RC-20 Retro Color: Best Lofi Effects Plugin? (FREE)


RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio is one of the best lofi/vintage effects plugins I have ever used in my 15+ years of producing music. This plugin adds vintage warmth and a vintage lofi effect to any sound. I wrote this blog to tell you about all the best features of RC-20 and show you everything this amazing lofi plugin has to offer.

Make sure to download my free RC-20 presets pack "Timeless" to take advantage of all the amazing features RC-20 has:



Overview of RC-20 Retro Color

RC-20 is an in depth lofi and vintage FX plugin that includes 6 amazing effects modules including Noise, Wobble, Distort, Digital, Space, and Magnetic. RC-20 also includes an EQ, tilt filter, and stereo width control. Using all of these effects in combination allows you to get an instant realistic lofi and vintage sound. 

Check out this video I made for some important tips to using RC-20 that will help even if you don't know much about music production or sound design:

Effects Modules Overview

1. Noise Module: This module allows you to add vinyl crackle and tape hiss to your songs, which gives you an instant vintage sound. Old music always had this because of the way it was recorded and the playback devices used to listen, like vinyl players and cassette decks.

2. Wobble Module: In this module you can add warble and pitch modulation for retro character. Vintage music recordings often had pitch imperfections that caused the music to drift slightly out of tune in certain spots. You can also use the stereo button and/or the wet knob to create a vintage chorus effect

3. Distort Module: The distortion section allows you to add harmonic richness and grit. Tape saturation is a big part of why vintage recordings sound so warm, so this is an important effect to achieve their classic sound. You can also use the "focus" filter to only distort certain frequencies for more control over your sound.

4. Digital Module: In this module you can add bit-crushing and sample rate reduction to achieve a lofi sound. One of my favorite controls in this effect is thee "smooth" knob which allows you to smooth out the sound and make it less harsh and crunchy.

5. Space Module: This module is simply a basic reverb. You can control the decay time and pre-delay, filter the reverb signal, and make it mono or stereo.

6. Magnetic Module: This module is one of my favorites. Magnetic creates random volume fluctuations found in tape machines and vinyl players. You can make the effect mono, which will have the same volume modulation for both left and right channels, or stereo for differences on both channels. For an eveen more intense effect, use the "dropouts" knob. This will cause intense random volume dropouts, emulating an old broken cassette.

    Other Important Features

    1. Magnitude: Use this control to lower the intensity of all of the modules at once, allowing you to capture the sound of the preset you are using but make it less intense. This also affects the EQ, tilt filter, and width controls.

    2. EQ: Use the lowpass and highpass EQs to control your sound even further. Lofi recordings often do not capture thee deep low and high frequencies, so this can help you achieve that sound.

    3. Tone: This knob is a tilt filter that will make your sounds either brighter or darker. Use in combination with the EQ to have full control of the tone of your music.

    4. Width: This knob allows you to control the stereo width of your sound. Turn it to the left to make it mono, or to the right for a wide sound.


      RC-20 Retro Color is not just a lofi effects plugin - it's a sonic time machine that transports your sounds to a different era! With its six powerful modules, RC-20 injects vintage character, warmth, and authenticity into the digital age of music. XLN Audio has succeeded in creating a tool that goes beyond traditional effects, offering a portal to an analog past. Happy producing!

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