Lo-fi techniques

Of course. What version do you have?

I started with the OG v5 or v3 or something. If you repeatedly use the distortion effects and EQ effects over and over and over without listening you end up with incredible drones, soundscapes, and rhythms.

1 Like

I recently upgraded to 14 but might actually roll back to 9, it was way faster and I have no need for most of the features. will give it a shot, thanks!

I will probably always associate “lol fi” with not having money and making due with whatever cheap gear is at hand. a lot of bands/artists in the 80s & 90s (and earlier obviously, but that’s my main point of reference when thinking about this) wanted to sound “HiFi” but just couldn’t. hard to think in terms of technique, but rarely changing my strings (bass, guitar, cello) until they break is probably one example.


Similar to using a 3 head deck on monitor, use a BBD or tape delay 100% wet no repeats. Overdrive/reamp/re-record/HPF/LPF/varispeed all the things. Mic Auratones and boom boxes. Shallow Water.


This is so funny. The things you take for granted and you assume everyone does are never universal. I’ve been working with SF for and I take it for granted. There are so many incredible features in that program. Dig in.

1 Like

indeed! I mainly use it for normalising/compressing finished tracks, trimming/preparing samples and field recordings, and sometimes as a microlooper using the highlight function (cheers four tet)


when recording to tape, grab an old one that’s already been recorded on multiple times. don’t bother rewinding to the beginning, just hit record.


Just picked up a 3-head cassette recorder. @Irving did a good job of describing it above. Adds some really lovely quality to the sound.


This is pretty great for fake tape: https://www.airwindows.com/totape6/


And allllll of his other tape plugs, too. The ones with the head bump sound so good on drum/bass busses


I like to record to tape with one of these:

It has a limited frequency response, a lot of noise and it saturates in the mid range. I like it so much I kind of want to get another one for stereo.


I really like running stuff into my Marantz PMD-221 and then recording both the line out and an SM-57 on its little speaker, lining them up with a little labs IBP phase plugin (though you can easily do it in other ways too…like just zooming in and lining them up in the daw after they’ve recorded). I’ve been experimenting with multiple passes for stereo (one for left, one for right) too.

When you have two parallel signals (3 if you count the raw), you can do all sorts of cool stuff…especially fun to do it over time. Fade them in and out to change the quality over time. Pan them.

I also do this by running stuff into my AC30, and then recording both a 57 and a ribbon mic on the cab. Sometimes I just create a mix of the signals (which IMO, is my standard for an electric guitar sound) but you can also do the automating fades/pans/etc. stuff.

I need to do more experiments with running two similar but slightly different signals into my warps module to start messing around with them in there.

Also reminds me that I need to find the tiny little wear-on-your-belt battery-powered amp my parents got me when I was kid and try recording that.


i looove playing with those airwindows plugins, i sometimes use them in serial with other tape plugins to get something else entirely :white_circle:


Put a track through reel-to-reel with highly used tape. Adding some hiss/noise, removing some highs/little compression - it’s kind of lo-fi for me

This is beautiful! What was the workflow like with Blooper and this piece?

1 Like

Thanks! I set a loop length, then left it recording and played one note per loop. Over time, things broke up in a really musical way. I think I also sent a few other elements out from live, re-amping them through the pedal. I was pretty shocked by how much vibe Blooper had. Wasn’t expecting that.


I’m a big fan of lofizing stuff the lazy, cheap(ish) and controllable way, with plugins :smiley:

Wavesfactory Cassette, XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color, Goodhertz Lossy, Plogue Chipcrusher (which goes well beyond bitcrushing), Unfiltered Audio SpecOps. Two opposing pitch shifters 100% wet, in series. Or just pitch shifting in general.

Then again, I’ve also stuck headphones around a Sony M-100MC microcasette dictaphone, wrapped a towel around the whole thing, and re-recorded it into the DAW. That particular dictaphone is a little troublesome because the transport wants to stop during playback and I have to hold down the button and kind of force it to keep going…


That is the Chase Bliss magic! But you also have some serious compositional chops to be proud of. Nice work!

1 Like

This is one of the more unique lofi effects I’ve seen. It involves circuit bending the chip that controls the skip detection feature


That’s awesome. I wonder if the upcoming Qu-Bit Data Bender can do that sort of thing

1 Like