Having produced Lofi beats with a range of hardware and software it is safe to say that you don't have to spend a lot to get great sounds. I have released tracks heavily featuring free sounds and VSTs that have made it to big playlists and YouTube channels. I will outline some of my personal favourites BEST FREE VST PLUGINS FOR LOFI HIP HOP.
1/ Spitfire Audio Labs
If you haven't already heard of this then download this straight away. Spitfire audio have a range of phenomenal sampled instruments that rival some of the best paid alternatives. The interface is sleek and simple, adjusting reverb, attack, delay, velocity and more is simple. It is not just one instrument but a series that you can pick and choose from. There are constant updates, you just need to download their software and when you see something you like it is easy to download. These are the best free vst plugins for lofi hip hop in my opinion, I personally use their soft piano frequently and I also have the Kontakt Noir keys but there is still place for the soft piano. Personal favourites are: l
- Soft Piano (Used in my song Morning Dreams with 700k Streams On Spotify)
- Electric Piano (Used in my song Lunar Drive with over 3Million streams on Spotify)
- Synth Pads
But I have most of them downloaded because the quality is insane. Get them Here.
2/ Izotope Vinyl
This is one that should be in the pocket of every lofi producer. Izotope Vinyl allows you to warm audio and simulate an old vinyl recording. This is perfect for adding character to samples, making your own recordings sound retro or adding some texture to a track. It allows various degrees of warp and different static noise that can be merged into the mix. You can even add it to the master to make the whole track sound like an old vinyl recording. Download HERE.
3/ DSK Saxophone
When it comes to lofi music, and jazzhop in particular, nothing finishes off a mix better than some smooth sax layered in. There are some very expensive plugins that allow for this, then there is DSK Sax. A completely free VST that allows for great customisation and expressive tones completely free! Great for adding some texture and flavour to lofi beats. Download Here.
4/ SGA1566 Tube Preamp
An important and often neglected tool in the lofi producers toolkit is natural amp saturation. Saturation provides a mix of compression and distortion and can help bring an analogue feel to those digital sounds. Use the SGA 1566 as a saturation compressor to boost the warmth of your track. Or add a bit of grit with the tube overdrive. This completely free plug in SGA1566 brings the authentic tone of a single channel vintage all tube mic preamplifier. The whole circuit is simulated in real time using the high performance circuit simulator to recreate every nuance of the preamp circuit, from subtle coloration to overdrive and distortion.
Download for free here.
5/ Ample Bass P II Light
Another key area that takes a lofi beat to the next level is a great natural sounding baseline. One thing many people struggle with when making lofi is the bass, often sub basses can be too overpowering. If you don't have a bass guitar and a recording studio, this is the next best thing! Ample Bass light is modelled on the P Bass set up and has an insane amount of control and adjust-ability for a free bass. You can adjust fret noise, buzz, sustain, action and so much more to get the perfect tone. I highlight recommend this to anyone whether you are a beginner or a seasoned bass slapper this will bring something to the table.
Download for free HERE
Another core effect in lofi production (And all music production) is the reverb! Whilst we can get some great sounds in stock reverbs, sometimes a new plugin can really up our production game. This Tal-Reverb from Togu Audio Line is sure to up your music quality, with its phenomenal sounding plate reverb and huge levels of customisation options its the perfect free reverb.
- Plate reverb sound.
- One simple room size control.
- Predelay up to one second.
- EQ section (12dB cut, low shelf filter at 1000Hz, high shelf filter at 200Hz).
- Stereo width control (from full stereo to mono).
- Stereo input mode (mono or stereo input).
- Displays the slider value of the active fader.
- A meter shows the output volume.
- 10 factory presets.
- Made with the JUCE framework and is Open Source
Thanks for reading, be sure to join our mailing list to keep up to date with all the latest freebies and resources and check out our lofi samples HERE.