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Save Sibelius campaign

Postby ChrisW » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:35 pm

A campaign has been launched to try to save the Sibelius UK office and hence Sibelius itself. Avid has announced the closure of the UK office, the home of Sibelius's main creative and technical talent. Details and a chance to join the fight are at:-

http://www.facebook.com/SaveSibelius
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Kwackman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:54 pm

I've still not forgiven Avid for the demise of Audiovision many years ago.
Good luck with your campaign.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Tui » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:13 pm

What a "coincidence" - as a registered user of Sibelius, I just received an email from Avid with a survey about customer satisfaction.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Kevin Nolan » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:25 pm

ChrisW wrote:A campaign has been launched to try to save the Sibelius UK office and hence Sibelius itself. Avid has announced the closure of the UK office, the home of Sibelius's main creative and technical talent. Details and a chance to join the fight are at:-

http://www.facebook.com/SaveSibelius



I empathize, but there is no correlation between the UK office closing and Sibelius itself going under. In fact the opposite could be argued - it looks like they are moving to the Ukraine and hence it's a cost cutting exercise that will surely help the survival of the company?

One can argue the rights and wrongs of that move, but it seems to be a fact of life these days that technically advanced jobs are now also moving eastwards.

And - even you (and us all) are party to this - we are all typing and working away on Apple computers (or PCs) manufactured in China. What call was there to save those manufacturing jobs in the UK and elsewhere?

The bottom line is that even you (and all of us) are not prepared to pay for the cost of technology and other goods made in the UK and other such western countries, and hence AVID / Sibelius surely have no choice on this.

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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby buggymusic » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:51 pm

side issue - Avid have ditched AIR althogether who were responsible for their best tools for the past 5 years including Velvet, Strike, Structure, Hybrid, Expand and many useful effects plug-ins :headbang:

I think they are being picked up by someone else now, however, does not bode well for PT
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Kevin Nolan » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:48 pm

Actually -

From what I've picked up today (from what I'd believe to be a reliable source embedded in the music industry); this is now not a Sibelius UK issue - AVID have shut down Sibelius, in totality, lock-stock and barrel!

If the case, this is going to affect an awful lot of active, working musicians before long.

And, might this be an indicator of AVID in trouble in general - they recently jettisoned their M-Audio brand too? So what does this say for the future of Pro-Tools? At a minimum, the negative publicity from this is surely going to affect AVID in an earnest if not grave way?

Can anyone confirm this?


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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby BJG145 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:27 am

Given that Avid's vice-president announced that the company was "deeply committed to developing Sibelius" just two weeks ago, that sounds unlikely.

http://community.avid.com/blogs/avid/archive/2012/07/23/avids-commitment-to-sibelius.aspx?CommentPosted=true#
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:03 am

Imagine you are a businessman based in, say, San Francisco and you specialise in high tech investments. One of these investments is a company that has been growing for some 20 years, but in all that time, had never made a profit. It has all kinds of amazing IP and several interesting product lines that, given better management, would be making a thumping profit. But the company is totally top-heavy with expensive engineers working from expensive locations around the World.

This company is a real basket case. Some 40+ product lines, many of which actually compete with one another are produced in different buildings all over America and all these bits and pieces are the result of acquisitions made ages ago and are loaded with idiotic conditions about continued employment and commitment to locations and that sort of thing. As much as it is an obvious candidate for a Steve Jobs style 'Business 101' - dumping, streamlining and closing down plant is going to be difficult.

Some of your other investments are conveniently off base, in places like China, India, Canada, the Ukraine and via the opaque curtain of multiple private equity companies. And you have friends who live nearby and who are also invested in this company, though not as deeply. You meet, you talk shop. What do we do about this stinking heap of losses?

"But it's got some great IP!" says one of your fellow investors. "That's why I'm in it. That IP has to come up trumps one of these days. Taken as a heap of losses, that company ain't worth squat, but pull out the IP and capitalize it and you've really got something!" says one of your buddies.

