The History of Lofi Music and Lofi Beats

You might not have heard of the term Lofi music before, but chances are you’ve heard lofi beats at least once in your life. Lofi music isn’t anything new, though it might sound that way to anyone who has never heard of it before — lofi music is simply low fidelity music.



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What is lo-fi?

Low fidelity, often shortened to lo-fi, is a style of recorded music that features restricted fidelity recording techniques or Lo-fi music is music that takes influence from minimalism. 'Low' can be used in reference to a specific tone (low toned), audio frequency (low frequencies) or loudness level (turn it down – it's too low!). Something that has been ‘lowered’ has been made lower in some respect.


How does lo-fi differ from regular music?

Lo-fi music is a type of music characterized by low fidelity recording methods. The term, which literally means low fidelity, was coined by an audio engineer at RCA Victor in 1954. It's a reference to vinyl records, which have less dynamic range than newer digital formats (CDs). Those early recordings sounded muffled, especially on cheap stereos.


Examples of lo-fi artists

Animal Collective, Noah Gundersen, Deerhunter, Ariel Pink, Grizzly Bear. There’s an aesthetic value to lofi tracks. These types of songs are what inspires folks like Lil Peep to make music – their feel-good vibes even crossed over to pop music. As a result of its uniqueness in both sound and appearance, lo-fi music has left a lasting impact on popular culture around us today.


How did this genre come about?

The history of lo-fi music (and beats) starts with a man by the name of Harry Smith. In 1952, Smith recorded a collection of songs on one track, called An Anthology Of American Folk Music, as a tribute to music he grew up with. At first glance it may seem that his technique was anything but lo-fi; instead he recorded these tracks onto 33 1⁄2 rpm records. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll see that in fact he only had limited access to multiple mics or channels for recording. This meant all instruments had to be recorded live together in order for them all to be present on each track; hence why they were arranged from loudest instrument (guitar or harmonica) down to softest instrument (sitar or drums). What started off as a limitation became a genre!


Why should you listen to lo-fi?

Even though it is not as popular as high fidelity sound, low fidelity is still a solid choice for anyone who wants to experience music in its rawest form. This is why lofi sounds are becoming increasingly popular – more people want to hear music stripped of digital enhancements. Furthermore, lo-fi genres provide excellent beats for hip hop artists to freestyle over. If you’re into hip hop, lo-fi music can be your new best friend! ## How do I get started? Well, if you’ve never listened to any lofi before, then let me tell you something right off: You’ve been missing out! Lo-fi stands for low fidelity—it refers to music that has been created with fewer digital instruments than usual. Nowadays almost all songs have heavy editing and post production involved; many tracks have synthesizers or drum machines to make them sound better than what they originally were.





Where can you find lo-fi tracks?


One of the most comprehensive places to find lo-fi music is YouTube. YouTube has essentially become a place where new lo-fi music is uploaded every day, although most lo-fi creators also have their own websites that you can visit to download their work. Another great source for finding new lo-fi tracks is SoundCloud, which has thousands of users uploading their own original lofi beats on a daily basis. If you’re into vinyl records, definitely check out Record Makers; they’ve helped fund many popular lo-fi projects over the years.





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