Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gibson Brands Ceases the Development of Cakewalk Products

Much to the dismay of myself, and especially the two friends I record music with, Gibson has dismantled Cakewalk (as of November 17th of this year - five days ago), which produces the Sonar Producer line of music production software. Cakewalk was originally one of Roland Corporation's subsidiaries.

When founder Greg Hendershott resigned as CEO in 2012 after 25 years with the three-decades old company, Michael Hoover took over as president, stepping up from his former position as EVP of Products for Cakewalk.

Only one year after that, the parent company Roland Corporation decided to sell all their Cakewalk shares to Gibson Brands.

And now, only four years later, Gibson has decided to shut down Cakewalk operations, in order to "better align with the company’s acquisition strategy."

For the tens of thousands of Cakewalk users, this is particularly stressful. Cakewalk had risen to a status that was effectively equal with Pro Tools, the 'industry standard' music production software from Avid Technology. Even though Cakewalk remains a perfectly legitimate software for producing high-quality music, it of course will eventually not be able to compete with the still updated Pro Tools anymore.

In honor of the exceptional DAW that Sonar Producer had become, I will now translate the short memo that Gibson saw fit to publish on Cakewalk's web site here:

What follows is a sentence-by-sentence translation of Gibson's terse blurb to their loyal Cakewalk customers. Original Gibson text in italics, my translation in regular font. The translations given are the author's opinion only, and should not, for legal reasons, be construed as facts regarding unknown activity at Cakewalk, Roland, Avid Technology  or Gibson Brands.


Gibson Brands announced today that it is ceasing active development and production of Cakewalk branded products.

Gibson is dumping its sole software subsidiary, known as Cakewalk.

The decision was made to better align with the company’s acquisition strategy that is heavily focused on growth in the global consumer electronics audio business under the Philips brand.

Gibson lacks the vision to maintain the loyal and growing user base for Sonar, and would rather take the failing "Woox Innovations" subsidiary they purchased from Philips in 2014 (for $135 million), and jump on the gadget bandwagon, because they imagine that they can actually compete with real manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Apple.

Cakewalk has been an industry leader in music software for over 25 years by fusing cutting-edge technology with creative approaches to tools that create, edit, mix, and publish music for professional and amateur musicians.

Even though, for 25 years, the talented individuals who created Cakewalk managed to turn a minor upstart piece of software into a genuine alternative to the overpriced Pro Tools, their efforts are now being devalued because at least one high-placed person in Gibson Brands was given an undisclosed sum of money by someone in Avid Technology to kill their one worthy competitor.

Gibson Brands acquired Cakewalk in 2013.

Gibson grabbed Cakewalk for a bargain in 2013 because Cakewalk's CEO Michael Hoover somehow managed to bungle enough to destroy Roland's confidence in Cakewalk's ability to compete in the DAW industry.

Gibson Brands, a growing company in the music and sound industries, was founded in 1894 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gibson Brands, a struggling guitar-making company that was actually founded in 1902 by Orville Gibson, has been purchased by several companies through the decades, because they just don't have enough business sense to stay afloat on their own, what with all these new-fangled musical doodads and all.

Gibson Brands is a global leader in musical instruments, consumer electronics, and professional audio, and is dedicated to bringing the finest experiences to consumers by offering exceptional products with world- recognized brands.

Gibson Brands decided at some point to diversify their manufacturing arm way past merely overpriced guitars, and thinks the way to stay relevant in the early 21st century is to join the "Me Too!" gadget vendors, even though the impressive description of themselves they've published above falls quite far from the ledge of reality.