How to Make A Good Mix-Tape (or CD, Playlist, or Whatever)


How to Make A Good Mix-Tape (or CD, Playlist, or Whatever)

OK, the title is a bit misleading, because who uses tapes any more. I still remember as a kid racing to hit record on the radio when a song that I liked came on so I could listen to it without buying a CD. I think that was the last vestige of the cassette tape, but then the CD and the CD burner came to be. Nowadays, do people do that anymore? I guess you can make a playlist, but the playlist is easy, because there are no constraints. No constraints on time means that there is no need for editorial perfection, which was always the hardest part of finishing off a mix. I love making mixes for people. It’s incredibly cliche, but a well-done mix can do wonders. Music is one of the universal tools for expressing emotion, and the satisfaction of introducing a new song that someone loves is incredible. Whether it’s simply for discovery or the announcing of romantic intentions, the mix is a time honored yet incredibly hard thing to pull off correctly. From High Fidelity:

“The making of a great compilation tape…it takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick it off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch, but you don’t want to blow your wad, so then you gotta cool it off a notch, there are a lot of rules.”

All of the above is absolutely true, and here are a few more in no particular order.

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