Despite the (german) April Fool's Day, the company GEERDES midisystems is founded on 1 April 1985 in Berlin and specialises in its early years in software development for the Commodore C64 and the Atari computer.
As a pioneering company, GEERDES develops the first software editors for synthesizers, including the world's first editor for the S-900 sampler from AKAI.
In the years 1987 - 1990, the first sequencer programmes for recording, playback and editing of MIDI files were brought onto the market for Atari.
The first software to be released was 1stTrack, a small but powerful programme that runs in the background in multi-process editor mode as a so-called soft workstation.
As a successor, the StarTrack programme is first introduced to the market, which is the only software that can play several musical structures at the same time at different speeds, and which is further expanded in the course of time with the DELIGHT software.
However, these programme developments are not ported to PC or MAC for cost reasons.
In order to increase the variety of products, GEERDES founds the midimusic department in the summer of 1989. From now on, hobby musicians and professionals can not only profit from powerful software, but also acquire corresponding content.
GEERDES midimusic starts with a repertoire of 500 MIDIfiles in GM (General MIDI) format. The MIDI files can be purchased by mail or, of course, directly in the office.
In the field of software productions, the advance of personal computers (PCs) in workplaces, living rooms and sound studios became the talk of the town towards the end of the 1980s.
For GEERDES, this development meant that the previous software range would have had to be translated into DOS and Windows 3.x operating systems.
However, since the spread of these innovations on the computer market has been further intensified by the media and the competition is thus exerting enormous pressure, GEERDES is charting a new course in the direction of MIDIfiles and customer productions.
Due to the success of the MIDIfiles offered, it quickly became clear that sales could go even further beyond the independent distribution of GEERDES.
At the Frankfurt Music Fair, the GEERDES team takes advantage of the opportunity to establish solid contacts with well-known music houses and lays the foundation for international networking.
The idea of MMC-NET was born.
After a few years of perfection, MMC-NET goes online in May 1994.
MMC stands for MIDI Music Connection and is a distribution network for MIDIfiles, which is introduced as a free terminal programme and enables customers to "download" MIDIfiles & demos as in an "online shop" with account management.
In addition, musicians can also use the functions for message exchange and a magazine.
MMC-NET uses a normal ISDN telephone connection and has worked stably and reliably over the years.
With the expansion of MMC-NET, cooperating dealers receive their first terminals, the so-called COPYSTATIONS, at the beginning of 1995.
GEERDES remains true to its fundamental passion in the field of software development and introduces the COPYSTATIONS, a sales and storage programme that offers the possibility of having all MIDI files produced on site at the dealer's premises.
With these sales stations, dealers have the opportunity to have all MIDI titles in stock and immediately available.
The database of the COPYSTATIONS contains all GEERDES midimusic articles and updates itself daily with the in-house server in order to automatically load revised titles and new releases.
A great advantage of the terminal system is that customers can listen to MIDIfiles in full length on the spot and in a much better quality than on their home PC.
MMC-NET is supported by 4 other main dealers with additional COPYSTATIONS in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Australia and Spain.
Due to the advance of the Internet into private households and the constantly developing technology, GEERDES midimusic goes online in 1997 with its first Internet presence www.geerdes.de.
The foundation stone for the new online shop is laid.
Initially a pure mail order business, all product groups are offered on www.geerdes.de and can be ordered directly by mail using a shopping basket technology.
In the course of the year, the GEERDES online shop is finally opened with online payment and online delivery.
With the expansion of the online shop, the article groups of GEERDES midimusic are also adapted.
In 1998, the range is expanded to include the GS (Roland) and XG (YAMAHA) sound formats and the articles are continuously updated.
As a special service, GEERDES midimusic offers its customers to update previously purchased songs to the new formats free of charge.
To coincide with the Christmas season, GEERDES midimusic is introducing a technical innovation.
For end devices that support this function, GEERDES is expanding its articles with so-called META-Lyric-Events.
This function contains the display of song lyrics on end devices. Here, the lyrics in the MIDIfile are synchronised to the syllable.
At this time, the archive already contains 12,000 titles, which will gradually be equipped with new functions.
