Gibson Buying Cakewalk From Roland, Here Are The FAQs

Cakewalk-logoGibson Brands has announced today that it has entered into a letter of intent with Roland Corporation and Cakewalk for Gibson to acquire Cakewalk, makers of Sonar, Z3TA+ 2 and other music software.

Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz says that, as part of Gibson, Cakewalk will “enhance their flagship professional products, pursue provocative R&D initiatives, and continue to serve the needs of musicians and producers”.

Following the closing of the proposed acquisition, a new brand, TASCAM Professional Software, will be created to support, promote, and publish Cakewalk’s current and future professional products. The Cakewalk staff and headquarters will remain in Boston as an independent division.

Cakewalk shared these FAQ’s about the deal:

Why would a guitar company want to acquire Cakewalk?

Gibson Brands encompasses not only Gibson guitars, but also high-end consumer electronics (Onkyo, TEAC) and pro audio (TASCAM, KRK, Stanton, and Cerwin Vega). Cakewalk will be a vital part of the pro audio group.

Will the name Cakewalk be retained?

Cakewalk will transition to the name Cakewalk Development to underscore the emphasis on R&D and new product development, but a new brand, TASCAM Professional Software, will be created to support, promote, and publish Cakewalk’s professional line of products. As TASCAM is the company that launched a revolution in recording, the pairing with Cakewalk is a natural.

Will SONAR continue to be developed?

Of course! As a market and technology leader with many industry firsts, SONAR will be the flagship product of TASCAM Professional Software. The program will continue to innovate in exciting, unique, and even surprising ways.

Who will handle technical support and questions about the program?

Cakewalk will continue to handle customer support and questions.

Will Cakewalk develop a Mac version of SONAR?

Many musicians already run SONAR on the Mac using Boot Camp and various other solutions, so there are no plans for a Mac version at this time. However, Mac and iOS support for other products will play an important part in Cakewalk’s future.

What will happen with Cakewalk’s consumer-oriented software, like Music Creator?

Cakewalk has been developing a family of extremely exciting consumer-oriented products, and now has the resources to bring these to market in parallel with the company’s professional software. We plan to continue branding them as Cakewalk products to differentiate them from our professional products.

Will Cakewalk be absorbed physically into Gibson or TASCAM?

No. Cakewalk will retain its offices in Boston, its current staff, its management, and its highly popular web site. Gibson Brands wanted to acquire Cakewalk because of its people, not just the products they’ve created.

Can we expect to see Cakewalk’s software expertise in products from other Gibson Brands?

Yes. One of the main strengths of Gibson Brands is the constant dialog among its divisions. As just one example, the possibilities of combining TASCAM’s leadership in professional audio hardware with Cakewalk’s industry-leading software are virtually unlimited.

Will there be additional new products?

In addition to continuing the great work they’ve done in the past, we believe there are new areas where Cakewalk can apply their expertise, leading to exciting new products for current Cakewalk fans as well as those who are about to become Cakewalk fans.

Are you ready for TASCAM Sonar? Leave a comment and let us know what you think about the deal!

31 thoughts on “Gibson Buying Cakewalk From Roland, Here Are The FAQs

  1. among the bass playing community, gibson is known for screwing things up when they buy other instrument companies.

    for the sake of folks who use cakewalk, this will hopefully not be the case here.

    1. I think it would be a good idea of Tascam Sonar, at lease it sounds good.
      Hopefully the support will as good as the name.

    2. i tried call tech support this am and phone diconnected several times and sonar platinum will not run less it is hooked up to the net. not kosher… ?? cakewalk usrer since 1.0 remember that version.. greg h

  2. hope you guys arent too attached to your DAW.

    Gibson buying anything that doesnt have strings is a death sentence for the products purchased.

    tc electronic (all they seem to make now is guitar stuff)

    1. sorry meant to say “Opcode” not gibson

      which is the biggest reason cakewalk users should be screaming

      gibson has already played this song once before… and the leading sequencer of the time was quickly disbanded, the employee base nearly driven insane (seriously true, look up what happened to the OMS creator who was an opcode employee) and the entire product line gutted and then quickly abandoned.

      cant see cakewalk going any differently. Gibson buys tech companies then discards them like a fat spoiled kid on christmas who just got handed another present.

    2. I saw an interview at the NAMM 2015 in that the rep from Gibson was speaking in terms of future SONAR being by subscription.I also see that Roland is going with Ablelton live included with it’s new synthesizer .

  3. Gibson bought Oberheim Electronics… and used the buy-out to re-release the Echoplex Digital Pro under the Gibson brandname, after which time they dropped support for all Oberheim products, and ceased all related synthesizer and effects development.

  4. I’m afraid the same will happen to Cakewalk, what happened to E-MU Systems.

    When Creative bought E-MU, they did it “for the people” just as they say it in the interview with Gibson above… Dave Rossum, the chief of E-MU is now doing “electronic Gadgets” for Creative Labs, having left E-MU a shell of their former self… practically NOTHING is happening at the E-MU site anymore.

    Soon we’ll probably see Cakewalk “fall apart” slowly, seeping the vital forces that create this wonderful DAW out of Cakewalk and into other “divisions”

    I’m afraid, that Cakewalk will be “sucked dry” by that “spider” called Gibson… I HOPE that I’m wrong.

