LoFi Tricks?

I know it’s counter productive to use a modern DAW to purposely make music with low fidelity, but LoFi as a genre is starting to get popular. I’m wondering if anyone knows any tricks to getting a “quality” LoFi sound, such as using specific filters or EQ settings?

I haven’t done it often but I have used the free iZotope Vinyl vst. You can get some Lo-Fi effects from that. And, like I said… it is free. :wink:

Regards :sunglasses:

“LoFi” is a genre now?..

No, rather a deficiency! :slight_smile:

But anyway, if you want to go down that route I think you can do a lot with EQ in combination with saturation/tape plugins. You should be able to f**k up everything we’ve worked so hard for to achieve all these years with a few mouse clicks. :laughing:

You could build a chain with EQ’s, modulators (vibrato, tremolo etc.), some degrader and saturator, but I find it easier to use one plugin that contains all of it.
In the past I used Sonitex’s STX-1260. The cool part of it was that you can load custom files for noise. Its presets where awesome too. Unfortunately it is EOL and 32-bit, so a no go.
Currently my quick success tool is XLN’s RC-20 Retro Color. It just does a great job and is really fun to use. Audiothing’s Vinyl Strip is a nice option too. But personally I like the results from RC-20 more because you have more control over each parameter and really are able to create a unique sound flavor.

A very simple way is to playback using some cheap speakers and recording it with a Mic.
The room and distance makes a huge difference, but the results can be quite unique.
Also converting a cheap kitchen speaker to a microphone is easy and can get you some real lower than LoFi results.
Anyway those things does not cost anything, only time.

Link Wray cutted his speakers’ membranes with a knife.

before you put any fx on the output bus , reverb ,eq,compresion, maximiser etc try mixing it down onto a decent cassette deck with a chrome tape, a normal tape may degrade it a bit too much, but you may like that effect. experiment with the input record levels on the cassette player , i used to be able to get it well in the red before distortion .once your happy bounce the cassette recording back into cubase and finish it off with the output bus effects . well something like that anyway ,it definately degrades the sparklyness of a digital recording…another tip listen to 60s and 70s recordings, Beatles etc and just try emulate them.good look in your search.

The words “quality” and “lofi” don’t really go together in my opinion. Degrading audio is the easiest thing in the world.

I would just grab a bunch of things and try them. In addition to the good suggestions above I’d try an amp simulator. Most will offer the ability to use effects (distortion etc), the amp and the cabinet by themselves or together. Sometimes running it through an amp will do. Sometimes just the cabinet. Sometimes pushing one of them to distortion and blending it with the original…etc…

….lofi…. is this the new “synthwave” which is the old synth / disco?

Before we know it 70’s “funk” will come back (but will be called something else to increase the pretense-level, like “retro-pop” or something equally misleading)….

History repeats itself, always! We, that have been there in the time a 4 track tape recorder was state of the art in studios? We can get horrified by the thought of reliving that period? Youngsters think of that as a cool sound for their new production? I just wonder how young musicians and producers will look back after 50 years or so? Our ears are what they are and are not going to evolve into something better in the near future! The level of sound quality today is already to the maximum that our ears can perceive.

Will they still be looking for that 70’s sound and LoFi sound quality? Or will they be trying to score a hit with those retro sounds from Omnisphere and Zebra?

XLN Audio RC-20 works really well for messing stuff up:)

I’m seeing “LoFi” mix tracks all over my YouTube feed these days (along with chillhop). I know it’s getting popular, but for the purpose of discussion, what exactly qualifies as “LoFi”?

Is it the sound? Or the way it was created?

If I hook up a MOOG synth to my computer and jam out a few tunes, add in some beats from an Akai MPC, would that be “LoFi”? Or is it more about the aesthetic?

The excellent RC20 RetroColor is on sale for £35 at PIB. https://www.pluginboutique.com/product/2-Effects/44-Saturation/3016-RC-20-Retro-Color