Here, too, customers are offered a free update of the titles they have already purchased.
The new millennium is rung in with a move to new offices.
After 15 years of lacking a work-life balance, the work computers are now moved to separate work rooms to allow Mr. and Mrs. Geerdes a little more free time.
Thanks to technology, the work processes in the online shop can now also be optimised.
The new online shop goes online in 2001: Less maintenance, more functionality, improved search function and an always up-to-date range of titles.
The steps towards the future also leave their mark on the groundbreaking MMC-NET.
Since in times of the Internet such ISDN-based technologies quickly become obsolete, GEERDES midimusic switches off MMC-NET in the summer of 2002.
But the idea behind networking lives on: GEERDES provides the specialised trade with a brand new internet-based software.
After a longer break in the software range, GEERDES midimusic 2003 releases MidiText, a small and fine software for adding texts to MIDIfiles, editing and synchronising them.
This software is especially designed for the needs of Windows users and offers a wide range of functions for fast and uncomplicated editing.
In 2005, GEERDES midimusic again expands its continuously growing product range.
A new group of articles extends the GEERDES range to take account of the constant progress in the industry and the resulting technologies: Playbacks.
The widely used term playback actually means half-playbacks, backing tracks or sing-along songs.
These are audio files (in MP3 format) that are sampled with software instruments on the basis of MIDIfiles.
Unlike MIDIfiles, however, Playbacks are not classic instrumental tracks in which the main melody is played by an instrument. Much more, the melody voice is omitted. A perfect product for pure singers.
The article group Playbacks will be supplemented in 2007 by two further groups: Pro-Playbacks and ProV-Playbacks.
In contrast to Playbacks, Pro-Playbacks are sampled with better software instruments and partly produced with real instruments (mainly guitars). In general, the production process is much more time-consuming, as GEERDES strives for a musical imitation of the original title.
For the ProV-Playbacks, all background vocals of the song are recorded.
In summer 2007, GEERDES midimusic moved into new premises in Berlin Kreuzberg.
With plenty of space thanks to wonderfully high ceilings in the GSG Höfe in Gneisenaustraße, the new office offers lots of free space and air to breathe.
GEERDES uses this new free space extensively to follow the latest trends and developments.
With the progress made by YAMAHA in the field of arranger workstations, the demand for extensions for the current YAMAHA formats is also growing. So GEERDES gets together with its product specialists and makes plans for the future....
In December 2007, GEERDES meets the great demand for format adaptations and introduces the XF sound format as well as adapted MIDIfiles for TYROS and TYROS 2 devices.
All 3 extensions are elaborately adapted by hand on the basis of the GM MIDIfiles.
In the course of these extensions, GEERDES divides the MIDIfiles into three article groups:
GEERDES is expanding its product range with adaptations in the format of the new TYROS3 from YAMAHA.
All previously available files in the TYROS1 and TYROS2 formats will be adapted to the new format step by step.
As is GEERDES' service, the company offers adaptations for already purchased titles for download free of charge.
On 1 April 2010, GEERDES midimusic celebrates its 25th anniversary and looks back on an exciting, gruelling and progressive company history.
To celebrate this occasion, GEERDES is offering its customers a special promotion as a thank-you for their loyalty over the past years:
For one week, discounts of 50% will be granted on all custom productions (MIDIfile and Playback).
GEERDES midimusic is adapting to the latest developments and products in the field of arranger workstations from YAMAHA in 2010 and is introducing adaptations for the TYROS 4 series.
From 01.12.2010 all Premium-Files are also available for TYROS 4, the XT format (TYROS 1) will no longer be offered for new productions.
In 2011, GEERDES continues its progress by adjusting the price categories in the online shop and reducing them from 10 to 5.
There is now a fixed discount for all price categories.
GEERDES shows environmental awareness by switching to the green electricity provider LichtBlick and participating in the nuclear phase-out.
In October 2011, the company opens its own recording studio within the office premises, which means that the backing vocals can be sung even better and the Pro- and ProV-Playbacks gain in quality. The reduced noise level makes the working atmosphere more concentrated and effective.
In order to simplify shopping at the GEERDES midimusic online shop, the company is placing greater emphasis on restructuring its payment systems in 2012.
