a new song or a new recording. I really didn’t even redo the drum tracks on the one version. I can’t even tell you for sure when I wrote it, recorded it, or what my real motivation was. I also copied and pasted some text from the last blog entry when I first posted it. Lazy?

I haven’t ever written too many “story” songs. In addition, this is the only one I can think of that I’ve ever written that is about a fictional character. This song is about a man from a different time, maybe the American southwest around 1900, that was just always out of control. That no one wanted to try to control. That no one could control. A really bully kind of a guy.

Go back east young man…

I had also recorded a hard rock version of Mean and Cruel at about the same time as the previous version. I completely redid the drum track and had to fix the bass tracks. I was afraid I’d have to redo the whole bass line, but luckily I didn’t have to. I know why I recorded it. I was uncomfortable with the country folk feel of the previous version. I have learned to live with it in my old age.

I also posted an extended cut of the hard rock version. The difference is I let the guitars play on and I end the song about a minute later.

Mean and Cruel (electric) – extended jam

[audio: and Cruel (electric) 20120618_0957mcd.mp3]

Like I said, I had posted this song previously. I can’t remember what I did to it before, but I know I was a little under whelmed by the drum sounds. My intention was to re-time the song and insert a drum loop with me playing accents and fills on a Roland Octapad. I did manage to get it re-timed and was battling with inserting drum loops. My friend Sam McKinney came over and heard the mix as is, and said “What’s wrong with that?”. I thought, nothing really. So I tuned that up a little and here it is.

I got into this situation with the metronome trying to impress another person, who really doesn’t pay any attention to my music. Way back then I thought a real musician would record these songs without a click track or metronome. Who needs that? The short answer is everyone. I get pretty close to the beat and stay on it, but now I wish I’d used a metronome when I recorded the first version. It would have made editing it much easier.

The analog tracks were originally recorded in the 1990’s on a Yamaha MT-100 II 4 track cassette recorder using high speed (3.75 IPS) and dbx noise reduction.

I think the acoustic guitar I played was a Yamaha on the first version. I played electric guitar on a Fender Stratocaster and the bass was a Rickenbacker 4001 on both. The drums originally were played on Yamaha MIDI controller pads connected to a Boss Dr. Rhythm drum machine. On the hard rock version, I replaced the drums with Session Drummer 3 and using the Octapad. I must have used a metronome on this version as editing the time/beat was much easier. I also added a Yamaha church organ and a Casio CX-101 synthesizer on that track.

I played the analog tracks into my Tascam FW-1804 connected to my computer. I processed the audio with Cakewalk Sonar X1 Producer and Sony Sound Forge v9.

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