Garageband Lofi by Lofi Hip-Hop Beats, Beats De Rap, LO-FI BEATS Information
This song is track #3 in Lofi HipHop Beats to Study To by Lofi Hip-Hop Beats, Beats De Rap, LO-FI BEATS, which has a total of 20 tracks. The duration of this track is 1:23 and was released on June 7, 2021. As of now, this track is currently not as popular as other songs out there. Garageband Lofi doesn't provide as much energy as other songs but, this track can still be danceable to some people.
Garageband Lofi BPM
Garageband Lofi has a BPM of 180. Since this track has a tempo of 180, the tempo markings of this song would be Presto (very, very fast). Overall, we believe that this song has a fast tempo.
Garageband Lofi Key
The key of Garageband Lofi is D♭ Major. In other words, for DJs who are harmonically matchings songs, the Camelot key for this track is 3B. So, the perfect camelot match for 3B would be either 3B or 4A. While, 4B can give you a low energy boost. For moderate energy boost, you would use 12B and a high energy boost can either be 5B or 10B. Though, if you want a low energy drop, you should looking for songs with either a camelot key of 3A or 2B will give you a low energy drop, 6B would be a moderate one, and 1B or 8B would be a high energy drop. Lastly, 12A allows you to change the mood.
The Return Of The Ultimate Lo-Fi Weapon!
To celebrate their 15th birthday, Izotope have re released their very first plug in – Vinyl – for free!
Updated to 64 bit, Izotope Vinyl can now be used in the latest version of Garageband. I’m a massive fan of this plug in and would definitely recommend you check it out.
In the video below, I go over the new features available in this updated version:
As if that wasn’t enough, Isotope have also released a range of blueprint style preset guides for you to try out!
Grab Izotope Vinyl free right here
Vinyl is a fantastic plug in that I just can’t get enough of right now. What about you? Have you grabbed your free copy of vinyl yet? What do you think of it? Leave a comment and let me know!
Aesthetic music is a style of music, similar to lo-fi, that’s commonly associated with relaxed instrumentals. It’s really soft, easy-listening music that you can listen to while performing tasks that don’t require 100% of your concentration, like working out, cleaning, or studying for an upcoming exam.
Personally, I don’t listen to aesthetic or lo-fi music when I’m doing chores, however, I certainly enjoy making it and I’ll show you how to do it too. If you want to make your own, understand that making aesthetic music isn’t all that hard, even if you’re using free software like Garageband or a premium DAW like Pro Tools from Plugin Fox.
To make an aesthetic song in GarageBand, record a melody using a soundscape or jazz instrument like piano, electric clean guitar, or an upright bass. Add the rhythm section using a lo-fi drum kit, then fill out the song with other ambient sounds. Make sure the song has a slow BPM (70-100) too.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create an aesthetic track in Garageband using what I believe is the simplest method. Simply put, it all comes down to a slow BPM, ambient sounds, soundscape instruments, vintage sound effects, and a lo-fi drum kit. I’ll explore these concepts in detail first and then we’ll explore how to put them into practice (the video below features the finished project as well so make sure to check that out).
What Are the Common Elements of Aesthetic Music?
1) A Lo-Fi Drum-Kit
The Cymatics Lo-Fi Toolkit (Free Download)
In my particular case, when I wanted to start making an aesthetic style beat, the first thing I did was I went and got my hands on a Lo-Fi kit. While Aesthetic music and Lo-Fi aren’t necessarily the same thing, they do have similar elements, and one of them is the style of kit they use.
I would say that both lo-fi and aesthetic use the same type of kit and rhythmic patterns. For aesthetic music, I would recommend getting your hands on the Cymatics Lo-Fi kit which comes with melodic loops, drum kits, one-shot loops, melodic samples, and even pre-programmed drum loops.
If you really wanted to make it easy on yourself, you could use one of their melodies with a stock drum loop and you would already have a song created, however, this is too easy, and you won’t really learn how to make your own music if you choose to do it this way.
