Behind the scenes with Man Made Music on The Drum's new super sonic branding

The Drum now has a unique audio signature to go alongside its sweeping rebrand.

As The Drum rolls out a new visual identity across its magazine, awards and website alongside the launch of our new Voice issue, it has also been imagining what The Drum sounds like. And so, thanks to strategic music and sound studio Man Made Music, we’ve now got our very own bespoke audio identity.

“There’s more to sonic branding than meets the ear,” said Joel Beckerman, the award-winning composer and producer who created The Drum’s bespoke audio identity. At Man Made Music’s studio in downtown New York, Beckerman and his team put musicians through their paces as they tried to get to the bottom of what The Drum sounds like. There were drums of all shapes and sizes, and even a recording of a carnyx, by one of only two people in the world who can play the thing (The Drum’s holding group is named after the ancient Celtic war horn that made such an eerie and intimidating noise it put the Romans off ever invading Scotland).

Having remained silent for 2,000 years until reconstructed by The Drum’s co-founder Nick Creed’s silversmith father, it’s an important part of our brand’s story and something Man Made was determined to include. Beckerman explains it is touches like these that differentiate sonic branding from a mere logo. “It’s not just something that shows up in an ad or on a device or a product – it goes a lot deeper. It’s about capturing the unique personality and emotion behind a brand.”

Beckerman, who wrote one of the best books ever on audio branding – Sonic Boom – has, since 1998, been working on clients such as NBC, AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Imax and HBO, his company scoring their brand experiences and creating unique audio identities for them. It’s not uncommon for such large brands to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on capturing the perfect sound, such is the importance of differentiating themselves with strong sonic brands. In an era of Alexa this is only set to become more prevalent.

In the video below, we take a look behind the scenes at Man Made Studios, and find out how Beckerman’s team created our sonic identity.

For more on voice technology, pick up a copy of The Drum's July issue where we find out how AI assistants are being utilised in sectors such as retail, charity, healthcare and education; discover how it is opening up the internet to older generations and the visually impaired; and ask what it means to be 'voice native'.

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