Lo-Fi house production techniques

What plugins would you use to get that lo-fi/vintage sound to your tracks?

Currently I am using the J37/Kramer Master Tape on most of my lo-fi house productions which are pretty handy when trying to add some vintage flavor to my tracks.

I wanted to know if you have better idea/ different techniques on getting this sound when producing and mixing in the box.

Tracks for reference:
Mr. Sosa - Flashback
Slater Cobretti - Chance
DOS - You


I think it is (also) ‘vintage’ percussion samples that give it that vibe.

Well the probably obvious thing about “lo-fi” productions, is the lack of highs and lows. This means not worrying about the “sub” frequencies, you can probably use any eq to roll it ,off around 40-60Hz. Roll off the highs to taste.

Alternatively, you could go with a vinyl vibe, even tape. So you could try out the J37, Kramer Tape & AR Vinyl. I’d be selective of where you put them though, because you can have too much of a good thing and it will totally kill your production.

Drums and possible bass, in particular benefit from that vinyl vibe as it’s a throw back to when people were sampling their beats to produce these type of productions. Often they’d layer it with an electronic drum too. Other instruments will benefit too, if you want that classic “sampled loop” sound.

To save yourself from having CPU expensive plugins all over your mix, you could always group them on instruments logically and use them that way. You could even over do the effect, run it in parallel, and bring it up to taste. You will probably still need to manage the highs and lows of the original tracks, so they aren’t too “high fidelity”

I’d also consider mixing with a lot of classic eqs and compressors, like the V Series, or SSL E, which would include the MixHub. Consider also using 80s-90s style effects. Forget about your lush reverbs and delays, go for something a bit more grainy and low-fi. You can bit crush a modern reverb, or perhaps find Its or emulations of the classics. I think H-Reverb has some good presets, and has a “lo-fi” bit crushing effect too. IR1 might have some decent IRs of classic gear too. H-Delay also does lo-fi.

But you can use anything you can get your hands on really.

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Yes, @simon.a.billington, I also liked AR Vinyl for the vibe. I have to say that you really need to check how different settings work for the particular track, it sounded quite program-dependent to me.

Hi. One plugin that could help with instant ‘Lo-Fi’ effect (or even exaggerate the effect), is the Waves GTR3. Although it’s a killer Guitar amp simulator for DI Guitar/bass tracks, this can have a pretty interesting effect on other instruments.

I suggest using the Amp Type in the GTR3 as ‘Directube’ as a starting point. (this is the first option under the Bass category). This could help your percussion/drum tracks sound similar to the links in your post.



Nice tip @anxitinc :clap::+1:

There’s some pretty good tips there. While cabs can work in certain contexts, I think your idea of using the DirectTube or choosing an amp without a cab is a great option.

If you’re after a vintage “radio” type sound, then cabs might actually be of good use here.


I think this would be true. I believe the secret is in managing the signal that goes in. I bit of eq contouring, a bit of compression and transients management, maybe. A multiband might possibly work well here.

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Oh yea! Definitely! I’ve tried it for the Radio type effect on Vocals. Pretty Sweet! :slight_smile: