Lofi is a fairly new genre that has made its mark. Most of us came to know of the genre through YouTube on an Account called “Chilled Cow”.
With this new genre comes a lot new producers looking to take a swing at it.
I recently got a question in my Instagram DM that said “what can I use for Lofi bass?”.
This got me thinking and I decided to write out a full post and share my knowledge.
I’ve had some experience composing for lo-fi musicians therefore I’m going to share what I’ve learnt.
With that said, lets get right into our post.
So, what can I use for Lofi bass?
You can use a variety of basses for Lofi such as Synth bass, acoustic guitar bass, electric guitar bass, 808, moog bass, sine bass etc.
There are really a number of basses you can use in Lofi but it all comes down to the composition itself and which bass you think works best with it.
You shouldn’t be really restricted to a specific kind of bass because music doesn’t work like that.
This is why some good experimentation can be the best course of action in figuring which bass to go with.
Synth bass can be a great choice for lofi. It’s actually used in a lot of Lofi tracks out there.
I’d go for good synths like omnisphere, Serum or Massive.
These three are good tools that can help you get a good bassline in your tracks.
They have various synth presets and you can pretty much tweak a sound if you know basic principles of synthesis, or you can use the presets as they are.
If you have a bass guitar, recording live bass for your lofi project can be great if you’re looking to achieve an organic feel in instrumentation.
But you can also use bass guitar presets in digital plugins that have a variety of presets.
They can sound almost as good as the real thing.
Ample guitar can be a great plugin in such a situation.
Acoustic bass can be great for driving lofi tracks with instruments like pianos or guitars.
Electric guitar bass
Electric guitar bass can also be a pretty good choice for a person looking to get that organic feel that I just talked about in the previous point.
If you have an electric bass guitar, recording it and then editing it out in your DAW can help you get a more real sounding bass with that organic feel of being recorded through an amp.
Lofi is generally low fidelity music so you’ll benefit from any warm tonality that comes with using amplifiers and pre-amps.
If you however don’t have the real instrument, you can go for an electric guitar preset in digital plugins.
Ample guitars can be a great source for this but you can also find some pretty good presets in omnisphere as well.
You can also opt to go for an 808 in your lofi track.
There are different kinds of 808 samples and presets out there.
You just need to go for the one that can blend well with your track.
Things to consider when choosing bass
Below are some of the things that you should consider when choosing bass for your lofi track.
The instruments that you use in your track can sometimes dictate what kind of bass to use.
If you’ve been producing music for a while, this shouldn’t be a problem because choosing bass becomes second nature after producing music for a while.
For example if your track consists of synth elements like maybe airy pads and vocals, going for a simple synth bass can work just as well as going for an acoustic bass or electric bass would. An 808 could also work depending on the track.
Let’s get into another example, if you’re maybe working on a track that consists of real instruments such as pianos and guitars using a real sounding bass can be the way to go because you would be able to maintain the organic feel of incorporating organic real instrument sounds.
But at the end of it all, its a matter of preference and having an ear for what sounds good.
Which is why it’s always good to try out different basses and get a sense of how they work with your track.
Then you could try and settle for one.
The type of record you’re working on should also influence the bass that you end up using.
For example, if you’re working on a hip-hop lofi track then you can easily incorporate an 808 into your track because the 808 is mainly a hip-hop sound.
This is just a single example.
My point is, sometimes it’s good to understand what kind of record you’re working on and what instruments to use to go with the record or genre.
You also have to consider the tools that you have in your possession when looking to choose what bass to incorporate in your lofi record.
For example, if you have access to a guitar and can play it, then go for it.
If you however don’t have physical instruments, then you will need to stick to digital tools.
In essence, what I’m saying is, work with what you’ve got and don’t underestimate digital plugins.
When choosing bass you should also consider how it sonically fits into the music.
This can be easy for somebody that has experience working in production.
But sometimes, you don’t really need a trained ear to notice when something is off.