What Is Lo-fi Music? (Explained 19 Questions That You Should Ask)

What Is Lo-fi Music? Low fidelity music or lo-fi music in short are those musics in which there are imperfections while recording which is deliberately done.

The imperfections present in lo-fi musics are generally the misplayed notes, environmental noise or the phonographic imperfection’s life degraded audio signals or the hissing of tape and so on.

The recording imperfections that result in lo-fi music may be either due to distortion or noise all the combination of both.

One of the most famous form of destruction present in lo-fi music is the harmonic distortion which happens when the audio signal is amplified beyond the dynamic range of a device.

There are also non-phonographic imperfections that result in lo-fi music. This non-phonographic imperfections are the environmental sounds like turning the page of a book or paper, sound produced due to moving of chair or table, someone coughs in the surrounding, children playing around or the sound of bikes and car moving on the road.

Lo-fi music or lo-fi Hip Hop to be specific falls under the genre of music called “alternative”.

In his 2013 guide titled ‘Practical Recording Techniques’, Bruce Bartlett states that “Lo-Fi sounds might have a narrow frequency response (a thin, cheap sound), and might include noise such as hiss or record scratches.” 

What Is Lo-fi Music? (Explained 8 Answers That You Should Ask)

what is lo-fi music
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1. Why is lo-fi music so popular?

One of the main reason why lo-fi music is so famous is because researchers have suggested that this type of music helps to focus. And in this distracted world focus is a high demand necessity. 

The biggest advantage of this type of music is that they do not have any lyrics and does the chances of the listener getting distracted us less.

This type of lo-fi music have slow tempo and thus they help to relax and reduce anxiety.

This type of lo-fi music is good for students writers for anyone who wants to relax and focus on the task at hand.

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In order to have the relaxing effect it is advisable to listen lo-fi music on endless repeated loop.

This repetition of the music makes the music predictable and thus soothing to the listener.

This predictable soft sound of the lo-fi music protect us from thinking from the unpredictable and Harsh world outside and does helps in relaxation and focus.

2. How can you produce lo-fi music?

The definition of lo-fi music gives us the ingredients required to produce lo-fi music and that is imperfection arising while recording music.

Imperfect music?

Doesn’t imperfect music seems unprofessional?

Yes they may seem unprofessional but if it’s working then why not use it.

Lo-fi music is not only easy to listen to but it is also very easy to produce because there are hardly any lyrics present. No lyrics mean you are not burden to find out the right words to rhyme the sentences and can focus more on the feel of the music.

1. As a beginner who has just started to make a lo-fi music they will start by using the samples of chords and melodies from old songs. They will then freeze and flatten the audio or will use chord progression. Noise and distortion are also introduced into the track to make the perfect lo-fi music.

2. If you are your audience like drum beats them you can use them to produce your lo-fi music.

What type of drums are required to produce lo-fi music?

Drums which are dusty and scratchy sounding are important to make such kind of lo-fi music.

The sound in the music can be make more interesting by adding distortion and saturation into it.

Generally it is found that for lo-fi music bass sounds that are focused on the lower ends works the best.

If you want to add the dusty classic aesthetic element to your music then Vinyl crackle should be your choice.

You can use for Foley to create the scratchy effect.

3. Who popularized the term lo-fi music?

It was DJ William Berger who can be credited for popularizing the term lo-fi music in 1986. He was an DJ on an independent radio station named WFMU. ON HIS WEEKLY SHOWS HE USED TO EXPLORE HOME RECORDINGS THAT WE ARE PRODUCED ON LOW COST EQUIPMENTS AND TITLE THE SHOW AS “Low-Fi”.

4. Are there any YouTube channel on lo-fi music?

There are many channels on YouTube on lofi music and two of the famous YouTube channels are:

1. DreamyCow: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuw1VDsmOWOldKGLYq6AkVg

2. ChilliHop music: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOxqgCwgOqC2lMqC5PYz_Dg#:~:text=Chillhop%20Music-,Chillhop%20Music,LIVE

4. Is lo-fi music good for studying?

Yes, nowadays lo-fi music is being used by students from all across the world to help them study and focus more on the task at hand.

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The floss present in the lo-fi music triggers a portion of the cerebrum that have student focus.

The brain picks out the difference in sound and in turn helps the mind to focus.

Victor Szabo, a music professor explained that the repetition in the lo-fi music makes it predictable, soothing listeners further. The brain can “easily predict on a subconscious level how it will continue to sound,” and “The listener can turn their attention away from the sound and toward other things without being surprised or thrown off.

The word Victor Szabo and other music experts use to describe the ultimate effect is “cocooning.”

According to researchers at Stanford University, music engages the areas of the brain that control your attention span and your memory retention—two factors that are crucial when it comes to studying effectively.

5. What are the lo-fi music examples(Popular artists)?

The most common examples of lo-fi music which falls under the ‘alternative’ genre of music are:

Some Popular lo-fi music tracks handpicked for you from Spotify are:

6. Where to get free lofi music for youtube?

There are many channels and playlist availabe on Youtube that offers Lofi music. The two steps needed to get free lofi music on youtube are:

  • 1. Just search on Youtube or use the link below


lo-fi music search on youtube
  • 2. Filter the search by applying Creative Commons or use the link below


Now you will have all the videos that are labelled Creative Commons, so you can use them freely.

lo-fi music search on youtube with filter creative commons licence.

7. Why is lofi music relaxing?

There are many reasons why lofi music is relaxing. Four main reasons are:

  • 1. lofi musics are wordless, so they don’t force your brain to try to analyse the lyrics.
  • 2. lofi musics are neither too slow to make you sleepy, nor too fast to makes you anxious.
  • 3. People listen to lofi music on an endless loop to make the music predictable by brain and thus not disturb the listener.
  • 4. lofi musics are neither so boring you forget it entirely, nor so interesting it distracts you from your work

8. Can lofi music be used for sleep?

Yes, as lo-fi music has the inherent characteristics to reduce stress and anxiety, thus it will aid you to sleep peacefully.

Soft sounding and predictable music makes lo-fi music an ideal choice to help you sleep better.

Lo-fi music has the ability to calm anxiety, reduce stress and make you happy.  Started in the 1950s rock and roll era when recordings were made “cheaply and quickly, often on substandard equipment, came a long way with modern lo-fi music using specialized sound mixing tools & software.

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9.When did lofi music start?

Lo-fi music can be traced to 1950s rock and roll but the term was first used by DJ William Berger in 1986.

10. Who created lo-fi music?

There are no one person or bands that can be credited as the creator or inventor of lo-fi music because lo-fi music are made of technical flaws like distortion, hum or background noise. Thus, anyone can make lo-fi music.

But two names American rapper and producer J Dilla and Japanese DJ and producer Nujabes are generally regarded as the Godfathers of this genre.

11. Can lo-fi music have words?

Lo-fi music can have words but it’s not preferred as lo-fi music is used for relaxation and having lyrics cannot achieve that purpose.

Lo-fi music are made in such a way that they won’t distract you with locals or lyrics. 

12. Where did lo-fi music come from?

The term lofi music was popularized by William Berger on his weekly half-hour radio show at the New Jersey-based independent radio station named WFMUfrom 1986 to 1987.

This was the starting of lofi music popularity and with time it became a best genre for relaxation.

13. Where can you to get lo-fi music?

Websites such as Chillpop and Chilledcow are just a few examples of Lo-Fi radio streams.

Lofi music are also available on Youtube and on Spotify.

Some famous websites to listen to Lo Fi music are:

14. How to make lo-fi music on phone?

There are many free and paid apps that can help you make lofi music on phone. One of the most used app service is FL Studio.

Website URL: https://www.image-line.com/

Android Playstore URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imageline.FLM&hl=en&gl=US

Apple App Store URL: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fl-studio-mobile/id432850619

But if you ask my personal opinion, i will suggest you make the music on PC/laptop for better performance and quality.

15. What is the biggest benefit of lofi music?

The biggest benefit of lo-fi music is that it gives your brain just enough stimulation to minimize stress and make it productive without distracting you.

16. Is lo-fi music copyrighted?

Not all lo-fi music are copyrighted. Many of them are free under Creative Commons license. It’s always advisable to read the terms and conditions and usage policy from the website to determine the license.

On YouTube you can filter the search and verify Creative Commons license.

17. What is lo-fi music genre?

Lofi music  or lofi Hip Hop to be specific falls under the genre of music called  “alternative”.

18. Can I use lo-fi music on YouTube?

Yes you can definetely use lofi music on your youtube videos. Just before using verify the terms and conditions and usage policy from the website from where you got the music. Preferable use the music only when it has Creative Commons license availabe.

19. Can you play lo-fi music on twitch?

Yes, you can play lofi music on twitch. Creators have the ability to choose music from a set of stations and playlists curated by Twitch. Along with genre like “Rap”, “just chilling”, there is also “Lofi Hip Hop/Beats” present.

Alternatively, you can use other websites taht offer Copyright free music for twitch like this playlist on Spotify

URL: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6RvZvagRIz4FFJ8gp8KVmx

Final Thought on Lo-fi Music

This is a type of sound recording that contains technical flaws that make the recording sound differently compared to the live sound being recorded, such as distortion, hum, background noise, or limited frequency response. These kinds of flaws in the music can trigger the cerebrum and can help a student focus on a test, or a homework assignment.

Lofi music has not saturated yet, so go on and make some music to get recognised.