Ableton Acquires Cycling 74, Business As Usual?

Cycling 74 and Ableton have transformed the landscape for creative music makers since their respective inceptions. And with this acquisition their futures look set to become stronger and closer.  

In a surprise announcement today Cycling '74 have announced they have been acquired by Ableton. The move makes sense when you consider the makers of the DAW, Live, ubiquitous with all forms of contemporary electronic and other genres already work closely with the brainchilds behind Max MSP.

Indeed back in 2009 after 10 years of work, Cycling '74 released the first version of Max for Live. Since then Max for Live devices (instruments and effects) have become a way for developers and musicians and producers to extend the capabilities of probably the most popular DAW in the world today.

So, you might be wondering whether this means the end of Cycling '74 as we know it. On the contrary it appears that both Cycling '74 and Ableton will continue much in the vein that have been for the immiedate future. They will continue to operate independently of each other. Cycling '74 will continue to look after the Max community, "while we look for ways to collaborate and support each other". 

We're hoping this acquisition will eventually result in even closer integration with Max and Ableton Live.

Here's the complete news statement direct from David Zicarellii of Cycling '74:

"On behalf of my co-workers at Cycling ’74, I am pleased to share the news of our acquisition by our good friends at Ableton. Above all, the primary goal with this new partnership is continuity, which is probably not what you typically think when you hear about acquisitions. But this is not a typical acquisition. Cycling ’74 and Ableton have a long relationship going back to the very first years of both companies in the late 1990s. Over the years, I have come to appreciate that we both share the same obsession: the incredibly hard problem of creative workflow, or how can you use technology to make something out of nothing?

Making a dent in this problem requires both imagination and persistence. The obvious case in point is Max for Live. It wasn’t long after I saw the first demo of Ableton Live from Robert Henke that he told me how cool it would be if you could make Live devices with Max. From that glimmer of an idea, it would be ten years before we released the first version of Max for Live in 2009. This unlikely partnership not only added extensibility to Live, but it gave Max an important new dimension as well.

"While we share a long-term commitment to improving how artists can work with technology, we also recognize that each organization works a bit differently. For example, Cycling ’74 people work from home in many different places in the world, while most Ableton employees work in an office in Berlin. Therefore, Ableton and Cycling ’74 will continue to operate independently, while we look for ways to collaborate and support each other. Perhaps most importantly, all of your friends here (including me) will be working as usual to serve the Max community, just as we have for the past 19 years. This is in no way an “exit” for me but rather an opportunity for us to continue pursuing some very challenging and exciting work that I believe will have a major impact on the world."

Download the FREE AskAudio Chord & Scale Max for Live devices here.

Check out our Ableton Live / Max for Live training courses here.

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training pro... Read More

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