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What I would do if I had $ and will to buy Cakewalk? (Read 275 times)

Panu

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What I would do if I had $ and will to buy Cakewalk?
First of all, I have no idea if Cakewalk is for sale.
Secondly, there must be easier ways to spend money than purchasing a Win only DAW but I can't get anything in my head.

OK, let's continue... My company purchased Cakewalk codebase ($200,000 ... $1,200,000) after Gibson went bankcrupt.

Unrealistic $5,000,000 budget plan:
  • Do not expect to get profit. $hitload of money required.
  • Rebranding: hire young marketing people with fresh ideas.
  • Forget 'Cakewalk'. Rename.
  • Hire as many seasoned audio gurus and young talents as possible.
  • Start making DSP effects and sound libraries for all platforms to get revenue.
  • Forget PC module add-ons.
  • Keep on fixing SONAR bugs but start developing the next major version which is not called "SONAR" anymore.
Feature updates:
  • Listen to recording studio professionals. They are the margin but getting pro users is important for the brand.
  • Listen to the new generation hobbyists requirements. Make interface look modern and fresh. Hide technical stuff whenever possible.
After things have settled down:
  • Get rid of AudioSnap in the next major version. Break project compatibility with older versions if required. Make new system from ground up.
  • Delete the whole StaffView codebase. Make new from ground up.
  • Implement new scripting language based on Python, RUBY or JavaScript. Not LISP like CAL.
  • Make GUI scalable.
$500,000 budget plan
  • Hire 3 Cakewalk developers to maintain the codebase.
  • Release bug fixes. Fix longstanding issues first.
  • Consider open source.
  • Sell products but keep low profile.
  • Do not expect to conquer the world with Windows Desktop app.
  • Continue development as online collaboration. No HQ.
  • Do not hire more management people than absolutely necessary. Keep the costs down.
  • Hire new people after things have settled down.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 06:57:57 PM by Panu »

Keni

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Some good thoughts here...

I don't think I quite agree with them all, but good direction...

Some very hard decisions there... and much like the presidency, there's much not known to outsiders until they become president... Then choices change for any number of reasons...

For me? I would first re-hire as many of the coders as I could as they already know so much.... and have them work on fixing everything that needs fixing...

A small crew to develop  new ideas...

I'm sure I'd add more, but hard to commit without knowing more! ;-)
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Panu

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If I purchased SONAR codebase only for myself:

First I would release 2018.01 update:
- Replace Cakewalk Theme Editor with Duckbar Theme Editor.
- Allow removing QuadEQ from PC.
- Allow undocking PC modules (they are VST effects after all).
- Remove Youtube, SoundCloud, Landr etc. publishers.
- Allow soloing track/bus when it has External Insert (if not too complicated).

Then:
- Hire Noel and developers recommended by him.
- Let him continue the work. Do not disturb him.
- Listen to the community. Learn to filter good ideas.
- Embed Duckbar (or Duckbar ideas)  to SONAR (waveform cache management, Theme Editor, Tools Menu, floating toolbars, scripting language).
- Examine ways to make profit but keep on fixing longstanding bugs.
- Make more people love SONAR.

There are too many excellent DAWs on the market and unfortunately SONAR's popularity is far behind the rivals. Making profit with a Windows desktop only application is a challenge that will get harder and harder every year. I wish all the good luck for anyone that is going to continue the legacy of Cakewalk. It won't be easy. It's cheaper to build a completely new recording software and target it to all platforms.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 07:31:39 PM by Panu »

Panu

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More seriously thought: First thing is to evaluate if it makes any sense to buy Cakewalk. Then one should evaluate the current situation and make a plan based on pure facts, not hopes. Not many are interested to take the risk with Cakewalk.
I'm afraid Gibson HQ knows more about Cakewalk's financial situation than outsiders or even people that used to work at Cakewalk. I can not believe there is a company which shuts down a profit-making subsidiary without very conserning future prospects.


Brando

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IF I were a potential buyer - the first thing that would concern me is the obligation of lifetime updates. Even if that could be legally skirted, the existing users base would be coming from that place, and those expectations. Now, after the Gibson decision, the market potential is even smaller as people (like myself - to S1 currently) are moving on and finding out that their new DAW works just fine. How much could you sell SONAR Platinum (or its new offspring) for when you are starting out with a smaller share of a small market?
Where I think a potential new buyer could benefit is in the acquisition of parts of Cakewalk's logic - Some of Cakewalk's plugins, and especially the Pro Channel - (Selfishly) I would love to see this in Studio 1, for example. Z3ta2+ in the hands of a synth developer could be magic. So could the original Rapture and DPro. Rapture Pro is a Franken-synth version of the two and while I like it and use it, I think was a mistake.
Since Pro Channel is just VST with a reduced GUI, the modules and the technology would seem to be integratable into any DAW.
Something like Cakewalk's Drum Replacer. Matrix, Step Sequencer could be neat if a DAW developer were already thinking along the lines of adding something like that to their DAW.

anydmusic

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I don't think it would take any buyer's lawyers that long to get around the LTU issue.

