KORD.Media is a growing presence on the Manchester post scene. Managed by Dan Piggott, formerly of Sumners and Blue Sky Audio, KORD.Media puts storytelling and a love of sound at the heart of their business.
Mediaspec: If you could sum up KORD.Media in two words, which words would you choose?
Dan: Oh, definitely ‘uninhibited’ and ‘storytelling’. We see ourselves as story enhancers who elevate stories through sound. In order to tell a story that touches, engages or impacts on people, you have to embrace sound and all its nuances and depths and its amazing possibilities, and we choose to work in a way that maximises creative potential.
Mediaspec: And yet at the heart of all creativity is technology and all the problems and complexities that come with it. How do you balance the two?
Dan: Contemporary post can’t escape from technology. It’s underpins everything we do. The key is to see technology as the set of tools to help bring the story to life and to stretch your imagination.
Mediaspec: What's the most satisfying thing for you about being a dubbing engineer? Is it the creativity or having to tame technology?
Dan: The creative side is satisfying, of course. Obviously the most rewarding jobs are those that have the most creative aspects to them – either being asked to create new sounds or being asked to heighten emotion. That's not to say that cleaning up poorly recorded dialogue isn't without reward too! Stretching technology to achieve your goal is definitely satisfying.
But there’s also the satisfaction of collaboration and all the surprises that come out of it. ADR sessions, VO recordings, sign-offs – all can be a lot of fun as these are the times when you get to see how other people's minds work, with the end result usually being a combination of everyone's input.
In fact, what I like most about audio post is that your job is to help other creative folk elevate their projects by adding the thing that you love: amazing and effective sound.
But I'm actually most proud of the studio as it represents a culmination of everything I've learnt about the job so far. I've been able to take a lot of great ideas I've picked up throughout my time in the industry and turn them into something very special and unique.
Mediaspec: Tell us more about the studio.
Dan: Well, we’re based in Manchester city centre and we have a dubbing theatre, voice over booth and sound design suite. The Atmos-capable dubbing theatre is based around an Avid S3 control surface and Genelec 7.1.4 monitoring. We think it’s the perfect environment for creativity and efficient working. Pro Tools Ultimate software is complemented by plug-ins from manufacturers such as Waves, Neugen, Audioease, iZotope, Source Elements, and Native Instruments, which enable the very best in audio processing and creative sound design.
Mediaspec: What was the vision you had when you started KORD.Media?
Dan: We see ourselves as a unique presence and service in the industry at the moment. KORD.Media concentrates solely on sound, enabling us to support a much wider range of clients. We understand how to use sound to tell help tell a story, and more importantly, we know how to use client resources most efficiently and effectively to get the job done. To support a wide range of clients, it helps that my career as a dubbing mixer has seen me work on primetime network drama and documentary, animation, and short form for big name brands, so I feel really lucky that I have not been pigeonholed into one genre – especially when you quickly discover that the resources and skills you acquire working in one area of audio post can be very effective in another.
Mediaspec: How has your relationship with Mediaspec helped you to achieve your goals?
Dan: I first heard about Mediaspec when I worked at Sumners. They have the best reputation for looking after their clients, big or small. Over the past few years I’ve purchased Avid Pro Tools systems, Focusrite interfaces, Genelecs, microphones etc. With KORD.Media I was keen to use Dante in the studio and Mediaspec took the time to discuss the options with me. They're always friendly to deal with and accommodating. I receive genuine enthusiasm and interest when discussing the purpose of any purchase. I always feel I’m in safe hands and will get the right support, advice and kit to do the job.
Mediaspec: And the future for KORD.Media? What do you hope it will bring to you and the company?
Dan: I’d like to see a growing awareness of what we’re trying to achieve with KORD.Media, and to build its reputation for great sound design and creative mixing. Clients want you to care about their work as much as they do. That’s our commitment to them: to use the best technology, effectively and efficiently, to tell stories in the best way possible, where we’ve put our love of sound into every aspect of the work.