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For Metal Month 2017, we teamed up with the folks over at Gear Gods to bring you the opportunity to jam over a drum track created by Dirk Verbueren of Megadeth – assembled by the man himself using his own MIDI from several Toontrack releases. To get your inspiration going, we also asked a bunch of awesome guitar players from the metal community to join in on the fun.
Check out their songs on this page!

If you want to download the drum track and have a go at it (although the contest is over), download it here.


Dirk Verbeuren made his top picks, and here they are! Toontrack would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved, especially all of you who downloaded the track and made a submission.


Congratulations, Mark, you won! How does it feel?
It feels amazing! I’m beyond excited. It’s an honor to be picked from all of the great submissions. The competition was insane.

Tell us your what your thought process was like when writing your track and how it all came about!
First I listened to the drum track a few times through just to get a feel for it. Dirk had such a cool, varied, intricate performance, and I wanted to write parts that fit so well that it sounded like we wrote the whole song together. I also avoided listening to the versions from Brandon Ellis, Reba Meyers, Will Putney, Alex Skolnick, and Brendon Small until I was almost done writing, because I didn’t want to be influenced by any of their interpretations. For the rhythm guitars, I tried to mimic a good amount of Dirk’s kick/snare work and let a lot of the fills shine through. For the leads I wanted to do something catchy, and I tried to build up to the repeating choruses in different ways each time so it felt exciting to hear those parts again. Hopefully that’s how listeners take it, anyway.

What the other music do you write? Are you in a band or just doing solo stuff…and what is your longterm goal with your music?
I’m only working on solo projects at the moment. I’ve only been seriously playing/writing/recording for about three years, and my main interest has been in the instrumental metal realm. I’ve released one project so far and am working on my next two – one purely metal and one that will incorporate more electronic elements, which will be the soundtrack for a video game that a friend of mine is developing. I also do some session work with a friend and hip-hop producer out of his studio in Sacramento. As for long-term goals… it’d be great to get good enough at this to quit my day job! Until then, I just want to get better at everything from technique to mixing and mastering, to the point that you wouldn’t believe I make this stuff in my bedroom.

Quick gear rundown!
Guitars: Schecter JL-7 FR and KM-7 MK-II
Bass: Ibanez SR 505
Computer: MacBook Pro
Amp: mixture of Kemper Profiling Amp and EZmix
Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
DAW: Presonus Studio One 3
Go-to software: Toontrack Superior Drummer, EZmix and some Waves/a lot of stock Studio One plugins

Listen to Mark’s track:



Congratulations, Myke, you qualified among the top four! How does it feel?
It feels awesome! I participated in last year’s too, and enjoyed the challenge of writing like that, so I was just happy to do it again regardless of the outcome.

Tell us your what your thought process was like when writing your track and how it all came about!
I didn’t really think too much about it, I just looped the song and jammed over it until I thought I found something that sounded good.

What the other music do you write? Are you in a band or just doing solo stuff…and what is your longterm goal with your music?
I write mostly different degrees and styles of heavy metal. I’m currently in a band called Father Of Sin, along with a solo project. Long term goals are just to write and play as long as it’s fun and hopefully find people who enjoy what I’m doing.

Quick gear rundown!
For the Drumception 2 entry I used a lefty Epiphone Les Paul into Bias Fx for all the guitars, and the bass was done on a lefty Douglas WOB 826.

Listen to Myke’s track here.

Name: Myke Owns
Location: West Hazleton, Pennsylvania


Tell us your what your thought process was like when writing your track and how it all came about!
While listening to the original drum track I noticed that the drum was hitting in really cool places, so I decided to create something using the own drum phrasing. With that in mind, I quad-tracked guitars using two different amp sims, recorded four main melodic guitars, two clean guitars, one lead guitar and one bass.

What the other music do you write? Are you in a band or just doing solo stuff…and what is your longterm goal with your music?
I play together with my brother who plays drums. He’s 22 years old and I’m 19. We do write music, influenced by bands like Meshuggah, Pantera, Gojira, Lamb Of God and Mats & Morgan. We are also starting to do a full album cover of the last studio album of Meshuggah (The Violent Sleep Of Reason) which is quite a challenge. As a long-term goal, we would like to achieve a music career touring throughout the world, trying to transmit the same feelings we get when listening to our favourite albums.

