The early years
Despite the fact that it was April Fool’s Day, the company GEERDES midisystems was founded in Berlin on 1st April 1985. In its early years the company is specialized in software developments for Commodore C64 and Atari Computer. GEERDES pioneered in developing sound-editors and sound-administration for example the first editor for AKAI’s S-900 sampler.
The first MIDIfile sequencer software for recording, replaying and editing launches on the market between 1987 and 1990. The first release is 1stTrack, a small, simple but very powerful software which runs as a multi-background-task in our editor software as a so called Softworkstation, followed by StarTrack, the only sequencer that is able to play multiple patterns in different speed at one time. This software is later extended with DELIGHT. Due the reasons of cost these software developments are not ported to PC or MAC.
To increase the variety of productions GEERDES founds the midimusic department in 1989. From now on amateur musicians and professionals are not only able to profit from powerful software; they can also purchase corresponding content. GEERDES midimusic starts with a repertoire of 500 MIDIfiles in GM (General MIDI) format. These MIDIfiles can be purchased by postal delivery or directly on site in die office.
Personal computers (PC) take over the leading role in offices, living rooms and recording studios. As a result of this process it became necessary to translate all of the recent software into DOS or Windows 3.X versions. Media strengthened the dissemination of those computer innovations and competitor exerted pressure against GEERDES so that the company decided to adopt a course towards MIDIfiles and customized productions.
Thanks to the success of the offered MIDIfiles GEERDES realizes that the distribution of the files can go far beyond the over-the-counter sales. At the Musikmesse in Frankfurt the GEERDES team makes first contacts with first renowned music retail stores and lays the foundation for an international network. The idea of the MMC-NET is born!
MMC-NET the online shop’s trailblazer
Following several years of optimization the MMC NET connects to the telephone network in May 1994. MMC stands for MIDI Music Connection and serves as a sales network for MIDI files. The MMC NET was first introduced as a free terminal software that allowed clients to download demos on the basis of an online shop with account management. In addition to that musicians can profit from functions for electronic information exchange as well as from a magazine. As a connection the MMC-NET uses the regular telephone connection via ISDN and works through all of the years stable and reliable.
Due to the expansion of the MMC-NET in 1995 cooperating suppliers received the first terminals – the so called COPYSTATIONS. GEERDES follows their passion for software productions and develops with the COPYSTATIONS a sales and stock software which gives suppliers the possibility of producing all of the MIDIfiles on site at their own shop and to have all GEERDES midimusic articles in stock and immediately available. The COPYSTATION’s data connects several times a day with the GEERDES server and updates all new titles and adaptations automatically. As a result, all suppliers have the same products in stock. Retailers who own a COPYSTATION have the advantage that their customers are able to pre-listen full-length MIDIfiles on site in a much better quality than at their own computers. The MMC-NET is run by 4 further providers with additional COPYSTATIONS in German, Austria, Switzerland, France, Australia and Spain.
Driven by the rising impact of the internet in private households and the steady developing technologies, GEERDES midimusic launches its first website www.geerdes.de in 1997. The foundations for the future online-shop were laid. Initially as a plain mail-order business, articles from all categories were available on www.geerdes.de and can be purchased via mail order with shopping cart technology. Later that year GEERDES launches its own online-shop with online payment and online delivery.
New article categories
With the expansion of the online shop, GEERDES midimusic also adapts their article categories. In 1998 the existing song archive is extended with GM Formats as well as adaptations in GS (Roland) and XG (YAMAHA). All articles will continuously be updated. As a special service, format updates for already purchased articles are free of charge for customers of GEERDES midimusic.
The formats are not the only innovation being expanded: At the same time to the Christmas holiday shopping season GEERDES midimusic introduces another technical innovation. For terminals with respective functions GEERDES ads Lyric Events to its variety of products. This function allows the depiction of songtexts on respective terminals. Here the lyrics are synchronized within the MIDIfile. The syllables of the lyric match the MIDI precisely. At that time the archive comprises 12,000 titles and is continuously updated with new functions. Customers can also profit from complimentary format updates for already purchased songs.
