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The Who - Who (Remixed & Remastered):

This page will provide you with step-by-step instructions how to remix and remaster "Who"
(Updated - May, 2024)

The Who - Who - 2019 UK CD


How did I get here? After receiving endless complaints about the sound quality of "Who" ("unlistenable"; "drowning in bass", "too harsh", "doesn't sound right", etc), I tried to "fix" it myself.

Some of my past "projects" made the album "listenable" (but not really on any professional level). I was never really satisfied with that and fortunately, time and technology caught up and helped.

In early 2023, I was able to "remix" and remaster the album, creating a very enjoyable listening experience. However, a dear friend pointed out to me that he believed the vocals in my mix were "too loud". At the time, it didn't matter much to me, because I thought the sound reminded me of the cherished Pete Townshend album, Rough Mix and I created something very enjoyable to listen to, even though not "perfect".

Fast forward a year or so...

Never forgetting my friend's comments and having some free time (with updated software), I gave the album another shot. What would happen if I changed the mix?

My 2023 mixes weren't too creative. I took the original HD recordings and widened the mix by 60%. The album is very "busy", instruments were colliding (i.e. the cymbals and guitars on "Beads On One String")  and resulted in distortion. Widening the mix, gave everything more room to breathe. However, with a 60% pan, the <centered> vocals ended up the loudest. My new mix approach was to narrow the pan to 40% and lower the vocals to compensate for the mix changes. This created a much more musical and cohesive version of "Who".

When I sampled my new rough mixes, I was very pleased. THIS was the album that they intended. The trick now was to get the mastering right. The original mastering engineer dumped a ton of bass on the official release to mask the distortion. Remixing helped, but remastering finished the job. Unfortunately, this wasn't as easy as it sounds. My first shot at remastering (which brought all the instruments out of hiding) also affected the vocals, making them a snad too bright (and unnatural). I Googled the problem and I found an article detailing various "mastering tricks" to resolve this. The demixed, un-remastered vocals were just fine. Hence, I created "instrumental only" mixes, mastered them and then mixed the vocals in. Time consuming, but it solved the problem.


I used the following:

Audacity (DAW) (you will need a different DAW for mastering - see comments under mastering below).

RipX (Demixer)

Ozone 11 Advanced (Mastering)

And the music itself:

Who (HD Version)

(Note: You can use a CD version of "Who", 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.]

Step-by-Step Instructions:


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 convert the tracks to stems, remix the stems and then remaster the newly remixed tracks.


1) Import track into RipX to create your stems (Pictured: "Detour"). Once you create the stems, export/save them to a folder so you can work on them

The Who - RipX

2) Import your new stems (instrument tracks only)  into your DAW (Audacity pictured) and open the mixer.

Who - Audacity

Using my settings, reduce the bass by 4db, pan the bass -40, pan the guitars +40. Save the same as a 2-track.

Sound Sample of remixed Detour - Instrumental Only

3) Import your remixed track into Ozone (note: I am using Adobe Audition as a DAW for mastering.

Who - Adobe Audition

4) Open Ozone 11 Advanced within Audition.

Who - Audition - Ozone 11 Advanced

Within Ozone, I chose the mastering setting, "Increased Presence" (which seemed to have the best match with this album). There are additional settings within this setting, but I found that running it "vanilla" sounded best. Apply and then save your newly remastered track.

Sound Sample of remastered Detour - Instrumental Only

5) Open your newly remastered track in Audacity and increase the volume so that it's fully peaked. Then, import the vocal track stem that you saved from RipX.

Who - Audacity B

Sound Sample of Detour - Finished Mix

With the remastered instrumental track fully peaked (top wave form), you are now going to decrease the vocal track (bottom wave form) by 1.5db.

You have now successfully remixed and remastered a complete track. Export/save the file.

6) Repeat the same process for the rest of your tracks.

Some hints... In Ozone, I recommend saving your settings so you don't have to "reinvent the wheel" each time you load another track in. Mastering choices and levels are saved. I had to tweak a few tracks outside of the "standard" mix/mastering settings. For example, the vocals on "I Don't Wanna Get Wise" are still too loud with a 1.5db reduction. I dropped them to -3db. You will note that the album seems to be recorded with varying vocal levels throughout. There is no "right or wrong", but rather a judgment call.


If you've gotten this far and want to "fix" the Live Kingston tracks (2020 Deluxe Edition w/Kingston), all you need to do is drop the bass by -6db.

Final Comments:

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. 

Note: If after reading all of this, you find this too complicated, and you would like a free copy of the Remixed & Remastered 2024 version, please email whitefang@thewho.info


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