The idea of reimagining parts of Sonar as addons to other DAWs could be a good way for a buyer to generate revenue from the code base.
Graham
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Brando

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Sure - but how many lifetime users of Splat are going to want to PAY in to get the new version of the Phoenix that rises from Gibson's ashes. And then pay for updates. Especially when you look at the number that have already or are in the process of moving on. I like S1 well enough to be thinking about uninstalling my (lifetime) SPlat. And I loved SPlat monogamously (LOL).

abacab

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Something like Cakewalk's Drum Replacer. Matrix, Step Sequencer could be neat if a DAW developer were already thinking along the lines of adding something like that to their DAW.

I think you will find Matrix functionality in Ableton Live, Bitwig, and Mixcraft.  They all have different names for it, but Bitwig and Mixcraft even have the grid lined up with the track view, as Cakewalk had in the Project 5 Groove Matrix.  Unfortunately Live still has their either/or presentation which still bugs me.

Keni

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OK... Fantasy time...

If I could buy Cakewalk, I would buy all rights, re-hire all the programmers at twice their previous pay...

Then instruct them in my personal preferences and desires to begin with...

Then see where that leads! 8)
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anydmusic

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As time passes, and the capabilities of the alternatives is discussed further, it is becoming clear to me that there is very little about Sonar that is unique with most of the features being available in one or more of the others. Of course there features that Sonar has a better implementation of but there are also some which the alternatives do better (at least that is what some are now saying).

What this means in effect is that what sets Sonar apart is the combination of features that it contains and of course we users have come to rely on this combination of features. What has changed over time is that those of us exploring the alternatives have moved from worrying about what is missing to working with what is there. This is logical given that you can't record music with a feature you don't have.

Having chosen to move to Cubase I'm losing ARA support, something which Sonar has and others apparently do even better, but what I'm not losing is the ability to tune and fix vocals. I can still use Melodyne as a VST and have Vari Audio and that looks pretty capable too (at least in a couple of videos that I have watched). I'm losing a feature, ARA, but not the benefit I just need to learn how to use the alternative features provided by Cubase.

So four weeks after the announcement if I had the money and the will I think I would pass on investing in Sonar because I'm now struggling to see what it has that is unique enough to carve a viable niche in the market. And I wonder, as one who has never bothered to seriously look at the alternatives until now, whether that's actually been the reality for some time now.
Graham
Windows 10 64 bit - Intel i7-4790, 16GB, 2 x 256GB SSD
Cubase 9.5 Coming From Sonar Platinum 2017.10
Rapture Pro, Z3TA 2, CA2A, plus...
TruePianos, Lounge Lizard EP-4
Delta 24/96, UAD 1, UA25 EX, 2 x MidiSport, Novation LaunchControl
IKMultiMedia - SampleTank 3, Miroslav 2, Syntronik, TRacks 5, Modo Bass
Band In A Box, Sound Quest, VS Pro, Kinetic, Acid, Sound Forge, Jammer
Waves MaxxVolume, IR 1, Aphex Enhancer, Abbey Plates
Korg Legacy, VStation, Bass Station

Keni

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Very sad...

Yes, i have always been aware that these features are elsewhere, but the implementation is a big issue to work models...

Always been a key item fir me to hash with the bakers...

I miss this so much!👽
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bapu

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/Fantasy On

If I had the money (hypothetical $5MUSD) I'd retire and work on finding the absolute best DAW that meets my needs and I'd invest in that company by buying a seat of the BOD for said company.

So it's unlikely that $2MUSD would  get me a seat on Presonus (SOP Development team) BOD but it might at MAGIX or Cockos?

Oh wait, for $2MUSD I could build a killer studio. Ya, that's the ticket.

/Fantasy Over

backwoods

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don't know what I'd do as I'm not familiar with the intracacies of the DAW market.... The way Noel has been talking I get the feeling that all is not lost and a buyout remains a possibility. just WHO would buy cakewalk is what interests me..... at the time I thought Roland would be a good match but apparentl;y there was a disconnect/disinterest. Maybe a soundcard company would work? What do you guys think?

Panu

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New owner could also be a new company created by Gibsor to hold Cakewalk's assets.
It gets complicated, though: Gibson owning a shell company owning Cakewalk.

Keni

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Sadly, though I wish for a sale and rebirth, I believe Gibson has decided a write off is more valuable for them.

I'm wishing and hoping this is not the case and a sale does happen!
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Keni Fink
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