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Creating a Lo-Fi Effect in Bitwig Studio from Scratch!

Tutorial | Feb 13, 2023

In this video, I showed a simple way of creating a lo-fi effect in Bitwig Studio with the FX Grid. I demonstrated how to use lag, noise, distortion, and modulation to create an interesting effect. I also showed how to add different filters and blend in noise to create a unique sound. Finally, I encouraged viewers to download the patch and have fun exploring and tweaking the settings.

You can watch the Video on Youtube
You can download the Patch from this video here: Download http://bit.ly/3RWPqtg

What can you learn in this video?

In this video, viewers can learn how to create a lo-fi effect in Bitwig Studio from scratch, using an FX grid, shapers, and the lag module. Viewers can also learn how to use noise, amplitude modulation, and ring modulation to create a degraded sound. Finally, viewers can learn how to use a modulation source, such as a random LFO, to change the sound of their track.

For what do you need lofi effects?

Lofi effects are often used to create a vintage sound, to add a level of warmth and character to a track. They can also be used to add texture and atmosphere to a song and to add a layer of distortion or “dirt” to an audio signal.

Is it needed to emulate analogue hardware to create a lofi sound?

No, it is not necessary to emulate analogue hardware to create a lofi sound. It is possible to create a lofi sound with digital tools such as Bitwig Studio's FX Grid. This can be done through the use of modules such as lag, Jppychef, distortion, hard clip quantizer, rectifier, situator, wave folder, amplitude modulation, and ring modulation. Additionally, the use of noise, filtering, and modulation can further enhance the lofi sound.


If you don't want to watch the Video, or search for a specific topic, here is the transcription of the video with links to video markers:

