Mark Everton Gray (Gray Noise)

Professional Audio Engineer

Mark Everton Gray (Gray Noise) on SoundBetter

I am a professional audio engineer with 20-plus years of professional accredited experience recording, editing, and mixing music. I worked at Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas for a little over 10 years, where I was the chief engineer. I've engineered for Imagine Dragons, the Killers, Joe Bonamassa, Carlos Santana, and many other top artists.

I'm a Syracuse University graduate with degrees in finance and the music industry. I got my professional start in the music business in 1997 at GRP records. I've worked at MTV Networks, the Verve Music Group, and Island Def Jam. I attended the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in London for a year, then left the program to start working at Quad Recording Studios in New York.
After three years at Quad, I moved to Las Vegas to become one of the original staff members of the Studio at the Palms, achieving Chief Engineer status during my 10 years there. I'm a very capable and talented engineer, having recorded solo artists all the way up to orchestras in the studio, as well as recorded and mixed live concerts for TV and live albums. Credits include MTV, the MTV Awards, Fox5 LV, iTunes (Live Studio Sessions and Concerts), NHL Awards, and many major artists, including Imagine Dragons, the Killers, Joe Bonamassa, Cindy Blackman Santana, Carlos Santana, Lindsey Webster, Celine Dion, Elton John, Maroon 5, 311, the Moody Blues, Puscifer, Alabama, Jay Z, and Marius Mueller Westernhagen, to name a few. My recording specialties are live band situations in the studio, concert recordings, as well as editing and mixing.

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.


Interview with Mark Everton Gray (Gray Noise)

  1. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  2. A: That I have a magic wand and fairy dust to make everything perfect instantaneously magically. Let's face it: My engineering colleagues and I are the people with a shovel behind the elephants.

  3. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  4. A: This is a broad list of questions that I generally ask. The more concrete questions that I ask to come as the conversations evolve. ● How did you come across my name and services? ● Are you signed? ● What are you hiring me for (recording, editing, mixing, all the above)? ● When do you want me to start working? ● What is the duration of the project? ● What is your budget? ● Who are the people that are involved with the project? ● Have you taken the time to read my sight (Sound Better & and do you fully understand who you are going to be working with and the services I provide? ● What are the deadlines? ● How do you like to record? Individually? Together? Rhythm section only? ● What are the constraints of the project? ● Are multiple engineers involved in the project? ● Do you need studio recommendations? ● How am I going to get paid? ● What are your questions and concerns?

  5. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  6. A: Be prepared as best as you can. Always have an open, transparent line of communication. Be upfront with your goals and expectations with all parties involved in your project. Make sure that everyone knows their roles. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Understand that compromises sometimes must be made, and when it!s required, to do it in a professional manner.

  7. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  8. A: I started at a young age playing the piano, singing in the school and church choirs, and playing the drums. I currently do none of those things, but they opened the doors to where I am today. I was always the guy in the band in high school and college who had the recording equipment. I was inspired to pursue the recording arts in high school when I went with my band to cut a demo at a local studio where we lived. From that point on, I was extremely interested in the process of recording music. While I was attending Syracuse University, I was fortunate to have obtained an internship at GRP Records where I learned the music business. That allowed me to work at MTV Networks, and then once I graduated college, I was hired at the Verve Music Group. However, I was not satisfied at Verve and really wanted to pursue audio engineering. I moved to London, began my studies at the School of Audio Engineering (SAE), and worked part-time at Island Def Jam. About a year into the program, I felt that I needed to be working at a recording studio full-time, so I moved back to New York and began my studio career at Quad Recording Studios. I persevered through the cleaning of the toilets, the running, the being yelled at, to finally being a second assistant, and I did not look back. In late 2004, I started assisting Kevin "Caveman" Shirley, and in 2005, I got an interview with Zoe Thrall, the director of Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas. I was hired and moved shortly thereafter to Las Vegas, where I was one of the original staff members that helped build, open, and maintain the studio's impeccable reputation. I was made chief engineer in 2009 and stayed until early 2016. I moved back home to the East Coast and started my endeavors to go into business for myself. Unfortunately, there were several life landmines (my parents’ illness and passing and all that goes along with it) that sidelined my progress. However, I'm now back in full working stride — and am very optimistic about the future and what I make of it.

  9. Q: How would you describe your style?

  10. A: I make sure I have constant and open communication with my client, that I am fully aware of their goals for the project, and that I can apply my knowledge of music production and engineering so that I may best help my client achieve their goals.

