Tritik releases Flaw, a colorful lo-fi audio effect available in AU, VST, VST3, and AAX formats for macOS and Windows.
The suitably named Flaw is a plugin that offers various levels of imperfection. There is such a thing as authentic imperfection, and that’s the aim of a great lo-fi plugin. We want an imperfect sound that feels more authentic than manufactured.
Flaw has a nice-looking, easy-to-use GUI with four main imperfection controls: Mod, Noise, Space, and Drive.
The Mod section adds the wow and flutter effect that you’d get from fluctuations in turntable or tape drive speed. The more you increase the modulation, the more you get that lovely detuned element. If you go too far, you can lose almost all ideas of pitch, which could be what you want at times.
You can also adjust the modulation speed and the modulation waveform from pure Sine to more random.
The Noise section is where you can introduce vinyl, tape, or crackling noise; two types of each. Personally, I love the tape hiss on a Rhodes or synth pad and the vinyl noise on a piano or strings. I even broke out the Tron Strings on my dusty but loved KingKorg just to get some of that noise, and it sounds great.
You can also apply a filter to the noise and control its amplitude with an envelope follower.
The Mod and Noise sections are what define the fundamental character of the sound you create.
The Space section adds lo-fi reverb that gets muddier as you increase the amount. The more reverb you add, the more it highlights the qualities defined in the Mod section, bringing further degradation.
If you want to add some subtle color and airiness without enhancing the imperfections, you can adjust the reverb Size (time), leaving the Space knob set a touch lower. Another slider allows you to adjust the stereo width of the reverb.
The last of the imperfection controls is the Drive section, which, as you’d imagine, adds some warm distortion, anything from subtle warmth to complete breakup. Next to the Drive knob, you’ll find pair of filters, Low-Cut and High-Cut.
Flaw comes with a bunch of presets, my favorite being VHS Style. It might seem the obvious choice, but it captures that feeling of nostalgia perfectly.
There are plenty of lo-fi plugins around, like Baby Audio’s popular Super VHS (which, despite popularity, I haven’t used) and iZotope’s free Vinyl, which is very cool.
The thing that separates one from the next, for me, at least, isn’t anything technical. It’s how you feel when you hear it.
The words that should come to mind are nostalgia, familiarity, warmth, transcendent, and anything else that fits. Lo-fi music is often intended to take us somewhere else, but feel real, whether it’s while studying or reflecting, etc.
On those fronts, Tritik has nailed it with Flaw.
More info: Flaw (free demo available)