Gary L. Gerdes sound systems and consulting

 

Offering sound & lighting system services in the greater Seattle area:

Here's a sampling of the type of events we have done:

  • SOUND FOR LIVE MUSIC: Dances, Small-Mid Concerts, Small-Mid Street Fairs and Festivals, Parties, School Events, Wedding Musicians, CD Release Parties, Live and Silent Auctions......
    - a wide variety of musical acts (10-piece funk bands and 14-piece swing bands to small classical ensembles and solo acoustic acts)

  • SOUND FOR RECORDED MUSIC: Weddings, Visiting DJs (we also provide DJ services), "iPod" Weddings or Dances (no DJ), Live and Silent Auctions, Community Events, Fundraisers, Conventions and Meetings.

  • OTHER SOUND: Demonstrations and Seminars, Community/Town Meetings, Wedding Ceremonies, Live Auctions, Other Fundraisers and Charity

  • LIGHTING: (either coupled with our sound services or not) Dances, Smaller Concerts, Wedding Ceremonies and/or Receptions, Accent and theme Lighting for Silent and Live auctions, Lighting for recorded-music Parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just a collage, it represents a good chunk but certainly not all of our sound and lighting gear. Many of our clients needs only require 1/6 to 1/2 of the gear represented above.
Kinetic (moving) lighting
Stage and other lighting
  • Entertainment & Commercial Rentals
  • Sound/Lighting Systems individually tailored for your unique needs.
  • All Rentals Include - Delivery, Set-Up, Testing, and Operation*
  • Serving Greater Puget Sound (I-5 "corridor" Tacoma to Everett, East Side) MAP
* If you have a sound or light person, we certainly would allow them to work the boards (but we'd be there anyway).

Whether it's a simple system for a corporate presentation or seminar, or a complex sound and light system for a 10-piece funk band - we can meet your needs (and budget). Our systems can handle any room from a large living room to a mid-size auditorium (or a high school gym). We can also amply handle many outdoor events. But if you're holding an event at Safeco Field, or the Gorge - you're out of our league.

We specialize in dances and concerts; weddings; private and corporate parties; conventions and seminars; special events; fund-raisers; school/church plays or events, yodeling contests, .. whatever.

Within that scope, you'll find our rates to be very competitive; considering that they include delivery, setup, soundcheck and operation (at your discretion). For that full service, I believe we are at least 40-50% below most retail rental rates.

Rates & Service Area:
I will provide the cheapest rates that I can depending on your needs. Note: this map shows my general area of service - outside the shaded area rates may be higher to include time and travel costs.

 

As long as we mentioned Safeco Field - here are some
"Ballpark Estimates":

Small Presentation System - $200-300
2 speakers/towers, mixer, amp, 1 or 2 wired or wireless mikes, etc.

Small Room Band or DJ Sound System - $300-500
4-6 speakers (mix of house/monitors), mikes, 2-3 power amps, mixer, etc.

Large Room - Outdoor Band System - $500-1000
4-8 mains/subs, 2-4 monitors, 24 channels, 100' snake, drum snake, mikes/stands, direct boxes, 4-6 power amps, FX racks, etc . etc.

 

Lighting Only
(rental will be cheaper if coupled with sound rental)

  • "Basic System": 8 PAR floods, 2 towers, dimmer/chaser, 2 PAR spots....$200-250
  • "Full system": 'Basic system' above - plus (select from:) More PARs, Mirror ball w/ spots, Smoke Machines, BlackLight floods, variety of "Disco" rotating 'beam' and 'gobo' lights, Oil-Blob lights, Bubble Machine, Strobe, Chasing Rope Lights, 'Theme' and decorative lights, other........ $250-400

The rates above are 'guesstimates'. Factors within each price range include equipment particulars, location and duration of event, "street-level-access", number of acts, lighting options, date/time, additional services - may affect the rate upwards or downwards.

The best way for me to give you a firm and accurate assessment is to:

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purchase and setup consulting, sound system training, soind system reference, sound test, audio
So many knobs, so little time...

Consulting:
May include: organizational needs and environment; room evaluation; evaluation of existing sound and/or lighting system(s); testing/troubleshooting of existing system; needs analysis; specific purchase recommendations and retail sources; setup and testing. I have worked with a number of schools, churches, etc. in the various areas above.

 

Training:
It is not very difficult to make a very expensive sound system sound very terrible.

The system operator needs training and skills in the technical knowledge and application of the equipment - but also in developing their ear to really "listen" to what their tweaking is producing. We can help in both areas.

