Brad Pierce Interview (StarFleet Audio)
Brad Pierce, Owner of StarFleet Audio, Located in Whitinsville, Ma
Each month, I.BSound Pro will interview a different local business owner to feature in our newsletter. This month we chose to interview Brad Pierce, owner of Starfleet Audio LLC, located in Whitinsville, Ma. Enjoy!
How did you get started in this business?
I was playing and taking organ/piano lessons in my teens. I think it was listening to music and wanting to record myself and the band. We used to write a lot of jazz rock stuff like the Brecker Brox., Santana, ELP, Tower of Power. I first bought a cassette deck in my teens. My buddy, Peter Premo, who plays drums had one too. We used to hook them up together and do sound on sound recordings. When I think back to those days, it must of sounded so bad with such primal gear. But we had a blast writing and recording all kinds of crazy material. As I grew with going to music school and learning about recording technology, I eventually wound up with a Tascam 24 track 1 inch in the late 80's. Working my way up to the impressive Digidesign 442 DAW in 1989. It was cutting edge, but boy did we ever pull our hair out as it had many bugs! What is your background? Education, Work Experience.
I'm a musician, my principle instrument is piano. I studied Electronic Music Synthesis at Berklee. I've also been teaching jazz piano for years. Played in many bands in the area. Now I run a recording studio called StarFleet Audio LLC in Whitinsville. The studio was also located down on Foster St. in the late 90's. I've worked with so many different people through the years. I've met some really talented people in the music industry and I'm grateful for that.
How long have you been in business?
I started out shortly after graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1982. I first had an Akai 1/4 track 4 track reel to reel deck. I purchased it from my friend, Brian Barlow, at his stereo hifi shop in Worcester.
Being in this business for so long, what are some of the differences in newer music you see as a studio engineer?
It's really the tools used, so precise, so in depth. Composition wise, I think the same has been going on for a while. Only with newer sounds and technology it pushes the sound of things into a more modern sound. You can now do a lot more with programming etc.. It really boils down to a great song, great talent, great room, great tools, great engineer. that will define things... The first 3 are the most important. And of course the last glues it together.
Do you work with all genres of music?
I do generally work in many types of music, spoken word, live recording events. My passion is jazz, rock, classical, electronic. I'm not crazy about country, but i do have much respect for the session players as they are usually top notch players.
Tell us something about you that you think is interesting.
One of the most interesting things was shared with me by my piano teacher, Dick Odgren. It was a website that showed the size of the
universe in a very compelling way.
What are the biggest issues with running this business?
Having people find out about you. I've always been a tech head, but the marketing thing is a lot tougher for me.
What was the last movie you went to see? How was it?
I went to see "American Sniper" with my wife. It was incredible. I have so much respect and gratitude for our armed forces.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Lot's of green stuff, my wife and daughter eat a lot of fruits and veggies. I tend to like meat and potatoes, but will eat just about anything that's in there.
Describe the color yellow to somebody who's blind.
It's kind of like a D major triad, 2 octaves above middle C
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
My family, (unless they didn't have to go), some beer, and a genie.