Episode 30: Ben O’Brien Smith of Sounds Like A Drum and Cadence Independent Media

This episode’s guest is a fellow purveyor of new digital media for drummers. While last week’s episode featured Daniel from The Drum Heads Podcast, who’s been using audio to inform drummers since 2014, today’s guest is using different medium in a new way, that I think listeners of our show are going to love. Special thanks to Showroom guest, Toby Goodman, for suggesting this interview.

Many words have been written about how to play faster, or how to incorporate get more creative in 19/16. But not that much has been done on the topic on tone for drummers. How to reliably create the exact sound you’re after.

Ben O’Brien Smith started his career with nearly a decade at D’Addario working on Evans drumhead projects like Black Chrome and Level 360, as well as the company’s integration and modernization of its Pro Mark drumsticks acquisition.


13 months ago, Ben departed his post to focus full time on building his social media creative firm, Cadence Independent Media. He already has an impressive stable of music clients. And his latest project, Sounds Like a Drum, is the YouTube channel Drum Showroom listeners have been waiting for!

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 8.50.16 PM.pngIn this episode:

  • What is Sounds Like A Drum?
  • Ben’s background: Classical Percussion at Crane School of Music along with radio, booking bands, and more
  • Working at D’Addario, parent company of Evans drumheads, Pro Mark drumsticks, and Puresound snare wires
  • D’Addario culture of investing in and turning around brands
  • Evans rebirth and innovation leadership
  • Bob Gatzen‘s mark on the industry
  • Evans Black Chrome and two-ply-head nerdy details!!!
  • Level 360, making it easier to tune on more drums, faster
  • The New Coke parable
  • Acquisition and integration of Pro Mark drumsticks
  • Pro Mark manufacturing updates
  • Making his move: planning, preparing, building a portfolio before jumping
  • Starting Cadence Independent Media and fun clients
  • Sounds Like a Drum: predictably get the sounds you want
  • Ben’s partner in SLAD, Cody Rahn, the “blue collar professional drummer”
  • How to watch SLAD
  • Kentville ethically sourced kangaroo-hide heads
  • Keplinger drums, percussion, and cymbals

You can learn more about Sounds Like a Drum at their Instagram, and watch full videos and subscribe at their YouTube channel. And you can check out Ben’s firm, Cadence Independent Media and learn about the rest of his work.

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 8.52.14 PM.pngListen to Drum Showroom Episode 30 here, and please subscribe and leave a review if you like what we’re doing. It would really mean a lot.

Listen and Subscribe on:
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Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Soundcloud | RadioPublic

That does it for Season Two of Drum Showroom! We’ve had a great season and hope you’ve enjoyed our focus on raising the production value of the show over the course of its run.

I want to thank our Season Two guests:

We’re going to be taking a break, but while we won’t be producing shows, we will be publishing articles from Rich Carlson, Brandon Paluzzi, and other members of the Drum Showroom production team at drumshowroom.com. Nate Testa will continue to share tips and tricks in our Instagram posts, and highlighting interesting new gear in our Instagram Stories.

And as we’ve been mentioning in recent episodes, we’re building our network of creative professionals to help other podcasters with their productions, marketing, and support needs. If you are a creative professional with audio, graphic, writing, or other podcast-supporting skills and you’d like to pick up paid work, please talk to us!

And, if you are a podcaster seeking to reduce your time spent per episode on post-production, OR if you’d like to start a podcast, we’d love to help you.

The Drum Showroom team includes Ben Etter, Stephen Bennett, Eric Stolz, Nate Testa, Dan Gurin, Heather Croteau, Andy Jordan, Rich Carlson, Brandon Paluzzi, and me, Dan Radin. On behalf of all of us, thank you so much for listening to this season of Drum Showroom, from Podcraft. We’ll see you in late June with the start of Season Three. Talk to you soon, thanks everybody!

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