Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Lofi Production Advice Needed to Expand My Limited Knowledge

Looking for some advice on how to produce Lofi. But first, a bit of my limited knowledge to help you understand where I'm coming from.

Without a doubt, I've burned out on EDM production which has halted the production of my "The Xperience" album (although "Mysterious Girl" will be released next week). Usually when that happens, my creativity latches onto a different genre rather than becoming musically burned out.

In Summer of 2021, the genre I switched to was Minimalism. Winter of 2021/2022, I didn't really produce anything, which was strange. Summer of 2022 was Ambient of all sorts. Now? It's Lofi (aka Lofi HipHop).

Part of what got me into Lofi is the need to chillax again. Also another part of what got me into the genre was checking out Red Means Recording's various old OP-1 videos. What he produced are masterpieces (even though producing in the OP-1 and OP-1F seems like a convoluted pain in the arse compared to Gadget 2).

I also love how the vibe of Lofi is similar to Smooth Jazz (due to the seventh chords), and it reminds me a little bit of listening to my friends Mike Derose and Warren Wiegratz play every second Wednesday at the restaurant I have musical residency at.


So anyways, after listening for hours to Lofi, my ears picked up various tape effects, vinyl crackle, bit reduction, a "live performance" feel (i.e. imperfect swing, off-grid beats, usage of velocity, etc), gentle sidechaining to the kick, and a lack of squashiness/preservation of dynamics on the master (aka I'm assuming targeting between -15 and -14 LuFS as opposed to -8 LuFS like in EDM as we're not trying to match the loudness EDM DJs require, no nervous mids or crisp highs to get arses on the dancefloor, and no "Barkfilter tripleband magic").


So my plan is to produce a nice quick EP in Gadget 2 with mastering done in AUM.

So which plugins do I have that can help achieve the effect on the master track? I'm assuming DAW Cassette, DAW LP, Lofly Dirt, Fly Tape 2, and ChowTape Model are good for starters (not all at once obviously, or the vibe will be completely ruined lol).

MagicDeathEyeStereo simply for the EQ section to tame any highs, no compression. No Limits seems perfect for the limiting, and really all that's needed to bring the mix up to roughly -15 to -14 LuFS.


Regarding production itself in Gadget 2, I've noticed drums in Lofi tend to be short in duration with a heavy thumpy "chest kick" (as opposed to a deep "snappy" kick as heard in EDM), tight snares (or rimshots), and light hats that aren't overly bright. In fact, Tokyo may be the best gadget for that job (besides Recife and London, obviously).

Chiangmai would be perfect for a pure sine that can be fed into a saturator for the bass. Or Madrid for a bass guitar instead of a subbass.

I also heard "acoustic" instruments in Lofi, and I know the Gadgets derived from Module would be perfect such as Salzburg for piano, and/or Montreal for soft Tines, or Glasgow for about anything else. Hell, I could even use Darwin and/or Helsinki for pads if I so chose.

Also on some of the Lofi tracks I heard, I noticed some of them use field recordings and such set far into the background. When producing the EP, of course all tracks will be separate, but it also may be fun to have a "live performance" of the tracks running with a simple soundscape based on a field recording in the background.


Of course these are all basic starting points I have in my head, not hard-and-fast "rules", and Lofi seems like a great genre ripe for some experimentation while keeping it lowkey and chill.

Now, all of that is basically theoretical rather than put into practice with an example. So here is my first attempt at a Lofi track.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uxnuoappetcrf5k/acnh theme lofi-converted.m4a?dl=0

(Yes, I recently got back into playing Animal Crossing and figured this melody was perfect for some Lofi fodder, lol.)

This was produced in NS2 rather than Gadget. I'm not entirely pleased with the result (but then again I am my own worst critic). I forgot to sidechain the various elements to the kick. I did use MDES but also compressed rather than solely used it for EQing, and it sounds a bit squashy. I used No Limits to bring the mix up to about -14 LuFS. Also, I think DAW Cassette degraded the sound a bit too much.

