The 10 Best Guitar Pedals for LoFi Music

The 10 Best Guitar Pedals for LoFi Music

What Are the Best LoFi Guitar Pedals?

LoFi music has been all the rage in recent years. Described as cozy and nostalgic, it evokes a vintage atmosphere reminiscent of the vinyl era. The style is so popular that it is making an appearance in genres such as indie rock and alternative pop. But how do you get a lofi tone using guitar pedals?

Nowadays, there are many effect units in the market that can help you easily achieve a lofi sound: modulators (chorus, vibrato, etc), delays, reverbs, and so on. Apart from pedals, there are also certain recording techniques that can be used to enhance the vintage appeal of your tone.

In this article, we will show you the 10 best guitar pedals for lofi music, as well as give you a few tips and tricks throughout the article to help you master the low-fidelity vibe. Let's get started!

In a hurry? Check out our quick guide with the best lofi guitar pedals at the end of the article.

What is LoFi Music?

LoFi music (short for low-fidelity) is a sound aesthetic in which audio imperfections are present in the recording. The elements include: noises, tape hiss, detuned sounds, and so on. The purpose of lofi in modern music is to evoke naturalness and to pay homage to the records of the past. It's also tied to the DIY (do it yourself) movement.

LoFi is not exactly a music genre, it's more of an aesthetic/philosophy that can be employed in any style, deliberately or not. For example, many of the garage rock albums of the 1960s unintentionally fall into the category of lofi music, but only because of the limitations of the time and context they were recorded.

In the 1990s, the meaning of lofi started to shift with the advancement of audio technology. Lofi wasn't the product of limitations anymore, but a deliberate choice tied to subcultures such as grunge, indie, and alternative rock. It was a direct response to the pop mega productions of the time.

Nowadays, there are many popular styles that are proponents of the lofi music aesthetic: bedroom pop, noise rock, and so on. As audio technologies advance, musicians now have a wide range of ways to achieve a lofi sound, as with lofi guitar pedals.

What Are the Most Popular Types of LoFi Guitar Pedals?

There are many types of guitar pedals that can help you give a lofi vibe to your tone, including effects such as:

  • Chorus and vibrato, to achieve a detuned sound.
  • Distortion and fuzz pedals, for an edgier lofi tone.
  • Tape delay, for a tone reminiscent of the tape records of the past.
  • Vintage reverbs.

While the market is full of options, it can be a daunting task to find guitar pedals suited for this style of playing, as many effect units aren't exactly labeled as lofi but can do wonders to achieve a low-fidelity tone. That's why we made this guide, showcasing the 10 best guitar pedals for lofi music in 2024.

The 10 Best Guitar Pedals for LoFi Music in 2024 - LoFi Guitar Pedals

Delay Pedals

Demedash Effects T-120 Deluxe Pedal V2

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Main Features

  • Tape delay section with 4 selectable subdivisions.
  • Modulation section with depth/glide, speed/randomize and tape quality parameters.
  • Two footswitches for on-the-fly customization.
  • Stereo output.

The Demedash T-120 Deluxe is an obvious choice for a lofi pedalboard. Curiously, the company says it's meant to sound like a blend of a classic Roland Tape echo and a worn-out wedding video from the early 90s, and it perfectly describes the vibe of this pedal!

As the echoes of the tape delay are tied to a modulator, you can mess with the parameters to achieve some very vintage-sounding results. If you set the delay time completely to the left and the intensity all the way to the right you can even use this pedal to emulate a vibrato or a warbly tape.

The T-120 is also available in a stripped-down version, without the tap/swell and eng/alt footswitches.

Death By Audio Micro Dream

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Main Features

  • Lofi delay with chirps and noises.
  • Delay times from 30 ms to 1s.
  • Internal trim pot for feedback oscillation control.

The Death By Audio Micro Dream is a full blown lofi delay. While it's simple and minimalistic, it is capable of some very interesting low-fidelity sounds: anything from subtle slapback echo to pseudo-looping can be achieved with this unit.

As you push the delay parameter beyond its limits, the Micro Dream's circuit will introduce chirps and noises to your echoes and trails: this feature is perfect for a lofi tone. There is also an internal trim pot that can be used to adjust the feedback point of the pedal, allowing for lots of experimentation despite the few parameters this unit has.

Cusack Music Tap-a-Delay Deluxe

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Main Features

  • Delay times of up to 750 ms.
  • Built-in modulation
  • Tape-like sound quality.
  • Float switch feature.
  • Brake mode.

What's better for lofi than a delay with tape-like qualities? The Tap-a-Delay Deluxe is a digital unit with an analog flavor: it has features such as the float switch and brake mode, which can do wonders when added to your lofi pedalboard.

The float switch enables a momentary feedback loop into your signal, and the brake mode can give you that famous speed-up/slow-down effect of tape recorders from the past. There are also 8 modulation modes to be selected. If you're more of a sound purist, the pedal can also be used as a traditional delay, with up to 750 ms of delay time.

Reverb Pedals

OBNE Sunlight Dynamic Reverb

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Main Features

  • Dynamically interactive reverb.
  • Three reverb modes: comb, pass, and tape.
  • Alt footswitch for quickly switching to a particular knob setting.
  • Expression jack.

The OBNE Sunlight is a very versatile ambience pedal. It's a dynamic reverb with three modes. While the comb and pass options can respectively apply comb and pass-filtering to your sound trails, the tape mode gives it that characteristic warble modulation that's found on vintage tape recorders, an effect that's synonymous with lofi.

