Video: Recreating Weezer's "Tired of Sex" Drum Sound | What's That Sound?

Weezer's Rivers Cuomo (2009). Photo by: Brendan Hoffman / Stringer, Getty Images.

Say it ain't so: for this week's episode of our What's That Sound series, Noam and Jessica take on a recreation of a Weezer classic, "Tired of Sex". Originally appearing on their 1996 self-produced sophomore studio album Pinkerton, Patrick Wilson's drums on this celibacy anthem are roomy, blazing and bombastic.

This time around, we used an SJC Custom drum kit with Zildjian cymbals across the board: a pair of 14" K-Sweet hats, an 18" K-Sweet crash, and a 21" A-Sweet ride. In keeping with the typical many-microphoned ethos of 1990s rock drum recording, Noam started by close-miking each element of the kit. However, after auditioning a few microphones and referencing the original track, he changed his approach to something more minimal and opted for a pair of room microphones (Coles 4038s) with a kick mic (Beyerdynamic M88) and a snare (Shure SM57).

Since the room microphones are central to the sound, they needed to be phase coherent to ensure proper low-end in the final mix. Noam achieved this via using an X-Y pattern, in which one microphone is placed directly above the other at a 90 degree angle to get both sides of the room. Though the room mics were run through a pair of Empirical Labs EL8 Distressors and the Soundtoy Decapitator plugins, they are in fact barely compressed. If we used too much compression, the cymbal sound would dominate the rest of the kit (all the more reason to use a darker pair of microphones like the 4038s). Both the kick mic and the snare mic were run through a Neve 1073 preamp—while the kick was processed with a DBX 165 compressor, the snare was treated with a Urei Universal Audio 1176LN.

Kick Snare Rooms

One last piece of the puzzle comes from a strange cymbal sound that Noam heard on the original track, sitting in the middle of the mix as opposed to the wide stereo mix of the room microphones. He guessed that it was probably a talkback mic, or a microphone that had been set up for scratch vocals, so we ended up recreating that with a Sennheiser 421.

Were we successful in recreating this drum sound, or did our take end up sounding maladroit? Watch the video above and hear it for yourself.

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