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How to Make Lo-fi Hip-Hop Chords in Ableton Live | Tutorial

In this tutorial, Point Blank LA’s lecturer, Adal Jamil, shows how to make a lo-fi hip-hop chord kit in Ableton Live that will add ambient atmospherics to your beats.

The term lo-fi comes from “low fidelity”, which refers to a low-quality recording with audible imperfections. These can include anything from background noise to performance mistakes and recordings created with inexpensive equipment. Lo-fi hip-hop is a popular sub-genre within the lo-fi sound that couples these techniques with simplistic rap beats. 

Whether you’re new to the world of lo-fi beats or you’ve spent countless hours watching Lofi Girl and her cat (if you know, you know), this tutorial is perfect for helping you adorn your music with that dreamy aesthetic.

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To kick off the tutorial, Adal fires up Ableton Live’s stock Drum Rack plugin to load in his electric piano samples. Once his hand-selected rotation of chords is loaded into the Drum Rack, the producer transposes them so that they stay in key with each other during the beat-making process. He adjusts the choke group so that when he triggers a new sample, it cuts off the current one playing and doesn’t overlap and muddy the sound. Once his rack is customised to taste, Adal sets the project to 84 BPM and programmes in a chord progression before throwing in a drum loop to bring his lo-fi chords to life.

Make sure you keep an eye on our blog and socials for the next video in this series, where Adal Jamil will go into more detail about the effects and processing you can add to your chords and further achieve that lo-fi aesthetic. Want to learn more about crafting beats of your own? Then check out our LA-based Beatmaking Classes.

If you’re keen to make some lo-fi hip-hop chords using the same pack as our lecturer, you can download it from Ableton for free.

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