Mystery solved: Cakewalk introduced the Dimension Pro synth for Mac and Windows simultaneously the week of AES.

A post on KVR Audio which appears to be from the Cakewalk beta team suggests that Cakewalk is looking for Mac OS X beta testers:

Cakewalk is looking for OSX Beta Testers [KVR Message Topic]

Cakewalk (aka 12 Tone Systems) is a long-time leading PC/Windows developer, since their founding in the late 1980s. Their early products were DOS-based, but all their flagship, in-house development has been PC-only. Products like Metro have occasionally brought them to the Mac (thanks to that commenter, yes, a fine product I remember well — er, aside from I forgot it), and, briefly, the cross-platform Overture notation software originally developed by Opcode. But they’ve never launched a major product for the Mac.

So, what’s happening on the Mac? If I knew, I’d be under NDA. Unfortunately, the only information I can share would therefore either have to be speculation — or wrong. And, wishful thinking aside, you probably won’t be running Project5 v2 on the Mac any time soon. More likely, as another reader points out, is the Z3TA+ waveshaping synth (pictured), inexplicably pronounced “zay-tah.” Cakewalk got distribution rights from rgc:audio, whose other great plugins have started showing up in products like SONAR. (And, having tried it on Windows, it’s good stuff.)

Huge news? Okay, maybe not. Big news? I still think so, especially if the Mac gets more terrific plugins. And while Cakewalk may not be plotting a Mac move, that doesn’t change the fact that they could. In fact, I’m one of those who thinks they should, if development costs aren’t too high. SONAR would be redundant on a platform that already has DP, Logic, Pro Tools, Live, and other DAWs, but Project5 v2 could be a logical jump. I think the reasons they’re not on the Mac could be more religious than economical — and that could keep them PC loyal for a long time to come. But that’s okay by me. I have to have some reason to keep the PC around.

By the way, on the subject of Metro, that sequencer is still alive:

Metro [Sagan Technology]

. . . Opcode notwithstanding, sometimes discontinued software gets a second lease on life. Now my memory is that Metro was originally not a Cakewalk product, that it’s something they bought (like Overture). Can anyone set me straight?

  • bennett

    I have fond memories of Cakewalk Metro, a decent Mac-only audio/midi sequencer. Metro 4 was my biggest-ever software purchase at the time (late '90s). Cakewalk sold it to Sagan a few years ago, but you still couldn't call them a long-time Windows-only developer…

  • Guest

    Keep in mind that Cakewalk also markets Z3TA+, a powerful and highly regarded soft-synth, and that the thread in question was in KVR's Instruments forum…

  • admin

    See, I learn more from the corrections to this site than I do from my own research.

    Now if I can just be wrong / misleading more often, er . . . hmmm.

    In all seriousness, I do remember Metro. And I think Z3TA+ is the strongest bet. Even if that doesn't change my opinion that they should make Project5 cross-platform. (notice, however, that Cakewalk has not appointed me to a leadership position, probably with good reason)

  • Guest

    Metro was the second software sequencer I ever used, after dipping my toe in via Opcode's craptacular Musicshop program.

    I liked Metro quite a bit over 1998-2000, although it didn't get on well with my midisport. I recall fondly it's rhythm explorer feature and its quantize templates, which were pretty damn useful. The offline effects were a drag, but I didn't know any better about that until I got involved with Cubase, itself a temporary stop on my way to Logic. Nice to know the program's still around. Wonder who uses it?


  • mute

    Metro was, indeed, something they bought from somebody else. I still have the old box at home somewhere.

    It was able to interface with Deck II (which wasn't developed by Macromedia, but was bought from OSC and rereleased) and synchronize Metro's MIDI with Deck II's audio. When Metro 3 (or whatever version it was) came out with integrated audio, I was terribly disappointed. Metro's built-in audio was a big step down from the combined Metro/Deck system. It was slow, took forever to render the waveforms (even on my relatively fast PowerMac 8600/300, upgraded with a 500MHz G3, 512MB RAM, and a good FWSCSI card and 10,000RPM drive for audio), and crashed a lot.

    I ended up sticking with Metro 2.5 and Deck II.

    Deck II was a great piece of software, too– inexpensive and (I thought) better than ProTools. It ran well on smallish Macs and produced results that sounded as good as anything out there. It was easy to use and very zippy.

    Here's some more info on that:

    Ah ha, and here's where Cakewalk bought Metro from JS Technologies:

    Post-buyout, neither piece of software held up well under major corporate featuritis…

  • Guest

    Perhaps Cakewalk could recycle this statement from the Harmony Central page cited above.

    "What this means to professional and amateur musicians is that Cakewalk is committed to providing platform independence. No matter what a customer's preferred platform, Cakewalk will provide the tools they need," said Tom Cook, president of Cakewalk Music Software.

    "Cakewalk's company philosophy has always been to provide the most powerful, usable, and affordable music software solutions to the broadest range of customers. So our movement into the Mac marketplace is a logical extension of this philosophy: now we can offer solutions to customers across platforms."


  • mclaren

    What this most likely means is that the ongoing trainwreck called Microsoft Vist is starting to hurl shockwaves through all parts of the computer industry. If Ballmer & company don't change course, I will have no choice but to switch to either the Mac or linux when my current hardware burns out. And hard drives & motherboards don't last forever, you know. They do die on you. And what's worse, the faster the CPU and the bigger the hard drive, the more heat they generate, so the faster they tend to fry & die.