[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back.
[00:07.000] I want to create some kind of lo-fi effect in Bitwig Studio from the scratch.
[00:16.740] And I want to use an unusual module for creating distortion or adding dirt to a sound.
[00:26.100] And we want to use here an FX grid and you all know we have here some shapers in the
[00:34.600] grid.
[00:35.600] Maybe you can increase here the sizing a bit.
[00:38.600] We have some shapers in here, Jppychef and distortion, hard clip quantizer, rectifier,
[00:43.440] situator, wave folder and so on.
[00:45.240] We can also do a bit of the curve module.
[00:48.920] But there's also a module in there.
[00:51.120] I think it's on level if I'm not wrong.
[00:58.160] It's called lag.
[00:59.160] Oh yeah, the lag one here, this one.
[01:01.320] And this introduces basically lag to a signal.
[01:07.280] There's also a lag module here in the face category because it acts on only the positive
[01:16.200] value, so from 0 to 1.
[01:19.480] And this one here also acts on bipolar signal, so plus 1 to minus 1.
[01:25.080] And what it does, it basically tries to delay certain value changes.
[01:32.800] So when you have here a value going in, and we take here an oscilloscope at the end, it
[01:41.760] goes a bit slow, it basically tries to delay or lag out the signal.
[01:53.160] Maybe I can do a different color to this.
[01:59.280] You can see here the red one is basically the original value.
[02:02.200] When we change this, it's instantaneously.
[02:10.640] But the blue line here is the lag line.
[02:12.680] So we lag out the signal by 3 seconds here, which adds a bit of smoothing to it.
[02:19.440] So whatever value you want to jump to, it tries to smooth out the curve.
[02:27.040] So now the interesting part is that you can also use this on audio signals.
[02:33.080] This is pretty interesting how it sounds.
[02:36.360] So when we put this here at 0, nothing really happens.
[02:40.880] But then when we increase this, we institute some kind of overtones or some distortion
[02:53.840] to the signal because we try to smooth out the audio rate signal.
[03:00.960] It becomes quieter, but when you increase the loudness here, it sounds like distortion.
[03:18.720] When you just do it here by 2 milliseconds, it adds a bit of distortion on top.
[03:29.040] So we can use this as kind of a distortion or a slight distortion effect.
[03:46.240] And when we increase here this, we increase also distortion and we also go down in volume.
[03:54.960] So you don't need to compensate too much for the lag, which is kind of interesting.
[04:03.880] But I found this here really interesting to use this as distortion.
[04:10.040] So when we want to try to create some kind of lo-fi effect here with the grid, we can
[04:14.280] use this.
[04:15.280] We can also use the delay in there, maybe bring this down to 0 and use a random mod here.
[04:27.480] Smooth out and you don't need to re-trigger.
[04:31.800] Let's try this.
[04:34.800] Go to Hertz, nice.
[04:56.360] We can also use some noise.
[05:00.400] Damn it!
[05:07.080] And we can take pink noise and multiply it with white noise, something like this, 10
[05:18.960] UAH here.
[05:21.600] Then we can blend it in, in front of maybe the lag.
[05:27.520] Let's see.
[05:34.520] Yeah, we can filter here the noise a bit more.
[05:57.360] And instead of blend we can maybe use here the amplitude modulation and ring modulation
[06:10.000] module.
[06:16.040] So the noise reacts to the sound because it's amplitude modulation.
[06:20.880] And here in your play sound you hear also noise.
[06:35.840] Maybe too much noise.
[06:57.600] And because it's lo-fi we probably also want to cut here the high end a bit and remove
[07:27.600] maybe too much here.
[07:44.080] Okay, so basically this is a small simple lo-fi distortion patch you can do in the grid to
[07:56.720] make something degraded without using plugins, right?
[08:01.320] It's super simple.
[08:02.320] We introduce some bit of pitch modulation, we introduce a bit of noise, we also introduce
[08:08.200] bit of distortion, bit of lag.
[08:10.960] I think it sounds okay.
[08:15.520] What you also can do is you can use your second random mod and change or modulate the lag
[08:23.360] here.
[08:24.360] Actually you can even do this differently for left and right, so use a split here into
[08:32.760] a left and right channels and then we merge again, bam, bam, bam, bam.
[09:02.720] And maybe do another one here with the right channel.
[09:21.360] Okay let's see how the sounds look chorus.
[09:26.960] Just mix it in in front of everything.
[09:48.600] Need to find the right here, positions.
[10:13.760] That's still too much.
[10:43.680] You could also add some kind of noise bits here.
[10:49.000] Let me see, we take noise and we use an AD and we trigger this with a random LFO or let's
[11:04.680] actually use only random LFO or use some kilohertz here, trigger this, okay, attenuate, bit of
[11:27.960] high pass here, maybe low pass.
[11:45.040] And we probably want to have this stereo, phase offset left and right here, so use a
[12:10.280] chance here and maybe an SVF so we can filter this a bit and we also want to change here
[12:33.560] basically the position of the filter.
[12:46.440] Let's try distortion on this.
[13:04.480] And we can also use a modulator for that and change the decay timing.
[13:14.000] So now we can use all of this here in front and blend in this to our sound instead of
[13:23.960] just outputting this, or maybe also use here AMRM, or maybe also use here AMRM, or maybe
[13:53.800] use a blend here, bit of this, we go like this, so with a bit of noise with a bit of
[14:20.040] disruption, maybe a volume note there.
[14:45.640] To fake basically the noise from tape and it reacts to the audio, so the more you have
[14:54.920] audio input, it changes the noise texture.
[15:24.880] It gets you a lot of texture to the sound and that's usually what people like when they
[15:41.120] go for live lo-fi sound.
[15:43.560] So I want to just show you a quick method of creating these type of effects in Bitvec
[15:49.080] Studio with the FX Grid here.
[15:52.000] I'll probably just put this here in the description below so you can download it.
[15:56.280] It's nothing special and you can build this in all kinds of different ways.
[15:59.720] This is just one way of doing it.
[16:01.520] You can add a lot of more effects and change the parameters and change the modulation amounts
[16:07.840] here and there and get different effects.
[16:10.080] But this is just one inspiration basically for that.
[16:14.920] So put this in the description, you can try this out for yourself and tweak on some settings
[16:19.600] and have some fun.
[16:21.240] I think that's it for today's video.
[16:23.040] Thanks for watching, leave a like.
[16:24.040] If you liked the video, subscribe to the channel.
[16:26.080] Thanks for watching and see you in the next one.
[16:28.080] Bye for now.