Quick gear rundown!
Epiphone Special Model II (with a Dimarzio D Activator in the bridge position)
Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
Cubase Artist 8.5
VST Amp Rack (guitars)
VST Bass Amp (bass)

Listen to Ale’s track here.

Name: Ale Stückner
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
https://www.instagram.com/alestueckner/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc8L6-kJCi-EfIKyEd9P2bg


Congratulations, Trey, you qualified among the top four! How does it feel?
First,  I’d like to thank you guys for holding this contest and giving me and so many other wonderful musicians the opportunity to write a song with a legendary drummer like Dirk Verburen. To actually qualify is a huge honor and I’m very happy that you guys enjoyed my work.

Tell us your what your thought process was like when writing your track and how it all came about!
I listened to the drums a number of times and mapped out my phrase lengths and what portions would represent a chorus in a normal song structure. For the riffs I kind of just jammed out until I found something that worked. For the 16th note double kick portion I made an intentional effort to get all 12 notes into the riff. I may have left out one or two but I am still happy with it since the after-solo build-up more than covered that objective.

I’m really into dissonance, the use of dynamics, and unexpected instrumentation, so it totally made sense to jump straight from heavy to an acoustic section! The tuning I used was an open C Minor tuning. It makes it easy to do interesting arpeggios and octave riffs with very similar positioning. It also allows for chord extensions with notes right next to each other that you’d have to really stretch your hands to get to in a standard tuning.

What other music do you write? Are you in a band or just doing solo stuff…and what is your long-term goal with your music?
I write in a lot of different styles but I’m a rock guitarist at heart. I grew up on a lot of Journey and later discovered guys like Joe Satriani, so I really enjoy singable solos. But I also enjoy the really technical stuff that bands like Dream Theater and Opeth put out. Video game music is also a huge inspiration for me and I’ve always wanted to write a game soundtrack!

I’ve been kind of a bedroom guitar hero for most of my musical journey, so I would say I’m predominantly a solo artist. It’s always been difficult to match up schedules and really put a band together that I can really be proud of. However, with a little help, I’ve been working on a concept album and I’m excited to see if I can carry a story and theme through multiple tracks. I’m considering a crowd funding campaign to get my mixes done proper, as well as hire some additional singers, a drummer, and even a horn player! It’s got technical portions and some melodic motifs that I hope people are really going to enjoy.

My long term goals are to create something that I’m really proud of that other people also enjoy, to one day write a soundtrack for a movie or game, and to hopefully make a living in the music industry.

Quick gear rundown!
Well, for this song I used my Ibanez SA series, Ibanez S Series, Raven West six string bass, and Martin D-28 Shenandoah. All electric guitars were recorded direct in and I modeled the amps in Guitar Rig. The acoustic was recorded with an AKG Perception 220 through my MBox 3 and my DAW of choice is Logic Pro. I have a pair of M-Audio BX8 monitors and some Sennheiser headphones that I use for just about all of my mixes.

Some gear I have but didn’t use in this particular mix includes: Jackson 8 string guitar, Axiom49 MIDI Keyboard, AMPLIFi 150 amplifier by Line 6, vintage Epiphone Coronet electric guitar, Crybaby Wah, several misc Boss pedals, a Fender mandolin, a violin, Halion Symphonic Orchestra sound library, a couple East-West sample libraries, and Steven Slate Drum library version 2.

Whoo, that’s a lot of stuff and I think I left some out!

Some gear I currently have my eye on is the Precision Overdrive by Horizon Devices and Superior Drummer by Toontrack (of course!).

Listen to Trey’s track here.


Daniel Contreras

Jim Dofka

Kyle Morrison

Andy Holbert

Mark Schielst

Alan Nicewonger



This section will be updated continuously through November, so stay tuned!


Dirk Verbeuren in a playthrough of his track for the 2017 Drumception series!


Here’s a video where acclaimed producer, Fit For an Autopsy guitarist and Drumception collaborator Will Putney talks about Superior Drummer 3.


Brendon Small of Galaktikon, Dethklok and Metalocalypse shows us how he uses Superior Drummer 3 as a tool to quickly get song ideas going.


Brendon Small of Dethklok, Metalocalypse, and Galaktikon goes into detail on how he uses Toontrack software, his initial thoughts on Superior Drummer 3 and more!


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