Our team of world-class audio and studio professionals has performed and worked with hundreds of top artists, studios and music industry companies. Their bios speak for themselves.Richard Fisher
Founder and CEO
Dustone, LLC was founded in May of 2011, but the inspiration began on an outdoor stage Richard and a few close friends built on the edge of a meadow on the back side of Mt. Saint Helena for a spring equinox gathering in 1993. The stage was powered by a 100 year old Pelton water wheel charging a bank of golf cart batteries. Blending environmental understanding, music and family are a tradition that resonates as deeply as the musical wave we ride. It was on this stage that the idea of stream-of-consciousness improvisations as a song writing vehicle became a reality and Richard’s musical direction was changed forever.
Throughout the 1990’s, Richard honed his skills as a sound engineer both in the studio and concert stages all across the world. The work helped raise his son, Joshua Miles, who was born in 1995. When off the road, the musical improvisations would continue at his home base, Studio E, in Sebastopol, California.
In the summer of 2002, the Dustone collective of musicians and engineers was formed and the core members continued to make music throughout the rest of the decade when time allowed.
"It has been an 18 year journey that has finally found wings with the launch of Dustone, LLC. We now have a home base in the hills overlooking the Sonoma Valley and are continuing to ride the wave of music and celebration."
Richard is an experienced musician/guitarist, audio engineer, and computer audio technologist with a deep background in guitar processing, sound design, and live as well as studio sound engineering.
Richard has toured internationally and nationally as instrument and audio technician, front of house, monitor and recording engineer with Money Mark of the Beastie Boys, Booker T Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, Vinyl with Bernie Worrell, Nightranger, Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, The String Cheese Incident, Joan Jett, and Sean Lennon.
In 1999 Richard was Executive Director of Audio Visual Production at the Woodshed Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, supervising both live recordings of in-house studio concerts as well as developing television shows such as programs for children as well as live filmed concerts from the Gibson Café and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
From 2001 to 2003, Richard supervised completion of In the Pocket Studios, a multi-million dollar recording studio in Forestville, California, managed the studio, was chief engineer for all in house recording projects, and supervised three Tom Waits recordings at this studio.
Richard was the Chief Audio Engineer and Sound Designer for Mickey Hart’s (Grateful Dead) production company from 2003 to 2006 and engineered the 2009 Grammy Award winning Global Drum Project album featuring Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain. During this time Richard oversaw maintenance and upkeep of Mickey Hart’s studio and performance technology including RAMU (Random Access Musical Universe), Beam, drum kit, percussion, analog and digital console, and signal processing technology. Richard created sound design for The Rhythm Devils segment of the 2004 Dead Tour as well as for Mickey Hart’s Hydra tour and the 2006 Rhythm Devils tour.
Arthur Kelm is the Director of Engineering for the legendary Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA, and the CEO of Ground One, a consulting firm that addresses the specific power and grounding requirements of professional recording facilities and high end home installations. His list of clients reads like a who's who of the entertainment industry, including Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Bob Weir, Don Henley and more. He has been Director of Engineering for Record One, The Complex, Record Plant Studios, Skywalker Sound and consultant for Walt Disney Imagineering.
After making several laps of the US in a couple of vans, the 10,000 Maniacs arrived in Los Angeles to begin production on the record "In My Tribe" with producer Peter Asher and engineer George Massenburg. Originally intending to stay only a couple weeks as the sessions began, Paul's plans changed when he was offered a job at The Complex Studios in West L.A. as an assistant engineer to Mr. Massenburg and studio partner Greg Ladanyi. Paul also recorded and mixed the theme song for the Fox Television / David E. Kelley show Ally McBeal, featuring Vonda Shepard.
Oz Fritz has been a professional sound engineer for more than 25 years working in both recording studio and live concert environments. He has collaborated on over 60 projects with producer Bill Laswell that include L. Shankar, Material, Ginger Baker, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Sonny Sharrock, William S. Burroughs , Bob Marley, Icehouse and Yothu Yindi. Other studio credits include John Cale, Ornette Coleman, D.J. Disk, Digital Underground, Jungle Brothers, Golden Palominos, Information Society, Meat Loaf, and Rick Derringer.