Training may include: sound reinforcement basics; training on specific equipment including outboard effects and microphone types and usage; equipment organization tips and portability issues; getting the best sound out of various instruments and voices. I can't actually teach a sense of aesthetics, but I can provide some handy checklist items, and ear-training sessions. Sound System training includes a audio-test CD and a 40-50 page reference manual for each student.

Please fill out the first section of the Sound System Query Form, and I will be in touch with you ASAP to discuss your needs and how I might be of help to you.

Thanks,

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And now a word from our clients:

Thank you Gary!! You did an incredible job as usual this year. I really appreciate working with you...you are both so friendly and easy to work with, which I appreciate more than anything. Mark your calendars for next year's Memorial Day weekend!!"
- Tonya Morris (Camp Jitterbug Productions)

"It was a delight to have such ease and good sound! As you know only too well-- when the sound is off everything is off! You made it a real pleasure to play! Thank YOU!"....."Thank you Gary!!! I am so glad I found you and recommended you to the group. I will continue to refer you out to any gigs I can, and I am sure others will do the same. You did a GREAT job, and thank you for all the microphones, monitors, and the LIGHTS!"....."You were just incredible - it wouldn't have been the same without your talent with the sound system and lighting!"
- Tiger Zane,
Jeanette Alexander, Seattle WISE Concert promoter

"Gary, you and your crew were a great asset to SOBERFEST. Considering we hired you sight unseen, you were able to put a professional sound and light show together for us that was beyond our expectations. Having to mix for four completely different genres of bands and make them all sound the best I've ever heard them was no small achievement. I'll be happy to recommend your talents."
- Ned Turner

"Gary, The lighting made the show! I hope we can do more of this. I very much appreciated how flexible you both were as we had some unexpected delays. .... The way you complimented the songs was awesome."
- Tim
(The Coveralls)

"Thank YOU for all your work to make this gig happen for us - it was a challenging venue to sound good in."
- Dan Satterberg - guitarist for the "Approximations" (and King County Prosecuting Attorney)

"Very professional ........you will be the first person I call for any AV needs."
- Bill Cecil

"Gary - You were such a great part of Saturday night. Thank you so much for making it so fun. You and your wife did such a great job. We will be in touch about some karaoke/dance parties...everyone has been talking.
- Anne Viggiano - Sacajawea School Auction Chairperson


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So many knobs, so little time...

About me (us, I , we):

In the immortal words of Daffy Duck - "aha! pronoun trouble!"
I have seemingly used "I" and "we" seemingly somewhat randomly on this page. I is me - Gary Gerdes - and I am the point of contact and I am the front person who shows up for 99% of our events. We is Us - includes 3-4 people who frequently help me and whom I have chosen especially for their dedication to "getting it right" and to keeping the client and artists well-served and happy.

I have purchased, setup, and operated professional sound reinforcement systems for over 20 years. I have worked at small to mid-sized venues. I won't pretend to have set up or run systems for major touring acts at sports arenas. But I have setup and run sound for all manner of bands (rock, swing, world beat, country, gospel, classical .....); for musicals and plays; for concert bands and big bands; for choirs; and for "mixed" and commercial events (with speakers, music, etc.).

What sets me apart from the crowd?

To begin with, I am a performing musician, songwriter and composer, and recording engineer/producer. So - I not only know the equipment and technology - but I know music. I have run into far too many soundmen (and women) who know the technology down to the exact frequency response and pickup pattern of every mike they have, but actually mix the sound very poorly. I also take extra time and energy to make sure that each musician is comfortable and can hear what they need to hear.

I've been told by many people that I have a great innate sense of "musicality" in composing, arranging, and in sound production. I'm sensitive to a song as a whole entity; and I mix to make it sing. The background vocals aren't buried - but they don't overpower the lead. The drums drive the song, but don't bury other things. And so forth....

Another difference from a good handful of soundfolks I've worked with or seen/heard: Working sound for a performance is more than setting it all up and running a sound check, adjusting things during the first few songs and then walking away (mentally or physically). I am on top of the board for the entire set. Too many things change (even within a single song) to walk away. Suddenly, a backup vocalist becomes the lead vocalist for a song. The keyboard player switches to a different sound that needs to be mixed differently. An acoustic guitar player plays a solo that needs to be brought way up to be heard.

Should you require my services in consulting or training; I'll bring the same mix of technical knowledge and aesthetic sensibility.

 

I/We'd love to work with you!

 

- Gary, Daffy et al

 

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