The millennium and a new era for GEERDES midimusic
The new millennium starts with a move to the new office space. From the private flat in the Bismackstraße, the company putters from now on in Schöneberg. After 15 years of missing balance between work and private life, the work computers are being moved into a separate office to allow Mr. and Mrs. Geerdes having some more free time.
Thanks to the new technology, the work flow for the online shop can also be optimized. For GEERDES midimusic this means a simplification with much lower maintenance costs for the website. As a result for customers, the new system offers more functionality, improved search function and a wide range of steadily updated titles.
The major steps towards future technology also have an impact on the pioneering MMC-NET. In the midst of the internet era such technologies as the ISDN connection tend to become outdated; GEERDES midimusic turns off the MMC-NET in summer 2002.
The idea of a global network still remains. GEERDES provides retailer with a brand new, internet based software and gives them the opportunity to offer the whole range of GEERDES goods on site in their shops. The end customers increasingly switch to the new online-shop.
After a longer break in the field of software productions, GEERDES midimusic publishes MidiText in 2003. MidiText is a small but smart software that allows to place, edit and synchronize texts in MIDIfiles. This tool is especially adapted to the Windows user’s needs and gives with a variety of functions an excellent assistance for fast and easy editing.
In 2005 GEERDES starts to expand their range of products increasingly. With the new category Playbacks, GEERDES adjusts the range of products to the continuous progress of the industry. Colloquial and often used, the term Playback actually means Semi-Playbacks, Backing-Tracks or Sing-Along Song. Unlike instrumental songs in which the main melody is played by an instrument, these products are audio files, based on MIDIfiles. Playbacks are manufactured by hand out of sound samples, and not by machines. Each file is subsequently mastered by hand and contains new, individual sounds.
Since 2007 this category has been completed with Pro-Playbacks and ProV-Playbacks. In contrary to Playbacks, Pro-Playbacks are partially or entirely played with real instruments.
ProV-Playbacks next to the instrumental track also contain an additional track for backing vocals.
There is much room for improvement
GEERDES midimusic moves into the new office in Berlin Kreuzberg in summer 2007. Thanks to the high-ceiling rooms the large office space in the GSG Höfe at Gneisenaustraße offers a lot of space and air to breathe.
GEERDES uses this new kind of freedom to follow the latest trends and developments. With the improvements from YAMAHA concerning arranger workstations, the demand for adaptations for already existing YAMAHA formats is increasing. GEERDES satisfies this demand in December 2007 with the launch of the new XF Format as well as files for the devices of the new series TYROS 1 and TYROS 2. These file formats are lavishly produced on the basis of GM MIDIfiles and adjusted by hand.
After the release of YAMAHA’s 3 TYROS model in 2009, GEERDES quickly follows with another increase of the product range with adaptations in TYROS 3 format. All files which are available in TYROS 1 and TYROS 2 formats receive progressively adaptations for the 3. TYROS generations. According to GEERDES customer service, downloads for adaptations for already purchased articles are free of charge.
A quarter of a century of GEERDES – midimusic in a new look
On 1st of April 2010 GEERDES midimusic celebrates its 25th anniversary looking back on an exciting, trying and progressive history. Together with GEERDES, customers celebrate the anniversary with an exclusive sale: As a special thanks for their loyality, over a period of one week, all recording service orders (MIDIfiles and Playback) receive a discount of 50%.
Right on time for the anniversary, the online shop and the website www.midimusic.de get a new look. GEERDES now shows its best side and offers next to a wide range of MIDIfiles and Playbacks practical software and useful information.
Since the trend to new media is increasing, customers can get information on brandnew productions and information following GEERDES midimusic on Facebook and Twitter.
