Getting good quality transfers of tango from shellac records to high resolution 24bit files is not easy. Luckily I recently discovered The Great 78 Project by George Blood LP:
The Great 78 Project is a community project for the preservation of 78rpm records. From 1898 up through the 1950s…
Fortunately for the fans of Argentine tango Epoca de Oro music this includes many recordings of tango from the late 20s to the mid-50s. And best of all, they’re all uploaded to the Internet Archive and available for free download.The downside is that while these are amazing transfers they retain the clicks of the shellac records. So I invested in some special software (iZotope RX8) to remove most of the distracting clicks and noise but without losing the amazing sound quality.
I was able to get some amazing transfers of D’Arienzo, Canaro, Troilo, Biagi, Pugliese, Fresedo, De Angelis and more. The process of removing the clicks is fairly simple once you learn how to use the software, and I’ve been able to restore some of the most amazing sounding tango recordings I’ve ever heard. You can hear the musicians and singers almost as if they’re in front of you. I’ve never heard tango like this, so clear and immediate!
TangoTunes transfers come pretty close and I hear that they’re coming up with new releases from Troilo 1943-1945 and also the Biagi and D’Arienzo recordings will all be re-transferred again as they have improved transfer techniques and also better quality shellac records. I’m looking forward to these new releases. In the meantime, it’s exciting that I can restore these recordings myself from the George Blood 78 Project as they come out with more amazing transfers of tangos.