The sounds of LoFi take many forms in music production. It's the final one that we're going to concentrate on here, helping you create chiptune and lo-res sounds that'll put your listeners in mind of a bygone age of early consoles and arcade games. In FL Studio, there are two tools that can quickly put us in the retro digital mood.
This a great way to add some Lo-Fi crunchiness to your tracks, although it can be difficult to control. On the other hand, Dither can help fine-tune the bitcrushing effect to get exactly the sound you want. Dither is low-level noise added to the audio signal in an effort to keep the level of the audio from dropping below the least significant bit.
In other words, it makes the quiet parts of the audio slightly louder so that more of the signal can be heard when the bit depth is reduced. Here is a visual example of this, with a snare drum:. Route the audio you wish to transform to a mixer track, insert a Dither plugin and a Bitcrusher immediately after it.
Adjust the bitcrushing effect until you get the amount of crunchiness that you want. Once you have the bitcrusher set, unmute the dither plugin and adjust its settings.
More extreme amounts of bitcrushing will need higher levels of dither to make an impact. This will let you make the dither as loud as possible. Adjust the other three controls to taste.
Tips for Mixing Lo-Fi Retro Sounds into Your Tracks
This is going to be largely trial and error. Original source - here. Tomorrow Trap. Gully Grime.
Lo-Fi Hip-Hop Drum Kit
Neuro Techstep 2. Disco Nu Disco. DJ Tools. Free Samples. Hard Dance Hardcore. IDM Electro Glitch. Live Music. Music Courses. Pop Future Pop Indie Pop. Reggae Dancehall Dub Reggaeton. Sound Archives.Not a guitar player? Is your vocal-processing plugin gathering virtual dust? Then whip it out and process your bassline with it! The great news is that you don't have to pay a penny to get involved in some lo-fi action; check out some of these absolutely free processing plugins and you'll see what we mean….
This simple but effective freeware plugin has a four-mode quantiser that feeds into a waveshaping stage, before funnelling the signal through a high- and low-pass filter for broad tone-shaping. Digital distortion, bitcrushing and sample-rate reduction effects are forever associated with chiptune, so this is a must for PC and Mac users.
Dutch techno producer Legowelt is known for his aggressively lo-fi tunes, and Ableton Live users can get some way towards that sound by downloading his Smackos Tape Station, a custom-built Live Rack that can be downloaded for free from his site. Use the Year button to choose a particular era, dial in pitch instability, and mix in just the right amount of dust artefacts and scratches.
Plus, you can use its Spin Down button to emulate the effect of someone slowing down turntable playback, DJ-style. MusicRadar The No. The great news is that you don't have to pay a penny to get involved in some lo-fi action; check out some of these absolutely free processing plugins and you'll see what we mean… Image credit: Future 1.
HY-Plugins HY-LoFi2 This simple but effective freeware plugin has a four-mode quantiser that feeds into a waveshaping stage, before funnelling the signal through a high- and low-pass filter for broad tone-shaping. Image credit: Future 2. Image credit: Future 3. Legowelt Smackos Tape Station Dutch techno producer Legowelt is known for his aggressively lo-fi tunes, and Ableton Live users can get some way towards that sound by downloading his Smackos Tape Station, a custom-built Live Rack that can be downloaded for free from his site.
Image credit: Future 4. All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. More Info.Emulates the built in YM sound chip with a decent plugin user-interface. YMVST ymvst. Read More. Vinylusion emulates the natural shape and texture of vinyl records playing on a turntable.
The goal is to re-create all those good old record player sounds such as crackles, popsstatic and hisses that give a. VinylSound is a VST instrument pre-loaded with 13 sound loops of real vinyl record pops and clicks. VinylSound can quickly create a realistic vintage feel in your own recordings!
VinylSound is activated by midi — you can. Vinyl emulates the sounds of old vinyl players. Vinyl recreates the dust noise and frequency response of old recordings. You can adjust intensity, color and amount of dust noise in a wide range.
Also you can simple. Unknown64 has: Unknown64 unknown Unicycle is an 8-bit wav-synth with four-cycle waveforms to choose from. They can be subtle or. There are only three wave types: square, triangle, and noise. There is also a simple arpeggiator for making classic 8-bit sounding tunes. Toy Piano was created from very clean samples.
It has a simple interface with only ADSR controls. It is velocity sensitive. Each note is individually sampled. Toad is a drumkit based on the classic nintendo entertainment system.
Excellent quality percussive bits are here in abundance. Toad Toad. TapeSound is pre-loaded with 9 sound loops of real tape hums and noise.Lo-Fi provides bit-reduction for retro sound processing without the expense of retro equipment. Sci-Fi adds analog synth-type ring modulation, frequency modulation, and variable frequency resonators.
