The LoFi Machine
- Lofi Music is super popular these days because it has relaxing properties. Everyone can enjoy both making and listening to lofi.
- Nostalgia plays a huge part in lofi music. But to me, nostalgia is not something negative, but positive. There’s so much history in the old electronics that are used to make lofi music that is almost magical.
- The Geloso open tape recorder can be turned into a guitar amp, and that’s what we used to make our latest lofi guitar sample pack.
- Folks started turning open tape recorders and other valve electronics into guitar amps because there were no amps available on some locations.
Valves are what give guitar sounds that rich, warm sound that cannot be imitated digitally.
Recently, lo-fi music, and specially lofi hip hop, has gained a massive following. It is proven that lofi music will relax you and help you study, and this plays a big part in its popularity. Its simple nostalgic sounds are very relatable no matter what other genres of music you enjoy.
And such as it happens with supply and demand, there’s a lot of lo-fi music producers out there. Lofi is great to create tracks that are simple and cozy. Lofi music producers have a lot of alternatives to play with sounds and effects, that’s why here at Mostro we wanted to help out and bring that cozy nostalgia to our guitar loops.
That is the key word of lofi, nostalgia. Sometimes it’s associated with something sad or gone, but nostalgia can also be a nice place to go back to, remember your past and think about how far you’ve come. Nostalgia can bring positive feelings too.
At least that’s how lofi music makes me feel. And I feel that way about the gear that is used to make lofi music too.
That’s why I need to show you something really special, that was really hard to get. Something that I like to call my “Lofi machine”.
The lofi Machine
Lately at Mostro we’ve been working on lofi guitar sample packs, so I’ve been searching for things that would bring that unique vibe to the loops we are recording.
I looked through old gear like walkmans, vhs, cassette tape recorders, open reel tape recorders, until one day I saw this piece.
This is a Geloso, an open tape recorder from 1961. But this isn’t just any tape recorder.
Let me explain.
Geloso was an italian brand, one of the most important ones, that used to make valve radios, tv’s, amps and other electronic devices from 1931 to 1972. Founded by Giovanni Geloso, the brand was all about sharing a passion for electronics. In 1932, Giovanni created the Technical Bulletin Geloso, a free publication that included instructions and everything needed for the repair and development of the brand’s equipment, as well as tips, instructions, characteristics, schemes and everything that both technitians and enthusiasts wanted to know.
Imagine almost a hundred years ago, with no information available and almost no schools for electronics, this bulletin made a difference in those who shared the passion around the world.
Another important contribution of Geloso were mounting kits. The kits allowed for TVs and radios to be home-assembled almost from scratch, beginning with raw metal frames onto which components were installed. There was also a user-friendlier line of pre-assembled, pre-calibrated kits and, also available, were cabinets, knobs, keys, etc. - all branded Geloso. Bulletins instructed how to calibrate finished units. You can imagine this vision grew the brand quickly to worldwide status.
Curiously, on the other side of the world, the electric guitar was also born around this time. Allegedly in 1936 when a jazz guitarist named Charlie Christian began using an acoustic guitar with a pickup attached to the body.
With this, a new industry began both for electronics and musical instruments, because these new electric guitars neded amps to sound good.
As it is the case with any new industry, and even more back then when the world wasn’t so connected, sometimes you can’t find new gadgets when they just come out, or are difficult to find. Since tape recorders were more common than guitar amps, folks figured a way to turn Geloso tape recorders into actual guitar amps.
I was thrilled to find one in such good condition even with the paperwork and microphone.
Actually the geloso tape recorder and modern amps share some of the same components, the most important one of those is the valves. Valves are responsible for rich sounds that cannot be imitated digitally.
A piece of history in your lofi guitar loops
Turning a tape recorder into an amp is fairly easy, to explain it simply, you just need to skip the components that play the tape and put sound straight in and out. However, if you want to have a modified Geloso lofi amp never try to do it yourself because there are some electrical parts that if are put toghether incorrectly, could kill you when you try to use it.
This and other old electronics are what we use in our lofi guitar loops to achieve a rich, warm, organic sound.
A piece of history directly into your guitar loops, how cool is that?
We used the Geloso amp to process our latest guitar loops sample pack, you can get the free lofi guitar sample pack here.
Try it in your beats, and remember nostalgia can make you feel warm inside too. I hope this pack brings out your best memories so you can use them as inspiration when making lofi beats.