Hello everyone, last week was an exciting week for us with Cakewalk being featured and spotlighted by Intel in a number of ways.
By now, it shouldn’t be any secret that SONAR is the technology leading digital audio workstation. We’ve been first to support all of Microsoft’s operating systems for the last 12 years, and we’ve been first to support so many of Intel’s technological developments: hyperthreading, multiprocessor machines, multicore processing, 64-bit x64 processing and others. And our support for these technologies have not just been pioneering, both Intel and Microsoft recognize SONAR as one of the best examples of a software product supporting them. Last June, Cakewalk was the only audio company named a finalist in Microsoft’s Global ISV Partner Awards and last week, Intel honored Cakewalk by making us the only audio company featured in the launch of their new Mobile Core i7 Processor and the keynote presentations at their IDF Conference.
At this year’s SIGGRAPH Conference in New Orleans, Carl Jacobson met with the host of Intel’s Visualize This! TV Show, Arti Gupta, to discuss Cakewalk’s advancements in it’s software performance. Some of Arti’s questions were so technical that we thought it only fair to ask Cakewalk’s CTO Noel Borthwick to add his thoughts. Watch the video and check out Noel’s comments below:
AG: Cakewalk is a member of the Intel Software Partner Program. What challenges were you trying to solve?
NB: The bandwidth available to the typical modern DAW user using a modern CPU such as the Core I7 is astounding compared to what was available just a couple of years ago. Users expect our software to use every ounce of available CPU cycles and horsepower it can to process their audio and mix. Cakewalk has been on the bleeding edge of technology for the last 15 years, taking advantage of cutting edge capabilities of the operating system as well as available hardware resources. With multiprocessing and 64-bit computing rapidly becoming mainstream, it has become even more critical for our software to make efficient use of hardware resources.
For example, for efficient multiprocessing we try and optimize all the code paths that are used in asynchronously mixing audio. The goal is to present a multi core machine with even and distributed workloads allowing the cores to work as hard as possible. To do this, we streamline the relevant code and minimize all high latency instructions.
Some typical areas that we try and improve our performance in are:
• Multi-processor load scaling: How well does a controlled test project load across multiple CPU cores?
• 64 bit performance: How well does the 64 bit version of the application perform with multiple workloads?
• CPU use: How efficiently does SONAR play back a CPU intensive project?
• High bandwidth tests: How well does the application perform while streaming audio at high sample rates (192K, 384K, etc) and bit depths (64 bit audio, etc)?
• Low latency performance: How well does the application perform streaming audio with very small audio buffer sizes (such as 1 msec buffers)?
One of our heroes here at Cakewalk passed away today. Les Paul the original guitar hero, namesake of arguably the most popular guitar of all time, and the innovator of multitrack recording, succumbed to complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital. Les was 94.
In 2005, I had the distinct honor of dining with Les Paul at the TEC Awards banquet. Cakewalk had been working with Gibson on the launch of the Digital Les Paul, which included a copy of SONAR Producer, and Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s CEO asked me to join him and Les for dinner. I was so psyched to meet Les, being both a guitar player and someone involved in the art of recording, he represented a double inspiration to me. And getting to sit with Les for a few hours and listen to him casually talk about all sorts of topics ranging from guitar, to recording, to women (yes he was quite flirt, even as an nonagenarian…the ladies at the table will agree) I was on cloud nine. I count that evening as one of the highlights of my career, and I feel so lucky to have experienced it before Les passed on.
Les, we owe it all to you. Beyond pioneering multitrack recording, you had the vision to introduce the world to overdubbing, phasing, delay effects, and more. And where would Eddie Van Halen, Slash, or Eric Johnson be without the techniques you introduced on the guitar.
There have been so many great songs, and countless listeners, that have benefitted from the sonic advances that you brought to the table. Thank you for everything…you will be missed.
Well Day 3 came upon us quite quickly. So much has happened in the last couple of days. This was the last day of the retailer part of the show. Tomorrow is the public day, where Musikmesse is open to the public.
