LoFi is doing my head in

Few days ago I was listening to brand new vinyl and had the thought “Dang but this one has terrible background noise”. Checked the digital copy and yup, lost of vinyl back ground noise in it as well as part of the mix.

Sometimes the same thing also makes me think for a moment that my headphones are bust.

Am I alone is this or is this also driving you crazy when it happens?

What turntable have you got?

It is in the mix on purpose.

Yeah - it shows how ‘real’ a musician you are if you put out your music with added pops and crackles.

My Korg Triton (professional keyboard workstation) has an effects option for ‘Vinyl Record’ where it will add authentic damaged vinyl sounds to my keyboard playing. I can choose whether I want my playing to sound like it’s coming from a 33/45/78rpm record, how much background hiss I want, how much crackle and how many pops per second.

Just to troll all the vinyl enthusiasts out there, I could point out that there’s no equivalent effects option that makes it sound like a CD.



Yup, on London Grammar California Soil the first track and one other has this in the mix, didn’t realise till I played the CD, doesn’t really serve any purpose in my opinion.

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Yeah, I noticed that too. Hard to unhear it once you’ve noticed. The click doesn’t even seem to be timed at 33rpm.

:joy: The “Vinyl Record” effect is actually a toggle button. On for vinyl effect, off for CD effect :stuck_out_tongue:

Trying to recapture the “time gone by” feeling. Kind of like you have games these days that are pixelated to relive the old classics. But when listening to vinyl and doing your best to keep the noise floor down by buying good equipment and looking after your vinyl by washing them and storing in antistatic inner sleeves, this is really counterproductive.

I guess it an effect made for digital that translates awfully to vinyl.

Aside from the artificial vinyl sounds another part of Lofi I have trouble with is distortion. When it sounds like the sound reproduction is broken. Happier than ever from Billie Eilish has some of that on. First time I played it I really got a fright thinking there was a hardware issue.

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Key here is to listen to the “Gestalt” or perhaps how the music appears as a whole entity - rather than following the tune note for note.
Myself being a creative type with mild synthesia have no problem with these artefacts.
Perhaps a few imbibed beverages can help here to loosen perception.

I have its predecessor, the Trinity, with the same. I was going to say I never understood why anyone in their right mind would want to do that, unless doing effects for a film or play where someone is playing vinyl (or shellac!), but you’ve answered it for me - to prove to a diehard vinyl addict that sound quality of digital is better than vinyl I’d only have to mix in a few crackles and clicks so they think they’re listening to vinyl and listen to the music not the absence of noise! :joy:

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My equivalent was Michael Jackson’s History album. The first track has some intentional digital distortion at the opening that really causes panic the first time you play it.

I wonder if any cassette release included the heart-sinking sound of the tape being chewed out of the shell by a dodgy mechanism?


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Totally off topic but reminded me of those folks who are friendly enough to mix in de sounds of screeching tyres and cars colliding on radio advertisements…

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Massive Attack’s Angel comes to mind. Or is it Teardrop. Mighty annoying to my ears.


I’m quite glad I heard Tom McRae’s first album on CD before LP or the LP would have gone back.
Mogwai’s album Rock Action also has some noise at the start. This was vinyl bought at a gig so hard to return and for years I thought it was damaged until I checked it on Qobuz.

A tangent, but it does seem a trend to add in some form of spurious, low level percussive effects onto many current tracks.

The number of times I’m driving and I turn the volume down on the radio, wondering if it’s my car making a strange and unexpected noise…

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I wonder is these idiots think it is the noise that makes vinyl good?

…and yes, I have noticed where this has been added and find it irritating.


I guess that with the current fashion for vinyl, and many lo-fi TTs that the bulk of users likely play them on, some bright spark had the idea that it would be great to make digital sound similar to vinyl - all they have to do is compress the sound - already introduced with the “loudness wars”, albeit that often went further even than necessary for vinyl, reduce any really low frequency high amplitude signals (possibly not yhere in the type of music), and then add this noise.

Sadly I think so. I remember when I got my turntable and told a friend of mine and his first comment was along the lines of “Oh yeah that vinyl sound with the crackles and pops”. So current culture definitely casts that as the quintessential vinyl sound and uses that as a throwback to “a time past”. Like with the retro instamatic camera filters.

But I would have hoped that musicians would realise that, if they release a vinyl record, all this does is make the vinyl sound of low quality production.

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If said idiot is a hipster, then yes, absolutely that is what they think. The crappier, the more superior it makes them.

Lets not forget that music is an Art form. As with other Art forms they are there to both delight and challenge our perception and senses.

True that with some musical artists, it could be argued - are adding such artefacts to make perhaps some dull and mundane music seem more “Arty”
Although Art has a long tradition of celebrating the dull and mundane.

Hope this helps. :sunglasses:

I have a work colleague who commented “that’s what I like about vinyl, the clicks, the hiss, the pops”, he is quite challenged.

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