After an analysis, the first step is to change the service provider for processing credit card data in order to expand the range of accepted credit cards.
From now on, credit cards such as VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, JBC and DINERS can be used for payment.
This change also creates the possibility to integrate further online banking methods. In addition to the well-known provider PayPal, since June 2012 customers can also make their payments via GIROPAY, SOFORTÜBERWEISUNG, ONLINE BANK TRANSFER, IDEAL, NORDEA SOLO & EPS (NETPAY) and POLi.
The online payment system (digital wallet) SKRILL WALLET is now also available.
With the introduction of the TYROS 5 workstation by YAMAHA in December 2013, GEERDES midimusic traditionally introduces adaptations for the 5th generation of the TYROS and accordingly discontinues the updates for the TYROS 2.
Users of the Korg PA series also have the opportunity to convince themselves of the high-quality productions of GEERDES. From now on, the Korg devices will be served with adapted MIDIfiles.
In the first quarter of 2014, the online shop and the website of GEERDES midimusic will be completely revised and will receive a new design.
GEERDES midimusic has now arrived in WEB 2.0.
As of 1 January 2015, GEERDES midimusic e.K. is renamed GEERDES media e.K. The company is handed over from Mr Geerdes, who is retiring, to his son Mr Hübner.
Also on 1 January 2015, an EU directive for digital goods comes into force, which states that digital goods must be charged at the VAT rate of the buyer's country throughout the EU. As usual, GEERDES does not pass on these additional costs to the customers.
At the end of 2015, GEERDES will rename the Premium-Midifiles to Pro-Midifiles and the former Pro-Midifiles will simply be referred to as Midifiles.The reason for this change is that all Midifiles in the catalogue now include additional formats and features beyond the basic GM format
This means that GEERDES will only make a distinction between Midifiles with extensions for Korg and Yamaha, and those without.
In January 2016, GEERDES introduces the first midifiles with an arranged vocalist track (AVH).
In order to be able to easily recognise these Midifiles, the group designation is extended with a "V", as has already been done with the Playbacks or ProV Playbacks. For Midifiles, the "V" stands for vocalist.
Yamaha releases its new flagship, the Genos - GEERDES offers adapted files.
Unlike in previous years, not all previous Pro- or ProV-Midifiles will be adapted to the Genos. Only current files or that are in demand will be gradually converted to the keyboard-specific format.
With new format adaptations, GEERDES remains true to its line and expands for the 3 most current workstations from Yamaha: Tyros 4, Tyros 5 and Genos.
To compensate for the lower price, playbacks will only be sold without lyrics from 2018.
This way, GEERDES can avoid the horrendous licence fees for the lyrics and is closer to the market prices of the big audio stores and streaming services.
Rent prices in parts of Berlin are slowly becoming incomprehensible.
After the landlord made a "great" offer and doubled the rent for a new contract, GEERDES started looking for new premises.
New rooms always mean a big clean-out.
Since January 2021 we have been working on a new shop for you and now it is finally ready. But not only the shop is finished, we have decided to create the entireUpdate 07.11.: Kleine Änderungen sind hinzugekommen. website from scratch.
Since then, about 80,000 lines of code have been written.
And these are some of the innovations:
Furthermore, we have of course tried to keep the processes in the usual way, but to fundamentally improve them in some places.
07.11.2022 Minor changes following customer feedbackIn the normal (non-mobile) view, we have adjusted the list view a little, so that the clarity and readability should now be increased.
With the new online shop, GEERDES is switching off the production software for its business customers on 01.01.2023.
The existing dealers were already transferred to the new access to the online shop in November/December 2022.
A current list of sales partners can be found here.
New office, new city, new phone numbers, new phone hours...
Due to the past years of the pandemic, we now primarily work from home. As our lease for Otawistraße has expired, we took the opportunity to downsize our physical space, declutter thoroughly, and relocate our company address to Nauen.
Nauen is located near Berlin and has also become my private place of residence.
As a result of this development, this change occurred spontaneously – originally, a small office in Berlin was planned, but from an organizational perspective, this arrangement is simpler.
Raoul Hübner, Owner