"TW_AM69_IN.txt" - Views: 701 · Hits: 703 - Type: Public

The Who 
September 29, 1969 
Het Concertgebouw, 
Amsterdam, Netherlands. 
Lineage: 2-track soundboard mix for recording > Master Reel-to-Reel > Reel-to-Reel (#2) > MD -> CDR (0) > EAC > Remastering 2005 > Revisited 2006 (see below) > FLAC (8)

Recorded by the AVRO 
Mastering: Dec. 2005 / Revisitin: Nov. 2006 
by Prof. Stoned
Track Listing: 

01. 'House announcement'
02. Heaven And Hell 
03. I Can't Explain 
04. Fortune Teller 
05. Tattoo 
06. Young Man Blues 
07. A Quick One, While He's Away 
08. Substitute 
09. Happy Jack 
10. I'm A Boy 
11. Overture 
12. It's A Boy 
13. 1921 
14. Amazing Journey 
15. Sparks 
16. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker) 
17. Christmas 
18. The Acid Queen 
19. Pinball Wizard 
20. Do You Think It's Alright? 
21. Fiddle About 
22. Tommy Can You Hear Me? 
23. There's A Doctor 
24. Go To The Mirror 
25. Smash The Mirror 
26. Miracle Cure 
27. Sally Simpson
28. I'm Free 
29. Tommy's Holiday Camp 
30. We're Not Gonna Take It 
31. Summertime Blues 
32. Shakin' All Over 
33. My Generation 

Total time: 2h03m27s 


Hello Fellow Who Fans,

This fixed version of my 2005 remaster was seeded on Dime some time ago, but got banned due to my discovery that there was MD in the line age. However, no Pre-fm version exist without minidisc in the line age. And the Pre-FM version slays every Post-FM version out there. The owner of the reels transferred them to MD before going to CDR, and no other transfer digital has ever been. This remaster has been regarded by many fans as the definitive version. The original was downloaded at least 5000 times on different sites that I'm aware off and this fixed version was completed only 800 times in the 10 hours before it got banned, so I decided to reseed the fixed version here due to popular demand, and the fact that the original offspeed remaster has now also been bootlegged. 

I first seeded this one first in 2005 on Dime. But at the time, I neglected to correct the speed and the channel order. Some people pointed this out to me, but it wasn't later -when I played this again- that I really heard how off-speed (way too fast) my remaster was. 

Apart from the speed and channel swapping, I also corrected the first seconds of 'Go to the mirror" with a very short segment of the recently unleashed "Windmills in Amsterdam" source which comes from a re-broadcast from a couple months ago (thanks to windmill & hntgzr). You will not be able to hear the edit. At least I can't. Other than that, this is identical to the remaster of 2005.

I updated the text below with lots of newly found information and of course with the technical changes I made. While researching, I stumbled upon the name of the man who was ultimately responsible for this fantastic source. To make a long story short, I contacted him and sent him this fixed version, just as a gift. He LOVED it.


Prof. Stoned


Researched & Written by P.S.

***About the recording: 

This recording was made by a dutch radio / tv broadcast station called the AVRO. The first hour of the concert was put directly on-air, while the second hour was transmitted during the afternoon of the day after. It was actually also partially filmed and broadcast on TV in a reportage on the 8 o'clock News. Unfortunately, no visual footage has ever made it to us traders.

All of the people who attended this concert have been raving about it. Multiple witnesses remarked that when The Who appeared on stage, Keith Moon fell off the stairs really hard, nearly causing promotor Paul Acket to have a heart attack. But only to open all registers two minutes later with the first song, playing with the blood still on his head. Another witness remarked that Princess (and nowadays Queen of the Netherlands) Beatrix was there too, which seems kinda surrealistic. Other witnesses were the Golden Earring and Dave Dee, Dozy, Bicky, Mick and Tich.

Here are some pictures (made by Henk Hulstkamp): https://tinyurl.com/qov7jjx

Back then, and today still, het concertgebouw was not a place for rockbands but for opera's and other classical music. Mixed directly to 2-tracks, this may been one of the reasons why the mixing engineer had a hard time finding the right balance. The mix changes oftenly, and sometimes the drums or the guitar just disappear or get buried for a while. 

It also must have been hard for the band to hear each other, because of the extremely reverbrating acoustics. Remember, this was 1969 and sound monitoring on stage was still a thing for the future. When comparing this one to other Who shows from this year, this one may not be the best one. Roger Daltrey has once said that he didn't think he sang very good this night. And playing the Tommy album on stage was obviously not a routine for the band yet. 

But! There is more than enough to enjoy here. It is the only complete soundboard recording from this year. It is also the only one with complete line age and it has the best sound, unlike the millions of post-FM sources (including the recent one which was compressed to death by the radio station) circulating out there. Beside that, all other who '69 board tapes are far from complete and don't have most of Tommy. 