I’ve included the link to the free sample pack that I downloaded from Cymatics at the top. Cymatics, by the way, is a great website with a lot of great, free, sounds that are incredibly useful for making beats (I have a guide on this, by the way) and other styles of music. Make sure you know how to sample, and if you don’t already, don’t fret, because I have a step-by-step guide on how to do it + a short video down below.
2) Natural Minor, Lydian, Ionian and Dorian Harmonies and Melodies
Other features of aesthetic music are natural minor, dorian, ionian, and lydian harmonies and melodies which I’ve explored before in my dedicated guide. People who don’t know music theory will call them sad, chill, happy, and dreamy, respectively.
From what my ear can hear, I would say there are more Minor 7th and Major 7th chords in Aesthetic music, which naturally tend to produce a Dorian or Lydian Vibe (although it depends). I included a brief synopsis of what the modes sound like below.
|Mode||How It Sounds|
|Ionian||very happy and joyous|
|Dorian||chilled out, emotional, bluesy|
|Phrygian||dark, malevolent, evil|
|Lydian||spacy, sci-fi, dreamy, dazed, victorious or triumphant|
|Mixolydian||The band, AC/DC’s mode|
|Aeolian||Sad and dark, but not malevolent like Phrygian|
|Locrian||dissonant, discordant, out of place to the point of being indescribable|
Important to Note:
Of course, there are other types of chords, modes, and melodies in aesthetic music, including the Ionian sound (regular major chords), but the point is that aesthetic music tends to sound chilled out, mellow, sad, or somewhat spacey. Dorian and Lydian are the best for this.
Minor 7th chords are known for sounding Dorian, compared to Major 7th chords which sound Lydian. If Ionian/Major is too happy, but Aeolian/Minor is too sad, then the Dorian mode is a compromise between the two; it has more of a “chilled-out” sound that’s the brightest among all of the minor sounds.
Dorian, which is characterized as a natural minor scale with a raised 6th degree, has become a lot more popular in the modern hip-hop era, probably due to the influence of the Toronto rapper, Drake. Lydian, on the other hand, tends to sound dream-like, hopeful, ascendant, or spacey, as a consequence of the raised 4th degree in the scale. The raised fourth-degree of the mode can also sound slightly dissonant.
Dorian = 2nd mode of the Major Scale – Raised 6th degree of Minor Scale
Lydian = 4th mode of the Major Scale – Raised 4th degree of Major Scale
In case you don’t know, a Minor 7th chord is just a regular Minor chord with the seventh note added to it, whereas a Major 7th chord is just a major chord with the 7th degree added to it. For example, think of a C Minor Chord.
C Eb G
To make the above chord a C Minor 7th chord, you just have to add the 7th note from the root which would be the following:
C Minor 7th:
C, Eb, G, Bb
Additionally, it’s important to note that the 7th chord is not only counted up from the beginning of the chord as the root but also the scale, as well. For instance, the notes of the C Minor scale are the following:
C, D, Eb, G, Ab, Bb, C
Notice the way that the B is flat in the key of C Minor. So if you wanted to make the C Minor 7th chord, you would add the flat-seventh to the chord, Bb, making it a C Minor 7th chord.
The same rule applies to the C Major 7th chord. In the key of C major, there are no accidentals (no sharps or flats), so you just add the 7th note of the scale again but there are no sharps or flats on any of the notes of the chord.
C Major Chord:
C, E, G
To make this the C Major 7th chord, just add the B to make:
C Major 7th:
C, E, G, B
The major and minor 7th chords are commonly employed not only in aesthetic music but also in Lo-Fi, so pay attention. Coincidentally, Drake comes to mind when I think of a popular artist whose producers commonly make beats with minor 7th chords. For instance, the song, “With You,” uses Dorian vibes, and many of his other songs do as well.