What I am happy with is the sounds are entirely synthesised with FAC Drumkit. It's such a great plugin! I also like how Obsidian has some nice "acoustic" sounds in it to add to the mix.

That said, do you have any suggestions on what other plugins could be useful on the master track? Any further advice on aesthetics or mastering I may have missed? Any advice on what I can/should experiment automating? Am I even on the right track here (pun intended)?

Thanks for bearing with me and reading to the end.

«1

Comments

  • Lofi is one of my favorite genres, some really vibey stuff.

    I would say Tape is essential. even to the point of over doing it. gritty grainy, saturation. Caleum audio Tape Cassette two is great, but so is chow.

    Modern lofi requires modern solutions, which is still somewhere around -7 to -9 lufs imo. Do individual track and buss processing using clippers or limiters to bring things up to loudness without having to slam and squash the master. That being said, a few db of compression on the master wont hurt anybody, use a longer attack setting to let the transients through.

    samples are your friend, pitched down, pitched up, chopped, delayed, etc etc .

    Found sound is clutch as well. Use a sidechained gate on a track of vinyl crackle, and sidechain it to the kick and snare, so that the crackle isnt overwhelming and can become more groove oriented. You can also play a found sound using a sampler, so that it becomes part of the groove and less just random sound.

    Good lofi has the best grooves, spend more time than you think you can on making that groove perfect. off set those snares and hats, use a global swing to really set things into the pocket. Ghost notes, probability kicks etc..

    Keep it simple! a few tracks arranged in the right way is more than enough for lofi. you can get away with 10 tracks even

    kick
    snare
    hats
    bass
    chords
    found sound
    ambient / pad
    lead guitar (or synth or trumpet or something weird) noodling over the beat
    guitar strums slow and nice chord footballs
    subtle vocal chops with ridiculous modulating delays

    enjoy your new adventure, and best of luck in the process!

  • edited November 19

    You need a cosy anime graphic and koala sampler!

    Pretty sure most Lo-fi is made with an sp404 with the vinyl effect, playpm shows how to emulate it almost perfectly on his YouTube

  • @sevenape said:
    You need a cosy anime graphic and koala sampler!

    Pretty sure most Lo-fi is made with an sp404 with the vinyl effect, playpm shows how to emulate it almost perfectly on his YouTube

    Also, I have two samples of the vinyl sim from playpm‘s unit. I’m pretty sure that I might have got them from a link in the comments from that particular video.

  • Here's two articles from ModeAudio:

    https://modeaudio.com/magazine/lofi-essential-production-tools

    https://modeaudio.com/magazine/how-to-produce-a-lofi-sound-in-any-daw

    I really like their magazine (blog) in general -- lots of production techniques.

  • edited November 19

    There’s a 5+ hr long deep dive on Skillshare about producing Lo-Fi.

    Also, TAETRO livestreams with the ADSR channel and on his own channel very often. Twitch is a great place to catch production streams and learn: mndsgn, knwledge, kiefer, Lo-Fi festival, mayawaek, saib., Kenny Beats, omarijazz, koalabeatcast, weaver beats, moeshop, beat cinema, bad snacks, devonwho, lowkey, grn + gld, onymico, leaving records, timeboy, and several others broadcast their cook ups

    Dibia$e has a couple masterclasses on the 404 that were streamed on twitch.

    Lowkey has several tutorials about producing in particular styles.

    I found the best way to learn how to produce in a desired genre, is to use reference tracks, to deconstruct and remake tracks from scratch.

    Someone asked about Lofi on the iOSmusicproduction Reddit and this was my response:

    “Like Dj puzzle said, it’s not really the daw that makes it Lo-Fi, it’s more so the sound selection and sound design.