In the last few years Oz has engineered releases by Paris Combo (went to #1 on the Billboard World Music charts), Wanda Jackson (featuring The Cramps, Elvis Costello and Dave Alvin), Tabla Beat Science featuring (Bill Laswell and Zakir Hussein), Oysterhead (Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland and Trey Anastasio from Phish), legendary Cuban pianist Pepecito Reyes, the Grammy award winning Mule Variations by Tom Waits, as well as Alice and Blood Money by Waits, Anti-Pop by Primus, and Wicked Grin by John Hammond (produced by Tom Waits). He also mixed songs for a VH1 Storyteller’s show by Waits, and recorded and mixed half of Monsters and Robots by Buckethead. He recorded Havana Mood and Imaginary Cuba in Havana and engineered a couple of tracks on the gold record Lado B Lado A by the Brazillian pop group O Rappa all with producer Bill Laswell.
Fritz has done many on-site field recordings around the world including the acclaimed Apocalypse Across The Sky by the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Recently he’s recorded and mixed several of the top musicians in Bamako, Mali for the maverick Kanaga System Krush label. Artists such as djembe master Abdoul Doumbia, The Bari Ensemble, Mady Keita and Lobi Traore. Oz also engineered Jali Kunda, a history of Griot music, spearheaded by Bill Laswell and Foday Musa Suso. Additional field recording locations include India and the Australian Outback. Oz has engineered in state-of-the-art recording studios in Tokyo, London, Paris, Madras, Sydney, Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles. and New York.
His live mixing credits (all front-of-house) include Tom Waits’ Mule Variations tour, Painkiller with Bill Laswell and John Zorn, Jack de Johnette, Material (Laswell, Foday Musa Suso and Ginger Baker), Third Rail (James Blood Ulmer, Bernie Worrell, Laswell and others), Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra and, most recently, Tabla Beat Science featuring Laswell, Zakir Hussein, Sultan Khan and Gigi.
Oz was also the chief engineer on the Flying Mijinko tour, a cultural exchange series of concerts sponsored by the Japanese government. This tour, put together by Akira Sakata and featuring Bill Laswell, Foday Suso, Anton Fier and many others, played throughout Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Japan. A double live cd documenting the trip was recorded and mixed by Fritz.
1990 Word Jonas Hellborg
1992 Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) Praxis
1994 Ambient Dub., Vol 2: Dead Slow Bill Laswell/ Jah Wobble/Divination
1994 Giant Robot Buckethead
1996 Day of the Robot Buckethead
1997 Transmutation Live Praxis
1999 Antipop Primus
1999 Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: The Anthology The Ramones
1999 Imaginary Cuba Bill Laswell
1999 Monsters and Robots (Bonus Track) Buckethead
2001 Grand Pecking Order Oysterhead
2001 Wicked Grin John Hammond Jr.
2002 Alice Tom Waits
2002 Alta Nova Elena Powell
2002 Blood Money Tom Waits
2002 Charged Life Bill Laswell
2002 Live in San Francisco at Stern Grove Tabla Beat Science
2003 Mule Variations Tom Waits
2003 Ready for Love John Hammond Jr.
Bob Bralove, a pianist and keyboardist, was the Grateful Dead’s MIDI wizard, producer (“Infrared Roses,” “Built to Last”) and co-writer of Gold and Platinum selling songs, including “Picasso Moon,” "Way to Go Home" and “Easy Answers,” the rare tunes "Parallelogram," "Little Nemo in Nightland," and other works on the Grateful Dead albums Infrared Roses and Built To Last.
In addition to his songwriting, producing, and MIDI programming activities for the Grateful Dead, Bralove is known for his performing and designing with the Grateful Dead and the avant-garde "Drums and Space" segments of their live shows with the Rhythm Devils. Through digital technology Bralove was able to make a guitar sound like a wind instrument. “If Jerry was playing the trumpet, that happened through my hands,” Bralove said.
Bralove was also a member and producer of the Psychedelic Keyboard Trio, along with former Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten and the late Vince Welnick, former keyboardist for the Grateful Dead and The Tubes.
