One of my favorite lofi recording techniques is distorting an acoustic guitar. 4-track distortion was definitely used on early Neutral Milk Hotel Elephant 6 releases. Its a great sound and instantly recognizable.
Another one of my favorite lofi recording techniques is distorting lead vocals. Julian Casablancas had been known to sing through a small Peavey solid state amp during practice and legend has it the amp was used on an early Strokes album or demo. I happened across a Peavey Backstage Plus and have been using it to replicate Casablancass vocal distortion effect ever since.
I cant gush enough about the ART Tube MP Preamp. Its a great piece of gear for under $50, especially for the 4-track musician. Plenty of gain on tap, warmth and distortion, phantom power, phase reverse, and interchangable XLR and 1/4" ins and outs. An old saying goes that you can have food any two of three ways: cheap, fast, and/or good. With the ART Tube MP Preamp, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
Splitting a guitar signal is one of those recording tricks I wish I had learned and implemented a lot sooner... which is why Ive made this video telling you about it! Splitting a guitar signal gets you closer to the sound you want before you even start recording and is also a blast to use in a live situation with two different sounding amps to thicken up your guitar sound. Heres something else to think about... why stop at splitting only guitar sounds?