Unleashing the Beast: Inside Ironaut’s EP Recording Session

Ironaut EP

In 2015, as I settled into our new production space shared with Jim Rota of Fireball Ministry, I was introduced to the stoner thrash band Ironaut. Recognizing my ability to elevate bands’ sound through recording, Jim suggested me to Ironaut as the perfect fit for their project. They were in search of a producer for their debut EP, and I was more than eager to lend a hand and give them the professional treatment they deserved in our newly combined production space.

I met Erik Kluiber, Ivan Najor, and Patrick McHugh at ABC Rehearsal in North Hollywood. They showcased the tracks they planned to record, and though few notes were needed, it was clear that their music was both progressive and heavy, promising an exciting session ahead.

At that time, Jim had this awesome Aurora Sidecar with 10 fantastic mic pre/EQ modules, and I had my trusty Sound Workshop 1280B console. We also had a handful of extra pres and compressors to work with. It was just enough to get the job done.

Early days of Underbrow Production Space

Upon their arrival at Underbrow, I struck a deal with Angel City Drum Works to equip Ivan with a recording kit, which we promptly set up in the Angel City Drum Works warehouse. I meticulously isolated the three guitar cabinets in the small tracking booth adjoining my control room, while simultaneously wiring up the bass DI and SansAmp. Our setup was fine-tuned for their three-piece configuration, and once they were comfortable with their individual mixes, we dove straight into the fray.

The band’s relentless rehearsals and local performances leading up to our session paid off as we swiftly made our way through recording the five-song EP. Any minor slip-ups were promptly addressed, ensuring a polished result while still retaining the rawness and grit of the band. On our second day, I encouraged Patrick to double all his guitar parts, going as far as tripling some of his solos to add depth and texture to the tracks.

As we transitioned to vocals, it became evident that this was Erik’s first time singing for a band, let alone recording. However, he rose to the occasion admirably, and over the next few evenings, we captured his vocals with precision and finesse. Meanwhile, I prepped the tracks for mixing, which proceeded just as efficiently as the recording process.

Working with Ironaut fostered a deep sense of mutual respect and camaraderie. Through our shared passion for music, we forged not only a successful professional relationship but also a lasting friendship. I am proud to count Jim Rota and Ironaut among my friends in this unpredictable yet exhilarating music business journey.

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