Cakewalk, Inc. is a company based in Boston, Massachusetts that develops and sells music production software. The company's best known product is their comprehensive music sequencer named SONAR, which is designed for professional use. SONAR incorporates multi-track recording and editing of both audio and MIDI. Moreover, the company offers a full range of music software products, including pyro Audio Creator—a digital music management program, and Dimension Pro—a virtual instrument.
The company was started in 1987 as Twelve Tone Systems, Inc. by Greg Hendershott, its CEO (until 1 July 2012). The firm quickly found that most customers referred to it by the name of its initial product, however, a MIDI music sequencer that Hendershott had named simply "Cakewalk" (a reference to a movement of Children's Corner by Claude Debussy). To avoid confusion the company operated for many years as "Twelve Tone Systems, Inc. DBA Cakewalk". In September 2008, the company announced that it had officially changed the corporate name to Cakewalk, Inc. Previous to this, in January 2008, the logo used on the company's products ( but not the company name itself ) had been changed to "Cakewalk by Roland" to reflect the purchase of a majority interest in the company by Roland Corporation.
The firm's SONAR professional music sequencer allows the operator to create projects, edit MIDI files, raw audio tracks, and other associated information like lyrics, and to present them in a range of formats including musical scores, editing console, event lists. The operator can also mix the various tracks down into a stereo .WAV file format ready to be saved to a CD.
As noted above, "Cakewalk" was the name of the company's original product, a MIDI sequencer first released for DOS and then, beginning in 1991, for Windows 3.0. Early versions of Cakewalk for DOS (up to 3.0) required the intelligent mode of the MPU-401, and so could not be used with product clones of the MPU-401, while later Cakewalk versions (since 4.0) relied on the dumb UART mode only. The sequencer was renamed Cakewalk Pro at some point, and again renamed Cakewalk Pro Audio when support for digitized audio was added.
In 2009, Cakewalk announced a new product line: SONAR V-Studio 700 and SONAR V-Studio 100 are the flagship products in Cakewalk's new line of hardware and software music production solutions. The next generation V-Studio line of products is modeled on Roland's renowned hardware expertise and the power and flexibility of Cakewalk's SONAR Producer.
Effective 1 July 2012, Greg Hendershott resigned as CEO, after 25 years with the company he founded. Michael Hoover, previously Executive Vice President of Products, was named President effective 1 July 2012.
On December 6th, 2013, Roland sold all their shares of Cakewalk to Gibson Brands. Cakewalk will continue to operate in Boston, MA developing products for the Cakewalk brand along with joint products with TASCAM.
Current Cakewalk products
Sequencers & Digital Audio Workstations
- SONAR X3 Producer (Flagship DAW)
- SONAR X3 Studio
- SONAR X3
- Dimension Pro
- Z3TA+ 2
- Studio Instruments
- Session Drummer 3
- Sonitus:fx Suite
- Boost 11
- CA-2A Leveling Amplifier
- Music Creator
- Pyro Audio Creator
- USB Music Pack
- Most products have multiple versions
- Cakewalk Announces Corporate Name Change, official press release, 2 September 2008.
- Roland acquires majority of Cakewalk, by Peter Kirn. Published 18 August 2008 by the Create Digital Music blog. Despite the impression given in this report's opening sentence, only the product logo, not the company name, was changed to "Cakewalk by Roland".
- Michael Hoover named new President of Cakewalk, The Cakewalk Blog, 25 June 2012.
- Cakewalk, Inc. Official company website.
- SONAR V-Studio Homepage
- The Cakewalk Blog
- SONAR User Wiki
- HD Videos on Cakewalk Products
- Videos on Cakewalk
- Project5 DAW User Site
- Dimension Synthesizer User Site
- Interview with founder and CEO Greg Hendershott, 20 years on, 12 November 2007, at Create Digital Music blog.