I was listening to Christmas music on the radio the other morning on my way to work when one of my own recordings came on.
Currently browsing music
I was interviewed about my music for Mormon Artist (web magazine). Read the interview here.
Final Limit is an audio effects processing plugin. It’s a “limiter” designed to be the final element in your signal chain. It brings the overall volume up, without distorting. (Unless you want a bit of distortion, which it also provides.) I created the plugin using SonicBirth.
How it works
The main slider increases the gain of the input signal which is then processed with a compression algorithm I designed. Any leftover peaks are attenuated using a shaper function curve. There are also options for EQ, attack and release characteristics, and maximum output level.
The user interface is inspired by an old Ensoniq synth I used to own. I avoided naming the limiter’s attack and release characteristics with technical numbers and labels (like milliseconds). Instead the controls are labelled with fun/zany titles like “Dog Slow” and “Burnt Toast.” They sound funny, but the idea is that they actually describe the sound better than a label like “80ms.” The UI was also designed with the idea of minimizing visual feedback. All too often audio engineers make adjustments based on what they see (like the curve of an EQ) instead of what they actually hear.
You can download it here. It runs on OS X as an AudioUnits plugin, but unfortunately it is 32 bit only because sonic birth doesn’t allow exporting 64 bit plugins. It won’t run in hosts that are 64 bit applications.
Here is a movie about kids making a movie. These are my kids: Eira, Lucy, and Amanda feeding and playing with the neighbor’s chickens and ducks. Our dog, Natasha, wishes she could join in, but she is a well known chicken killer.
I composed the music for this short film. It’s part of the Olive Us videos my cousins have been producing.
Mark and I are finishing another Hymns CD. Here’s the opening track, featuring a little too much Irish Whistle playing. Or, can you really ever have enough?
I actually used 2 Irish Whistles on this recording. One of them I purchased recently, and it was actually made in Ireland. The other one I made several years ago out of an aluminum shower curtain rod.
A little trivia
Did you know Redeemer of Israel was among the original hymns that Emma Smith selected for the 1835 edition of the LDS hymn book?
I have an interesting memory from my mission about this hymn. I went to England and expected to be with quiet, reserved Brits. Instead, I found myself in the heart of London with a bunch of Africans. My first Sunday in sacrament I was on the stand, because they wanted to introduce me. So I was facing the congregation. And when they started singing– whoah! I felt like the guy from those Memorex ads with hair blowing back as he listens to super loud music. (Is it live or is it Memorex?) Africans sing. They don’t hold back.
More trivia: I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly is the other tune you’ll hear in this medley. I also became familiar with it on my mission. Every year around Christmas time I would hear O Little Town of Bethlehem sung to this melody– totally different than what we’re used to in America, but really beautiful. Somehow it became a restoration hymn. But from the beginning it was not so.
This is another acoustic arrangement of a pop-song. Enjoy.
Vocals: Geoff Groberg, Amanda Groberg, Lucy Groberg
Other instruments, mixing and stuff: Geoff
My super cool cousins, Ben and Gabby Blair, have been making a series of fun videos featuring their kids. They let me do some of the music including the music in this video. Check it out:
Watch more episodes here.
It’s finished. And it actually works. Here’s a little ditty so you can hear it:
I have it set up with a sliding banjo capo and a high E string in place of the low E. It’s strung with flatwound strings because roundwound strings sound way too bright.
I love it! I’ll definitely be doing more recordings with this. I can still hear the 1957ness in it. (the year it was originally built)
When I was a younger film student, I made a short documentary titled “Il Contrabasso.” It’s about Brady Ward, an acoustic bass player, and his thoughts about the instrument. Here’s the film (about 4 minutes long):
As Brady mentions in the film, the acoustic bass, and really all acoustic instruments, have a quality that is soothing and natural, almost healing. For me, the acoustic bass is sort of the epitome of acoustic-ness. You add that acoustic bass sound, and the whole recording is suddenly four times bigger, organic and rich.
I suppose most musicians who specialize in a particular instrument have an irrational love for their instrument. I remember my piano teacher looking at me and, in a sober tone, explaining what to her was a simple, obvious fact. She said, “You know Geoff, the piano is actually the most beautiful instrument ever invented.” And that was that. It wasn’t an opinion. And it certainly wasn’t to be argued with. It was as if this fact had been proven by irrefutable scientific study. The earth is round, not flat. And it really doesn’t matter what other instruments you play. The piano is the most beautiful. Period. (By the way, I kind of agree with her.)
I’d love to hear about your favorite instruments and why you love them. Even if it’s totally irrational.