    With that being said, there are some apps I’d turn to first for a “Lo-Fi sound”

    Effects:
    RX-950,
    Time Machine FX,
    Koala Fx,
    PCM2612,
    Flytape V2,
    ChowTape Model,
    Tape Pro,
    TB Reel Bus,
    Woodlofier,
    Lo-Fly Dirt,
    ODC,
    Bleass Slow Machine, Mixbox has a nice Lo-Fi module

    Synths:
    ID700,
    Mynth/Flynth/Polywave,
    Lo-Fi Tape, + IAP
    OB-XD,
    Neo Soul Keys 2,
    MK Sensation Xtreme/Pure Synth
    Electric Vintage

    Samplers: Koala, Chomplr, Segments,

    Drum Machines/Grooveboxes: Splat to Clat, Patterning 2, GR-16, Groovebox, Elastic Drums, Hammerhead, EG Pulse

    Using one or a combination in AUM, Apematrix, Gargeband, BM3, Drambo, NS2, Cubasis, Loopy Pro, Zenbeats or in conjunction with Audiobus, you’ll see what resonates with you and culminate a workflow.

    Oh and Gadget has some great sounding modules!”

  • I've got a fairly well developed lo-fi AUM session and for kick, snare and hi-hat have gone for a whole bunch of "Lo-Fi" samples loaded into Audiolayer.
    Mozaic adds swing to the hi-hats via:
    https://patchstorage.com/add-swing/

    Ambience again through Audiolayer, tons of vinyl or gentle rain type loops out there.

    Monolith provides the sub, and there are some nice double bass samples in Audiolayer too.

    Synthmaster two provides a pad under a heavily reverbed and filtered PurePiano.
    There are some nice 'Jazz Guitar' samples out there too as an alternative.

    Sequences aren't complicated and I'm just using Rozetta for percussion and Atom2 for synths.

    Swam trumpet does my noodling on top, through a Blackhole of course :-)

    Not sure if I'll ever do anything with it all, but keen to hear about your adventures here!

  • Scaler 2 for chord progressions

  • Mixbox as Phonograph for those vinyls sounds.

    I am pretty curious to see were you take this. I am always amazed how much music you produce.

  • So many great and helpful responses. This is why I love this forum so damn much.

    @shinyisshiny Thank you so much for the sage advice and luck. I'll definitely need the luck, lol. And who knew that Found Sound would be a great thing to add to Lofi? Seems like Lofi and Ambient aren't too dissimilar. The difference seems to be that Lofi has nice chord progressions, melodies, and a soft and gentle beat. Melodic Ambient is along a similar vein.

    @sevenape I'll definitely check out PlayPM's channel. Sounds like a useful resource. And if I can get away with just using Koala, well hell that'd be super awesome. I also think I'll also play around with Flip and see what I can create in that. I'll also look up hent...er, AHEM, "anime graphics". 🤣

    @Blipsford_Baubie Can you link me up to the particular video mate? ☺️

    @telecharge I didn't realise that magazine/blog existed, but I'm checking those articles out once I'm finished posting this reply here.

    @taeo I had no idea Twitch was such a useful tool for learning. I simply wrote it off as a game streaming platform. 🤣 I'll have to sign up and follow those folks to get the most out of learning.

    I don't have Skillshare as they discontinued their monthly subscription and only have annual, which is a bit out of my budget. I will mark down the apps you have listed, see which ones I don't have, and purchase the ones that I absolutely need (i.e. that I don't have a similar equivalent to already).

    And yeah, Gadget has some amazing sounding modules! I'm toying around with Gadget as we speak, coming up with something using a simple i7, i7, iv7, iv7 chord progression just for starters. I didn't bother using a swing as I'm laying out notes and offsetting them one by one by hand and tinkering a little with velocities. (I've been programming "live acoustic" riffs since my FL Studio PC days.)

    @belldu That sounds pretty great. :) I'll definitely someday reach that level. It's not going to happen overnight, but I definitely want to putter around with doing something similar in AUM.

    @Stuntman_mike I've honestly put off purchasing Scaler 2 for so long, because I didn't think I needed it. But if I want those lush chord progressions, yeah, I just purchased it. It helps that the full unlock is discounted via a Black Friday sale. Now to learn the app via Youtube, lol.