So you and your friends get a big study done of the market this turkey is in and you rake over the company inch-by-inch to see just what's in there and what all those brand names and technical IP could be worth in the long run.

Nine months and few million dollars later, the answer comes back - it's like a two-year-old Mercedes in a chop-shop. Up and running, it is just a money-losing liability. Rip it to bits and sell off the parts to your off-base investments that need those patents, brands and software to get where you want them to go and you can realise many times the sticker price in the long run.

So you all get together and decide which bits of the company could be sold off to other businesses that you are involved with and which bits could be left in the main company as it inevitably loses value. Once the core company is a mere shadow of its former self, you plan on taking it into one of your PE holdings at a trash price, where the true value of all that IP will get realised. The beauty of this scheme is, you can run down the company, dump all the employees without having pay them too much separation or compensation and do all this largely at the expense of all the other shareholders.

All the time, you are buying little bits of this company on the many troughs in price. Bit by little bit, you have one-fifth of the whole company at a small fraction of the value of the IP. You even get the CFO to inflate the goodwill value to nearly half the total cap, so that the company looks even more like an inflated balloon, ready to nose-dive.

All this is of course, illegal. It's insider trading, taking a good, solid company that could have been turned around and stripping it right down and selling the assets at rock-bottom prices to enhance their value and depress the value of the core company and all at massive cost to all the other shareholders. We have to be careful.

The old CEO gets fired of course, but we need just the right man to take his place. He has to look and sound just the right amount of dumb, without actually being dumb. He has to understand the technology to his fingertips and at the same time, be a master at changing the very structure of a company, whilst making it look as if he is trying to turn it around. We need someone we can trust. Someone who has done this kind of thing before.

We find just the right man. He has moved tech companies from PE to the market and taken listed companies into private equity. He has even taken large spin-offs from big, listed corporations and put them into PEs that we are deeply involved with. He is already tied to us in so many ways and he knows how to make all the right noises and appear just a little dumb at the same time. He is perfect.

He takes over with the stock at $35 and (after a few carefully bungled CNBC interviews, trying to explain why this company still makes a loss) it is happily bumping along the bottom at $10. Once the stock goes right down and we have paired off a few choice bits, we well soon be able to take the core company into a private equity buy-out at some rock-bottom price.

Now that would be a plan, don't you think?
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Kwackman » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:01 pm

BJG145 wrote:Given that Avid's vice-president announced that the company was "deeply committed to developing Sibelius" just two weeks ago, that sounds unlikely.

http://community.avid.com/blogs/avid/archive/2012/07/23/avids-commitment-to-sibelius.aspx?CommentPosted=true#

The statement in that link is a good example of marketing and management bluff.
No where in that statement does it say that Sibelius has a secure future.
It almost implies it might be merged into something else, but as usual in these PR things, nothing is clear.
It's a bit like the Prime Minister saying "Mr/Mrs X has my full support" after Mr/MrsX has been accused of some dodgy going ons. Usually there's a resignation along in a few days!
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Kevin Nolan » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:47 pm

@ The Red Bladder: You lost me about 1/4 way into your post - haven't a clue what you're point is! Though, suggest keeping the more general debate to a minimum and try to add weight / clarity to the issue to see if we who use Sibelius can add a voice to keep it going - if it's actually in peril?

FYI, I heard of the demise of Sibelius from one of Hollywood's top orchestrators - and I mean - _very_ top. If he's prepared to broadcast that he's heard of the demise of Sibelius, it's very concerning...

Can anyone in the field corroborate this?

SOS - what are your journalistic sources telling you? Surely SOS should be acutely tracking this ??

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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:09 pm

Sibelius hasn't died. Avid have closed the London office. Any assumption that a few key employees aren't still on the payroll may be mistaken. Avid say they intend to run Sibelius the same way they run ProTools, management at the California head office, software engineering outsourced to the Ukraine.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Kevin Nolan » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:13 pm

That's NOT the story circulating around the US as of yesterday (and hence trying here to have the complete shutdown verified, or not).