  5. Doubly worrying :
    1. I share all these mentioned concerns about Gibson ruining companies it buys.
    2. But just as worrying about this story is the fact that Roland are willing to sell what was to be their main software developer , with all sorts of next generation hardware/software hybrids promised .
    What does this say about Roland’s plans for their hi tech music future ?

    1. Does sonar do anything interesting though? Seriously, I’ve never been compelled to try it and I use almost all the rest.

      It seems like roland’d be better off teaming up with like celemony for a vsynth 3 or something.

      And I mean both DP and fruity went cross platform. I think that’s pretty telling.

  6. Adios Cakewalk. You were the first sequencer software I bought back in the 90s and I thought Sonar was cool too. But your owners have decided to take the money, even though everyone knows full well that Gibson bought and killed Studiovision. From now on you’re just an extension of Tascam.

    Anyone suing this platform would be well advised to start exploring alternatives now, because you will probably never see another update.

  7. Anyone else smell a goofy Tascam hardware recorder with a stripped down cakewalk embedded in it, aimed at guitar players who still don’t have a DAW? You know, the kind of crap where you get the mixer, speakers and cables all in one box. The end caps at guitar center will be covered in them for about six weeks.

  8. When Gibson bought… Oberheim had the best analog poly-synth ever made at the time (Xpander), Opcode had the best midi sequencer (some say better than sequencers you can buy today), Tascam helped usher in the digital audio age, and many other special music companies that all died or are dying a slow death under Gibson’s watch.

  9. Doesn’t anybody found this strange, why Roland is selling cakewalk ?
    the need of fresh money perhaps ? that means there could be a problem with Roland health…

    1. I think its a matter of Cakewalk not being able to hold its own against Live, Reason, Logic and DP. Sonar just recently managed to rise to that level of refinement and it may have simply missed a curve of profitability for too many quarters. Staying Cakewalk-compatible may have come to cost Roland more than it was making from the association. If I was a synth maker, I’d keep my USB side current and offer a few courtesy compatibilities with the major DAWs, but not take on a full-bore partnership. The changes come too quickly.

  10. I really don’t give a s***… if Sonar dies, I die with it… I’m NOT switching to any other DAW, even if I have to stick with the latest version of both that and Win7. I’ll be using Sonar until I’m 10 feet under pushing daisies…

    1. I sympathize. I expect to have to flex with things up to a point. Its about consumer electronics, so it will always be hampered by constant changes for the buck. I sometimes want to just go back to the piano; they don’t update that every 6 months until it sounds like utter shite due to feature bloatware. All I can suggest is giving Reaper a serious look and saving every sound you can as WAV files. They’ll translate to anything. I’d buy more gear, but I wouldn’t have as much time to use it because I’d be tearing out my hair over version and compatibility issues. When you consider committing to a tool, check out the company’s general rep, accessibility via both e-mail & user group and longevity in the marketplace. Its not hard to gradually figure out who is on the ball and who is dropping it too often. Along with enough RAM, information is your best defense.

    2. I am a Sonar user through and through and I am not interested in any other DAW. However, I play a Stratocaster.and I am not a Gibson fan. It concerns me that previously acquired Gibson companies are no longer in existence. Admittedly Tascam are still around, but they are the creator of the portastudio. There has to be more to Roland’s decision to sell Cakewalk. Sonar and Creator must be the most user friendly DAWs as they do not take up much column spaces in the ‘how to..’ articles of any music magazine as does most of the other DAWs.

      Let us hope that before Gibson ruins Cakewalk, there is an employee buyout, like Fender did with CBS, rather than go to the wall.

  11. Cakewalk under DOS was my first PC music program after Amiga cratered. RIP. I abandoned Sonar for Cubase and Ableton long ago, so it won’t affect me when Gibson kills it, which it will…

  12. Add Slingerland drums to the list above. They were well on the way back in the late 90s building handmade, boutique quality drums. Gibson bought them out, added a line or two of crap “offshore” made drums and killed them brand dead in under two years time.

    I still have a beautiful set of ’98 Slingerlands that are the best sounding drums ever.

    It does seem odd that Roland would sell off something that is, presumably, making money.

  13. So Edirol got re-branded Roland, Roland bought Cakewalk, Roland sells Cakewalk to die at the hands of Gibson… What’s Roland’s game plan in all this? They spent a good number of years working their way into DAWs when they proved to be more popular than self-contained units like the VS series recorders.

  14. I’m kinda pissed that Roland would let Cakewalk go like that when they had all these new products come out that integrated perfectly with Sonar X1,X2,and then Cakewalk just releases Sonar X3 last week and at the same time announces the sale to Gibson? WTF man,I would prefer a Roland product over a TASCAM Interface any day. I kinda agree with the poster above who says that we’ll probably see some cheesy all in one box that will be for sale at Guitar Center for super cheap because it’s going to be super cheap. I hope that does not happen. I own several Roland/Cakewalk Interfaces and USB/MIDI Keyboard Controllers,and have never had a problem.Not one crash,not one sound or latency issue or any kind of headaches that my friends who own other DAWs have all the time. I just hope that Gibson does not bend Cakewalk over the sink or I will refuse to have anything to do with Gibson again ever.I saw firsthand what they did to Trace Elliot,and I just hope they don’t do the same crap to Cakewalk.

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