We had the good fortune of connecting with David Packouz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what do you attribute your success to?
Creative empathy. At Singular Sound, we create groundbreaking new products that musicians love because as musicians ourselves, we know the challenges musicians face. We feel the passions and frustrations that musicians feel. That experience as musicians drives us to create things that we ourselves want to play with — if we can’t wait to jam out with it, we know we have another hit product. But we do not just use our creative empathy in the product creation process, we use it in all aspects of our business. After we release a product we listen carefully to how our customers react to it (we have a VERY active forum) and take their suggestions and complaints very seriously. We are one of the few music technology companies that actively update our products based on customer feedback, and the customers notice and appreciate it. That’s why I believe that creative empathy has been the most important factor of our success.
What should our readers know about your business?
Singular Sound is focused on creating products that musicians wish existed. We have created several best selling, award-winning music technology products that are loved by everyone from music students to megastars. But it started in an unusual way. In 2011, I was at a crossroads in my life. My previous business had failed in a spectacular fashion. So spectacular, there was a Hollywood movie made about it called “War Dogs” (Miles Teller plays me). I was a 25-year-old international arms dealer and I got into some serious legal trouble and got sentenced to 7 months of house arrest (it’s a long story… watch the movie, it’s good). I was spending my time playing guitar and wish I had a drummer to play with. Music loses a lot of energy without a beat. I bought a drum machine (a tabletop electronic beat composition device) to have a beat to play along to. But whenever I wanted to change the beat during a song, like when going from a verse to a chorus, I’d have to stop playing my guitar, press a button on the drum machine and then go back to playing my guitar. It broke the rhythm. I thought, “I need a drum machine that I can operate hands-free, like a guitar pedal.” I searched online to buy one, but nobody made it. I asked my musician friends if they’d heard of something like this, and nobody did, though they all wanted one too. Nobody had even patented the idea. I couldn’t believe it. I called it the BeatBuddy. I applied for a patent and started googling about how to develop an electronic product. I found quite a few Electrical Engineering firms that promised to build a product “from sketch to manufacturing”, but there was no way to tell who was good. After making the classic rookie mistake of going with the cheapest option (all I got was a 9 month delay), I decided to go with the company that seemed the most competent. So I chose the proposal that was most detailed, with a complete step by step plan to build the BeatBuddy. They weren’t the most expensive either. But it was more money than I had. All of my arms dealing money had gone to the lawyers to keep me out of prison. Luckily, the lead engineer was a drummer who didn’t have time to play with his musician friends. He knew the BeatBuddy was going to be a hit. So he offered me an incredible deal: For a “small” down payment (which happened to equal my life savings at the time), they would build the BeatBuddy so I could use the prototype to launch a crowdfunding campaign. That campaign would raise the rest of the money I needed to pay the engineers and start manufacturing. If the campaign didn’t raise the money, the engineering firm would do the manufacturing for me and take a percentage of the profits. I took the deal. In 2014, we launched the BeatBuddy. The crowdfunding campaign raised $350k, a world record for a musical product, and Singular Sound was born. Since then, more than 80,000 musicians have jammed with a BeatBuddy and it has received the music industry’s most prestigious awards, including the National Association of Music Merchants “Best in Show” Award, Guitar World “Platinum Award” and inducted into the Guitar Player “Hall of Fame”. We are now a 14 person strong team of passionate musicians and engineers dreaming up the next greatest musical innovation. We have come out with 7 additional products and have many more in the works. Check out our creations at singularsound.com
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuming a post-pandemic world… Day 1: Get up early and go to Key Biscayne for a sunrise flight on my Paramotor personal aircraft to see Miami from the air! Stop by Jimmy’z Kitchen in south beach for an excellent sandwich for lunch Visit the World Erotic Art Museum in South Beach Stroll down Lincoln Road to see the various shops and art galleries Dinner at Doraku for excellent sushi Drinks at Nikki Beach Day 2: Drive out to the Everglades for an airboat ride and alligator sightseeing Afternoon at the Miami Zoo Dinner at Cevi.che 105 Drinks at Sugar Day 3: Morning at Fairchild Tropical Gardens Afternoon at the Perez Art Museum Dinner at The Knife in Bayfront Bar hopping in Bayfront Day 4: Morning at Vizcaya Afternoon at the Frost Science Museum Dinner at Jar + Fork Miami Drinks at E11ven Day 5: Drive down to Key Largo for all-day scuba and snorkel Dinner at Andiamo’s Pizza for incredible gourmet slices Call it an early night since we’ll be exhausted Day 6: Get a no-tan-line tan at the Haulover nudist beach Visit the Russian & Turkish Baths for some serious spa Dinner at the Beach Bar on the Sunny Isles Pier for a beautiful view Drinks at the Roots Miami Kava Bar for some live music Day 7: Morning Kayaking or mountain bike trails in Oleta Park Afternoon art gallery hopping in Wynwood Dinner and drinks at Lagniappe for amazing live jazz
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Singular Sound is family business and I could not have built it without the help of my three brothers. Eli, our Chief Operating Officer, is a master of organization and efficiency and keeps my artistic meanderings in line. Hizky, our Chief Financial Officer is a penny-pinching genius who never misses an opportunity to save money and keeps us financially healthy and the business viable. Jay, our VP of Customer Experience is a brilliant handler of personalities with the incredible skill of turning our fiercest critics into our most passionate evangelists. All of our staff are incredible, but my three brothers were there with me from the beginning through thick and thin and therefore deserve a special shoutout.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.