Bob helped score the CBS remake of the television series “The Twilight Zone” and worked with Stevie Wonder for 8 years. Bralove was recruited by Stevie Wonder’s chief engineer to write software programs. “I started writing software to make his machine speak to him,” Bralove said. He evolved his skills in digital manipulation as Wonder’s sound designer and computer music director (“Woman in Red,” “In Square Circle”).
Bralove still performs music live in the U.S. and Japan in solo concerts and with Dose Hermanos and The Psychedelic Keyboard Trio and has an upcoming CD release with Henry Kaiser titled “Ultraviolet Licorice”.
Bob Bralove has a master’s degree in composition and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Wayne Peterson focusing on composing orchestral and chamber works.
John (Jay) Bills
John (Jay) Bills is an enthusiast on many levels. In particular, music has shaped his life throughout while his playing has been primarily recreational. His passion for adventure and experiences is truly balanced with his foundation in business management, marketing, partnerships, hospitality management and special event production. Clients include: SF 49ers, SF Giants, Oakland A's, Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, The Jimmy V Foundation, Bruce Cohn, Doobie Brothers Fall Classic, The Make A Wish Foundation and a number of Fortune 500 companies. His passion and enthusiasm for Dustone is second to none.
Andrew Calvo is a bassist and keyboardist who has also worked with several leading technology companies including Avid/Digidesign, BIAS, KMI, Blank Software and O'Reilly Media.
Michael (Mike) Freitas enjoys active careers as a performing and recording musician, as an audio editor, engineer, and producer, and as a technical writer specializing in the digital audio industry.
As a drummer and percussionist, Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical percussion performance and was a founding member of the legendary South Bay band "Dot 3" with whom he toured and recorded for nearly 10 years. Currently, Michael is drummer/percussionist for Dustone Cinema. Other artists with whom Michael has performed or recorded include George Clinton, Neosoreskin, Artemesia Black, Basement 3, and many others.
As an audio engineer, Michael has worked on albums by Bob Weir and Ratdog ("Evening Moods", "Live from Roseland"), Mickey Hart ("Mondo Head" with Kodo, and Chants for Peace by the Gyuto Monks), Steve Kimock ("East Meets West"), MIRV ("Dancing Naked in a Minefield") and engineered/assisted/edited/consulted on dozens of other projects in San Jose, San Francisco, and Sonoma County, CA.
For the past 20 years Michael has been a technical writer for a leading music technology company, learning and working with almost every aspect of DAWs and digital audio production. As a freelance writer, Michael has authored a coursebook on digital audio broadcasting (Digital AudioCraft, NFCB), and written user guides for Chandler/EMI/Abbey Road, Unique Recording Software, and others.
Paul Branin, who plays sax and guitar is a fabulous musician who has been playing professionally since his teens. While playing with Levon Helm, Paul has backed up Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and a host of others as well as playing with other members of The Band, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson. He has worked with jazz legends like Jimmy McGriff, Hank Crawford and Jack DeJonette. Paul has played with Orleans, Robbie DuPree plus numerous local and regional acts on both the East and West Coasts, and sits in with bands such as Cast of Clowns with former Jerry Garcia Band member Melvin Seals, and the Steve Kimock Band when they are in town.
Mike Emerson has performed and/or recorded extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Canada with a wide range of musicians---Elvin Bishop, Carlene Carter, Christine Lakeland, Percy Sledge, Zigaboo Modeliste, Tommy Castro, Chris Cain, Terry Haggerty, Harvey Mandel, Ivan Neville, Brady Blade, Tony Hall, Debbie Davies, James Armstrong, Mic Gillette (Tower of Power), Marc Russo (Yellow Jackets, Doobie Bros.), Will Ray (from the Hellecasters), David Grisman, Earl Thomas, Johnny Dyer, Daniel Castro and Thad Beckman, to name but a few. He has performed at some of the world's most prestigious festivals, including the Monterey Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Wabi-sabi, the first independent release by the Mike Emerson Project, is an adventurous collection of instrumental songs in a variety of musical settings. The recording, finished in just 4 days, brings together the talents and magic of some of the San Francisco Bay Area's most visible musicians: Andre Bush and Chris Rossbach (guitars); T Moran and El John (drums&percussion); Kevin T. White, Matt Robinson and Eric Hayslett (bass); and Pat Miller (sax).