Randy Faustino Opens New L.A. Studio Chooses Sennheiser Wireless And Wired Mics For “American Idol” And “Rock The Cradle”

Randy Faustino is as seasoned a veteran as you will find in the music industry. He toured the country for 17 years with such acts as Frank Sinatra, Jeffrey Osborne and Tower Of Power before “settling down” to work stints at Osborne’s studio, Wings West, and later at Echo Recording. With the help of J. Mark King, Faustino then turned his decades of experience at getting the right sound quickly and with a minimum of fuss to the demanding world of television sound. He has worked on a huge number of shows, including the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, Jimmy Kimmel Live and many, many others. In 2007, he formed Creative Sound Solutions with Gerald “Butch” McKarge and J. Mark King to provide high-caliber music mixing services for the television industry. The company has since mixed American Idol, one of the most consistently high-rated programs in television history, and a host of Idol-inspired shows, including The Next Great American Band, Rock Star, and, most r
Publish date:
Updated on

Ever since Sennheiser introduced the MD 5235 dynamic capsule for their top-of-the-range SKM 5200 handheld wireless microphone system, Faustino has used it wherever possible because of its transparency, reliability, and ease of mixing. At Faustino’s request, all American Idol contestants, use the Sennheiser MD 5235/SKM 5200 combo. When a wired vocal microphone fits the bill, Faustino prefers the Sennheiser evolution series e 935 dynamic over other wired brands for the same reasons.

“What I really like about the Sennheiser MD 5235 dynamic capsule in combination with the SKM 5200 transmitter is its immediate presence and warmth, even without any EQ,” said Faustino. “It ends up being a lot less work than comparable models from other manufacturers. “When we have to use other mics, because of artists’ contractual obligations, we always end up using more EQ than we normally do to the MD 5235.”

“The same is true of the wired Sennheiser e 935 that I’m using on backup singers and as my own talkback,” he continued. “Without doing anything, the e 935 has better high-end and tighter low-end.” When doing overdubs or group pre-records, Faustino uses a pair of Neumann TLM 49 large diaphragm studio condensers.

Of course, vocals can only sound as good as the band that supports them. For this reason, Faustino prefers to capture musicians with Sennheiser’s evolution series of instrument mics. In addition to a Sennheiser e 906 dynamic cardioid on guitar cabinets, Faustino uses a range of Sennheiser evolution series mics for the drums. A collection of e 604s capture the toms, an e 602 II captures the kick, and e 914s capture both the hi-hats and the overheads. With the bass and keyboards DI’d, Faustino gets an entire band sounding rock solid, from the driving beat of the drums to the soulful wail of the guitar. If contestants on American Idol and similar shows can’t make good against such a perfectly-captured band using the very best wireless microphone in the industry, then they have only themselves to blame!