Waves Retro-Fi New Lo-Fi Plugin Released Today

With the Black Friday plugin deals now coming to a close, and Cyber Monday starting, Waves have released a new lofi plugin called Retro-Fi.

This is an analog, channel strip style, lofi effects unit that you can currently get on sale for Cyber Monday, and lasts until the 29th of November 2021. You can also double up on plugins, with a new promotion they've released.

In this promotion, when you buy 2 plugins, you get 2 free. So you get 4 plugins for the price of 2!

Waves Retro-Fi (Quicker Review)

Whipped Cream Sounds

Sound Quality
User Interface


Retro-Fi is an analog, vintage effects unit that has everything you need to create beautifully wonky & weird lofi sounds. It's a must have for any genre of music – great at sound design, or just slapped on a bus for character.


What Is Waves Retro-Fi?

Compatibility: Win, Mac, 64-bit, AU, AAX, VST3


✅ Fantastic selection of lofi devices from 50s – 80s sounds, with tone control + vintage EQ curves.

✅ “Ringer” function that creates the most dissonant, chorus-y, phase-y, warm sounds you'll have heard in a while.

✅ Incredible Reverb & Echo unit that adds grit & charm to your sound design.

✅ 60+ noise samples from synths, vinyl, cassette & more, with gate control.

✅ Powerful “Mechanics” section for control over wow, flutter, dropout etc.

✅ Beautiful interface.


❌ (for us) The echo is a little too distorted/saturated.

❌ No follow feature on noise module, which could be fantastic for drum design.

Waves Retro-Fi is a multi-effects unit that achieves an awesome, lofi, cassette, vinyl, VHS tape sound. It's been designed like a channel strip plugin, with 4 modules you can turn on & off.

The 4 modules consist of:

  1. Device
  2. Space
  3. Noise
  4. Mechanics

Retro-Fi is designed like an analog channel strip unit, with the 4 modules built serially, and internally routed. This means that when adding Retro-Fi you get a more analog, glued sound that is consistent, and doesn't sound artificial, like some digital lofi effects.

You also get a fantastic selection of 250 presets, crafted by industry professionals to load up.


The device section is an analog texture shaping section.

You can choose from 50s – 80s sounds, and multiple devices that sculpt EQ & more.

As you can see you have 6 knobs to choose from:

  • Device
  • Tone
  • Styler
  • Squash
  • Ringer
  • Mix

The Device portion affects your sound using different EQ curves to shape it, and you have 3 device settings to choose from.

2 are more sculpted EQ curves that will affect your sound more, and the final one is a flat curve that will act transparently.

The Styler knob seems like it adds filters to your sound, with 50s being a tinny & radio-like, and 80s, being a muffled, underwater sound.

You've then got Squash, which is just a heavy compressor with auto gain built in. It's great for bringing up the volume of your lofi effect, and making it sound more… squashed.

Under that you have a Ringer knob, which sounds like it's doing some frequency shifting or ring modulation.

You can get some absolutely wild results with the Ringer for sound design, and you can also use it to create incredibly dissonant, wonky & warbling sounds.

And, lastly the mix controls how much of the device effect you have on your final sound.


The Space module is where you'll find Echo & Reverb, with options to change the reverb from Spring, to Plate, and utility functions that will help you change the rate, time, and sync of your Echo/Verb.

It's a very lofi sounding Echo & Reverb, and is more of a saturated, gritty sound, which we found quite refreshing.

This is an especially cool section when using automation (on the time of the Echo), and can create some incredible, warping FX, or transition sweeps, when combining with other plugin settings.

This is especially good for resampling and sound design.


You've then got a noise section that includes of 60 generated sounds, that consist of:

  • Synth
  • Vinyl
  • Cassette
  • Digital
  • Electric
  • FX
  • Mechanics

These noise sound sources are fantastic for adding texture to your lofi sounds, and often help to glue the effects together.

A great thing about the Noise section is that you can choose whether it's pre, or post the Space module, meaning you can add some incredible textures to your Echo & Reverb, that make them sound that much better.

Combine this with the gate function, and you can create some awesome rhythmic, pulsing delays & verbs.


The Mechanics section contains all the stuff that's going to add detune, wobble, and drop-outs to your sound.

You have a dual modulation section here, meaning you can add the modulation at 2 different rates, using the Speed controls.

  • The wow will add flutter, detune and dissonance.
  • The wobble will add a kind of volume automation effect to your sample.
  • Speed, will change the rate of the wow & wobble effects.

Filter, Ouput, Input

Below all of this, you have a filter, and in/out section.

This is pretty self-explanatory, and the input will alter the input gain of your signal. The output will alter the output gain of your final effect. The filters are just low pass & high pass filters, and the mono affects the stereo of your sound.

Finishing Up

Retro-Fi is a fantastic lofi effects unit that you can get for a steal right now. While the Cyber Monday deals last, if you're looking for a lofi plugin for your tracks, this is the plugin for you!

Stay up to date with the rest of Black Friday:

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]