Richard Goodwin's Homepage

I'm sure you don't want to know about me, but it's kinda traditional to fill space with such twaddle, so here goes...

By day I'm an IT Director with many years experience ranging from Musical Theatre to the London Financial Markets. I can manage the development of websites & mobile apps. I'm good at finance systems, telecommunications, network and server infrastructure. I have done stints abroad (Paris, Madrid, Sydney). I'm used to managing multi-discipline teams. I can program in a variety of languages including VB.NET, PHP, SQL & JAVA. I'm familiar with a number of CMS including Wordpress and Joomla.

By night, I'm the Saxophone, Taragot, Wind Synth and assorted Woodwind player with the English Ceilidh band Florida

Florida play English Ceilidh music. Ceilidh's are the non-boring face of English traditional dancing. The bands tend to be more electric, and to play standing up (an important though oft-overlooked point). Florida's raison d'etre (as it were) is that we don't have a percussionist. We think the rhythm provided by the electric guitar / bass combined with the bright contrapuntal melodies of the horn section are quite sufficient. Besides which, drum & bass-led ceilidh bands all sound the same!

I have long been obsessed with the conjunction of computers and music. I did my degree in what was essentially sub-silicon electronics, (sub-atomic physics [er... pure maths? {...sums(!)}]to the rest of you), but ended up designing and building a wind controller for my kit-built monophonic synthesiser as my final year project. Quite unusual for 1981, though it was some years before I realised that there was probably commercial potential in it.

The same goes for some of my early experiments with audio sampling and synthesis in the mid-eighties during those slack times which all electronic engineers experience between projects. I built an 8-Bit 11KHz 4Mb sampler, but discarded it because I couldn't work out how to shift the pitch whilst keeping the note length the same. It turned out that none of the big sampler manufacturers (Akai, Roland etc) could either. Ho hum.

I finally achieved some degree of recognition (if not financial success) in the field of sample format conversion. The world abounds with a myriad different proprietary sample file formats, hardly any of which are transportable between different sampler and synth platforms. I spent a couple of years reverse-engineering all of the commonly-available sample file formats and writing software programs to convert one to another.

The end result of this was Resample Pro, a bit of a niche product, but one which proved to be invaluable to the sonic architects and designers, the people who design the sounds that the hoi polloi use in their synthesisers, sound cards, and video games.

I've played the flute from age 8 or thereabouts. Having progressed through county youth and university orchestras, I stumbled into traditional music though Irish whistle music whilst hunting for something to play which wasn't either contemporary plink-plink-fizz music or neo-classical hogwash.

For a year or so I thought I was the only person on the planet who played this stuff until I joined east kent-based North-west clog morris side Offcumduns and through them met a number of like-minded musicians and realised I'd just scratched the surface of a rather large iceberg.

In the search for volume I took up first Chaleaumeaux then Saxophones, though the instrument which really captured me was the Taragot. Mine is made by Breton bombarde maker Olivier Glet, and is a completely superb instrument. It's pitched in 'D', and has a good C sharp and C natural, so plays in both D and G. It over-blows an octave (like a sax), and has a range of about 2 octaves, it's open-holed so you can use all your favorite finger ornamentations just like an open-holed flute, and it's bloody loud as anybody who has sat in front of me can testify!!

To increase my sonic arsenal, I purchased a Yamaha WX-7 wind controller paired with a VL70-m physical modelling synth module. The WX-7 is a complex and unforgiving controller to play, but the results can be very rewarding.

In around 2001 I bought this rather astonishing straight tenor sax made by the LA Sax company (who, at that time, were in Chicago for reasons best known to themselves), and whose celebrity users included people like Joe Lovano

They were built to order, and you could specify whatever custom paint job you wanted. I ordered one with a white and purple swirl pattern but, unfortunately, the US Department of Health banned the inks LA Sax used to use for their custom paint jobs. They tried 3 times to create the same effect using new inks, but each time they curdled, so they offered to just coat it in black lacqueur but to engrave it for free.

In hindsight, I probably prefer it in black.

LA Sax subsequently went bust and I believe the rights to the name were bought by the Barrington Music Group who moved their operations to Texas and their manufacturing to Taiwan. They seem to have carried on LA Sax' tradition of making instruments sporting weird and wacky paint jobs, though they no longer seem to make the straight tenor or alto saxes.

Rare is the gig where at least one person doesn't come up to me afterwards and ask what on earth that instrument is...

As the cost of music technology dropped to the point where mere mortals such as myself could begin to afford it, I started designing and building myself PCs tuned for audio recording and post production work and, as a result of which, I'm pretty adept on a variety of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and Video editing software including Cakewalk Sonar, Reaper, Pro Tools, Sony Vegas and Final Cut.

I'm pretty obsessed with technology, and crop up on all manner of forums, user groups and the like - Just stick Audio Morphology into Google - you'll probably find that the first few pages of search results are mainly me.

You can find my GitHub source code repositories for various Open Source projects here:


Mail Me: Richard Goodwin