[Updated at 17.20pm GMT to reflect CEO Meng Kuok's statement about not charging existing SONAR customers again for cross-grades and also BandLab's hiring of Cakewalk personnel]
BandLab Technologies — the company behind social music platform BandLab, as well as Rolling Stone magazine, Mono cases, Harmony Guitars and more — have today announced the acquisition of certain assets and the complete set of intellectual property of Cakewalk Inc. from Gibson Brands.
CEO of BandLab Technologies, Meng Ru Kuok said, “The teams at both Gibson and BandLab felt that Cakewalk’s products deserved a new home where development could continue. We are pleased to be supporting Cakewalk’s passionate community of creators to ensure they have access to the best possible features and music products under the BandLab Technologies banner.”
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for Sonar users since November 2017 when previous owners Gibson unexpectedly announced that they were ceasing development of the popular Windows-based DAW. This latest news will come as a huge relief to those who rely on Sonar and other Cakewalk products such as the Z3TA +2 and Rapture Pro synths. There’s every reason to be optimistic about the future of Sonar after this announcement. BandLab have past form in acquiring and developing audio technologies — something they’ve done already with AudioStretch, an iOS app that slows down audio and video without any change to pitch for transcription and music learning.
Current SONAR users needn't worry about cross-grade pricing either. In a post on the Cakewalk forums, Meng Kuok has stated that "our steadfast goal is that former SONAR owners (of all versions) will not need to spend any money to cross-over/cross-grade to the future flagship product."
In the same post, Kuok revealed that Cakewalk CTO Noel Borthwick and Senior Software Engineer Ben Staton will both be joining the engineering team.
We look forward to finding out whether this involves the continued development of the Mac version of Sonar and how the fully-fledged PC DAW with some 30 years of heritage will fit alongside BandLab’s stripped back cloud-based music production and collaboration offering.
Already boasting a user base of over 2.5 million, BandLab's free cloud-based music recording platform is available via a web browser or with their free iOS and Android apps. The BandLab Mix Editor (their term for the DAW) offers 12 tracks, software instruments, multi-channel recording, and real-time collaboration features for up to 25 simultaneous users (web-only). The platform already lets you export your stems to WAV files for further processing in your favourite DAW, but we're intrigued to see whether tighter integrations emerge as a result of this acquisition. We’ll bring you more concrete details as and when we have them.
For more information, or if you're a Sonar user check out the FAQs on Cakewalk's site: