Ableton makes it EASY to make LOFI beats
When you’re just starting out as a producer, and you’re watching youtube tutorials, gawking as the beatmaker pulls out Omnisphere or nexus, it can be frustrating, not in the least bit because those plugins cost hundreds of dollars. No, it’s also frustrating because your machine may not even be able to run these VST’s. That’s why I’m going to show you how to make a LOFI beat in Ableton with built-in sounds.
Open up Ableton and press TAB to go into session view. (I’m not used to clip view and use it as a mixer rack.)
Make sure you have a midi track selected and drag the loop points marker to the beginning of the track. make sure looping is on. set it to however many bars you want. (i usually do 4 bars.)
On the side list, click on the instrument list and choose an instrument, you can select different instruments by using the arrow keys. to confirm your selection, double click the highlighted instrument.
drag out 4 bars to the start of the loop from the end and Press ctrl + shift + m. This will create a midi clip. Double-clicking it will open the piano roll which you can resize by dragging up or down. Make sure to press the blue headphone icon to hear your notes in the piano roll. (If you can’t add notes in, try pressing B when your mouse is on the piano roll so it’s a pencil.)
go to audio effects and add EQ8, reverb and grain delay. give it a lowpass and adjust to taste.
Add drums to a separate midi track by clicking on drums (or drum rack or something) on the list. you don’t want to use very abrasive drums.
Add a little overdrive and a limiter on the master with a dB gain to give your track some life and arrange accordingly. One thing I like about Ableton is that you do not need to ‘clone’ a track or ‘make unique.’ you just copy and paste. A different note in 1 Won’t affect the other.