  11. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  12. A: Garbage in, garbage out: If you do not practice your instrument, take your vocal training seriously, or fine-tune your material to be recorded in preproduction, you are going to have a very hard time being successful when it comes to the process of making an album — let alone a successful career in music. A fraction of people on this planet can put the bare minimum in and achieve results; the rest of us must bust our asses and more.

  13. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  14. A: Lately, I have been working on soul jazz, hard rock, rock, and alternative. It varies from month to month. To be honest, it's whatever genre that is currently paying the bills.

  15. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  16. A: Besides recording, editing, and mixing, it!s my ability to work well and get along with all types of people. Understanding how to read the room is paramount. You can be the most technically proficient engineer in the world, but if you do not know how to interact and handle people, you're just serving yourself up for a tremendous pounding.

  17. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  18. A: A professional recording and or mix that has been captured, spaced, and mixed, honoring all the requirements that my clients have set forth in a timely, and professional manner.

  19. Q: What's your typical work process?

  20. A: It all depends on what I'm being asked to accomplish. Regardless of what the tasks are, I always try to get as much information as possible before starting a project. It differs among events for me. Am I coming in at the beginning of the project? Am I replacing someone? Am I just the recordist, the editor, or the mixer? Once my role has been defined with as many of the facts as possible, I work quickly, efficiently, and professionally. If you want a more detailed explanation, please do not hesitate to ask.

  21. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  22. A: My personal studio is currently just set up for mixing and editing. For recording, I work out of the Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, New York, United Recordings in Los Angeles, or Dug Deep Studios in Asbury Park, New Jersey. My setup is a hybrid of analog and digital. My ProTools setup is a fully loaded Mac Pro (Trash Can), running the latest version of ProTools using two Avid HDX cards and one UAD card. My converters are four Lynx Aurora LT-HD 16 interfaces, clocked with an Apogee Big Ben, printing back with a Crane Song HEDD 192 or the Apogee Rosetta 800. My analog summing mixer is the Rupert Neve 5059. All my analog connections are made via four Switch Craft 96-point TT patch bays, and all connectors are Neutrik with Mogami gold cabling. Outboard gear is as follows (the list is always changing): two Manley Massive Passives, Manley Vox Box, Manley Dual Mono Block, two Retro Sta Levels, Avalon 747, two ADL 1000, eight Healios 69 type reissue modules (modified), Chandler TG-1, Chandler TG-2, GML 8900, GML 2032, AMS/NEVE 33609, Analog Black Box, Thermionic Culture Vulture, and the SPL Transient Designer. As for Plugins, I have WAVEs, UAD, Sound Toys, Eventide, Fab Filter, Nomad Factory, Audio Thing, Acoustica, Valhalla, Sonnox, Plugin Alliance, AVID, and many other brands installed. For monitoring, I use the Dangerous Monitor ST speaker switcher, and my speakers are Yamaha NS-10, Focal Shape 65s, and Griffen G2 monitors.

  23. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  24. A: Zoe Thrall, Kevin Shirley, Larry Campbell, Flood, Alan Moulder, George Massenberg, Dave Pensado, Jimmy Douglas, Jimmy Iovine, Ed Cherney, Marius Mueller Westernhagen, Cindy Blackman Santana, David Foster, Rich Tozzoli, Neil Dorfsman, Pat Thrall, Paul Antonelli, Pete Mochey, Al Schmidt, Jeff Ocheltree, Bob Duncan, Robert Reynolds, Mac Reynolds, Francis Manzella, Lars Tofastrud, John Weston, John Doelp, Jon "the Flying Dutchman” Vanhala, Michael Bone Daddy Kauffman, Tommy LiPuma, Tony Pelligrino, Bob Ezrin, Alan Parsons, Jack Daley, Charlie Drayton, Chrissy Amphlett

  25. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  26. A: I work mostly with bands in the studio, which covers the applications of recording, editing, and mixing music. I am primarily a studio engineer, although I do enjoy doing the occasional concert recording every now and then. I like traveling to new places and studios for recording. I do prefer to mix at my studio in my home. I use Audio Movers as my streaming service provider so my clients and I can interact with each other quickly and professionally. It has not failed me yet, especially over the course of the pandemic. I find that it!s cheaper for the client, and it!s a less stressful environment than being on a studio!s clock. That!s not to say that I won!t mix anywhere else, but the terms of the job and money must meet my specifications, especially the studios. I DO NOT tune vocals; I am NOT a live sound engineer (FOH, monitors, etc.), and I DO NOT WORK ON SPEC OR FOR FREE.

