Idea, Making it Sound Purposely Lo-fi

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I'm always confused by what people are considering "LoFi". When I think of low fidelity, it's from lack of frequency response, distortion and noise, which is not really what I heard on your song.

This, to me, is an example of LoFi, an absolutely fabulous song with somewhat dreadful fidelity. BTW, it made #10 on the US charts and #1 in the UK back in 1965.

 

unclehando

New member
hmmmm i always use the term lo fi but maybe that's not what i mean lol oops. but I hear on that the "dreadful fidelity" that song i see what you mean, maybe that's not what I'm going for. I like the quality of the song, even they were just doing the best with what they had. now I'm tryna do the WORST with what advanced technology I have lol. Its similar to video games looking like retro 8bit artwork. We have so much technology to make a 3D model, but its still beautiful to see nice pixel art... maybe in general what i want my sound to be like is "unclean" "dirty" "unpolished" maybe thats what im going for
 

famous beagle

Well-known member
Listened to "Mother's Worry." I like the sound of the instruments a lot. It's a cool groove, and there's some nice syncopation going on. I think I know what you're talking about with the lo-fi reference. I can hear how the drums (and other things) are saturated a good bit, and I'm guessing that's what you mean.

The vocals, though, were off-putting to me. I couldn't understand the lower mumbling voice at all. And when the louder lead voice came in, the rhythm of the phrasing sounded very odd to me. It was a bit disconcerting. I mean, there is some pitchiness and all, but it wasn't just that. It was kind of as if it couldn't decide whether it was going to be rhythmically locked or just free-flowing. I dunno. It's hard to explain.
 

unclehando

New member
thanks for the input. Yea i know exactly what you mean. I think I was deciding while i was singing. I have to re record stuff with more confidence. the off putting is me just in general, some people have enjoyed my "off ness" and others haven't.

if you wouldn't mind listening to my other stuff and see what i mean, and give feedback. I did specifically have trouble with the vocals on that track tho
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
I'm working my way up to an old school Lo-Fi sound. I've been listening to our local AM station which plays songs from the 50s to early 70s. I've been listening on my car's Bose system and have the EQ set for Talk Radio, which really gives it that single-dash-speaker AM sound. Lots of vocals, drums, keys and guitar come through but most bass lines are very thin, almost guitar-like. The closer to the 70s the thicker the bass gets.

p.s. The AM station I'm listening to has Casey Kasem's old Top 40 shows every Sunday. Great flashbacks
 

unclehando

New member
yea i was thinking the bass was thin, but still packed a punch. I'm not sure how to do that. the bass is a big part of my songs so I don't wanna compromise. maybe thinking i want my drums to sound more saturated like the other guy said
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
If I have to be brutally honest - I think what we're hinting at is that your production isn't too bad at all - a bit different, but the grungy feel (and I agree it's not lo-fi) works - but frankly, you are not a singer, and your timing and diction issues just show your singing to be (using my old music examiner speak) embryonic, undeveloped and needing some attention to timing pitch and rhythm. In other words, if you were thinking of a music title, your be a composer, arranger, programmer but not a singer. You don't have a bad voice, but just one that is totally untrained and undeveloped. I sing, and I sing in tune, with decent diction and I remember the words. However, I am not a singer. My voice is not bad, or unpleasant. I know how to sing and I understand singing very well - but this does not make me good enough to carry every song. I can sing BVs rather well. In tune and always accurate - but my fader will never me high in the mix. So if I had a form to fill in that said "Is this person a singer" - I'd say no. That doesn't mean you shouldn't;t sing - but when I was teaching, what we'd do is suggest the person had a singing lesson and asked the singing teacher for advice, which always fell into a very small number of categories. 1. Great singer already, will be special with some training. 2. An acceptable singer that needs to solve a few issues and then will be fine. 3 Can sing but needs training to be a good singer. 4 can sing but will not improve, even with training. 5 can't sing and beyond assistance. All bar 5 can improve. You are not in 5!
 

