LOFI DIY: How to make a Lush Vintage Reverb in Ableton for Lo-Fi Beats

Welcome back to LOFI DIY!

Last time we made a killer warble. Now it’s time to put the icing on the cake.

This is the sound we got to last time:

By the end of this tutorial, the clip will sound like this:

By the way, I’m using “Glass Piano” as my instrument behind all the effects.

Step 1 – Add Reverb

Often people throw a reverb at the end of a device chain or return track.
But today you’ll learn how to design something far more interesting.

Start by adding ableton’s reverb. I’m adding it directly after the warble we created last time:

It doesn’t sound very interesting yet, so I tweaked the parameters.
Feel free to copy them:

 Adding ableton's reverb after the lofi warble we made in the last LOFI DIY


My thinking behind these settings was twofold:

    1. Keep the reverb high end and
    2. Add some chorus.


    The high end will help us create color, and the chorus will pair well with our warble. The other knobs I simply turned to taste.

    It sounds so much better already!



    Step 2 – Add Harmonics

    Now it’s time to fatten up the space by increasing our harmonics. We’ll do this using one of my favorite combos: Saturator + Multiband Dynamics.


    Saturation and Mulitband Dynamics Settings


    The saturation curve looks a bit wonky… don’t worry…
    To get your Saturator device to look like mine you first you need to change the Curve Type from Analog Clip (the default) to Waveshaper in the drop down menu:

     Saturation Drop Down Menu

    As for the Multiband Dynamics, these are my settings:

    Multiband Dynamics Settings on the Vintage Reverb


    Make sure you don’t miss the settings hidden under those 3 boxes (see gif)!

    We’re almost there!


    Step 3 – Add your own flavor

    Because I’m extra and love it, I’m going to add a dash more warble to spice up our space.

    Map the original LFO from our initial warble (as shown in the previous tutorial) to the Fine knob of this final Frequency Shifter. Tweak to taste.
    These are my final settings:

    Mapping the original LFO to the last, new Frequency Shifter

    Hmmm, sounds good…



    Step 4 - Tidy Up 

    Let’s do a quick tidy up by grouping our devices before we go…
    Shift click the first device in your rack and shift click the last one, hit cmd + g or right click on the title and select ‘Group’. Voila!

    This is what the final clip sounds like in context:




    If you followed along you’ll notice how small incremental changes make a big difference to the overall sound.

    And that’s true for good lo-fi sound design as well as your life…
    So I’ll leave you with this: What part of your life can you tweak just a little to make the overall quality of it so much sweeter? Hmmm...

    lil miss beats

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