  27. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  28. A: There are many projects that I am proud to have worked on. Anything that I have done with Imagine Dragons (Recording Engineer), The Killers (Recording Engineer/ Assistant Engineer), Joe Bonamassa (Recording Engineer), Celine Dion (Recording Engineer, 2nd Engineer, Protools Op, Assistant Engineer Tracking & Mixing), Elton John (Assistant Engineer, Recording Engineer), Lindsey Webster (Recording and Mix Engineer), Marius Mueller Westernhaggen (Recording and Mixing Engineer), Cindy Blackman Santana & Carlos Santana (Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer)

  29. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  30. A: Due to nondisclosure agreements (NDA) and most importantly the morals and ethics of good business, I will not disclose my current and future clients. Trust works both ways, my clients must be able to trust me, and I must be able to trust my clients.

  31. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  32. A: Both. Since we are in a digital age of perceived instant gratification, everything comes to us instantaneously via our devices. There is an app or plugin that tries to fix our problems, but they also can create problems. Not taking the time to understand the fundamentals and being prepared is a big concern of mine in the studio. Time is money, the more time you waste, the more money spent, and it's all about money. I am a hybrid mixer using the digital platform in conjunction with analog gear to define my sound and style as an engineer. There are no rules when it comes to the recording world, just the fundamentals of the physics of sound. Technology continues to advance; those fundamentals will change. We've come a long way since Thomas Edison recorded "Mary had a little Lamb".

  33. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  34. A: PLEASE BE ADVISED THIS IS NOT A LIST OF MY FULL POLICIES AND CONDITIONS. THIS IS JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT MY POLICIES ARE. CONTACT ME FOR THE FULL LIST PLEASE: Can you work for free, and get points on the back end? No, I do not work for free, and I do not work on a promissory payment of some sort, I don't care how "good" the project is, if there is not a paycheck involved, I WILL NOT DO THE PROJECT. 2. Are your rates negotiable? It all depends on and what you are negotiating with. 3. Do you require a deposit upfront? Yes, 50% of the contracted rate needs to be paid upfront. No work will be done until a deposit has been made and cleared. I've been burned to many times being the nice guy. 4. Do we need to have a working agreement contract? Yes, it is a standard contract that my legal team has written up that protects both you and me. 5. Will you release final mixes and files before the other 50% of the contract is paid? No. All accounts are to be settled at the end of the session/album/work rendered on my behalf, no exceptions. Again, been burned too many times. 6. If in the middle of a mix we decide to add new parts and or rearrange the song, will it cost extra? It depends on how in-depth we must get, and how much back tracking is needed. In some cases, no, others an hourly rate will apply. 7. Do you tune vocals? No. I have several people I use that specialize in vocal tuning. The person that is used is dependent on your budget. 8. Do you master? No. I have several mastering engineers I use, and it all depends on the project and what the client wants. If the client is already set on using their mastering engineer, I generally do not have a problem with it, just if the finished project meets my expectations 9. Do you do live sound? No. I do not do monitors, or front of house. The only thing I do in a live concert setting is record the show and or mix it post, and the client is responsible for hiring out the appropriate equipment to make the live recording happen.

  35. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  36. A: An AKG C24, Neve 8058 console, Unfairchild, Griffen G1s, Loaded Protools Rig

  37. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  38. A: The fact that I'm part of a process in creating music for the world to hear. To be able to travel to both exotic and non exotic places, see old friends, meet new people, see new things and old things in which to try and gain a better understanding of the world we live in through music.

  39. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  40. A: That I will deliver a professional result in a timely fashion within the constraints given to me by the client.

  41. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  42. A: I would love to work with David Byrne. I am a huge Talking Heads fan. I think his body of work is just tremendous. He's always pushing his boundaries and coming up with new ways to convey his thoughts and emotions through music; he's a true master.

  43. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  44. A: Not yet, I am new to the site. Recommendations are only given to those whose work meets my personal standards of professionalism.

Amber Souls

I was the Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, Co Producer in this production

Terms Of Service

My turn around time for a mix 2-3 days. Up to 3 recalls are included in my mix price, anything more than 3 is an hourly rate. Any unforeseen editing is an hourly rate. Recording rate is a 12 hour day.

GenresSounds Like
  • Imagine Dragons
  • The Killers
  • Carlos Santana
Gear Highlights
  • Mac Pro
  • Chandler
  • Manley
  • Thermionic Culture
  • GML
  • Avalon
  • Apogee
  • Lynx
  • Telefunken
  • Helios
  • Focal
  • Griffen
  • Retro
  • ADL
  • Neve
  • AMS Neve
  • Rupert Neve
  • Analog Design
  • SPL
  • Radial
  • DBX
  • OPPO
  • Yamaha.
More Photos