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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Goodbye Digidesign?

The word on the street is that Digidesign is going to be folded into Avid over the next few quarters.  Protools or any of the Digi products won't go away, just the Digidesign name.

Why would Avid do this to the now iconic company?  Stock price, of course.  Avid's stock was in the dumper long before our current economic woes.  By folding Digi into Avid and cutting the labor costs by having just one R&D department, one sales department, one accounting department, etc., Avid immediately makes a positive, if short term impression on their bottom line.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Protools users though.  What will happen to service?  What will happen to product development?  Will new products be primarily focused towards video?  Will they forget about those of us making music?

I remember when Sony's 3348 digital tape machine absolutely ruled the studio world.  If you didn't have one of these $150k machines, your studio had no chance of servicing serious music clients.  Then it seemed like overnight they were gone - relegated to the scrap heap of unwanted gear too expensive for the dumpster, but no longer needed on a session. Actually it was a period of six months when the 3348 world faded into the new Protools world, but it seemed a lot quicker at the time.  

I always thought that this could happen to Protools - used everywhere until it was gone in a blink of an eye.  Although I don't this scenario happening soon as I see no viable alternative on the horizon, folding Digi into Avid just might be the crack in the door that lets a competitor or new technology through.


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