MAKE BEATS LIKE FRANK OCEAN: Chill Lofi Type Beats - Music Production Masterclass | Kia Orion | Skillshare

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MAKE BEATS LIKE FRANK OCEAN: Chill Lofi Type Beats - Music Production Masterclass

teacher avatar Kia Orion, Artist & Music Producer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Course Intro

    • 2. Lofi Melody & Drums

    • 3. Lofi Percussion

    • 4. Lofi Vocal Textures

    • 5. Lofi Bass

    • 6. Lofi Melody 2

    • 7. Lofi Mixing & Mastering

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About This Class

Want to learn how to make beats you can chill, relax, and study to? 

In this course I'll teach you the fundamentals of music production to make your own lofi hip hop beats.

This class continues to build on the techniques I teach in:


If you haven't yet, take that class first.

This class will revisit some of those lessons, but then also add new strategies and foundations to making Lofi beats.


How to easily warp, chop, and manipulate audio

The key elements that go into a lofi track

How to design lofi drums

How to mix and master a lofi tracks with mostly stock plug-ins

How to create lofi melodies and recommended instruments to do so

Mixing secrets that are unique to lofi beats

How to achieve the gritty analogue sound you want without wasting money on expensive gear

How to make better decisions in terms of sample choice and sound design

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kia Orion

Artist & Music Producer


Ay! I'm Kia. 

I'm an artist and educator who believes life wouldn't be the same without music.

Or tacos.

I realized that I was equally as passionate about teaching music as I was making it.

In 2016 I founded Beat School, an online platform and series of educational programs to help aspiring artists and producers learn how to make beats, accelerate their growth, and stay inspired. 

I'm originally from New York but these days you'll find me traveling around the world writing songs or playing beats on a rooftop somewhere.

I appreciate you stopping by, and if you'd like to get in touch you can DM me or shoot me an email at [email protected] 

