If you want to make LoFi hip hop, you will need the right tools. The term LoFi stands for Low Fidelity and it refers to audio recordings that display technical flaws.
The original LoFi music has a poor recording quality and you can hear several imperfections like distortion, background noise, and so on. A growing number of people enjoy this type of music, and some of them want to know how to make it.
The issue here is that the sound of LoFi hip hop is deliberately created to be low-quality, and this can be difficult to create using modern DAWs. Well, in this post, we will show you the tools that can help you to make LoFi hip hop.
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How to Create LoFi hip hop
Before we delve into the tools that are needed for this, we will consider how you can make it. Before you begin making this genre, you have to get in the mood. LoFi hip hop is a moody genre and it gives such an effect on anyone that is listening to it. Thus, get in the right headspace before you start recording. Induce some nostalgia or memory from the past.
By having that frame of mind, your creativity will go up a notch and will make production smoother and more successful.
Tools for Making LoFi Hip hop
The first tool that will help you with this is HY-Plugins HY-LoFi2. It is a free Lofi plugin from Rekkerd that is in VST and AU plugin formats.
This is a rather simple plugin that comes with a quartet of quantizers. It offers you plenty of unique versatility and will give the lofi sound that you want from your music.
Rekkerd is not new to the scene as they have developed a similar version in the past. The old plugin had a similar interface and control layout. It is a good thing that the manufacturer has continued with this layout because it is pretty easy to manage.
In addition to the layout, this new HY-Plugins HY-LoFi2 is fitted with a dry or wet slider, input gain control, and other handy features.
Additionally, you will find that you can adjust the HP and LP filters.
Performance-wise, this is certainly one of the best options for making LoFi hip hop. It will greatly help any producer to add some dirt to the signal. The module will give you a quartet of distortion flavors to decide from and the filter sections earlier mentioned perform an excellent job of rounding up the audio signal.
You can use this plugin for different operating systems as you can download and install on Windows. On Mac, it is an automatic installer. The good thing about the features here is that you get them for absolutely no cost.
Audio Damage Rough Rider 2
Up next is a multi-band compressor that offers plenty of handy features that anyone looking to make LoFi hip hop would love. The Audio Damage Rough Rider 2 might give old-school vibes, but it is a modern option that offers a very warm sound and vintage appeal – perfect for Lo Fi. With this tool, you can handle a variety of stuff, including adding compression effects, use with synth bass and guitar, as well as backing vocals.
The main reason why this is excellent for LoFi is the design. When you force signals through a compressor model, this will blitz and natural dynamics of the signal. Instead, you get a squeeze that enhances the original signal. With this design, the Audio Damage Rough Rider 2 comes as one of the best tools for making LoFi hip hop.
Another thing that differentiates this from your regular compressor is that it offers three bands instead of the usual four. Despite this, it is sufficient for whatever you are using it for, especially when making LoFi hip hop. If you are looking for something subtle, then this tool is not for you. However, if you want to dominant the dynamics to give you something uniquely LoFi, then look no further than this compressor tool.
D16 Decimort 2
If the tool we discussed above was very simple, this next one shows that not all the tools for LoFi hip hop come in simple forms; challenge accepted! The D16 Decimort 2 is an impressive plugin that is designed to give you reliable use. It is a very advanced bit crusher that works particularly to compress, scrap and degrade the original sound. How does it accomplish this? Well, it degrades the sound by reducing the digital information. When this happens, you observe that the sound will pop even more.
Artists during the early years of hip hop and electronic music used retro samplers. These tools did not have the storage, capabilities, and resolution of modern tools. However, they had a special, special sound. This is what this tool aims to help recreate.
By using this tool, you can get in touch with these sounds- this time in a controlled way.
While there are more advanced settings for those that like to get granular with their plugins, this tool also offers some simple controls and plenty of features that can give you the same sounds from the past.
Legowelt Smackos Tape Station
The next option comes from a techno producer that is renowned for his LoFi tunes. The tunes from this producer are aggressive, and if you are looking to make a tune that is aggressively LoFi, then you certainly would have an excellent time fiddling with the Legowelt Smackos Tape Station. It has almost everything that you might want from a tool of this nature.
It is compatible with Ableton Live, therefore get ready with your controllers to make some LoFi music. If you use Ableton Live, you can get the LoFi sound that you want by downloading the tool on your device. Check it out from the official website. One great thing here is that you don't have to pay a dime before you can also enjoy it.
