The digitization of the shellacs and vinyls – the transfer – takes place in Vienna and Buenos Aires. As we work with fragile, old material, the discs are carefully cleaned, photographed, repacked and stored as material-friendly as possible.


Image: The suction process while cleaning the shellac.


Shellacs stored


For identification of the right pitch ("standard pitch"), an initial transfer for prelistening is needed. Based on this, the actual transfer with the corrected speed is made. (Most of the time, tunes have to be slowed down.)

The sound engineer chooses the right de-emphasis curve for every transfer. These curves were very different throughout the years and only in 1955 was it standardized with the RIAA-curve. To find the right curve is crucial for good transfers.




After the transfer gentle declicking and removal of pops is applied. Since mid 2014 we do not use any automatic algorithms anymore, as they distort the whole sound spectrum too heavily. Instead, we chose to accept the inevitable surface noise when transferring a shellac.

The equalizing and mastering are the final steps of the transfer.

All steps are done in the 32 bit / 96 KHz mode.


File formats

We provide the files in three basic formats:

  • FLAC – 24bit / 96 kHz – MONO
    This format is for audiophile connoisseurs, who would like to enjoy the best sound quality on high-end audio equipment.


  • AIFF – 16bit / 44.1 kHz – MONO
    According to the Red Book Standard we provide AIFF. This format is good for meta-tagging and practically every music player can play it.


  • M4A – 16bit / 44.1 kHz – STEREO
    Similar to AIFF, M4A is playable in popular music players. It is the classical iTunes file format.  


"Do I need M4A, AIFF or FLAC?"

The M4A format is only available in tunes from digitizations until mid 2014. All new releases and re-digitizations will only be provided in AIFF and FLAC.

> If you don't want to concern yourself with file formats and simply want to play the music in iTunes or any other music player, go for AIFF (or M4A, resp.).

> If you're looking for this little difference, invest in your equipment and know how to handle file conversion, you better opt for FLAC.


Read more about file formats in the "how to download" section and in the TangoTunes Blog. Also, the support team will gladly answer your questions at


Read on about our philosophy...