Knock Knock Brain Crunch

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

A 30 second riff and melody hook experiment. Does it make your brain feel like mine does today? Recorded over metalcore drum loop "grindcore 230z double walk" in Apple Logic. No disrespect to bass, didn't record a bass part yet. The hypothetical bass would be a meld between the rhythm guitar and the drums while not a repeat of either, perhaps emphasize the gallop. 

Vash the Stampede - A Driven Metal Riff (Rhythm, Lead, and Bass)

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

If it's been a while since I picked up my guitar, often I find a fun new riff or a new take on an old riff. If I happen to be recording, it helps me stay in the moment and not worry about losing the idea. I know from experience that if I stop myself part way through, connect my recording setup, then try to re-capture the idea it's often already gone. 

A "creative energy sacrifice to the universe" is how I look at loosing the idea. It's not the end of the world, but I do prefer capturing the ideas to possibly use later.

When I recorded this (a couple days ago) it had been a few weeks since I played. I chose to get setup to loop record in GarageBand and have fun riffing over a drum loop from "metalcore drum pack 2". 

I decided to add lead and bass after capturing the foundational riff for this clip. The foundation riff is lots of E string punishment, a little bit of straight 16th note beat with some swing, and some 16th note triplet gallop punctuated by a power chord progression. 

Songs for the Lean Into Art Podcast

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

Lean Into Art is an online art center/learning network I've been building this year with Jerzy Drozd. As part of the project we started a podcast called The Lean Into Art Cast which needed an intro and outro song.

Looking back at the official intro song it feels as if I was channeling the up-beat let's-go-kick-some-monster-butt feeling of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme.

My initial theme attempt was a rough doodle trying to do something funky, happy, and a little bit metal. It ended up being a mishmash and didn't speak to me. None of the riffs had enough of a hook and I quickly set this one aside.

Then I made the official outro, some days I really dig this one, others not as much.

Last I worked on a third candidate for the official intro. I set it aside, forgot about it. There's a little special something about it, though it's a tad too long to fit an easy outro.

2 Lead+Rhythm Guitar Loops

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

Each of these tracks is 18 seconds long, but intended to be loopable. The "loopiness" was a result of experimenting with GarageBand on the iPad and by default it captures peformances in small sections. I'm guessing that's to help with system resources. The other experiment going on is that I am testing out the Peavey Ampkit Link and the iRig as to which I like better as an iPad guitar connector.

When I finish my write-up I'll be posting my thoughts at Art Geek Zoo.

Discussion off

4 Guitar Song Sketches - Metal Riffs Currently on the Cutting Floor

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

Sometimes I set aside about 20 minutes at the end of my workd day to just play and explore some metal riffing to make a quick "song sketch".

I'll fire up GarageBand (and lately my POD UX 1) and capture a song idea.

First, I browse through drum loops. Recently I picked up the metalcore2 set from Platinumloops and I sometimes I'll use one that comes with GarageBand. Other times I'll launch iDrum and make a drum-machine loop. I really like that I can use drum samples from the same kits featured in the Platinumloops metalcore2 set. I spend just a few minutes to setup a rhythmic foundation.

Then I record a few guitar parts in fairly quick succession, sometimes in one take other times it may take 10 tries. The whole process doesn't take too long since I'm trying to finish a full "sketch" or song-section before I need to wrap up my work day. These limitations force me to be not too precious about any given part of the process... just capture some thoughts and performances and keep moving.

Here I share a set of song sketches that are a bit on the rough side. Each of them has a little-something about them that I'd like to grow and imrpove upon. At the same time, each of them has a few rough aspects that keep them from being cool little mini-songs in and of themselves and warrant the "on the cutting floor" label. 

Discussion off

Ambient Guitar Track - Something Else Is On The Ship

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

I made these loops and main ambient track in response to a request from John Anealio of Sci Fi Songs. He had the idea of using loops of sounds and music that people send him to create a Sci-Fi audio collage. The finished collage is live and ready for your listening enjoyment!

Initially I intended to only capture the loops and send them off but had too much fun playing with the loops and mixing which led the track "Something Else Is On The Ship".

Something Else Is On The Ship was made in Garage band adding some additional effects such as echo, delay, and 8-bit videogame style decay. All of the loops were recorded wet using effects on the Korg AX1000G multi pedal such as "space", "filtron", and "travel".

Loops I used to make the track "Something Else Is On The Ship":

And finally: these loops are the first thing I'm sharing as Creative Commons. 

Creative Commons License
Audio Loops Used to Compose "Something Else Is On The Ship" by Rob Stenzinger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

Conundrum: 27 Seconds of Metal Riff+Lead

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

I've been eyeing the Death Metal Drum Loops over at Loopgalaxy for some time. I keep hoping they'll go on sale as I'm sure 80.00 USD is a fair price for a great sounding pack of 240 loops, but it's one that's high enough where I keep balking at it. Anyways I see they now have a version 2 of the loops I've been considering.

If you sign up for an account, they offer a sample/demo the drum loop package. This clip is me experimenting with a riff and just one loop from the demo "grindcore_230z7_double_walk". I feel satisfied enough with the experiment, though it brings the challenge of wanting to finish the song and to pick up those drum loops. Good-on Loopgalaxy for providing me with such a conundrum. 

Polytechnicast Intro 2 - The Old Map

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

The new intro music for my art journal podcast. The podcast version has voiceover introducing the show. It's about 30 seconds, uses a similar instrument arrangement as the new outro music but is a faster tempo and uses a clean guitar sound for part of the melody.

Discussion off

Guitar Noodling - Two Tracks

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

Tracks 1 and 2 are from some fairly typical jamming I do at my computer when I get the chance. I setup a drum rhythm or two and riff against it off and on while tweaking the rhythm - today's drums were done in iDrum by the way. From there I have an idea of what riff(s) I want to try, so it's time to record.

Today I recorded with two different guitar FX. One that's very overdriven and the other is a close relative with added phasing. Track 1 I did the rhythm with the phase and lead with plain overdrive, track 2 is the opposite. Also on track 2, I recorded a MIDI string track on the same performance as the lead track with an echoey synth string patch.

That whole process typically takes me about 10 - 20 minutes for a 1 minute song idea or riff when I'm just jotting notes and keeping things loose. If I'm going for something specific it can take a good deal more time.

And so begins the Mystical Guitar Tribe audio blog. If you're curious about the name, it's from my comic Art Geek Zoo - one of the main characters is a sentient guitar named Crunchy and he comes from the Mystical Guitar Tribe.

Discussion off