Aesthetic and lo-fi also use other tonalities, but I’m just pointing out that if you want that chilled out or dream-like sound, minor and minor 7th chords are a great place to start. It’s worth mentioning that other chords like Major and Minor 9th chords are great for this as well, but I digress. Here’s a demonstration of the dorian mode:
3) Aesthetic Songs Commonly Use Jazz and Soundscape Instruments
When it comes to the instruments, you can get really creative and use all kinds of sounds and effects. However, I find it’s best to use instruments that are commonly associated with jazz and other similar styles of music. Some of the most ubiquitous sounds in aesthetic music are the following:
Soft or Regular Piano
I would go ahead and argue that the soft piano, or just a regular piano, is the defining instrument of Aesthetic music. There always seems to be a piano of some kind in Aesthetic tracks, at least in some form or another, whether it’s a regular grand piano, a soft piano, or a ragtime piano. Spectrasonics’ Keyscape (from Plugin Fox) is the best piano library if you’re serious about getting a good piano.
But if you’re looking for something great that doesn’t cost any money, I couldn’t recommend the Soft Piano from Spitfire Audio Labs enough. It’s a fantastic piano instrument, and I’ve explained before that it’s probably the best one I’ve ever used. More importantly, it’s free, and there are some other great features about Spitfire Audio Labs that you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
Electric Clean Guitar (with no distortion)
For the electric guitar – which is quite simple to connect to Garageband using my guide – I would suggest using a clean preset such as the Cool Jazz Combo, or something very similar. Other great ones to use are Dyna-Trem, Dublin Delay, or Clean Studio Stack. Garageband’s Amp Designer has a lot of presets and featuresthat are definitely worth exploring if you plan on using an electric guitar to make an aesthetic track.
One of the most important tips for recording electric guitar into a DAW is to use a metronome or a click-track of some kind. This will ensure your recording is actually on time, and you’ll be in a much better position to create synchronized music when the time comes to add other instruments and sounds.
Grab an iRig HD 2 off of Amazon for a cheap price if you want to get started with recording guitar sounds in your beats. Some guitars are better than others for recording in a DAW, and for that, I would suggest the PRS SE Custom 24 from ZZounds which is very versatile. It can be used for pretty much everything.
Garageband, thankfully, has a ton of great soundscape instruments, such as String Movements, Event Horizon, Air Bells, Delicate Bells, Antarctic Sun, and Splatter Tables. However, in the case that you’re already sick of what Garageband has to offer, I would highly suggest grabbing Native Instruments’ Komplete 13 from ZZounds if you want the best instruments available (I’ve written about the free version, Komplete Start, in my other article).
Other great things to use are bells and other instruments that have an ambient vibe. Bells are a great way to add spaciousness, airiness, or even a sweet, light-hearted sound that is a characteristic of ambient music. For example, I used the Hybrid Keys from Native Instruments for this particular tutorial and song.
Some of the bells you can use in Garageband include the Delicate Bells, Splatter Tables, and more, just in case you don’t want to add any more plug-ins.
Xylophones and Marimbas
Get the Xylophone from my other article.
The same thing could be said about xylophones and marimbas. These two instruments tend to produce a very happy, sweet, or chilled out sound, and they’re fantastic to use for Aesthetic music. GarageBand comes with a great marimba by default, however, if you want to get your hands on a Xylophone, I have an article on where to get it (linked above).
The Upright Bass is another instrument that is commonly associated with jazz music. If you want a jazzy instrument, then look no further than the Upright Bass. This is a great way to add a nice, plucking, low-end with a chilled out and ambient vibe.
4) Aesthetic Songs Commonly Have A Slow BPM (70-100)
I would argue that the last thing to pay attention to when making Aesthetic Music is the slow BPM. As a general rule, aesthetic music is always incredibly slow. Usually between 70-100 BPM, sometimes even slower. If the song was fast, it would sound completely different, like some kind of ambient house music rather than Aesthetic or Lo-Fi.
This is really quite self-explanatory. Either set the BPM around 70-100 in the top center console of Garageband’s interface or just pay attention to how you’ve spaced out the drum kit notes when creating your beat. Without further ado, let’s explore how to use the aforementioned principles and instruments to make aesthetic music.