Recti-Fi provides super and sub-harmonic synthesis, and Vari-Fi allows processing of disk files to create the effect of audio changing speed to or from a complete stop. Lo-Fi is a variable amplitude noise generator that adds soft clipping distortion and saturation to your sound. The Sci-Fi ring modulator gives you a unique "outer space" feel. Recti-Fi is a full wave rectifier featuring a powerful sub-harmonic synthesizer. A pre-filter can be used to adjust the effect frequency, and a post-filter can be used to smooth the generated waveform.
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Find out more.You could, for example, sample old vinyl records or buy an old drum machine. Here are some of the best options:. It comes with 8 macros allowing you to decrease the band width, add vinyl crackles, detune and distort the source sound. A must have for every lofi producer if you ask me. Labs is a free software instrument made by the London based sound design company Spitfire Audio.
There are several extensions available, including pianos, brass, choirs and synths. Most of these instruments are rather unique and therefore a nice addition to the basic instruments libraries you probably already own. The sound either fits your production or not.
A bitcrushera downsampler and an analog drive knob. It further comes with 2 filters and an LFO that can be used to modulate every parameter. Just like Krush it combines different distortion modes with high and low-pass filters. More precisely it has one drive knob and a quantizer, which can run in different modes and qualities.
It comes with one oscillator, 7 waveforms and controls for ADSR, vibrato and decimation, which makes it perfect for Chiptune or 8-bit music. Although you can definitely do some cool stuff with the freeware I mentioned so far there are some paid options no lofi producer should miss out on. It combines 6 different effect units, including noise, wobble, distort, digital, space and magnetic.
Combining these options basically allows you to recreate any lofi characteristic you could possibly think of. Considering that Baby Audio is a rather new plugin company, their products already gained quite much attention. All knobs sound surprisingly good and I really dig the design. Decimort 2 is a bitcrusher on steroids.
It offers two optional anti-alias filters, adjustable jitter, two quantization methods and controllable dithering. In contrast to most plugins mentioned in this list, you can change the signal flow simply via drag-n-drop. It allows you to add noise to any kind of source sound. The cool part is that unlike similar effects you can even load your own noise samples and can adjust the exact frequency range, amount, ADSR and stuff like that.
This is where the Cableguys come into play. Their ShaperBox combines different effects that can all be modulated. The Time one is especially interesting for lofi producers, because it allows you to play back your melodies in halftime, add cool pitching effects and mix everything in with the dry signal. Analog Pro is once again a plugin meant to bring your digital audio tracks to live by simulating analog hardware. SketchCassette is a VST inspired by 4-track cassette recorders.
It comes with most features the other plugins in this list have. Wow Control focuses on the weird and random modulations of analog playback devices. According to their website Goodhertz has carefully studied the essence of three different tape machines to make sure their plugin is the most comprehensive tape model they ever heard. It comes with classic compression controls, such as knee or release time, and since it can run in multiband mode you can further control the individual bands a bit.
In contrast to most usual compressors it comes with a big drive knob. It allows you to increase high frequencies without raising the level too much. As you can see, there are plenty of lofi plugins available that make your productions sound like they were recorded with a toaster or something like that.
The free offers, especially Vinyl and Labs are no brainers, since.Double vocals, add lo-fi color, control stereo width, and manipulate your mix in a virtual space - all for free! Vinyl simulates the dust, scratches, warp, and mechanical noise reminiscent of yesteryear. Updated with immersive, fluid visuals, full resizability, and a new, smoother mode for creating stereo, the new version of Ozone Imager offers a wider world of possibilities for imaging in your mix.
Vocal Doubler is designed to enhance your vocal with a natural doubling effect, adding richness and depth. Visual Mixer lets you move your tracks around a virtual space. Visual Mixer is yours to keep when you download a free demo of Neutron 3 Advanced.
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Next comes the Wobble processor, which offers control over simulated wow and flutter, allowing you to set both independently and blend between them. This plugin is completely focused on one type of sound degradation. Can you tell what it is yet?
Taking a closer look at Vinyl Strip, the Distortion section gives a Drive control and a Harmonics dial to mix between odd harmonics, even harmonics or both. The Compressor has an Envelope setting between fast and slow for transient shaping, plus an Amount dial.
Vinyl Strip is no slouch at bit-crushing, either, with its Bits control simulating a low-res digital system all the way down to 4 bits, and the Sample Rate running down to 0.
A gate-meets-sampler plugin built for layering new sounds onto your existing audio, Devious Machine's Texture is a VST, Audio Units and AAX plugin that can be added to any audio track in order to put a new twist on it — and that includes a LoFi twist as well!
With the gate Threshold set up properly, that water sound will be added in with your piano sounds whenever it plays, meaning you can either thicken it up, add a constant crackle behind it, or use Texture to emphasise just a portion of the existing audio. The hand-drawn GUI also helps take us back to a time when hours could be spent filling in song names and creating artwork to go with the listening experience. Decimort can do exactly that — and plenty more besides. There are loads to get on with here.
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