Life is too short not to do what you lov... See full profile

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1. Course Intro: want to welcome to your new course on Low Fi. My name is Key O. Ryan. I'm an artist, producer, educator. Everything in between. I write songs. I make beats used to work in the industry, realized that that was not the life for me. So now I travel around, make beat cell beats and teach you how to make beats and make your own music as well. This is a course that is building off of my first lo fi course. So if you haven't taken the first lo fi course, go back and take that one first. That's gonna cover most of the fundamentals when it comes in a low five, however, So there was a lot of demand for Mawr Lo fi. A lot of people love that first course, so I wanted to make another one kind of building on those foundations. So this is the lo fi course number two. There's going to be four beginning and intermediate students. These are going to be a little bit more intermediate, beginning to intermediate techniques. So I'm not gonna cover everything that we talked about in the first course, is gonna be building on top of those foundations. Um, these were going to be different concepts around mixing and lo fi drums creating low fi melodies, all of those different things. These are going to be not necessarily the beats that you'd hear on, um, like a boom BAP or a trap playlist. These are gonna be more low fives. There's more like frank ocean tight beats or something you'd hear on Spotify playlist for, like, more chill beats. Or like those study beat playlists. That's what these beats are gonna be. Four. So if you like those, if you want to learn how to make those that this is going to be the course for you. Ah, I used mostly able to in in my courses. But this these aren't dos specific. These same concepts you can apply to anything any dog that you have. Also, if you've taken a my course before, you know that I'm a huge proponent of doing not just hearing not just watching the videos actually doing so. I actually have the stems for you in the course project part of this course, so you can go download those follow along and kind of tweak the different knobs and switches along with me so we can make this beat together from scratch that you're going to hear. Did that make sense? I hope that you're excited about making low fi beats No matter where you are on your production journey. Feel free to hit me up. I'm here for beginning Intermediate Advanced, but this course is gonna be geared more towards intermediate in beginning students. So that sounds fun. Grab your beverage of choice. Get ready rock n roll and let's get it. Appreciate you being here. Let's jump into it Peace. 2. Lofi Melody & Drums: What's good, Joe? It's aboard with the Boli back in action. You feel me? Uh, kind of in my feelings today. And when I am, it makes you want to make low fi. And so I figured I'd bring you with me to make some or low five beats. Um, if you haven't taken the beginning low five course, please take that one now, because I'm not going to jump into all the specifics of the beginning. Kind of every single little thing, step by step. There's gonna be a little bit more of an intermediate class where I talk about kind of more in our media advanced concepts when it comes to low five beats. Um, So if you ready, let's jump into what I found. A loop that I really liked from Mr Karr. Mac Pack. Ah, and this is it. But I thought it would sound cool. Reverse pitched up, pitched down. You know, I always like to take loops. And if I can't tweak the motorway So I reversed it. I thought that sounded cool. Kind of crackling up top, which I don't love, So I'm gonna roll off some of it with an order filter if you're wondering how these are already here is because I just actually shot this video already. But the technology messed up, so didn't capture any of the audio. So we're back, but just roll off a little bit of tapping with your order filter. Maybe had a little saturation if you want it, Trenidad too much because it brings out that kind of top crackly, that crackly thinking, the high end, which I'm not a huge fan of. And since I'm not doing I'm not really doing much else on this one. I'm going to, um, continue on. And also add the's drums. So I found this also from the karmic pack. I thought that these were I liked these drums a lot, and I think that they work for this. So since is the more intermediate advanced class. You know, I'm going to talk about some more intermediate concepts, So this one is stealing suspects. Uh, I love stealing different loops, ideas, things of that nature. So this one, I'm gonna come in here, um, and just steal this idea, which is pretty much if you listen to this loop. It's cool. It's really simple. It's just a kick in a snare. But then it has these kind of like other ah sounds. And so that's what I'm going to try to replicate is put down a simple kick in a snare. Um, let's see, we got with our kicks. - Sounds like he's got quite a bit of reverb on the snare. It's a cool kind of rim shot. Almost give me their raw hip hop Since its car, Mac, uh, a lot of his loops and a lot of his bops. We're gonna come from things being pushed a little earlier, a little late. So if you look at his snare, if you look at this on the grid, these look very similar. But since this is, um, these were kind of the more. Hopefully, if you've already taken the beginner class, you're aware of them or, um, intermediate assume you're aware of kind of the beginning concepts of like, lit like want izing things. But once you know the rules, one of the big things a zai say no, the Brule so that you can break them. So now, once you kind of got your drum patterns down. If you really want to start adding Bob different kind of like grooves to your drums. You have to toy with the middle bit. It's kind of these hairline changes, hairline fractures in just the, um the difference is, but, like, a little bit earlier, a little bit late could go a long way. - I just want this to start a little bit earlier. I don't love these. Kicks off still sound off to me. So I'm actually what I'm gonna do is line these up exactly on the grid for now. Get them to loop well with the sample, and then I'll come back and dragged him off the grid. - I also like that he has, like, some Congo's or some other kind of drums in here to kind of fill that space. So that's I'm gonna add to 3. Lofi Percussion: so I think I'm going to do is add. Try to add some, like some Tom's or some sort of fill Congo's. Maybe some sort of other instrument. Excuse me. Other drums in there to kind of fill that space up a little bit. So it's trust some things out. - E . I really like these times a lot. Um, so when I'm gonna, like, distort them, just do some weird effects. Do them really reverb amount. Have them take up some space. I also rolled off some of the high end on these snares. I'm also gonna roll off some of the high end on this kick. I'm almost feeling like some Kanye like it awaits and heartbreak type of joint on this where it's, like, just got some cool. Weird Tom sounds different. Percussion sounds. Eight awaits 90 nines. Really? Machine drum. Ah, - so I kind of I'm kind of liking that. Just really low fi. Almost like some frank ocean type vibe. Something. Did you wanna sing on? Pretty minimal. - I kind of wanted, like some sort of a cheesy clap in there. That's I was looking for, um this is almost I was thinking of like like, uh, and thinking about you by Frank Ocean. I like, like the end of that. Barbara has gone to those, like, cheesy claps. Thinking about you, um, is the second too much. Be honest, maybe, but I'm gonna keep it. All right? Okay, that works for now. I think what else might do is add some high hats and things to add a little bit of motion to it for later on in. Ah, um, verse eso, like, maybe anniversary Hook might have some high hats and things, but I think that that works for now. 4. Lofi Vocal Textures: So the hard part with low fi beats like If you're making Like Frank Ocean type lo fi beats is not over complicating it and but also making sure that its sparse enough for a vocalist , if that's your thing, but that also not so sparse that is boring. So it's a hard thing to nail. So what I'm gonna do right now is bringing some vocals and toy around us from vocals a little bit and then