With regards to the newest developments and products in the field of YAMAHA’s arranger workstations, GEERDES introduces in 2010 adaptations for the TYROS 4. Since 1st October 2010 all Premium-Files are also available for TYROS 4. Adaptations for XT Format (TYROS 1) are therefore shelved.
GEERDES in change
The improvements of GEERDES midimusic continue in 2011. The price categories in the online shops are adjusted to be more customers friendly. Instead of having 10 price levels, from now on there are only 5. This adjustment is also being successful regarding the discount levels. From now on a fix discount is available for all price categories.
The change is also taking place in GEERDES midimusic’s office space. Apart from the active participation in the nuclear phaseout which is fulfilled with the switch to the ecological electricity supplier LichtBlick, it is now quieter in the office. In October 2011 the new recording studio goes into operation. From now on backing vocals can be recorded and mastered far better which provides Pro- and ProV-Playbacks in a much better quality. Due to the reduced sound level the workflow in the office is now more focused and effective.
The online shop’s revolution – new payment methods
In order to make online shopping with GEERDES midimusic simpler, the main focus in 2012 is directed on restructuring the payment methods. After a respective analysis, first of all GEERDES midimusic changes the provider of credit card payments in order to extend the range of accepted credit cards. From now on VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, JBC and DINERS can be used.
This change also enables the inclusion of other online bank provider. Apart from the well known provider PayPal, since June 2012 customers can choose between GIROPAY, SOFORTÜBERWEISUNG, ONLINE BANK TRANSFER, IDEAL, NORDEA SOLO & EPS (NETPAY) and POLi for payments. Also SKRILL is now available as an online payment service.
Increase of the product range and revised website
With the presentation of YAMAHA’s new workstation TYROS 5 in December 2013, traditionally GEERDES midimusic introduces new adaptations for TYROS’ 5th generation and therefore stops adaptations for TYROS 2.
KORG users also get the chance to convince themselves of GEERDES midimusic’s high quality productions. From now on following KORG devices receive adapted MIDIfiles:
In the first Quarter of 2014 the online shop as well as the website www.midimusic.de have been completely revised and receive a brand new design. GEERDES midimusic has entered the WEB 2.0 era.
2015 the year of changes
- GEERDES midimusic e.K. changes to GEERDES media e.K.
On 1.1.2015 Mr. Geerdes retires and his son Mr. Hübner takes over the business.
- EU directive for digital goods has entered into force
Also since 1.1.2015 EU-wide purchases of digital good must include VAT rate of buyers country. As usuall GEERDES will not pass these additional costs to their customers.
End of 2015: Premium-Midis are renamed to Pro-Midifiles and Pro-Midifiles to Midifiles
The background is that we today we don't have any Midifile left in the catalog, which is available only in GM format. Thus, we only distinguish whether there are extensions for Korg and Yamaha (Pro), or not.
Early 2016: New product group ProV-Midifiles is introduced
In January 2016 the first Midifiles with arranged Vocalist (AVH) arrived. To recognize these Midifiles quickly, we are expanding the group name with a "V", as we have already done it with the backing tracks (ProV-Playbacks). In case of the Midifiles the "V" stands for Vocalist.
End of 2017: Yamaha publishes Genos - GEERDES offers adapted files
Unlike in previous years, we are not adapting all Pro- and ProV-Midifiles to the Genos format. Only current and popular files will gradually be converted to the keyboard specific format. With new format adaptations we remain faithful to our line and extend for the 3 most current workstations of Yamaha: Tyros 4, Tyros 5 and Genos.
Early 2018: Playbacks become cheaper
In order to absorb the lower price, playbacks will only be sold without texts from 2018. So we can avoid the horrendous license fees for the texts and are closer to the usual market prices of the big audio stores and streaming services.
Mid 2018: We're moving
Rental prices in parts of Berlin are slowly no longer comprehensible. After our landlord made a "great" offer and doubled the rent for a new contract, we looked around for new rooms. New rooms always means: a lot of trashing out. We now feel very comfortable in Berlin-Wedding.