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About - Michael Fay

Owner/Principal - GraceNote Design Studio


GraceNote provides specialized audio and acoustic systems design, consultation, and technical writing services to end users, architects, systems integrators, manufacturers, and industry trade magazines.

Many of the projects highlighted in this site's Portfolio were designed by Mike while working for Sound Image.

Professional Summary

Owner/Principal - GraceNote Design Studio

Sr. Design Consultant -Sound Image

General Manager - Sound Image

Senior Design Engineer - Sound Image

Director of Engineering - Audio Associates

Technical Director - College Ave. Baptist Church

Owner - Michael Fay & Associates

Editor - Recording Engineer/Producer Magazine

Studio Engineer - Michael Fay & Associates, and Peters Productions

Mike's experience includes more than 40 years of professional AV and Acoustical systems design, systems engineering, studio and FOH audio mixing, and technical writing.

Now semi-retired, he spent much of his adult life as a senior-level systems design engineer, executive project manager, technical integration manager, and acoustician. His pro audio experience sprung from a foundation of classical music training and performance in his youth, and continued to develop in college with an emphasis on music theory and electronics.

After a stint in the army signal corps, Mike spent his 20s as a professional musician, which eventually led him into the recording studio as an independent studio engineer and producer. While working in some of the top studios in Southern California he also developed a passion for studio design and acoustics, which led him into the field and study of architectural acoustics.

This phase of his career lasted until a unique career opportunity was presented and accepted. Mike became the editor of Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, a highly-regarded, internationally-distributed technical magazine servicing the recording studio industry.

In the mid-'90s, Mike moved back into the applications side of the AV industry - making the transition into systems design, consultation and integration. His responsibilities and experiences grew to included work as director of engineering, senior design engineer, and general manager at two of the region’s top AV integration firms. At the time of his voluntary departure in 2017, he was the Senior Design Consultant for Sound Image's Integration Division.

Below is a sampling of Mike's design projects. Numbers in parentheses indicate the quantity of discrete projects contracted for each customer. 

Performing Arts and Entertainment Venues

Catalina Jazz Club, Hollywood, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Copley Symphony Hall, San Diego, CA (AV Design/Build)

Eddie Montgomery Steakhouse, Harrodsburg, KY (Audio, Video & Control Design/Build)

Lambs Players Theater (3), Coronado, CA (Audio Design only)

Museum of Natural History, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Oceanside High School, Performing Arts Complex, Oceanside, CA (AV Design only)

Santa Monica College, Madison Site Theater (2), Santa Monica, CA (AV Design only)

Santa Monica College, Student Theaters (2), Santa Monica, CA (AV Design/Build)

Slim’s Live Music Nightclub, San Francisco, CA (Audio and Acoustics Consultant)

Sycuan Casino, San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)


Churches and Synagogues

Abundant Living Family Church, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Audio and Acoustics Design/Build)

Bel Air Presbyterian, Hollywood CA, (Audio Design/Build)

Calvary Chapel, Redlands, Redlands, CA (Audio/Acoustics Design/Build)

Calvary Chapel, Oceanside, Oceanside, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Canyon View Christian Fellowship (now Newbreak CC), San Diego, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Carlsbad Community Church, Carlsbad, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Carlton Oaks Baptist Church, Santee, CA (Audio & Acoustic Consultation)

Chandler Christian Church, Chandler, AZ (Audio Design/Build)

College Ave. Baptist Church, San Diego, CA (AV Consultant and Technical Director)

Concordia Church, Chula Vista, CA, (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Chula Vista, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Eastlake Community Church (4), Chula Vista, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Emmanuel Faith Community Church (2), Escondido, CA (Acoustic Consultation)

Escondido United Reformed Church, Escondido, CA (AV & Acoustics Design Consultant)

Flood Church, San Diego, CA (Acoustic Consultation)

Hope United Methodist Church (2), Rancho Bernardo, CA (AV Design/Build)

Horizon Christian Fellowship (2), Rancho Santa Fe, CA (Audio Design/Build)

La Jolla Presbyterian Church, La Jolla, CA (AV Design/Build)

Mission Community Church, Gilbert, AZ (Audio Consultation)

Mission Hills Church (2), San Marcos, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Newbreak Church, San Diego, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

New Life Orthodox Presbyterian Church, San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Our Lady of Peace Academy (2), San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Prince of Peace Abby, Oceanside, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Revival Christian Fellowship, Menifee, CA (Audio Consultation)

Saddleback Church, Lake Forrest, CA (Audio/Acoustics Design/Build)

San Rafael Catholic Church, Ranch Bernardo, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, CA (Acoustics Consultation)

Solana Beach Presbyterian Church (2), San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

St. Callistus Catholic Church, Garden Grove, CA (Audio/Acoustics Design/Build)

St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

St. Michael Catholic Church (2), Rancho Bernardo, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Summit Point Church, San Diego, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Temple Adat Shalom (2), Poway, CA (AV Design/Build)

Temple Solel, San Diego, CA (AV Design/Build)

The Rock Church, San Diego, CA (Audio Consultant)

Tierrasanta 7th Day Adventist Church (3), San Diego, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Trabuco Presbyterian Church, Trabuco Canyon, CA (Acoustic Testing & Design & Consultation)

United Methodist Church of Vista, Vista, CA, (Audio Design/Build)

Village Presbyterian Church (2), Rancho Santa Fe, (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)


Education Venues

Mira Costa College, Oceanside, CA (Acoustics Consultation)

Miramar College, San Diego, CA (Audio, Video & Control Design/Build)