also toy around with some other instruments just to kind of add Ah, little bit more to this because I think I think it's close. I don't think it's, um, I think it quite has enough to make it like, Interesting enough. Yet I think it just needs a little bit more so with vocal phrases to You don't always have to get a lot of the You have to know that I have to even be like full words or anything. You can just be like little, just little. Think of these almost is like, at least in this context, I think of these as plucks like I think if this is just like another instrument, so it doesn't really matter what she's saying here. It's more that it's just like kind of, ah texture that adds some depth to the vibes that's from looking for. - So I'm doing. It is also coming in here and kind of adjusting the different individual volumes of thes vocal slices. Depending on where I feel like they're standing out maybe a little bit too much or, um, I want to keep them. I think I think that they're just too loud or maybe not loud enough. I'm coming into mixing, um, are mixing them a little bit individually. - That works for me, at least for these vocal chops. I think maybe another, maybe one other instrument or something during the hook, some sort of, Ah, hi, pad. Something of that nature could be cool and then also be a little bit of base in some high hats. We'll try mouth to see how it goes 5. Lofi Bass: So we're gonna jump into some other elements of their instruments and thinking some base, maybe a little bit of Ah, high pad, high guitar. Let's do it. First things first. Base bone, bone, bone. Find the keys. Just playing these off my keyboard. - The only thing I love about, um, ominous fears. They just have bad bases. Like what's up with that? So I might just, um, come in here miss around with a Ah, I would love, like some sort of a move. You mean like a regular straight up? Moved? Ah, is just way too fancy. Just need, like, a straight up, simple move base. Um, but we ain't got it. So I'm going to go. Let's maybe go retro junkie. Juno. Like tripping. I don't want something crazy like that. As need. Oh, so I'm so in this basin, love. That's why me initialize it. Ah, All right, now, retro. What was Thea Chucky, do you know Ah ah mm . I keep on these low five beats. I keep the basis super simple. It might even be two notes. I know I might. That might be something that I explored to Is that might just do some super simple two notes. Let me try that. I highly recommend when you have the budget getting some dope based sounds. So that's either Spectra Sonics trillion or what I had for a minute on my old computer versus man's computer. But before I updated it Was that in, Um, I haven't gotten it back yet. I didn't feel like paying for it, but I had it for a bit. The artery a joint has a move. You can get like a cool move. Good bass sounds that are hard to come by. I highly recommend it. Right now. I've been making a lot of bees with eight awaits, so I haven't needed a ton. But, um, looks like it might be worth it to get something again if you also get hardware, since that's super fun. But for these low fi joints, um, I keep my base is pretty simple. So I'm not gonna bore you anymore. That are probably gonna be something that makes this up a little bit later on. But just something simple for now. Is that gonna have some bass frequencies in there? So next one add some instrumentation on the top and then maybe some high hats and makes it 6. Lofi Melody 2: All right, so wrapping this up, um, we're gonna add a new instrument and then mix it. And when it comes to low five beats, uh, organs worked really well, I mean, think of Frank ocean zones. Organs work. Well, a lot of guitars work. Well, some plucks here and there, but, um, go listen to Frank Ocean, and he uses you can. It's just like tons of pianos, organs, guitars, um, and so I love those is usually my go to. So I'm going to just mess around with some of those and kind of add some long sustained notes to this be just to kind of give it a little bit more feeling. So I found some organs like this way, way also, start with preset, and then just mess with it from there. When we do now is take you out. There were some of the resident frequencies. - Also , my add some sort of a high, sustained note. I'm just gonna turn this off because my computer doesn't like a bunch of numbness, fear instances running, but, um, I'm gonna try toe, see what it sounds like. Listen, even maybe, like a high pad in here, some sort of like a so Lena joint. So lean. Ah, I don't want art, though. Oh, that's kind of a cool sound. Sometimes you just like one sustained high no or a few way. That's something you can get from just listening to music you like. When I was listening to Frank Ocean beats and then trying to remake them, I found they would Austin, his producer. I think his name's Malay would often have just one guitar or a synth. No, just kind of hanging. Suspended in the background at adds tension and kind of as energy. But it's not necessarily like in your face is a main instruments would. Normally I like to paying them and have them pretty quiet, maybe roll off some of the high end, so they just kind of fade into the background. But it's something that's kind of adds energy without necessarily needing to, uh, kind of hit you over the head with. I was just looking for things. Just give a little bit of energy. Ah, Philip, some of the space a little bit during maybe the hook, but I don't really want these two. Um, I don't want these to be super in your face, another tip for their high hats rather than always just actually adding, in all your riots and 16th not sometimes you can just add in a little bit of delay, and it's kind of a way tohave add 16th notes in a way, high hats, but without actually having to write them all in. And it kind of it's a different kind of more ambient effect. - So not the best the way the most complicated beat, but just kind of adds a bit of a feeling, a bit of a canvas for someone to paint on it. So if they so choose, so let's mix it and then get you out of here. 7. Lofi Mixing & Mastering: when it comes to mixing of tracks like this. Don't forget, um, you don't have a whole lot of elements. So the elements that you do have, you want to make sure they stand out. Um, so you come in, you're gonna zero everything per usual organ. This is the strings. And I'm gonna mix this one differently than I normally do, because this isn't one where I really want the kick or the sneer to really, like, bash through. I just kind of want it all to be kind of almost even I almost wanted to be the sort of ambient canvas. I don't want things sticking out like I don't I'm not trying like of a super banging kick or snappy snare anything. This is a song kind of reverse mixing. Normally, I'll do a lot of my drums first, but since I know I want it all to be relative, I don't want things to stick out too much. I'm bringing in my instruments earlier, and then we kind of mixed my drums in after after that thes type of beets. I really don't want anything to stand out, so I'm trying to be cognizant of that I'm also going to try to roll off some of the high end, just all the high end, Um, just really low fi it out a little bit, so it feels just kind of old and kind of intentionally a little bit degraded. - You see your sound a little odd to me. Oh, - way with these low fi beat, it's really about just like making everything sound like intentionally muddy so that it all kind of blends together. Um, and then if you get really fancy, you could do some cool stuff with in a low gear, adding vinyl sounds and scratches to it. But for now, I think that this works, um so again, when it comes to making another five beats, knows the rules before you break him. But this is one of those that ah, I would say it would be for a singer and then arranging it out so that you'd bring these different elements in only when you need them. But it be pretty. It's about that's why these are more advanced beats more intermediate because it's about simplicity, and that's really hard to do Well, so my recommendation, just a practice. Keep it simple choose your elements wisely and intentionally kind of degrade the sound, get everything to feel kind of even, but still have enough of a canvas that inspires an emotion. Hope you learned something taking the next one peace.