Cakewalk Is Back and Now It's Free

Late last year, Gibson brands announced the closure of Cakewalk, a software division of Gibson most known for its flagship DAW, SONAR. The story unfolded further earlier this year, with BandLab's announcement that it had acquired Gibson's Cakewalk intellectual properties and assets.

At the time, it was not entirely clear how BandLab—a collective of musician-focused brands based in Singapore—would deploy these new assets within its ecosystem of music-making tools. But today, some more of the picture has been uncovered, with BandLab’s reveal that a streamlined version of the SONAR software, dubbed “Cakewalk by BandLab," is now available for download. Even better, it’s completely free.

According to a press release from BandLab, "The revived DAW includes all core premium features of SONAR Platinum such as the award-winning Skylight user interface, flexible ProChannel modules, and powerful end-to-end 64-bit mix engine." Certain third party products, plugins, and content bundles that came with SONAR Platinum will no longer be included with Cakewalk, but existing users who already have these products will still be able to use them.

Overall, BandLab seems to be positioning Cakewalk as a step up from its main platform (which is a cross-platform DAW, enabling creators to record and share products online) for musicians looking for a somewhat more capable recording engine. According to BandLab CEO, Meng Ru Kuok, Cakewalk by BandLab will be "... the natural next step for musicians who use platforms like BandLab to simplify their creative and collaborative process."


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