Remember that I mentioned our European counterparts rocked out a bit more during their product demonstrations? I found some evidence online today as I was typing this. MusicRadar shot some video on their handycam of one of their pre-demo performances in our booth. Sorry for the audio quality, but it was shot from the show floor. Edirol did some professional filming with audio from the board and we’ll get those online soon. For now, here’s a taste of ‘Rockstar’:
*Video edited on 4/8/09*
We had a second meeting with more of our new distribution partners. Brandon, Robin and I welcomed them to the Cakewalk family giving them an introduction to our product line and our marketing resources. This second group was just as enthusiastic as the first and I am very excited to have such strong representation in so many new areas of the world.
Pictured here with Greg Hendershott of Cakewalk are Kwan-Ki Min of Cosmos Corporation (Korea), David Leo of PT. Citra Intirama (Indonesia), Frank K.T. Lee of Tom Lee Music (Hong Kong), Pham Van Kim of Viet Thuong (Vietnam), Ali Sungurlu and Mehlih Aytug of Zuhal Dis Tic (Turkey), and Kittipong Techayuenyong of Theera Music (Thailand).
Later in the day, Gina Garda and I had a meeting with our new strategic marketing contact at Intel, Kimia Poursaleh. In case you missed it, Intel is currently running a big feature on Cakewalk and SONAR on their new Content Creation microsite. It was a real pleasure to finally meet Kimia in person.
As the day ended, the entire Cakewalk and Edirol crew along with some key people from Roland Japan set out for a traditional German dinner at Alt-Oberurseler Brauhaus to celebrate our successes at the show. The food and beer was amazing (maybe the beer was too amazing) but was even better, was having everyone together for a celebration. Here are a few pictures highlighting the evening’s festivities:
The taxis start to arrive and our friends gather outside the Brauhaus.
Robin, Brandon and Michael make their best attempt at a band photo.
Michael Hoover of Cakewalk and Simon Lowther of Edirol Europe.
Robin and I enjoy a couple of the Brauhaus’s finest.
Cakewalk’s Gina Garda and Roland’s Masahiro Minowa get ready to enjoy a good meal.
Despite the fact that I’m a vegetarian, I can’t miss a good photo opp.
Roland’s Managing Director Mr. Kondo gave a rousing toast. He’s flanked by Edirol Europe’s Managing Director Massimo Barbini and Cakewalk’s Founder and CEO Greg Hendershott. Phil Palmer and Dan the VJ look on.
As the night wore on, much hilarity ensued. I suppose you had to be there, but I can tell you that we got a special visit from the pretzel man!
That’s it for now, tomorrow is the BIG public day.
Day 2 of Musikmesse started out real well. I opened up the tradeshow daily to see that we had gotten a write-up on page 2 about the fact that the V-Studio console was going to be available to SONAR 8 customers as a stand alone control surface.
I think one important point that was missing from the article, and I couldn’t expect it be written there, was that this is another example of Cakewalk listening to our customers. Some SONAR 8 users told us that they have spent quite a bit of money on their I/O and that you really only need the best control surface possible for SONAR.
We listened, and with just a little bit of work on our part, we will now be able to give them what they asked for, starting this summer. I still personally feel that if anyone had the full experienceof using the entire SONAR V-Studio 700 system together with the I/O and Fantom Synth, they would rethink their decision to only buy the console, but I guess I’m biased.
I kept reading the daily and I also found this nice photo of Ben Klempel and Massimo Barbini posing with the V-Studio 100. Massimo is the Managing Director of Edirol Europe, our distributor in Europe, and a really inspiring guy… I’m gald he’s on our side.
Brandon of course, was in his usual form, knocking out the crowds with his V-Studio 700 Demos.
There’s another good video from the show online. In this video, which should play after an ad, Sonic State interviews Julian from Edirol Europe about the V-Studio 100 and the VS 700C.
Also, the video I wrote about in the blog a couple of days ago, that Craig Anderton shot is now available online at Harmony Central.
When you get to the page, click on ‘Preview Video’ to watch Craig’s pre-show coverage. Alex, Steve, Brandon and I stage a mock argument about what’s important about the V-Studio 100 at around 4:20. You might get a laugh from it.
Ok… I can’t contain myself so we’re going to have blog dessert first and jump right to the end of the day. SONAR V-Studio 700 won the MIPA award for Best Recording Hardware!
If you’re not aware of what the MIPA is or what it means to Cakewalk, just imagine that you won a Grammy award. Over 100 music products magazines worldwide come together each year to vote on what they feel are the best and most innovative products of the last year. So it is such a incredible honor that SONAR V-Studio 700 was selected for this!
