Lofi/OldSchool Beats: production and tips exchange.

Discussion in 'Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B' started by Djord Emer, Feb 9, 2022.

  1. Djord Emer

    Djord Emer Rock Star

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    Hey, how are you doing?

    So I'm starting to dig some Lofi Hip-Hop and making some tracks already. The idea of this Thread is simply to be a place where we can exchange production tips about anything related to this kind of sound (from Nujabes, Dilla, Madlib to Knxwledge, Jinsang,etc). Be it a specific plugin that works really well for a specific task for someone, be it a mixing technique, a cool way of sequencing hats or sidechaining the kicks. Everything goes, can even be a painting.

    I'll go first: I've been experimenting with sidechain using a special track just for a short midi signals aligned with actual kick samples, with that technique I've also been experimenting using sidechain in some places where there's actually no drums, I found that if you managed to discover the right places it creates a sweet grove by itself, it's so good!

    Now for plugins: one plugin that's been very helpful and cool to make basses is the OP-X PRO-II, looks weird but has a bunch of good presets and sounds super good. Another thing that ends up in almost every beat I make is the Vulf Compressor, it adds a beautiful overrall vibe for the track, it's like insta lofi and sounds really genuine.

    And for some music:





     
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  3. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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  4. Half Moon

    Half Moon Noisemaker

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    I guess they sampled a lot of older music. Youtube is a nice place to start sample digging.
    For sampling FL studio Slicex is nice.
    Recently tried Serato Sample and it's one nice plugin to get some auto-chopped samples to play with or to create a groove. It also shows what key and tempo of the sample, which helps my tone-deaf ears.
    "Serato Sample’s Autoset feature to instantly get 32 sample chops to work with"

    Other plugins I like to use for that LOFI effects
    RC-20 Retro Color
    Vinyl Plugin iZotope
    Waves Retro Fi - Analog Lofi FX Plugin[ haven't tried yet]
    these are helpful to create those Tape effects wow and flutter, I try to use them on samples that sound very clean or digital.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  5. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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  6. Half Moon

    Half Moon Noisemaker

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    Aberrant DSP SketchCassette
    Devious Machines Texture
    Baby Audio Super VHS
    Reaktor VHS Audio Degradation Suite[https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/11003/] A nice one

    Might not be related to lofi hip hop but, Boards Of Canada always gave me a nostalgic feeling and LOFI vibes.
    This video is the only one I know which explains the process a bit

    Some techniques for Ableton, but definitely can be used on other DAW's and can be used to create LOFI hip hop.
    Sampling is awesome but it can become a hassle when trying to release it on some labels or even for Copyright issues.[ If someone can give more information about this will be fantastic]

    When I was looking for a Lable to release
    One of the Labels
    IMPORTANT: You must own the copyright and the songs must be CONTENT ID safe!
    If someone is going to make a copyright claim, we can’t make a video, and if claimed can’t keep the music on the channel.

    After knowing this I stopped sampling and started creating everything from scratch. Although I know a few people who sample things and use them in a creative way. [which I have to learn and If you know anything about it lemme know, that will be great ]
     
  7. 5teezo

    5teezo Audiosexual

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    Side-chaining is not something that is authentic to old school beat making. The technique wasn't available in old drum machines/samplers such as hardware MPCs (60, 2000, 3000) or E-Mu SP1200 unless it was hooked to a mixing board with aux returns which had expansive hardware compressors connected.

    Onra used the MPC1000 at the time. I've seen him perform his set live along with some synth for vocoding.

    Old School/Lo-fi is all about sound selection, filtering, EQing, sample rate reduction, dusty noise and limiting your toolset and frequency spectrum in general.

    All these tape lo-fying plugins are over-used. Usually people use way too much wow and flutter when they ought to use their tonal and dynamic capabilities instead.

    Currnetly on sale: Plugin Alliance Lofi AF
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
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  8. 9ty

    9ty Member

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    When it comes to the groove or overall feel of the track, don't forget to mess up the timing of the drums (and other sounds) a bit. You might go really wonky here, but the main goal is to not have a too steady feel to your beat.
     
  9. Djord Emer

    Djord Emer Rock Star

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    Yes, I've heard of that one but never used it. Thanks for remembering me of that tho, cuz it really looks useful.

    Gotta try Serato sample now, hahaha. And I just got myself RC-20 last weekend.


    I agree, thanks for sharing. And, yeah, copyright is needed for a good part but it can really suck sometimes :/


    I'm aware of that, although real sidechain wasn't a thing composers actually used compression and other methods to arrive at a similar results. Also nice to know Onra was using an MPC, I don't know anything about him, don't even know his face, haha.

    Yeah, I agree, I noticed this in my own stuff, that I was processing too much, its actually way simpler to get a good result just using better samples and a smarter eq. Also, will check lofiaf!
     
