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© Rahav Segev ./Retna Ltd./Corbis
It’s not all about high-fidelity when it comes to designing sounds for a chart-topping tune, as Calvin Harris proved with the cute-sounding lo-fi opening melody to his 128bpm dancefloor smash Bounce.
Mr Harris is emulating the legendary 4.19MHz processing Nintendo Game Boy’s 8-bit tones, first released in 1989 and running on four AA batteries.
Later in Bounce, the same lead melody completely contrasts with that intro and transforms the track, rolling into a fat, deep, rich, searing sawtooth lead. It’s these elements of light and shade that keep the listener interested, and you can borrow these ideas to spice up your own beats.
For this sound, we are using two opposing factors: a monophonic pulse-width lead that’s drenched in reverb and a completely dry square wave polyphonic lo-fi sound. Watch the video below and then check out our step-by-step tutorial.