Greg Hendershott, Cakewalk’s Founder and CEO and Mr. Kimitaka Kondo Managing Director of Roland Corporation were hand to accept the award.
I’ve uploaded a video clip from the event of our winning the award and Greg and Mr. Kondo’s speech:
The stage was filled with many happy people, as they called up the winners of all categories.
Charly Steinberg won a Lifetime Achievement award tonight for his work over the years to move music technology forward. It was a moment of sheer transcendence for me to see Greg and Charly together. Cakewalk won a MIPA tonight in a category that beat out Steinberg’s latest offering, and Charly the founder of that same competitor was honored for his life’s work.
Despite how fiercely we have competed over the years, the two of them greeted each other like old friends and had a genuine, warm moment congratulating each other. It really reminded me that we’re all in it for the same reason… to make music and to help people make music. And maybe we shouldn’t forget that are competitors are just like us in that regard. In alot of ways, they help us make better products for you, because we have to continue to innovate to stay competitive with each other.
Anyway enough of the philosophical ramblings. Here’s another photo from the evening, it features some of my favorite people, members of the Cakewalk and Roland team.
From left to right: Masahiro Minowa, Michael Hoover, Robin Kelly, Koichi Mizumoto, Greg Hendershott, Alex Westner, Carl Jacobson (me), Steve Thomas and Brandon Ryan.
Those are genuine smiles you’re seeing in this picture. This team and many other people back in the offices of Cakewalk and Roland, put in a tremendous effort over the last couple years to make SONAR V-Studio 700. To be recognized with a MIPA for that work, really made it all worthwhile.
Well, I need to run to a meeting. Part 2 of Day 2 will be coming soon.
Well, it was such a good first day of the show, i’m not really sure where to begin. I guess starting at the beginning of the day is a good place.
Things started to look good first thing in the morning when I received the Messe Show Daily, and saw that the editors had decided that SONAR V-Studio 100 was one of the hottest announcements at the show and it deserved front cover placement on day 1.
Alex Westner, Cakewalk’s Director of Product Management is pictured here with the Show Daily…
The show floor was humming with excitement. Our European Distributors Edirol Europe did a great job with the booth. And they take a more rock & roll approach to our produce demos than we usually do in the states.
They hired an amazing group to do SONAR V-Studio 100 product demonstrations that showed how a band would usually use the product. I thought their demos were a lot of fun. Chris is here explaining to the audience the benefits of having an audio interface, daw controller, digital mixer, and SD Wave recorder all in one compact device.
I imagine it looked something like this.
But the audience clearly enjoyed themselves.
Craig Anderton, came by and shot a very entertaining product video with Alex, Brandon Ryan, Steve Thomas, and myself about the SONAR V-Studio 100, I don’t want to give any spoilers, but keep an eye out on Harmony Central for the video.
MusicRadar.tv also came by to get the scoop on the V-Studio 100. They interviewed Alex and the video is already online. You can check it out below.
Not sure if you saw the announcement yesterday, but we have extended our distribution into a bunch of new markets. I got to meet some of the new distributors today and talk to them about our products and our marketing. They were really a great group of people and I think we’re mutually very enthusiastic about working together.
Greg, Brandon, and Robin are pictured here with our new friends Subhash Khandelwal of Rivera Digitec (Mumbai, India), Roy Viljoen of Paul Bothner Music (South Africa), Magdey El Bouhy of ADawliah (Saudi Arabia), George Triantafillou and Nikos Stamoulis of Venediktos Stollas (Greece), and Ron Nevo and Ilan Murad of Halilit (Israel).
Steve, Alex, and I then attended the Lesser Awards Ceremony put on by PPVMEDIEN, one of the biggest publishers of music magazines in Europe. Two years ago, Kinetic won the Lesser Award for Das Bestes Groove Tool and SONAR 8 was nominated for an award this year. We didn’t win but it is always an honor to be nominated and we had a good time at the event.
One change for the Award Ceremony was that the Surf Rock band was replaced this year by the Justin Nova Band. I liked what I heard and expect good things from this group.
Well, quite a bit for day wouldn’t you say? I’m looking forward to see what tomorrow brings…
Carl Jacobson & Alex Westner (pictured and filmed above)