Manchester-based audio design business, 344 Audio, was founded by Alex Gregson, an entrepreneur who has been crafting sound and music for almost 10 years.
Although the business sits in a highly niche sector, its reputation in the UK and overseas is growing rapidly.
344 Audio works with industry leading content creators including Nas Vitae, Director of the new British film, Road, which is due to be released via cinema distribution in multiple countries.
When he graduated with a BSc in Sound Engineering and Design from SSR Manchester – an industry-specific education provider that can name-drop The Smiths, The Stone Roses and New Order as alumni − Alex followed his life-long passion for professional sound production to establish 344 Audio.
“Once I formed 344 Audio, I was the hungry to scale the business quickly beyond working as an independent artist,” explains Alex. “I wanted to have more clients, more work and build up to the opening of my own studio facility.
With support from one of the Hub’s digital specialists, Neil McCluskey, 344 Audio has developed a product called PLUS+ which enables clients to exchange important information on their projects and also find reliable industry contacts.
“As a new start up in a highly competitive niche sector like audio production it was extremely important that Alex position himself as a skilled innovator within the sector,” explain Neil. “I helped Alex understand this and made sure that an effective social media structure was in place before he began to market the business.”
“I used my hands-on understanding of the sector to provide advice around market positioning and market segmentation, social media, business planning frameworks, value proposition and effective client engagement,” explains Neil. “Together we identified new layers of value for the business, including an Extranet feature of the 344 Audio website.”
Alex has adopted a refreshingly positive approach to his business, making innovation the priority over competition, which was the thinking behind the feature PLUS+ on his website.
Alex explains: “It has added value to my business that my clients notice – they’re instantly connected with my trusted contacts, as well as receiving loyalty discounts on industry products, such as high-end camera rental.
“Another great feature added is the private project pages; clients can access their work, use a feedback box to assess it, and view a progress bar to show our milestones.
“The response has been great and clients have said 'it definitely feels like more of a service now' while Neil's support also allowed me to gain a more varied social media following by leveraging thought-leadership.”
This unique approach has helped further cement 344 Audio as one of the UK’s leading audio design businesses, one that’s always willing to go the extra mile, bringing creativity and excellence to all audio projects.
Alex continues to work with a number of dynamic new film makers across the UK and beyond.
Alex explains: “We’re currently working with Jack Spring, one of the world's youngest filmmakers to secure a six-figure film budget, on a Yorkshire-based project, Destination: Dewsbury.
“We’re also working with Chris Keller, who is part of the visual effects department on films like Captain America, Avengers and The Hunger Games.
While we have just completed a film, Strays, for Channel 4's Random Acts scheme, with an eclectic northern filmmaker, Aaron Dunleavy, who’s making waves in the indie film scene right now.”
Alex has also recently started working in a high-level Audio Tutor role at SSR Manchester alongside running 344 Audio.
Alex says: “It means a lot to be able to teach at SSR − I get to engage with new talent, keep at the forefront of technology and create a cycle of learning for both the students, and myself, that is industry-focussed.
“It still feels like home from my studies, and the employees are all positive, forward-thinking sound and education professionals.”