    @ecou Thanks mate. :) That means a lot to me. I always forget about Mixbox. I have it, but ever since the IAP kerfuffle when they updated it to CS, I just put it in the backburner of my mind, lol.

  • @Stuntman_mike said:
    Scaler 2 for chord progressions

    👆This... 👍 and checkout Landr, who have some great jazzy chord progressions on their blog - with midi files...

  • Something else you might like to check out is CoffeBeats Youtube channel... He uses Gadget, Loopy Pro, Koala to produce short LoFi and ambient Jams where he builds them in real time...
    He also has a Patreon where for as little as a dollar you can support him and get access to all his files, samples etc.
    I have subscribed just to check out some of the cool patches he does in Gadget, particularly ChangMai...
    Definitely worth a look at:
    https://youtube.com/@coffebeats

  • @zzrwood Ah, thank you for finding me some great resources! :) ChiangMai is great for FM sounds, but also for sub basses due to its Init preset producing nothing but a pure sine wave. :) Cheers mate. Once it's time for brekky over here, I'll be sure to binge Coffebeats' channel!


    Okay, so I wound up purchasing Scaler 2 (as mentioned above) and WoodLofier (looks like an all-in-one Lofi dream toolkit). So many new ideas to play with using mostly the same tools I used when producing Ambient, except for the couple that I needed. Will look over the apps mentioned above once more to see what else I do need I don't have an equivalent of. :) Cheers.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic said:
    @zzrwood Ah, thank you for finding me some great resources! :) ChiangMai is great for FM sounds, but also for sub basses due to its Init preset producing nothing but a pure sine wave. :) Cheers mate. Once it's time for brekky over here, I'll be sure to binge Coffebeats' channel!


    Okay, so I wound up purchasing Scaler 2 (as mentioned above) and WoodLofier (looks like an all-in-one Lofi dream toolkit). So many new ideas to play with using mostly the same tools I used when producing Ambient, except for the couple that I needed. Will look over the apps mentioned above once more to see what else I do need I don't have an equivalent of. :) Cheers.

    Wise choices! Musicality is really important for lofi because it is a lot like jazz and soft rock. You “dirty it up” with your sound choices and “spice it up“ with effects.

  • Off topic, but sort of on topic - I’m not a huge trap fan, but as far as arrangements Lex Luger is a master of beatmaking, I love how simple he constructs a complete beat here:

    There is a lot to learn from this video about making a complete arrangement in one go!

  • edited November 20

    lofi it’s basically 90s hip hop beats with the low past filter taking all the high end frequencies which will give the beat that lofi feel, and for the drumkits use something like RX950 to give that old school emu sp1200 sampling feel and also may want to use some record player noises emulation or samples to give it some dirt

  • @Stuntman_mike Thanks mate. :) I'm glad you think I made wise choices as I value your and others' feedback (no production puns intended, lol).

    Also, the Lex Luger video is pretty much on topic, but even if it goes a bit off topic, who cares so long as we all benefit from learning and thoughtful discussion in the end? :) (I know some folks are like "don't go off topic", but I'm more like "let the conversation evolve naturally.)

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic I'm really loving RX950 not just for drums but on the entire mix! The default setting really gives me that feel I'm going for in addition to WoodLofier.


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hxhzdemhh115s9b/1: - 111922a.wav - 120 bpm - 001.wav?dl=0

    Okay, this is my second attempt (the first being linked in the original post of this thread). I produced this in Gadget and mastered in AUM.

    I'm much more satisfied with these results, but...I really hate how muffled it sounds. When I mixed down in Gadget, I did use some lowpass filters to tame the high end, but then when I mastered it, without even EQing the mix the RX950 and WoodLofier sucked out more high end which I was not expecting. 🤣 But...live and learn.

  • Crikey you evolve fast... kick feels a bit aggressive / pumping to my ears but you're definitely honing in on the sound.

