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Ryan Hewitt Masters Flogging Molly for Vinyl at Bernie Grundman’s

Recording engineer Ryan Hewitt booked Bernie Grundman Mastering’s disc mastering studio for the vinyl release of Flogging Molly’s new album, Speed of Darkness. Recorded at Echo Mountain Studios, Asheville, N.C., and Sonic Ranch, El Paso, Texas, the album was digitally mastered at 96 kHz/24-bit for vinyl by Dave Collins at Dave Collins Mastering and at 44.1 kHz/16-bit for CD and online release. The album will be released on May 31, 2011 from Borstal Beat Records.

Pictured in the disc-cutting studio at Bernie Grundman Mastering are Bernie Grundman (left) and engineer Ryan Hewitt.

Photo: David Goggin

Founded in Los Angeles in 1997 by Irish expatriate Dave King, Flogging Molly got its start (and its name) from a local Hollywood bar called Molly Malone’s, where each week the band performed, developed a following, and laid down the blueprint for its eventual success. Speed of Darkness is the band’s fifth studio album, following Swagger (2000), Drunken Lullabies (2002), Within a Mile of Home (2004) and Float (2008). The acoustic/live DVD/CD combo Whiskey on a Sunday has earned Platinum status.

“We come to Bernie to cut the best lacquer we can for manufacturing,” explains Hewitt. “The person who buys vinyl wants to hear the maximum fidelity and have the satisfaction of dropping the needle on the record. It doesn’t need to sound loud like a CD; it needs to sound as close to the mix as possible and have a great vibe.”

Bernie Grundman Mastering offers disc-cutting services for all varieties of music projects. The mastering room is equipped with two cutting lathes. The first is a high-powered, solid-state lathe fitted with a stereo Haeco cutter head and driven by Grundman’s proprietary amplifier system. The second has a stereo Westrex cutter head driven by a refurbished Haeco vacuum-tube amplifier.

True mono cutter heads and amplifiers are also available. Both lathes were manufactured by Scully and are mounted on pneumatic isolation tables. Modifications include custom head suspensions and heavy duty, phase lock motors. Sontec disc cutting computers control variable pitch and depth for maximizing signal on the disc.

For more information about Bernie Grundman Mastering, visit