“115” Drum Transcription — Kevin Sherwood

Posted on November 8, 2020

 115 Drum Transcription Summary

So here’s something I have no business doing, but humor me for a moment:

One of my favorite games growing up was Call of Duty: Black Ops. Yeah yeah, I know… cringe all you want, but there’s no denying how much fun I had playing it. And now, Black Ops will turn ten years old tomorrow.

So what does any of that have to do with music? Well, there’s a song from the Black Ops soundtrack called “115”, written by a guy named Kevin Sherwood. Give it a listen:

For some reason, this tune really put a spell on me when I first heard it back in middle school. I think it’s because, at the time, I hadn't really heard anything like it — death metal isn’t something I’ve ever been into, let alone back when I was 14. I guess it was cool to hear such a rocking tune like this in the game, and the very strange lyrics only added to my intrigue.

Well, a few years after forgetting about it, I gave the song another listen when I was in high school and immediately realized that the drums are canned. I can’t say for sure who programmed them, since the credits for the album don’t list anyone in particular. My assumption is that Sherwood did it, but it could have been a DAW’s drumming algorithm for all I know, <lol>.

I typically have no interest in figuring out a MIDI drum part written by a guitarist, since that wouldn't give me much to learn from… but because of some nostalgia, I decided to work it out. I first thought about doing this track back in the summer of 2015, when I had just graduated high school. I never actually got around to it until about 2 years later.

This is a rare, full–song transcription. If the drums were indeed programmed by hand, I’m guessing a lot of the notes were copied and pasted, since I only had to figure out about a minute of actual music before I pretty much had all of the track down. You don’t have to worry about improvising with a computer playing your drums.

Keep in mind that some of the licks are not physically playable (like some of those ridiculous cymbal chokes) and that there are plenty of orchestrations that won’t make any sense to a real drummer. I also have no clue what's happening with the toms. I'm guessing there are four, which is typical for a MIDI heavy metal drum kit, but they just sound so similar… in any case, I had a very hard time differentiating.

I’m kind of embarrassed about this whole post, but since I have the sheet music for a song that holds a special place in my heart (yikes), I might as well share it with the world. And this is as good a time as any.

To be more serious, it is crazy to be able to think back ten years. Heck, when I was watching the World Series last month, it dawned on me that it had been exactly 10 years since I watched the SF Giants win their first World Series when I was back home. And of course, the Dodgers had to win this year. I Cri.

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