  • edited November 20

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:
    lofi it’s basically 90s hip hop beats with the low past filter taking all the high end frequencies which will give the beat that lofi feel, and for the drumkits use something like RX950 to give that old school emu sp1200 sampling feel and also may want to use some record player noises emulation or samples to give it some dirt

    Touché 90’s for sure… I personally credit the late, great J Dilla for creating lofi ❤️ you can hear influence with loose drums, groovy low end and creative sampling 🫡

    I love RX950, one of my go to’s for adding love to drums

  • @belldu LOL cheers. I'm glad I'm getting there bit by bit. Yes, once I grasp a concept or two, then I take off on a flight of imagination and put into practice what I've learned. And I definitely was a little too aggressive with the sidechaining or mixing the kick as if I were mixing EDM, lol.

    @Stuntman_mike That RX950 is so brilliant! Would be super simple for me to take another crack with NS2 just so I can do my thing and hone my sound further, or to produce the samples in AUM, dump them into Koala standalone, and play around within that. The sax I used was from Glasgow in Gadget, and so no doubt the same sax exists within Module AUv3.

    And J Dilla is one of the best HipHop producers of the 90s no cap. Can't believe he passed away so damn young in his early 30s. Imagine what he'd be able to do now! 😳

    Lex Luger is absolutely brill and made a beat so swiftly! That video gave me so many ideas of what I could do within Koala standalone as well as gave me mild GAS for Maschine+. (Although since my flat is a studio efficiency, where would I place Maschine+ when not in usage? 🤣 )


    So I've concocted a new idea for a production gameplan. Prepare my melodic samples and loops and export to stems. Load drums and prepared samples and loops into Koala. Make a beat...

    ...profit. 🤑😎

    All jokes aside, I hope this next experiment will bring me closer to my goal.

  • Hey, Koala has some Lofi drum samples already in its free samples addon. @elf_audio any chance for some great Lofi sample pack IAPs mate?

  • @Stuntman_mike said:

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:
    lofi it’s basically 90s hip hop beats with the low past filter taking all the high end frequencies which will give the beat that lofi feel, and for the drumkits use something like RX950 to give that old school emu sp1200 sampling feel and also may want to use some record player noises emulation or samples to give it some dirt

    Touché 90’s for sure… I personally credit the late, great J Dilla for creating lofi ❤️ you can hear influence with loose drums, groovy low end and creative sampling 🫡

    I love RX950, one of my go to’s for adding love to drums

    not just J Dilla, but before him there was DJ Premier, i also got to give that credit to Marley Marl, Qtip, Dr.Dre, Pete Rock, RZA, Havoc, The Alchemist, and many many more

  • @jwmmakerofmusic said:
    @Stuntman_mike Thanks mate. :) I'm glad you think I made wise choices as I value your and others' feedback (no production puns intended, lol).

    Also, the Lex Luger video is pretty much on topic, but even if it goes a bit off topic, who cares so long as we all benefit from learning and thoughtful discussion in the end? :) (I know some folks are like "don't go off topic", but I'm more like "let the conversation evolve naturally.)

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic I'm really loving RX950 not just for drums but on the entire mix! The default setting really gives me that feel I'm going for in addition to WoodLofier.


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hxhzdemhh115s9b/1: - 111922a.wav - 120 bpm - 001.wav?dl=0

    Okay, this is my second attempt (the first being linked in the original post of this thread). I produced this in Gadget and mastered in AUM.

    I'm much more satisfied with these results, but...I really hate how muffled it sounds. When I mixed down in Gadget, I did use some lowpass filters to tame the high end, but then when I mastered it, without even EQing the mix the RX950 and WoodLofier sucked out more high end which I was not expecting. 🤣 But...live and learn.

    sounds really cool and yes it got that lofi relaxing feel, great job 👏🏼

  • @SLPGroundSoundMusic Thanks mate. :) I'm glad I'm on the right track (no pun intended, or was it...🤣).


    OKAY, so here's my next foray into Lofi.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yjg5j5d61arlcm2/JWM - Lofi Experiment 112022a-converted.m4a?dl=0

    This time produced 100% in Koala mostly using the free stock samples that came with Koala...

    ...and mastered in AUM.