The tool is made up of a pair of parallel chains, with each chain coming with Live devices. With this tool, you can get different LoFi sounds. Some users have described the tool as emulating a cassette tape sound from as far back and the early 1980s.
A visit to the website not only yields this tool, but also shows you others like the 808 Simulator, TR0909 drums, and a clapping instrument to boot.
This is perhaps the most popular free plugin for anything music on the market right now. Since the audio CD was developed, vinyl has cut quite a controversial figure. And that is not a surprise as bot formats come with advantages and disadvantages. One of the arguments lies in the fact that vinyl is analog. Therefore, there isn't any distortion with regards to digital-analog conversion. There is also no quantization error. The only downside to vinyl is that it isn't durable. It scratches rather easily. However, not everyone hates that. In fact, many engineers have sought to capture the ‘spits' from the audio and the repetitive thump from vinyl.
Enter iZotope Vinyl. This is a very popular tool for making LoFi hip hop. It is not only a free tool, but it also is the best, according to many sound engineers. By using this plugin, you can enjoy the simulated spits, thumps, and other imperfections found in vinyl records in your hip hop. You get to simulate all that and more.
It also allows you to create a worn record too.
iZotope Vinyl comes with several features, but perhaps the favorite of many producers is the Year button. Pressing that button allows you to determine the era you want your music to sound like it is from. Additionally, there are some functions that allow you to create a turntable playback effect with much success.
The next tool on our list is this unique compressor plugin. If you are looking for a tool that will add that LoFi mix to your sound and make it quite dirty, then you should consider this tool. It is one of the most energetic options right now and you will find some of the best timbres that you will have on a compressor.
Installing this tool on your computer is pretty easy. All you need to do is go to the official website and download the plugin. To begin enjoying the complete package, you need to have a Goodhertz account.
In actual use, this is one of the most impressive options that we have laid hands on. It is an excellent option that has plenty of indomitable character. It offers you the opportunity to make something of impressive quality while not causing a harsh sound. During use, you observe compelling sounds and results that will entrance listeners. The LoFi effects are especially impressive.
You also get plenty of presets on this plugin.
Another reason why this deserves to be here as one of the best tools for LoFi hip hop is the interface. You will observe that it is not only stylish, but it is also very user friendly. With the Goodhertz Vulf, you will get the results that you desire very quickly.
Waves Reel ADT
Abbey Road gas a signature sound, and it is quite surprising that it has taken this long to have the sound bottled up as a tool to be used in your music. This tool is an excellent option that comes with several useful defining features. Some of the best features of this tool are the addition of vintage valve coloration, wow, flutter, negative delay, and more. The design is certainly one of the best things that you will find in this category. At first glance, the metallic grey appearance and large knobs deliver the feeling of business and vintage appeal.
This tool, unlike some of the others on this roundup, was not designed primarily for LoFi. However, that doesn't stop it from working superbly in such a capacity. Using it rightly allows you to evoke old-school tape textures,
The technique of the tool was developed back in the 1990s to mimic the sound of a singer singing over their performance. This particular effect works to thicken the sound of the music.
Well, if you are looking to add this sound to your music, you certainly would have a great time with this tool. The modulation on display will likely meet all your requirements.
Klevgr DAW Cassette
There are some very simple tools that can evoke the sound of cassette tapes. These abound, but it can be somewhat of a hassle finding a reliable and versatile option. The Klevgr DAW Cassette beats most of the competition and offers exactly this feature to you. By using the tool, you can bring this sound back to your music and add it to your DAW.
The cassette sound is popular for the rounded frequency response and noise, and this is exactly what is one offers with this tool.
The interface is one of the simplest that we have come across. It is very useful to use and the controls can be understood even if this is the first time that you are using something like this. Aside from this unique sound, there are numerous other features that you will find in this tool.
One of the best things offered by the tool is the ability to determine the tape stock type. Thus, this will give you the ability to choose whether the hip hop sounds like something played off a chrome, plastic, or metal tape.
Best Software To Make LoFi Hip Hop, Final Thoughts
The demand for LoFi music continues to grow. Many people are nostalgic about the sounds of the past, even if they haven't experienced it. By using these tools that we have listed above, you can also make LoFi hip hop.