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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby BJG145 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:18 pm

By "complete shutdown", you mean ceasing development...? There's plenty of rumours/scaremongering, eg:

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2012/08/at-sibelius-software-the-last-staff-turn-out-the-lights.html

...but I don't see how anything other than an official announcement from Avid themselves could confirm what their plans are, and I don't think that's going to happen. Even the above pessimist gives it four years. I reckon we'll just have to wait and see.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby mosso » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:10 pm

The problem with this situation is that the entire UK office (the last office) and all the development staff have been fired. These are the only people with in-depth knowledge of the codebase since day one. So, when they say they will outsource development to Ukraine they mean handing it over to software engineers who know nothing about the finer points of it's coding history.

It's said (by the Finn brothers who founded the software) Sibelius is a profit making division within Avid, which is why they are so reluctant to let it go. However by doing this kind of complete gutting of all of the development staff they are pretty much guaranteeing that the next version of Sib, whenever it arrives, will be a strange botch-potch of the code done by the UK staff before they left and the new engineers attempts to get to grips with it. It's hard to imagine that development will not be hugely impacted in a negative way.

So, Sibelius makes as profit - it's just that for Avid they don't make enough profit. In the last 2 years the Avid CEO's pay has gone from $1.2m to $4.8m - if they're all about cost-cutting maybe they should take a look at that.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:19 pm

Kevin Nolan wrote:@ The Red Bladder: You lost me about 1/4 way into your post - haven't a clue what you're point is! Though, suggest keeping the more general debate to a minimum and try to add weight / clarity to the issue to see if we who use Sibelius can add a voice to keep it going - if it's actually in peril?

I've been as clear as would be prudent. If you REALLY want to know what is to happen to Avid, take a look at who owns it and then take a look at what they have done with similar companies in the past and who the CEO, CFO etc. were who implemented this and what the current officers of Avid did in the past. Then go back and reread what I have written.

Sibelius is not a company, there are no employees and is now just IP.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:40 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:Sibelius is not a company, there are no employees and is now just IP.

You remain slightly (but critically) misinformed.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:09 am


"The software has been put in deep-freeze by its owners, Avid,..."

It's no more in deep-freeze than it was this time last week.

The support for Sibelius and Daniel Spreadbury's team is most impressive, but I'm afraid the campaign is terribly badly focussed.
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby johnny h » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:23 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:

"The software has been put in deep-freeze by its owners, Avid,..."

It's no more in deep-freeze than it was this time last week.

The support for Sibelius and Daniel Spreadbury's team is most impressive, but I'm afraid the campaign is terribly badly focussed.
What's your evidence? And how is it stronger than statements released by the Finn brothers?
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Re: Save Sibelius campaign

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:06 pm

johnny h wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:


"The software has been put in deep-freeze by its owners, Avid,..."

It's no more in deep-freeze than it was this time last week.

The support for Sibelius and Daniel Spreadbury's team is most impressive, but I'm afraid the campaign is terribly badly focussed.

What's your evidence? And how is it stronger than statements released by the Finn brothers?


A lot of the "evidence" we're seeing is pure supposition.

There have been precious few statements from the Finns (who, after all, got Sibelius into this mess in the first place by cashing in in 2006), Avid or the London office. The Finns have supported Daniel and his team, but can only guess how Avis will use Sibelius. Avid have said they intend to treat Sibelius the same way they did ProTools. You may or may not like the way that program has developed, but it wasn't abandoned or put into "deep freeze".

Information on what is happening in Finsbury Park (and had been happening gradually for some time - last week was only the latest "cut") has not been publicly posted, but was easy enough to get by more informal means. It seems that some campaign leaders either didn't bother to ask, or find reality not dramatic enough for their purposes. A great deal is being made of a "leak" which seems to have been misread by the very few who saw it.

Sibelius became a corporate asset six years ago when the Finns took the money and walked away. It's still an asset. It might get bought and sold a few more times. Cubase survived. Logic partially survived, but at the cost of dumping most of its potential users. Maybe Sibelius will become a feature of ProTools. If Avid (or another owner) see a continuing market for a stand-alone version, doubtless one will be provided.
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