Point Loma Nazarene – Liberty Station Conf. Center. San Diego, CA (Acoustics Design/Build)

San Diego State University (2), San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

UCSD, San Diego, CA (Acoustic Consultation)

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (Acoustic Consultation)


Sports Venues

Anaheim Arena, Anaheim, CA (Audio Consultant)

Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Indian Wells, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Jenny Craig Pavilion, University of San Diego (Audio Design/Build)

Laguna Beach High School Gymnasium, Laguna Beach, CA (Audio Design/Build)

San Diego Unified School District (3), San Diego, CA (Audio Design)

St. Augustine High School, San Diego, CA (AV/Acoustics Consultation)

Tony Gywnn Stadium, San Diego State University (Audio Design/Build)

US Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, CA (Audio, Video & Control Design/Build)


Corporate Venues

General Instrument, San Diego, CA (AV Design/Build)

Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center, San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Metropolitan Transit Development Board, San Diego, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Nutrilite Products (13), Buena Park, CA (AV/Acoustics Design/Build)

Qualcomm, San Diego, CA (Audio Consultation)

Williams Entertainment, San Diego, CA (Recording Studio Design)


Hotel, Government and Private Facilities

Carlos Santana (3), San Rafael, CA (Acoustic Consultation)

City of Murrieta, Murrieta, CA (Audio Design/Build)

Jason Mraz Recording Studio, Oceanside, CA (Audio Consultant)

Hotel Irvine, Irvine, CA (AV Design/Build)

Marriott Hotel, Oceanside, CA (AV Design/Build)

Mesa Water District, Costa Mesa, CA (AV Consultant)

Tabby Cat Room Recording Studio, Oceanside, CA (Acoustic Design & Consultation)

Westin Gaslamp Hotel, San Diego, CA (AV Design/Build)


Featured Trade Magazine Articles & Awards:

Acoustic Essentials for Architects - ProSoundWeb - Part I, April 2023 | Part II July 2023 | Part III Nov 2023 | Part IV Feb 2024 | Part V June 2024 | Part VI pending.

Part I -

Part II -

Part III -

Part IV -

Part V -

Managing Expectations - ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International - Part 1, May 2024

Project Ownership - ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International - April 2024

Going Way Beyond - Church Sound and Live Sound International - June/July 2022

Parametric Acoustics, Second Edition - ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International - September 2022

Applied Acoustics - Live Sound International - June 2020

Easter 2020: Virtual Becomes A Reality - ProSoundWeb - May 2020

My Heuristic Projection Calculator - ProSoundWeb - December 2019

Acoustic Shadowing - ProSoundWeb - September 2019

How to Ruin a Mix - ProSoundWeb - August 2019


Risk Management Solutions for Worship Tech/Production - ProSoundWeb/Church Sound - March 2019

A Case for Lossy Music Formats - ProSoundWeb - January 2019, and Live Sound International - February 2019

The Mental Side of Mixing - Live Sound International magazine - November 2018

Considering the T60 Slope Ratio - ProSoundWeb - August 2018

San Rafael Catholic Church - April 2015. Cover photo and feature technology article in Sound & Communications magazine. First implementation of DML loudspeaker technology in San Diego.

2009 Pro AV Spotlight Award winner in the House of Worship category. Eastlake Community Church


The Spotlight Awards recognize the best in professional audio/video design and installation. Entries in the Spotlight Award competition came from around the world, in vertical market categories including Corporate, Retail, Education, House of Worship, Government, Health Care, Entertainment/Arts, Museum, and Hospitality/Restaurant/Casino.


"The PRO AV Spotlight Awards are the premiere showcase for the best in AV installations. All of the installations entered in this year's program were outstanding and choosing winners was no easy task for the judges," said Jon Yoffie, Associate Publisher of PRO AV. "These winning projects are truly the best of the best; they set the standard for what AV installations should bring to a project."


Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health - Sound & Video Contractor magazine - April 2006. Cover photo and feature technology article.

Specialized Training:

Bose Modeler - 3D room modeling, acoustics and loudspeaker analysis software

BSS London Architect – DSP architecture application software

Digidesign Venue series digital audio mixing consoles

EASE 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 – 3D room modeling, acoustics and loudspeaker analysis software

EASE Focus I, II & III – Line array design and aiming analysis software

ICIA – Certified Technology Specialist (CTS)

IED – Analog and digital signal processing and applications school

JBL- AEC - system design conference

LASS – Line array design and aiming analysis software

Lectrosonics, Lectro School – Analog and digital audio, and wireless technology applications

MediaMatrix: NWare, MWare, XWare – DSP architecture application software

QSControl certification Level 1 – DSP architecture application software

Rational Acoustics SMAART 8 - System performance and acoustic analysis software. Certified Level 1 Operator

Rational Acoustics SMAART 8 – Beta test consultant

SDVoE Design Partner - Software Defined Video over Ethernet

Symetrix SymNet Designer & Composer - DSP architecture application software

SynAudCon (System Design & Testing, Architectural Acoustics)

TEF 20 - system performance and analysis software


Memberships and Affiliations

  • Memberships: SynAudCon; ASA; AES, Avixa; SDVoE

  • Author of: T60 Slope Ratio Thesis - White paper selected for presentation (and JAES publication) at the 149th meeting of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). October 2020. New York, NY.

  • Author of: T60 Slope Ratio Thesis - White paper selected for presentation at the 178th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. December 2019. San Diego, CA

  • Author of: Acoustics 101 for Architects – White paper selected for presentation at the 166th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. December 2013. San Francisco, CA

  • Affiliate of: Art Institute of California – San Diego, CA. Professional Advisory Committee (Audio Production).

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