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The Who - Who (Remastered):
This page will provide you with step-by-step instructions how to remaster "Who"
After receiving endless complaints about the sound quality of "Who", I tried to "fix" it myself. The common complaints are that its "unlistenable"; "drowning in bass", "too harsh", "doesn't sound right", etc.
One day taking a long drive in the car, I discovered that turning the bass way down made it <semi> "listenable" - but still very harsh. When I got home, I decided to see if I could fix it electronically.
After multiple experiments, I gave up. However, several months later, I woke up one day with a vision how to "try again". This time I was <mostly> satisfied with the results (everything is a "work-in-process").
Wave Form Of "Detour" Before and After Remastering (First 30 Seconds)
Detour (Before) Detour (After)
I used the following:
Nyquist Channel Mixer plug in (Install Instructions)
Who (HD Version) (You can use a CD version, but will most like get better results starting from a higher resolution). [You will also need to get "Sand" from the Japan CD or the "Audiophile" 3LP version.]
I worked with WAV files. If you download the HD version your computer, use WAV files. If you start out with a CD, rip the CD to your computer using... (WAV Files).
What you are going to ultimate do, is reduce the amplification, widen the stereo, add reverb, reduce the bass and then restore amplification. You will do the same thing for each track (except for "Danny And My Ponies", you will not add reverb to, since there already is reverb already).
1) Load track into Audacity (Pictured: "Detour")
2) Double Click on Wave Form (background will change from grey to white - this is the same as "select all") and from the "Effect" Menu, select "Clip Fix" (use the settings as pictured below)
Your wave form will now look like this (note the background remains in "select all" mode):
3) From the "Effect" Menu, select "Channel Mixer" (which you installed as per above before you got started).
There are several choices for the Channel Mixer, you select "Wide Stereo" and hit "OK". This effect does two things: It brings out a lot of the buried instruments and at the same time, makes the sound quality less harsh. I've tried remastering with (and without).
4) From the "Effect" Menu, select "Reverb"
Use the settings above. I experimented with different settings, but the 15% level (and as above) seemed to be the best fit. This adds some ambiance and reduces the harshness.
5) From the "Effect" Menu, select "Bass & Treble"
Pictured above is the setting for "Detour". Unfortunately, all of the tracks are different, but its easy enough to adjust each one separately (just by typing in the values). Below is a chart for each track. Enter the value and press "Apply".
(Also note the minus (-) sign in front of the bass value. You will be removing bass from each track. What this does is balance the overall tone.
6) From the "Effect" Menu, "Amplify"
This part is a little tricky. You want to create good wave forms, but also you want each track to be consistent with each other (i.e. the volume doesn't change from one song to the next). Once you do the first track and set a level, you may have to toggle back and forth a little with the subsequent tracks to get the right level. The good news is you can change the amplification several different times to tweak and there does not appear to be any different effect as a result.
7) Save your remastered track!
From the "File" menu, Export / Export Selected / [Name File/Track - i.e. "04 Detour"] / File Type (Here you can choose 24 bit Wave (HD), 16 bit Wave (CD), etc. and then enter your meta data.
That's it! It's all very simple. Once you do one or two tracks, you will see how easy this can be. From here you can burn your tracks onto a CD, keep them on your computer, put them on a thumb drive, etc.
To remaster the "Beads On One String" (2020 Pete Townshend Remix), follow steps 1 & 2, then skip to 4 (add reverb as above) and the proceed to step 5 (here you will reduce bass by 4.8db, or if you want a little more bass, 3.8db). Then onto step 6 to "amplify" and you are all done.
To remaster the Live Kingston tracks (2020 Deluxe Edition w/Kingston), follow steps 1 & 2, then skip to 4 (add reverb as above) and the proceed to step 5 (here you will reduce bass by 6db). Then onto step 6 to "amplify" and you are all done.
This isn't a "perfect" fix. You are remastering something that has already been mastered (vs. working directly from an unmastered, master). There are some built in issues with the sound that I believe should have been corrected while being mixed. These issues you cannot fix, but you should find a big change to your listening enjoyably. Tracks like "Detour", "I'll Be Back" and "Break The News" should come out near perfect. Ultimately, it's up to you if you like this fix (or not). Perhaps you (or I) will find a better solution in the future and perhaps, the powers to be will recognize that this album deserves to be remixed and remastered (professionally)...
Lastly, if you have never done this before, be very careful with sound volumes. Don't screw up and turn the volume way up - you can hurt your ears (just like any other LOUD music situation). By accepting these instructions above, you agree to waive any of your rights for liability of any kind.
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