Making Aesthetic Music in Garageband (Step-By-Step Guide)
1) Making the Drum Beat
As I suggested already above, go ahead and download the Cymatics Lo-Fi Toolkit package and read my article on sampling if you don’t know how to load these sounds into your DAW. Once you’ve downloaded your kits and sounds, you can either do what I said and use the Drum Loops and melodies it comes with, or you can make something up on your own, which I assume is what you want to do if you’re reading this article.
Load up the instrument sounds in Garageband, including the Kick, Snare, Open and Closed Hi-Hats, and potentially a Shaker or a Ride.
Hi-Hats (Open and Closed)
The first thing I did when I made my beat is that I made the hi-hat notes almost immediately simply because they’re the easiest to do and it’s a great way to get started.
You’ll notice how far apart the notes are spaced out from each other. This is what’s going to determine how slow they are, so pay attention to this. I find that when using the standard BPM of 120, you want your hi-hats to be on every other grid-line to sound slow. If you set the BPM to around 70, the notes should probably be on every grid-line.
For the closed hi-hats, I made them a little faster and I also used a stylized hi-hat roll which descends down the piano roll which sets up the Snare to strike right after. Creating hi-hat and snare rolls is pretty easy and I have other tricks that you can use to add more flavor and style to your rhythm section.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, when making Aesthetic or Lo-Fi music, you want the drums to hit fairly slowly which means there won’t be many notes. For example, when I made my Kick in this particular track, you can see that there are really only around 4 kick hits per 8 bars.
That’s not a lot. And this obviously isn’t a rule, but the point is that there aren’t a lot of kicks just because if there were, it would have the effect of making it a bit faster and aggressive sounding. You’ll also notice in the image below that I extended the kick notes so they’re very long. I did that just so they boom more in conjunction with the 808s.
The same thing can be said about the snare as well, in fact, the snare hits even less than any of the other instruments in the song, about every third beat.
And that’s pretty much it for the drumbeat. One thing about aesthetic music drum beats is they tend to be quite simplistic and easy to recreate. They’re usually slow, and there isn’t a lot going on in that regard, although of course, there are some exceptions to this.
2) How to Make the Primary Melody In an Aesthetic Song
For the melody, note the first part of the article where I explained the use of the Major 7th and Minor 7th chords. In the track that I created for this tutorial, I was all over those major 7th sounds, because I was going for more of the happy and dreamy sound, rather than the chilled out Dorian vibe. Truthfully, I used a C Major 9th Chord, but it kind of has the same type of vibe as the C Major 7th chord, with a bit of difference.
I also used somewhat of an arpeggiated effect, which, in simple terms, means that we’ve played each note of the chord separately (but let them ring out and mesh together to create more of a sustained effect). I used the same principle for the G Major 9th chord as well, however, I also included a descending line down the C Major scale which hits on every gridline just as a way of spicing it up a bit and making it sound cool.
A) Use the Same Chords and Add Them to a New Instrument Track
Once I created the primary melody using two simple chords, you now have a foundation from which to build something else. For example, you can take those exact same two chords and then load them up into a different instrument to fill out the rest of the track.
You really don’t have to complicate it more than that. This is quite melodically simple, but the point of this is to just fill out the track a bit and get it to sound a bit more “complete,” so to speak. In this case, I actually used a C Major chord and an F Major chord, rather than a G Major chord like I used with the soft piano.
B) Adding Another Melody
I did create another descending melody using the Hybrid Keys from Native Instruments. It’s just a simple bell melody that outlines the notes of the chord but adds a bit more “sweetness” to the track.
3) Adding More Fills to the Aesthetic Song with a Guitar
This part is more optional, but I included it here anyway. For this section, I essentially followed the same principles as the rest of the song, in the sense that I just played some chords in the Key of C Major and then added some other notes to spice things up a bit.
I also added the MAutoPan to get the sounds to oscillate between the left and right speakers so it sounded cool, and I added volume automation to fix the fact that I played some notes louder than others.
