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Lo-fi’ sounds have proved pretty fashionable in dance music circles in recent years; from the lo-fi house style pedaled by the likes of DJ Seinfeld or Ross From Friends to the purposefully rough-edge take on techno and electro associated with artists like Helena Hauff or the records released on labels like L.I.E.S. or PAN.  

Lo-fi club music is more than just a recent fad though. Right through from the earliest days of house and techno to the heyday of ’90s jungle and early hip-hop beatmaking, producers have been misusing and abusing gear to work around limitations and achieve distinctive sounds. Modern software makes it possible to achieve almost any sound imaginable with little more than a laptop – which is great, obviously – but sometimes taking a rough-around-the-edges approach, using cheap gear and basic methods, can be the best way to give your music character.  

Whether you’re working in or out of the box, we’ll show you how adding a little lo-fi sound can bring your tracks to life and make them stand out from the crowd.  

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Interviews

Hot Chip – The renowned UK electronic outfit give us an insight into the making of new album, A Bath Full Of Ecstasy  

Metrik – The UK drum & bass trailblazer shows us how he works in the studio

Tommy Four Seven – The adventurous Berlin techno producer on his new LP Veer

The Track: Phildel – The British musician and producer breaks down her dark, atmospheric track Glide Dog on video

Classic Album – Eclectic Berlin outfit Jazzanova talk us through 2008’s Of All The Things track-by-track

Technique

Ultimate lo-fi – Whether you’re looking to age modern softsynth sounds or starting from scratch with low-tech or vintage gear, we’ll help you learn to let your production hair down and get creative with a little lo-fi grit!  

Producer’s Guide – Learn to build tracks with Akai Force

Explainer – We get linear with our guide to Advanced EQ

Reviews

Arturia MicroFreak

Tracktion Waveform 10  

Brainworx bx_ oberhausen  

Roundup: Sequenced effects plugins  

Make Noise René  

Grouptest: AKG K Series  

And more!

Samples

Urban Space  – For the latest instalment in our line of ‘found’ sample packs, we head into the city to capture the sound of the urban landscape  

Synth Percussion – Punchy synth toms, pounding filtered kicks, grungy electro percs... this pack of synthesised beats has it all and more!  

Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 12GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!

All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more.
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