Bandlab Discontinues Free Version of Cakewalk by Bandlab DAW
Bandlab, the company behind the popular digital audio workstation (DAW) software Cakewalk, has announced that they will no longer be offering a free version of the software. Bandlab acquired Sonar by Cakewalk DAW after Gibson discontinued the software after it purchase it from Cakewalk, leaving their user base high and dry. Bandlab then released Cakewalk by Bandlab (Sonar Platinum) as free download. This move has sparked controversy among the music production community, who have come to rely on the free version of Cakewalk for their music-making needs.
The Reasons Behind the Decision
According to Bandlab, the decision to discontinue the free version of Cakewalk was made in order to focus on the development of the paid version of the software. The company states that they are committed to providing the best possible user experience for their paying customers, and that this decision will allow them to devote more resources to that effort. While this reasoning may make sense from a business perspective, it has left many musicians feeling disappointed and frustrated.
Implications for the Music Production Community
The free version of Cakewalk has been a popular choice among musicians since Bandlab purchased the rights to Cakewalk Sonar from Gibson and released it as a free download through their platform. It provided a powerful and feature-rich DAW at no cost, making it accessible to artists who may not have had the means to purchase a commercial software package. Its discontinuation means that many musicians will need to find an alternative DAW to meet their needs. While there are still many free and low-cost DAW options available, Cakewalk‘s departure from the free software landscape leaves a void that may be difficult to fill.
The Future of Cakewalk
Despite the discontinuation of the free version of the software, Cakewalk is still a powerful and capable DAW that is widely used in the music production community. Bandlab has stated that they remain committed to the continued development and improvement of the software, and that they will be focusing their efforts on making the paid version even better. While this may be little consolation to those who relied on the free version, it does offer hope that Cakewalk will continue to be a valuable tool for music producers for years to come.
It will be replaced by two new products – Cakewalk Sonar and Cakewalk Next – the pricing of which is set to be revealed in due course. This will result in an updated DAW – Cakewalk Sonar – that offers a refreshed UI and scope for ongoing feature development. It will also be compatible with legacy Sonar and Cakewalk by BandLab projects.
Cakewalk Next, meanwhile, is a new piece of music production software that promises “next-generation music creation tools designed to fuel creativity and streamline your workflow”. It’s currently in beta and you can request access on the Cakewalk website.
When Gibson discontinued the Cakewalk Sonar DAW many of it’s users abandoned the software looking for a viable alternative. Many moved to either Cubase or Studio One (Studio One has since been purchased by Fender Musical Instruments) in order to remain in a supported DAW. When Bandlab released Sonar Platinum as a free download, they were able to re-establish a userbase for the popular DAW.
The discontinuation of the free version of Cakewalk by Bandlab has caused a stir in the music production community. While the decision may make sense from a business perspective, it has left many musicians searching for an alternative DAW to meet their needs. Despite this setback, Cakewalk remains a powerful and capable software package that is widely used and respected in the music production world. It is our hope that Bandlab will continue to invest in the development of the software, and that it will remain a valuable tool for music producers for years to come.
Although Cakewalk by BandLab is currently still available as a free download, an FAQ on the BandLab website states that “it will soon be phased out”. This will no doubt come as a disappointment to the software’s users, but BandLab also states that “We will continue providing community support and maintenance for Cakewalk by BandLab until both Cakewalk Next and Sonar become publicly available.” Release dates for these two products are currently unknown.
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