4) Adding the Bass
For the bass instrument, I used what I believe is the best boutique 808 plug-in on the market for the price, Initial Audio’s 808 Studio II, which you can find here on Plugin Boutique, and I made the pattern relatively straight forward. Initially, I used the Deep Sub Bass synthesizer but then opted for a much cooler sounding 808.
It sounds great when coupled with a kick drum, especially when the notes and the kick hit right at the same time. Like the other instruments, I just played notes of the C Major Scale, but I matched them so they played at the exact same time as the Kick Drum, that way they slam together and create a cool bass sound.
For the plug-ins, I threw up two different processors, including the Channel EQ and the Compressor and I also made sure there was a slide between some of the notes (I have a guide on how to do this too).
I eliminated the highs and then I boosted the same frequencies that I attenuated on the kick drum. Explained in another way, in the image you can see above, there is a slight boost around the 200Hz range, which is precisely the same range that I attenuated on the Kick drum, that way there is a room for both of them to co-exist in the mix, and then they compliment each other better.
For the compressor, I just used the “Type R Pumping” preset, because I find that it adds some much-needed aggression and fatness to the sound of the 808.
And that’s pretty much it for the main portion of what I did to make the Aesthetic Track. Once you’ve created your song, now you just want to go ahead and mix it, which is an entirely separate tutorial (my guide).
Mixing And Mastering
For the next stage, I adjusted the panning on each of the tracks, which is definitely the easiest part, and then I adjusted the VU meters to ensure that nothing is clipping, and then it was ready for export. If you’re confused about panning, don’t be, because I’ve already explained it simply, as well as mastering too.
1) Pro Tools Lifetime Licence from Plugin Fox
2) Spectrasonics’ Keyscape from Plugin Fox
3)iRig HD 2 from Amazon
4)PRS SE Custom 24 from ZZounds
5) Komplete 13 from ZZounds
6)Initial Audio’s 808 Studio II Synth from Plugin Boutique
Lofi Hip Hop Tutorials
Are you starting with lofi hip hop and don't know where to begin? Or you're just looking for tips & tricks on how to spice up your production? This collection of tutorial videos will satisfy your needs and answer the question "how to make lofi" for good!
How to make lofi hiphop
Lofi HipHop Made Easy
How to Lo-Fi Hip-Hop
From Scratch: A Chill Lo-Fi Hip-Hop type beat in 7 minutes with NO SAMPLES
Lo FI Hip Hop Tutorial From Scratch Without Sampling
how to make lofi hip hop: learning the basics #1
Let's Make Lo Fi Hip Hop in Reaper!
how i make lofi hip hop in fl studio #2
Making lo-fi hip-hop with water bottles
How To Make A Sampled Lofi Hip Hop Beat in Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X
How to make Lofi Hip Hop
Making SAD Lofi Beat
How To Make LoFi Hip Hop
FL Studio Akai Fire
BEST way to make a LO-FI beat
How To Make A Lofi Beat
How To Make Lofi Beats
The Lofi Hip hop Secrets
how to make lofi hip hop #001 (making a beat)
How to make your own Lofi Hip Hop without using samples
lofi hip hop tutorial #1 - making a beat
Ableton Live Lofi Hip hop Tutorial: Making a Song From Scratch
HOW TO MAKE LOFI HIP HOP
How to make Lofi Hip-Hop
Making lo-fi hiphop with Ross Geller
Making a Lofi Hip-Hop Beat
How to Make a Lo-Fi Beat (NOSTALGIC VIBES!)
making a lofi beat in logic pro x: ep2
Logic Pro X
Making LoFi Boom Bap Beats Using Maschine MK3
How To Make A Lofi Hip Hop Beat
LoFi Hip Hop Beat Making Easy Tutorial
How to Make a CHILL Hip-Hop Beat
5 Tips For Mixing Lo Fi Hip Hop In 90 seconds
lofi hip hop tutorial 1: how to spice up your hats
How to make the perfect lofi piano
How To Make Lo-fi Hip Hop: 5 Easy Steps
Want to learn lofi hip hop with 3 step-by-step walkthroughs?Check out The Lofi Hip Hop Blueprint (currently 70% off)
Ever seen those ’24/7 lo-fi hip hop beats to chill/study/relax to’ streams? Because of this, the genre is growing and people want to know how to make lo-fi hip hop.
