Experimenting With Lo Fi Beats (& Two Original Songs)

in music •  9 months ago

If this is your first time hearing of the genre "lo-fi", you're not alone. This unpopular genre tends to attract the anime-loving, underground music searching, chillers of today's internet culture. Lo-Fi is short for the term low fidelity which is a type of sound recording that has technical flaws making the recording sound vaguely distorted with hums, background noises, or limited frequency responses. Lo-fi is often associated with the occasional white noise we would get with playing music from a cassette tape.

I couldn't help but fall in love with the nostalgic feelings I got when I listened to this soothing genre of music. After coming back from a two day edm music festival, I felt inspired to try to make some of my own beats and tracks.

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Considering I don't have much experience with making songs, I did what I was comfortable with and used an occasional voice over and spoken word. I had fun experimenting and making beats and loops on my computer. I took my mic and recorded the traffic from my window with the gain turned up all the way to get the sort of lo-fi inconsistent sound I wanted.

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The first track I made was inspired by one of my favorite astronomers and authors, Carl Sagan. I took a snippet of the audio from his last interview before he passed, and mixed it with ambiance sounds and chill beats. Take a listen to the track below:


The second track I made I wanted to have a bit more of an upbeat feel but still stay true to the Lo Fi sound I love. I used a saxophone instrumental version of the intro to Jenifer Lopez's "Get Right" to tie the theme of getting right and getting retribution to the track. Then I recorded a voiceover of my two favorite Inigo Montoya scenes in The Princess Bride, along with audio from the film. Take a listen to the completed track below:


Overall I'm pretty happy with the results of my first two tracks. I know there is only growth from here and I can't wait to continue this exciting journey of finding inspirations, creating and sharing. Which of the two is your favorite? I would love to get some feedback :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the new year!

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I am producing PsyTrance since 2003. Your work are very interesting. For my taste your second track is well.

I can advice you to play with frequencies and make your mixes sounds better. Google for frequency ranges of different kind of sounds and apply that in you projects, you will see how more powerful they will be.

Eg. Human ear can't hear sounds below ~30 Hz, so you cut frequencies of bass and drums sounds with EQ below 30Hz.
Also Hihat sounds are best to cut of about 300-500Hz with EQ which will make them sound better.

There is a lot of this you can find on internet and songs could sounds awesome! Good luck! :)

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Wow I appreciate that, thank you so much. And thank you for the wonderful advice!! I most definitely will look into that further. What program do you use to make music? Because I'm just starting out I'm using garageband which was preloaded on my mac but there are features which I dont seem to find on that application, so I'm looking to find a new one to use.

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It's best to find some software who is suitable and easy to use for you. I use Fruity Loops from beginning of my production journey. Some programs who are mostly used by popular artist are:

  • Cubase
  • Ableton Live
  • Reason
  • Fruity Loops
    Also I saw many artist using Ableton Live on MAC and it's most popular program now. But it could be little tricky to use until you spend some time.
    Youtube is full of tutorials about all of them.
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I can give you a strong recommendation to try Reaper. It's free to try fully featured and has strong midi implementation. You can also try different skins which emulate different DAWs. Ableton is unquestionably the best for composing on the fly ... it lets you run a standard scrolling DAW in the background, capturing what you are a triggering... while you launch "clips" of midi or audio, all time sync'd. Basically a perfect hybrid of DJ sampling workflow, midi notating and DAW editing.

But yeah. Reaper is free. And also great. So there's that.

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Thanks for recommendation. Seems that it's very lightweight as it's only 11mb for Win-64bit.
But also looks very interesting.

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Ableton Live is about the industry standard. It’s expensive though.

Korg Gadget might be worth a look though. It’s cheap and has a load of fun built into it.

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Excellent recommendations.Forgot about gadget since my Ipad became fossilized.

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I semi-like Gadget. I feel like I'd like it much more if I had a hardware controller as trying to manipulate sounds on a touchscreen drove me MAD eventually.

Although, I'm fairly keen to check out Modstep on iPad. That sounds like a neat little sequencer. I love the idea of getting some loops up and going and then just jamming. I'm trying to get myself a little hardware setup sans PC so I can just do live jams. Get my eyes off a screen, hand away from a mouse and just hit some buttons!

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I was all about Gadget till I finally just got a damn laptop and ableton for the van and I literally haven't even packed my Ipad since. Makes for a lovely controller for the modular though. = )

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Yeah I bet! I'm not even thinking about modular. I've not quite got the technical capabilities for that right now. What a rabbit hole that could be!

Part of me thinks about getting a Novation Circuit. I could imagine whipping that out on the train for a commute jam.

Carl Sagan is my hero!!!!!!!! Well played on that one

I love lofi. There’s a whole bunch of it in the albums of the year round ups I’ve been doing on here. Saturation, tape hiss, muffled high end... love all those textural trademarks. What’s been capturing your imagination in terms of tracks and artists?

I’ll swing my ears by your soundcloud when I’ve got some headphones on!

stealth edit

Already started compiling a lofi spotlight Spotify playlist for a piece here thanks to you!

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Ha! I wasn't expecting hip hop beats. My freaking computer is glitching out and making listening to things next to impossible. I'm going to have to send it off to IT sort out. I got a general feel though!

It's interesting as I've put a thing at the end of the playlist I've just finished curating which is all house-y, but the flipside is really grainy and decaying trip hop vibes. I'll make words about it when I get round to doing my post.

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Hey thanks! The track science had more chill beats then the other did, but I'm working on practicing to get the exact sound I want to achieve :)

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I read back what I wrote before and it is a lot of word salsa! I think I got over excited about music and mashed my keyboard a bit.

Definitely good to see sounds coming out though, it’s the first big step. I am a man of many half finished ideas, starts with no end. Really need to pull myself over the finishing line but I’m far too self criticial.

I love this stuff! Check out my stuff. Maybe leave an up vote and so will I? :)

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Which one was your favorite?

Nice music. I love this @mrslauren

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Both were good but I'm really enjoying this second track. Science starts out well but and has potential but you can definitely take it further if you have the time. Your description of lo-fi involving anime loving chillers cracked me up hahaha.

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I'm glad you liked it! Means a lot that you took the time to listen to them both :)