    I'm much more satisfied with this one than my previous two attempts, not gonna lie. I laid out all the notes in the editor and piano roll, then turned snap off and offset most of them to give it a nice sloppy groove.

    The only thing I'm really self-critical of is being a little bit too trigger-happy with Koala's live FX section while live performing the sequences, which either added a little to the vibe or completely disrupted it. Then again, this is my first attempt at live performing this genre, and I wanted to get a feel for Koala's effects and just play and have fun. 🤣

  • @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:

    @Stuntman_mike said:

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:
    lofi it’s basically 90s hip hop beats with the low past filter taking all the high end frequencies which will give the beat that lofi feel, and for the drumkits use something like RX950 to give that old school emu sp1200 sampling feel and also may want to use some record player noises emulation or samples to give it some dirt

    Touché 90’s for sure… I personally credit the late, great J Dilla for creating lofi ❤️ you can hear influence with loose drums, groovy low end and creative sampling 🫡

    I love RX950, one of my go to’s for adding love to drums

    not just J Dilla, but before him there was DJ Premier, i also got to give that credit to Marley Marl, Qtip, Dr.Dre, Pete Rock, RZA, Havoc, The Alchemist, and many many more

    Dr Octachron too maybe! Though I'm no expert in the genre. @shinyisshiny that first post was banging.... Defitely going to save that to notes and experiment some time 🙏

  • "Lo-Fi" doesn't need fancy plugins although that may help getting results even quicker.
    (I'd go as far and claim that it can all be done inside Gadget, although it would have to be done on each track individually.)
    I wouldn't rely too much on pitch modulation because even old tape machines were usually very good in this regard and I find the effect over-used recently - tiny, sensibly chosen amounts can be good though.

    My number one processor choices would be a low pass filter with a bit of resonance, noise, some vinyl crackle if you like and a bit of random volume modulation.

  • edited November 22

    👍🏼

  • ^ 🤣🤣🤣
    Most random and tasteless humor to one of the nicest guys here, so why cannot i stop laughing at this??

  • @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:

    @Gavinski said:

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:

    @Stuntman_mike said:

    @SLPGroundSoundMusic said:
    lofi it’s basically 90s hip hop beats with the low past filter taking all the high end frequencies which will give the beat that lofi feel, and for the drumkits use something like RX950 to give that old school emu sp1200 sampling feel and also may want to use some record player noises emulation or samples to give it some dirt

    Touché 90’s for sure… I personally credit the late, great J Dilla for creating lofi ❤️ you can hear influence with loose drums, groovy low end and creative sampling 🫡

    I love RX950, one of my go to’s for adding love to drums

    not just J Dilla, but before him there was DJ Premier, i also got to give that credit to Marley Marl, Qtip, Dr.Dre, Pete Rock, RZA, Havoc, The Alchemist, and many many more

    Dr Octachron too maybe! Though I'm no expert in the genre. @shinyisshiny that first post was banging.... Defitely going to save that to notes and experiment some time 🙏

    Dr Octachron, who is that, is that your mother sperm donor ? maybe, well im not no expert about the sperm cleaner that gave birth to you so i can not say for sure !

    Ah Hahaha... My iOS-related pun on the name of Dr Octagon flew well over your wee head... Well, never mind, your reply gave me a giggle too. And a new word to add to the dictionary.... 'sperm cleaner'? 🤔 🧐🥛

  • edited November 21

    Sound selection is very crucial, especially for drums. Have you peeped Splat? The drums in their are perfect for Lo-Fi, boom bap, and modern beat music. There are some nice alternative hip hop drums in Groovebox as well. The subreddit r/drumkits was my best friend when collecting kits. To my ears, what you have presented sounds a bit more like downtempo, or trip-hop, or like lounge music, rather than Lo-Fi, which is not bad, just not Lo-Fi. Vinyl crackle, hiss, and sp404 vinyl comp and foley are crucial. Reference tracks, reference tracks, reference tracks. Who are your influences for creating these kinds of tracks?

Sign In or Register to comment.