The problem is, the sound is low-quality on purpose as part of the aesthetic. It’s a throwback to old-school hip hop when computers weren’t a big part of the production, and the technology wasn’t up to scratch.
So the production techniques we get into in this video/article help to be able to make lo-fi hip hop while combining a gritty sound with a modern workflow. You can watch the video, read the article, or do both.
So let’s hop into our 5 step process that breaks the production process down! 👇
How To Make Lo-fi Hip Hop
- Nostalgic Chords and Melody
- Dusty Drum Beat
- Infectious Bass Line
- FX and Creative Elements
- Mixing and Mastering
Note: this isn’t a beginner’s tutorial. If you after something more introductory, then check out our electronic music guide.
Getting in the Zone
One thing I mention in the video is that lo-fi hip hop is quite a moody and is designed to have that effect on the listener.
One thing that helps me write in this genre is getting into a specific headspace before, by recalling a memory from my introducing some nostalgia.
Being in this frame of mind will help guide the creativity in the production process, but make it suited to your workflow and specific situation.
So take a few minutes to prepare yourself before just jumping into the studio – you’ll thank me later.
Prepare your project file by setting the BPM between ~70-100 and by making sure you have all your sounds at hand.
Once you’re ready, let’s begin with step 1.
Step 1: Nostalgic Chords and Melody
So when it comes to lo-fi hip hop, sampling chords and melodies is commonplace, especially from old funk and jazz records. But you can also just write your own progression.
In this example, I’m going to write my own and resample it to show you both workflows. It’s also a lot of fun to work in audio.
So find a sound that suits the vibe of the track you are going for. In the video, I went for a Rhodes/keyboard type sound.
If you’re in Ableton, there is a nice variety of ePiano and Rhodes-type instruments that work nicely.
FL Studio additionally has FL Keys with a decent Rhodes preset.
Once you’ve got a suitable sound, create a new clip
ch out some chords over about 4 bars. It can be as long as you want, but lo-fi hip hop typically features shorter loops that repeat throughout. If you struggle with writing chords, check out Connor’s article.
Once you’re done, freeze and flatten the audio (right-click on the track and select freeze, wait and then select flatten). If you’re in another DAW like FL Studio, simply record the audio into Edison and drop it back into the arrangement.
Now you can treat the chord progression like audio and chop it up into a new arrangement, and get that chopped hip hop vibe from taking segments of audio.
You can do this in audio or by slicing it to a Drum Rack (or Slicex in FL). Additionally, you can pitch the audio up or down to change the tone.
This way of working contributes to the overall sound of lo-fi hip hop and is a nod to an MPC-type workflow.
You can create a few varieties of pattern to see what works best, and even swap between them throughout the structure of your track.
Once you’ve got some solid chords in your DAW, let’s move onto one of the key ingredients in a lo-fi beat.
Step 2: Dusty Drum Beat
Drums are super important in most electronic music, let alone lo-fi hip hop. But in this case, you can’t use any old drum samples, you need them to sound crunchy and dusty.
The easiest way to do this is to find appropriate samples in the first place. You can do extra processing, but minimising the amount of post-FX on the sound makes the process much more efficient and easy.
Look for a kick, hats, and a snare that share similar aesthetics, usually with background noise, lots of compression/saturation, and less high-end information.
You can find samples on Splice Sounds or on r/drumkits (good specifically for this type of drum sound). If you’re struggling, try taking one-shots from older drum loops. Once you’ve got some sounds, load them up into a drum rack or some sort of drum sampler.
The sound is important, but the beat itself is quite straightforward. Simply make a beat with the following pattern. Feel free to vary it to your own taste.
The kick and the snare usually are quantized (or close) to the grid, and the second kick for every bar is featured on the offbeat. You can see this in the pattern above.
This is typical in lo-fi hip hop, but you can experiment with other patterns to mix things up.