Another cool fact about this pedal is that it's dynamically interactive: it can, for example, indefinitely hold trails until you play new notes. The alt footswitch is also interesting: it lets you quickly switch to a particular knob setting, functioning as a semi-preset function. Overall, this is a very unique and experimental reverb pedal.

Modulation Pedals

Mojo Hand FX Stylus

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Main Features

  • Vinyl and tape style warmth, warble, and anomalies.
  • Preamp-style saturation.
  • Selectable lofi mode.
  • Internal trimpot to adjust overall output volume.

The Stylus, by Mojo Hand FX, is made for lofi.  The appearance of the pedal makes it very clear that it's inspired by the imperfections and anomalies found in vinyl and tape recorders. What's good is that the pedal offers you a whole range of parameters to fine tune the vintage vibe it imprints on your tone.

Aside from the warble and degrade parameters, there is also a preamp-style saturation that can add some analog warmth to your tone. The icing on the cake is the lofi switch: when activated, it reduces the bandwidth of your signal and introduces the crackles and pops that are usually found on old LPs. This is one of the best pedals for lofi.

Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine V2

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Main Features

  • Polyphonic pitch-shifting effects based on modern DSP.
  • 6 Independent parameters.
  • Magic function (activated via the footswitch).
  • Expression jack.

This gem from Earthquaker Devices is hard to describe. The Rainbow Machine uses pitch shifting and modulation to produce out-of-this-world soundscapes that sound very retrofuturistic. With its six independent parameters, you can achieve anything from tape chorus to chaotic harmonies. 

This isn't a traditional-sounding pedal: the Rainbow Machine is for those who'd like to push the boundaries of the lofi sound. It's futuristic but with a vintage twist and a very experimental edge.

To understand what we're talking about, we highly recommend that you watch the demo video below.

Mid-Fi Electronics Clari(not)

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Main Features

  • Vibrato/chorus/wow and flutter simulator.
  • Can modulate over an octave via envelope control.
  • Built-in delay.
  • Clean and fuzz versions available.

Mid-Fi Electronics always does a great job in capturing that lofi aesthetic with their pedals. The Clari(not) is a vibrato/chorus/wow and flutter simulator that can also serve as a delay. While compact, it's a complete lofi machine, perfect if you want maximum versatility from a single pedal.

The Clari(not) sounds unstable in a good way, adding an unpredictable flavor to your sound that's synonymous with lofi. The pedal is also available in two versions: clean and fuzz. The fuzz version has a volume knob in place of the feedback control and sounds slightly edgier.

BMF Effects Liquid Sky Deluxe Dual Chorus

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Main Features

  • Dual analog modulated chorus.
  • A/B or A+B toggle switch.

A good chorus is an essential addition to any lofi/bedroom pop pedalboard. If you're into that style, the Liquid Sky Deluxe, by BMF Effects, is an amazing choice: it can produce anything from lush sounding chords to chaotic detuned soundscapes, with the added versatility of an A/B and A+B toggle switch.

The toggle switch allows you to combine two distinctive chorus styles, such as a slow swirl and a fast-rotating Leslie-style modulation. If you pair that pedal with a vinyl emulator, such as the Mojo Hand FX Stylus, you'll have the epitome of the lofi pop sound on your hands.

Multi-FX Pedals

Death By Audio Robot

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Main Features

  • Pitch transposer with 8-bit lofi quality.
  • lofi fuzz, octave up, octave down, and arpeggiation features.

The Death By Audio Robot is an 8-bit pitch transposer that covers a lot of ground: from edgier low fidelity fuzz tones to bitcrushed octave up/down effects, it literally does what it says: transforms your guitar into a robot by completely resynthesizing the audio signal.

This is a great pedal if you're more into the digital side of the lofi. It's quite minimalistic, with only three knobs: the volume parameter does what it says, while the control knob allows you to tailor the pitch-shifting effect. The star of the show is the rotary selector, boasting 4 distinctive modes: normal, octave down, octave up, and arpeggiator.

OBNE Beam Splitter

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Main Features

  • 3-way signal splitting with individual overdrive voices and delay times.
  • Expression jack.
  • Stereo output.

The OBNE Beam Splitter is a unique pedal: it splits your audio signal into three copies, each one with a different overdrive voice and delay time. While highly experimental, it's also very versatile, allowing you to achieve anything from subtle lofi modulation to analog overdrive.

The unit boasts many knobs, but it's quite simple to understand: you have independent parameters to independently control the overdrive flavor and delay time and decay of each of the two extra signal copies generated by the pedal.

What's also interesting is that the Beam Splitter can be used with up to three outputs, allowing for some crazy experimentation.

Conclusion

These are the 10 best guitar pedals for lofi music. As lofi is a very broad term with many music genres associated with it, we decided to cover as much ground as possible. From the bedroom pop aesthetic to the rugged sound of noise rock, these effect units will help you get your tone there fast. 

Effect Type

Pedal

Price

Delay

Demedash Effects T-120 Deluxe Pedal V2

$325.00

Delay

Death By Audio Micro Dream

$200.00

Delay

Cusack Music Tap-a-Delay Deluxe

$229.00

Reverb

OBNE Sunlight Dynamic Reverb

$219.00

Modulation

Mojo Hand FX Stylus

$159.00

Modulation

Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine V2

$229.00

Modulation

Mid-Fi Electronics Clari(not)

$225.00

Modulation

BMF Effects Liquid Sky Deluxe Dual Chorus

$349.00

Multi-FX

Death By Audio Robot

$320.00

Multi-FX

OBNE Beam Splitter

$229.00

 

You can check these and many other pedals on our online store!

Bonus: Use the code IASN10 at checkout for an extra 10% discount!

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