Listening to the mix and looking at the pictures, it seeems like the radio engineer was working with the following channels: 

1) Bass Drum (although no mic can be seen on the pictures....)
2) Drum Overhead (Sennheiser 421)
3) Bass Guitar 
4) Guitar 
5) Vocal Roger 
6) Vocal Pete 
7) Vocal John 
8) Room Ambiance (audience) 

The last channel was faded up (& down) every time the moment seemed right. Having it faded up in the mix all the time, probably affected the sound badly. 


***The Story behind the Pre-FM source

Somewhere around 2000, this Pre-FM source of this show was unearthed. It proved to be a dramatical improvement on every source available before. And it also made the very hard to find version of 'A quick one' available for the first time in good audio quality. 

R.T., a dutch Who diehard-fan who got to make a professional analog copy from the master tapes in 1974, was at the heart of this. He was asked by a dutch radio station to provide information and help for a 10th anniversary Who special and he loosely suggested to the presenter to use the annoucement of the Amsterdam recording, which he knew was made by the same radio station. Thus, he asked the radio engineer to make him a private copy of the master reel, which the engineer did.

During the 70's, he made copies from his reels for a few 'close' fellow collectors with the insistence that no further copies would be derived from these. He made unique edits on every copy, so that he could recognise them if they would eventually leak to the bootleggers. After a while he found his confidence being betrayed when a few bootlegs which contained his source appeared.Understandably, this pissed him off. But he brought up the courage to contact Pete Townshend to explain what happened and to apologise.

History repeated itself in the 90's, when R.T. made a digital copy (from MD to CDr) of his reels for what he considered a trustworthy fellow trader. Again, he cut out little fragments, this time only from the dialogue between the songs. This ended up to be the Amsterdam Journey bootleg CD on Hiwatt.

After discovering this, R.T. decided that this time he had nothing to lose anymore and made a completely unedited version available to anybody who was interested. That source eventually became the standard rather than the Hiwatt boot and is also the souce used for this remaster   

PS 2006

***About the mastering: 

I'm a great Who fanatic, especially of the 1965-1973 period. The sonics of this recording have been bothering me each time I listened to it. But I felt that the right mastering treatment could make a world of difference. 

I've been mastering board tapes, studio/live albums and radio broadcasts for years. I'm not making a full living out of it, but it is a part of my profession. I have treated this recording with multiband compression and limiting plus some very minor adjustments with a digital pultec eq. Only three tools, but these are tools that can either make or break the sound. Especially the former two are often overused in the world of modern mastering by engineers of great fame (Jon Astley, for example...). 

The newly discovered source still suffered from a sometimes very shrieky high-end, and a serious lack of bass frequencies. I adjusted the low-end to make the bass guitar sound like a bass guitar. Then I worked especially on the sound of vocals and cymbals. Most of the time the vocals are a bit too loud in the mix, as they were probably not compressed or limited. I attempted to bring them back in the mix as closely as possible, without harming the sound whenever the vocals were not present. I seperated the complete recording in four pieces and gave them the treatment they each needed. 

I did not use any noise reduction on this recording despite it being hissy. This is another tool that should be used very carefully, if at all. To quote a well known audiophile mastering engineer: "Hiss is everywhere. It's part of our lives. Without hiss we would all go insane" 

The recording has got pops, crackles, distortion & the ocassional technical difficulties. 'Overture' is an obvious example of this. There are many flaws in the orginal recording, and these were also heard in the post-fm sources. I did not attempt to remove or slighten any of these. Most of you should know what was on the label of the orginal Live at Leeds LP: "Crackling noises ok, do not correct". (NB: This was actually a note to the cutting engineers at the time.) 

I changed the speed of the recording with -0.49 semitones. I tuned the first song exactly to a generated G tone (792 Hz). And I swapped the channels so that Pete's guitar is on the right. A comparison with "Windmills in Amsterdam", confirmed that this runs in the correct speed now.

I did some minor editing. The first seconds of "go to the mirror" were missing on the 'complete dialogue' and all earlier versions. Because the band plays the same chords for a couple of times, I was able to copy the missing bit from a few bars further and disguise the problem considerably. And now, on this new 2006 edition I have furtherly -and this time definitively- repaired this flaw by using a 1 second segment of the "Windmills in Amsterdam" post FM source.
The 'complete dialogue' version has a bonus feature: 5 tracks & a KM interview from an unspecified source of a Dutch TV broadcast from 1973. In my opinion, the soundquality of those tracks is dreadful and only one track is not already included in the Amsterdam part. To me, it does not add anything to the mindblowing listening experience that the Amsterdam concert is. Therefore, I have scrapped the 1973 part on this remaster. 

Still there ? :-) Hope you enjoy this classic show in new improved soundquality. 

PS 2005/2006