Following the acquisition of Emagic by Apple earlier this year, US-based Pinnacle Systems has acquired Steinberg Media Technologies in a deal worth $24 million. Pinnacle was founded in 1986, has its headquarters in Mountain View, California and specializes in high-end video software and hardware. Steinberg is its third German acquisition in the last two years: it acquired a Dortmund-based company VOB Computersysteme, which produces DVD writing software in October, and video editing company FAST Multimedia, which operates out of Munich, last year.
Apple discontinued further development of the Windows version of Emagic Logic in September, but will continue to issue bugfixes and honor support contracts.
Steinberg's Cubase created the industry standard for sequencing software, and the purchase means that two of Germany's leadership software companies are now owned by US corporations.
The affinity between Germany's musicians and their machines is deeper than a simple pride in engineering. In 1975, Kraftwerk founder and Ralf Hutter (a Cubase user) told Lester Bangs:-
"After the war, German entertainment was destroyed. The German people were robbed of their culture, putting an American head on it. I think we are the first generation born after the war to shake this off, and know where to feel American music and where to feel ourselves."
"We are the first German group to record in our own language, use our electronic background, and create a Central European identity for ourselves."
Adding, in what in your humble correspondent's opinion is one of the finest quotes by any contemporary musician:-
"We are not aiming so much for the music; it's the psychological structure of someone like The Beach Boys," he explained.
There's much angst on the Cubase user boards, but writing in an unofficial capacity, a veteran Steinberg employee Cubase developer said that the assets of the company were the developers and the philosophy, and vowed that continuity would be honored. ®