Jump to content
synkrotron

Why is Cakewalk by Bandlab free?

Recommended Posts

A better question in February 2019, 10 months after the first release of Cakewalk by BandLab: why does this subject continue to hold such a fascination for some people, one that shows no sign of ending?

Me, I think I'm done. It's like trying to explain when a 4-year-old asks why the room gets bright when you flip the light switch: no answer will ever be satisfactory.

I can say that I have learned some things from these spirited discussions. For instance:

1. Nothing's ever free, and DAW software that is distributed under a freeware license will at some point extract an unspecified "payment" from those foolish enough to use it without being in a constant state of sub-clinical paranoia. You'll see. Laugh now. You won't be laughing when this unspecified bad thing eventually happens.

2. Nothing can make sense in the world except things that are within the grasp of my own personal understanding, no matter what my age, education or experience. This especially applies to software industry and online social media platform business strategies.

In other words, if I don't get what they're doing, they're either doomed or up to no good. ūü§®

(or both)

  • Great Idea 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blimey!

Posted this, went to the dentist, went to visit my lad and bring him back here for a takeaway, watched a bit of telly, and we're now up to page two!

So, if CbB is free, is it crap?

I've downloaded and installed... I've now got to get my head back into SONAR mode having been using Studio One and Reaper since Gibson did the dirty. Looking pretty much like SONAR but I am very rusty.

Got to update and add some MIDI instrument definitions.

Got to remind myself of how to set up outboard effects sends/returns.

Going to be a slow process, but needs must as the devil drives, or something like that (REAPER and MIDI hardware sync has let me down and Studio One has turned out to be a VST only DAW...)

 

I'll try to catch up with some of the ramblings here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the time of the Great Shutdown, much expert opinion was expressed that Cubase was the best alternative option to Cakewalk for Windows users who are heavy users of MIDI hardware.

Now that Cakewalk lives, the original  (and maybe best option for MIDI hardware users) is back on the table, and free! :D

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, abacab said:

Now that Cakewalk lives, the original  (and maybe best option for MIDI hardware users) is back on the table

 

But for how long, and I ain't so bothered about the free thing. In fact, perhaps it is the free thing that is bothering me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Meng is doing the Facebook model with Bandlab and CbB. Plus Meng is well funded with a different philosophy then Corporate America quarterly profits.  Anyway glad you're back in the hood :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

Chrome, of course :)

 

Good my ship has an anti-repel for Chrome. Now if were a Chromium base Tracktor beam I might be in trouble.¬† Of course if it were 7 of 9 coming to get me I might be lured in ūüėȬ†¬† Whoops I think this response belongs down in the Coffee House thread about us Star Trek Nerds :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Dark Matter.................
That's it!!!!!! How Meng is able to offer CbB for free........

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, abacab said:

Why? World domination, obviously! :D

Just remember what happened to  Netscape Navigator (paid web browser) after Microsoft gave away Internet Explorer with Windows, and the "browser wars" began ... https://www.engadget.com/2014/05/10/history-of-netscape/

Yeah, I always wondered how the guys making IE could make a living giving that away for free. ūüėČ

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, the bottom line is, I should not be concerned that CbB is not a flash in the pan and despite being free is a good, solid DAW (SONAR) and I should simply embrace it (assuming it is able to cope with my hardware/software issues)?

  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite being free?? Not having to pay a licensing fee is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. If there's a downside, I'm having a hard time thinking of it.

Cakewalk was once payware licensed, produced by a company whose revenue stream  depended on selling licenses for Sonar and its add-ons. Under that traditional, simple "we make a product, you buy it" model, the company gradually became less and less profitable to the point that it was dissolved after 30 years of being in business and has now ceased to exist. I don't know exactly what happened, but my guess would be market saturation. Looks like they tried to diversify the product line, smart move, but couldn't make it stick.

Sonar, by the time it breathed its last, had developed a reputation for crashiness and instability. I'm not going to argue with anyone about this, whether you think it's fair or not. I ran the first version of CbB and I at least will attest to some accuracy of that reputation. I remember that I'd resize the main window and the Now Time marker would sort of go off on a solo career, still moving, just not anywhere near the DAW. Screen elements would get orphaned, and the whole program would lock up from doing things like deleting a plug-in. So I'd always Save before removing a plug-in or moving a clip to another lane.

30 days later, I downloaded an update that was very much improved. 60 days later I downloaded one that, as a veteran software QA engineer, knocked me on my ass. It was not only way more stable, it loaded faster and was just way zippier in general. It even introduced new features, which I thought was freaking amazing for a product that had been hauled off in the meatwagon 6 months earlier. These people had put on their ass-kicking boots and were laying waste.

So you can keep your payware thing. If you think it makes for better software or better chances for a stable company, well, go ahead and think that, but recent history has shown the exact opposite on both counts when it comes to Cakewalk. I could go into why freeware actually makes for better software, but I did that at TOP and I'm tired of going over it again and again.

Just use the damn thing. Don't worry about the company. If you weren't suspicious of Gibson/Cakewalk, why be suspicious of BandLab? Companies go under. Tech companies go under. Cakewalk had a 30-year ride, which is unheard of. History says that even industry leading software titles (and the companies who depend upon them for revenue) don't rule for long. Who today after all, remembers WordStar? Word Perfect? VisiCalc? Lotus 1-2-3? Netware? Eudora Mail?

I wonder, is Pro Tools becoming the next Word Perfect? The program that once had a stranglehold but that got complacent, made a few too many mistakes? Really, Avid, no native VST support? At this late date? The new kids coming up, the laptop/bedroom producers, does Pro Tools have any share at all among new people coming in? Can you even run Sausage Fattener in Pro Tools?

I don't think new home studio people really give much consideration to PT. I think it's considered a necessary nuisance, if you run a pro facility or want to work in one you have to have it, but most people would prefer to be working in Logic or Cakewalk or Studio One or Reaper or whatever.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

√ó
√ó
  • Create New...