Submitted by thewhippinpost on Thu, 18/01/2007 - 16:41.

Just ran a quick comparison of the first few popular audio/midi editors that came to mind using Google Trends which shows what search-words are on the rise, or on the fall... a barometer of popularity, ya could say.

I punched-in: Cubase, Cakewalk, Ableton and Pro Tools. The results are listed below.


Cubase started from a high in early 2004 and has seemingly experienced a steady decline ever since apart from a few short-lived spikes; most notably in late 2004 when the news graph shows that Steinberg announced an update to Cubase SX 3.0.1

(I initially thought this result was quite odd so I performed other searches based around the [Cubase ] search-word to see if there was a correlation... and there is! The search trends for Cubase SX and VST pretty much match the same downward trend as above.)

Cakewalk shows an even more dramatic fall. It starts from a higher spike than Cubase at the start of 2004, but ends lower than it did in the last quarter of 2006!

(Still a bit sceptical, I ran another for Cakewalk SONAR Although there's been a more volatile ride, ithe graph shows a similar start and end-point as above.)


Ableton on average, has experienced a steady rise in search volume all through the timeline, reflecting its new-kid-on-the-block rise into the mind-share of electronic musicians.


Pro Tools does end at a slightly lower point than when the resultset began, but the trend-line itself is pretty much even when you look at the spikes it has seen. However, 2006 shows a fairly strong downward trend that is seemingly breaking-away from the rest of the line!


Heh! I wouldn't dare make conclusions on this... apart from the one I've missed out which shows another interesting picture:

Looking at all the trend-lines put together in one graph shows that Cubase still tops the popularity table, despite its downward spiral. Pro Tools is second but as for Cakewalk...!

Cakewalk began in second place, below Cubase in 2004. In 2005, Cakewalk slipped below Pro Tools. In the second quarter of last year (2006), Ableton broke above Cakewalk's line and has just about managed to remain in third position for the entire last quarter too!

This puts Cakewalk last! That's a mighty fall in two years so what's gone on there then?!

You can view all the trend results for cubase, cakewalk, pro tools, ableton in one graph

As I intimated at the start, it was just a few quick searches I slammed-in out of interest. Read into the results, as you will.

Interesting though huh?

Has anyone thought that

Has anyone thought that maybe searching in a browser for a specific title might mean that they are looking for updates for software that reflects software that needs to be fixed?

That's a good point Rob. If

That's a good point Rob.

If you look at the individual results (rather than the aggregated), it does give you any news that maybe attributed to a search spike, although it has to be said, there is plenty of news Google hasn't flagged.

I think we also should bear in mind that the results reflect a trend over time, whereas a search for a fix would account for the occassional spike?

You decide - As I said, I wouldn't like to draw a conclusive conclusion 'cos who knows how Google calculates this stuff anyway!

How about other software? I

How about other software?

I don't know about you, but I see Sony's Vegas and Acid (acquired from Sonic Foundry several years ago) more and more fit to take the role assumed by Cakewalk, Protools and Cubase. Seriously, Vegas is one of the fastest programs in terms of usability (wave-based only, for audio+midi Acid is better).

I've seen a number of top studios going to Vegas here (I live in Romaina) and I can tell you, working with Cakewalk and Cubase, their interface is rather odd, and you have to know A LOT of shortcuts to make your life easier, wich is not the case with Vegas.

Acid is another story, but still more intuitive then either the top dogs. It's of course my opinion, but still... I've seen and tried many aplications, but none seemed so quick to learn as Vegas.

My 2 cents...

2 cents well spent Mihai! (I

2 cents well spent Mihai! (I recognise that name from somewhere! Or is it coincidence?)

I'm going to be absolutely honest and admit I've never actually used Sony's Vegas so can't compare unfortunately.

I've used Acid though and do see your point.

When I reviewed Cubase SX 3 I did make some comparisons with Acid (some of which turned out to be a bit wrong in the end - though it was written from details known only at the time) as well as some other "rants".

I have never honestly found any music software interface to be the "ultimate" user-experience - Each has its own strengths IMO. I love Acid's way of "painting" samples continuously along tracks, for instance, and miss that ease-of-use in Cubase.

OTOH, Acid and Cubase are two different animals IMO: Acid is excellent for knocking-out quick tunes; Cubase for really getting intimate.

One thing I will say though - from having designed software myself - and that is: Simple is very hard to do!

I think the old adage comes into play: "It's so simple... if only I'd have thought of that!"

I use Acid exclusively to

I use Acid exclusively to compose songs and I disagree with your opinion "Acid is excellent for knocking-out quick tunes; Cubase for really getting intimate.". Possibly because I'm not a musician or trained in music theory I see Acid as a different type of compositional tool than most but you can make "intimate and interestingly wild" music especially when using vocals. Have a listen at Acidplanet and possibly you'll agree.


I don't disagree with you

I don't disagree with you FuzOnAcid - You can do some cool things in Acid, no doubt.

Like you say, it's a different type of compositional tool... as they all are.

You're leaving out Logic Pro

You're leaving out Logic Pro 7! I Think it's one of the top sequencers. When film and TV composers use it it has to be good! On the PC side, Sonar 6 is right up there with Logic 7. Don't forget Nuendo.