Swing is crucial in hip hop as it creates a more relaxed atmosphere to the track, so feel to bring the first hat back a bit and the second a bit forward, and repeat with slight differences each time. You’ll hear what I mean.
Featuring an open hat as the last in the pattern adds a sense of continuation and interest to the beat. So feel free to mess around with a variety of hat sounds.
Group processing on drums is very important, as doing this not only (once again) contributes to the aesthetic, but helps to glue the drums together for a more cohesive sound. Some good processing tips are:
- Low-pass filtering
- Transient shaping
- Pitch adjustments
By the end, you should have something like this.
Altogether with the drums, this is the loop we have come up with.
Step 3: Infectious Bass Line
Bass in lo-fi hip hop is usually quite mellow but rhythmically interesting. From interesting loops to full-blown bass solos, it’s possible and it works.
To start, find a bass sound with a focus on the low end but with some nice harmonics. A simple sine wave might do, but try running it through a bit of saturation/distortion to beef it up a little bit.
Now we will make a bassline based on our original chord progression, using chord tones. It doesn’t necessarily have to follow the root note, but that might be a good starting point.
It’s important to take it beyond this though, by adding rhythmic variety like syncopation, moving notes up an octave and a lot more.
Once you have a bass line that fits with the chords, blend the volume to allow it to sit nicely. It doesn’t have to be perfectly mixed for now, but just enough so it compliments nicely.
Step 4: FX and Creative Elements
One key effect to add into a lo-fi track is vinyl crackle, to emulate the sound of a record player which helps to contribute to the dusty/sampled aesthetic.
So find a nice sample, try low-passing it to see if it sounds more suited, and make sure to turn it down into the background of the track.
You can combine this with foley elements to add nice intimate textures that ‘weave’ in and out of the crackle.
Apart from that, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for FX in lo-fi hip hop, although you tend to hear a lot of pitchy ‘bleep-bloop’ type sounds (for lack of a better term).
You can find a lot of impact and riser FX samples with this kind of sound, but they aren’t too hard to make yourself.
Simply automate a wave’s pitch with an LFO and adjust the rate and amount, while applying delays and the sort. You can have a lot of fun making these types of FX.
Find other suitable effects: chimes, foley, background percussion, sweeps, computer sounds, you name it.
Lastly, a sampled vocal speech can add a certain type of atmosphere to the track. Try finding a speech from a sample pack and processing it with EQ and distortion effects. This helps to achieve a gritty sound that compliments the rest of the beat.
As a side note, you can do some crazy processing like pitching the whole master up or down, as per the video.
But after that, you should have something that’s starting to sound a little more developed, like this.
Step 5: Mixing and Mastering
Mixing and mastering are pretty lax in the realm of lo-fi hip hop. To be honest, as long as your faders are set well (which is harder than it sounds), then you’re most of the way there.
Mixes tend to be on the more dynamic side, as the kick and snare punch through to give the track a nice groove to focus on. The bass is set fairly loud to give the track a solid foundation, and everything else including hats, chords, FX, and melodies can be mixed according to the track’s needs.
If muddiness is becoming a problem, try cutting the lows in some sounds. This can occur specifically when pitching sounds down a lot, which we did earlier with the chords. The fundamentals are pushed down into the lower mids/upper bass frequencies.
You’ll also be wanting to sidechain a lot of the elements to the kick drum in the drum rack. In lo-fi hip hop, you can get away with a more brutal form of sidechain compression, as it’s part of the aesthetic.
After that, you can usually get away with mastering it just with some limiting and/or soft clipping. At the end, you should have something like this!
Need the Sounds?
So it’s all well and good that you know how to make this genre now, but what about having good quality samples to use?
Well, you can get our FREE lofi hip hop pack below!
Hopefully, this helps you get off the ground with lo-fi and that you’ll be making beats like this in no time.
If there’s anything I missed or you have any questions, drop me an email at [email protected].
Want the most comprehensive course on lofi hip hop out there? Check out our latest course, The Lofi Hip Hop Blueprint.
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