  10. Deceptive

    Deceptive Audiosexual

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    Yamaha Su-10 i a very cool unit for Lo-Fi music ...i use it a lot yamaha-su10-5105.jpg
     
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  11. birdboi

    birdboi Producer

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    I've actually wanted to get into LoFi music for a while, I just never knew how to start one or what a project usually looks like. I will follow this thread with great interest! :wink:
     
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  12. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Yamaha SU10 sampler comprehensive demo/review/tutorial
     
  13. madbuzzin

    madbuzzin Producer

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    My biggest advice is dont program the drums then humanize them or lock them to a grid, play the music, use MPChead samples in serato and make the hats nice and filtered. this is the type of stuff i do in my free time... after a puff or 5 of course
     
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  14. madbuzzin

    madbuzzin Producer

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    in my experience its about feel and mood more than anything, start around 83bpm and feel it out and play some samples or make a quick beat that feels right... IDK, comes easy for me to make a quick idea track like the one above because I've been musically inclined my whole life and have been messing around in daws since 8th grade (2005)
     
  15. 9ty

    9ty Member

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    Yes, definitely helps to get into that lofi territory, I second your biggest advice!
     
  16. Valnar

    Valnar Platinum Record

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    Hi Djord and welcome to the world of Boom Bap, Trip Hop and Downtempo. "Lofi" as they say today.

    Yt is decent, Google is better. take artists you like as starting point, google them and add "Inurl:blogspot" to your search request.
    Yeah and it fucking sucks, never get that machine in case you saving up money. Go for 2000XL with CF card mod, or 60 MKII, the rest is probably not even worth it nowadays (or get an Sp303 that Dilla, Dibia$e etc. also used, but thats Roland not Akai).
    Oh and the S-950 and S-1000 but their prices skyrocketed over the last decade.



    My advice for workflow: Get an older MPD, MPD32 is killer bang for your buck on your local craigslist clone.

    For mixing: Don't overmix, at all. I remember Madlib complaining about his engineers like a motherfucker in an interview.
    Or Evidence on the Release Party DVD "You'll get a sterile piece of shit".

    For drums: Not quantizing is the tradition, but you could cheat a lil and quantize with low % value. Layer them (I think Pete Rock made layering mainstream), in Abletons simpler you can drag and drop a Cell onto another while holding CMD/CTRL and they'll merge together.
    There are also alternative workflows like that Dr Dre producer on the Waves channel who talked about shaping a drum with transient designers, EQ etc. until he gets the sound he wants. Well you should EQ sampled percussion generally, and especially if you layer drums.

    Digging: Depends on what you want. Remember, culture is not static, thanks to The Alchemist digging prog rock became normie over the years, you'll have to dig very deep or find a new, perhaps closely aligned genre if you want to sound refreshing.
    I think 9th Wonder and Kanye sample roughly the same music (or used to) but end up with totally different results, keep that in mind too.

    I'm in a generous mood today, so I'll DM everyone who wants a huge ass list with blogspot sites I used to dig tons of vinyl rips from.

    This is way better than Youtube, because they fucked up their recommendation algorithm so horribly back then. You won't get the same variety if you just browse through Sonne Images channel.

    Lofi became the biggest meme genre ever, I regret rooting for it back then.

    Look at the upload date, over a decade later we still suffer from AMV-under-mediocre-beat syndrome (well Rokus track is a banger tho).
    Progress much kappa?

    Vulf Comp gets mentioned often, but it doesn't fucking matter, stay true to the hip hop spirit and work with the tools you were given, especially if you are underprivileged, thats as beatmaky as it can get.

    True but its part of the process. Sample clearing... there is a funny story about that the last track on Kanyes first album ;)

    It was literally on the thumbnail you were posting brother ^^
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2022
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  17. freefeet12

    freefeet12 Platinum Record

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    I don't do this style of music but I would get an 80s (preferably)-early 90s sampler, really doesn't matter which so long as it's 13bit or under and has a crap sample rate or variable sample rate. It's totally worth it just to run your samples through even if you're using a DAW for everything else. That takes care of half the battle alone and it sounds authentic. And yes some pads like MPDx series for the human element if a definite plus (if the sampler doesn't have any, duh) and could be gotten really cheap.

    Take it one further and get yourself a finger drumming program and you'll be killing it in 6- months to a year. Totally worth it as well.
     
  18. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

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    RX950-Classic-ADDA-Converter-in-FL-Studio.jpg

    a lot of the tracks need low pass to remove the fidelity from the sound, use this as a filter, instant vibey lo-fi. Crank the input gain for some sweet umph.

    or this one for low pass filter automation, sweep etc, it has some nice fuzzy sounding "digital filter"
    s.jpg
     
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  19. sonnymoonlight

    sonnymoonlight Member

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    For those using FL, downsampling via Edison is great. Open Edison with your sample inside of it. In the top left corner, right click
    on "sample-rate" Under the "format" tab, You can use the drop down menu to choose a rate, or impliment your own.

    Once you do this, make sure to tick red the "Resample" & "Tempo Sync" buttons. Hit accept and drag the wav form back into the playlist if you'd like.

    I will mention if you go below 8000HZ, you cannot stretch your samples with a lower rate. To bybass this, bounce the rendered audio once more in the playlist (CTRL + ALT + C).
     
  20. Djord Emer

    Djord Emer Rock Star

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    Here to share a cool resource I discovered just recently. This channel is great:
     
  21. Hazen

    Hazen Platinum Record

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    I found that Toneboosters Timemachine (now set free with other V3 Tonebooster plugins) works best for getting the "oldschool sampler" sound.

    Yes to this! If you have a proper low latency MIDI recording setup, don't use Quantization at all or alternatively use only 50% or so of quantization (possible in some DAWs). You can also use quantization and then use MPC60 or SP1200 MIDI groove templates with built in Swing or try the DAWs built in swing parameter if available.
     
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