Bulls Hit

Well-known member
If I have to be brutally honest - I think what we're hinting at is that your production isn't too bad at all - a bit different, but the grungy feel (and I agree it's not lo-fi) works - but frankly, you are not a singer, and your timing and diction issues just show your singing to be (using my old music examiner speak) embryonic, undeveloped and needing some attention to timing pitch and rhythm. In other words, if you were thinking of a music title, your be a composer, arranger, programmer but not a singer. You don't have a bad voice, but just one that is totally untrained and undeveloped. I sing, and I sing in tune, with decent diction and I remember the words. However, I am not a singer. My voice is not bad, or unpleasant. I know how to sing and I understand singing very well - but this does not make me good enough to carry every song. I can sing BVs rather well. In tune and always accurate - but my fader will never me high in the mix. So if I had a form to fill in that said "Is this person a singer" - I'd say no. That doesn't mean you shouldn't;t sing - but when I was teaching, what we'd do is suggest the person had a singing lesson and asked the singing teacher for advice, which always fell into a very small number of categories. 1. Great singer already, will be special with some training. 2. An acceptable singer that needs to solve a few issues and then will be fine. 3 Can sing but needs training to be a good singer. 4 can sing but will not improve, even with training. 5 can't sing and beyond assistance. All bar 5 can improve. You are not in 5!
This is great advice. I love that 5 step grading system. You feel sad for the 5s but what can you do? :D
I like the track. The vocals need attention as rob says but the jam itself is cool.
In terms of lofi I think distortion has a lot to do with it. They couldn't get rid of tape hiss etc. and then digital came along and cleaned everything up. Now we're trying to introduce that old noise again. I love distortion, I think I'm addicted to it
 
I used an Addictive Drum kit preset called "Too Old For School" on a recent song. It gives you about 5 options for noise floor...like tube...white noise etc. Overall gives the track that old sound, it could be said. It's attached to the drums and used in a subtle way I think it can work out pretty good...adds a graininess. Rolling off high end is another thing I guess you could do.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
A fellow once posted a really nice rendition of a blues song, with his voice and guitar sounding like something out of the 40s. The only problem was is was crystal clear, no noise, or anything. Just on a whim, I found some old scratchy record noise, looped it and mixed it underneath. That made it sound like somebody found a long lost record at the 2nd hand store.

Putting artificial noise on a recording is about the same as taking your I-Phone pictures, turning them into black and white or sepia tone, maybe blurring the edges and adding some random scratches to make it look old.
 

unclehando

New member
Hey ! thanks for being honest. I totally understand, I am not a singer, I don't even really like singing. But. I do this for fun you know? And I'm tryna send a message... I used to be shy and hated hearing my voice. Also, If you check out some of my other stuff, you would see my lyrics have a similar theme... I grew u being a loner and resenting popular people and popular stuff. I like going against the grain and going against what most people want... So I'm keep making music and hopefully i can make music for video games or tv, but also sing songs lol and who knows? maybe someone will like it
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Music's always healthy. I'm old now, and realised something not that long ago. I never listen to lyrics. I've been in bands for years, and know thousands of songs I could sing - most word perfect. I have no idea what 99% are about. I'd have to sing the song, listen to the lyric and start from zero. Lyrics are wasted on me, and while I can write the music - I could not write words to save the day. I listened to your song a few times - but I've no idea what it was about. I can sort of remember the rhythm and the way you put it togeher but the words I am afraid were lost on me. Just remember there will be lots of people like me who words just don't even get heard, let alone understood. I guess it's also why I hate poetry. Words with no music, so just not for me!
 
Hey ! thanks for being honest. I totally understand, I am not a singer, I don't even really like singing. But. I do this for fun you know? And I'm tryna send a message... I used to be shy and hated hearing my voice. Also, If you check out some of my other stuff, you would see my lyrics have a similar theme... I grew u being a loner and resenting popular people and popular stuff. I like going against the grain and going against what most people want... So I'm keep making music and hopefully i can make music for video games or tv, but also sing songs lol and who knows? maybe someone will like it

Hey man, I like your story. Just do what makes you feel right and do your best.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Music's always healthy. I'm old now, and realised something not that long ago. I never listen to lyrics. I've been in bands for years, and know thousands of songs I could sing - most word perfect. I have no idea what 99% are about. I'd have to sing the song, listen to the lyric and start from zero. Lyrics are wasted on me, and while I can write the music - I could not write words to save the day. I listened to your song a few times - but I've no idea what it was about. I can sort of remember the rhythm and the way you put it togeher but the words I am afraid were lost on me. Just remember there will be lots of people like me who words just don't even get heard, let alone understood. I guess it's also why I hate poetry. Words with no music, so just not for me!
I find the fact that you don't pay attention to lyrics fascinating. I'm totally the opposite. Some of my favorite songs were by folks like Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, Paul Simon, etc., who told a lot of stories in their songs. Then you have the other end of the spectrum, like Yes. Incredibly complex and interesting musical ideas, and the lyrics tend to be more about word play, rhyming, alliteration, to the point of making up words. John Lennon did this quite a bit as well.

I love them all. It would be great if I had that ability, but my skills are more along the line of rhyming moon with June. Being a poet was never in my future.
 

unclehando

New member
Hey man, I like your story. Just do what makes you feel right and do your best.
thanks yea. its good positive. I hope to give my music to everyone for free. I uploaded my new album so it will be on spotify and other stuff soon. I think I really nailed the sound I was looking for. not quite lofi maybe, but definitely i reached my goal and that's awesome. thanks for all the feed back guys
 
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