In this digital era, where the user of compact radio cassette almost gone, its easier for us, music lovers, to create some compilation or playlist that can range from casually selection of songs, to some abstract concept of mix linked by theme, mood, or even some particular artist which usually reflect the music taste of the makers.
Hear me not, making a mixtape wasn’t easy. There’s a lot of sacred rules and tradition that should be follow. Just like Nick Hornby said,
¤To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with “Got to Get You Off My Mind”, but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules ¤
And so, I’m making THE 10 point rules of making a MIXTAPE. Follow it, and you’ll be fine.
- Do not, I repeated it, DO NOT put a multi language mixtape. No matter how good the connection between the song. Unless, the song is voiceless, or instrumental. For example, you can put Ryuichi Sakamoto and Kevin Kern in the same mixtape, but you cant put Utada Hikaru and Mariah Carey in the same playlist.
- Always keep it under 80 minutes. Why? Because of the length of a CD or audio cassette. Who knows your mixtape will became famous and some DJ decide to use it. Besides, If the CD is too long, it’s possible some great tracks near the end will never be heard.
- Always pick the second strongest song as the opening track.
- Mashed Genre is good, but its a whole other level for a beginner to dealt with it. Try to avoid it, unless the genre is trespassing each other. For example, Punk Rock and Opera music, a big no no. But Soul and funk, a bit yes yes.
- Make sure the quality of the file/songs is in GOOD Condition. No noise, no extrapolar, no bad ending/start. For Mp3, 128 kbps in a crisp is a must-minimal.
- Making a time period. This rules can be expanded. For example do not mixed the dance songs from 2000 era with any dance song from 1980’s era, except you’re making the historical/autobiographical compilations. they never get along. It goes for rock, and pop too. But no so much for jazz and soul genre.
- Always put the chilliest song, or the most soothing song, at the end of the mix. that way, you wont get any complaint that the mix is an anti climax.
- Do not use more than a song from one artist at the same compilation, unless its a band mix. Pick another wide range artist to use.
- Consider the one whose gonna to listen to the playlist. Who are they? are they pop listener?
- Be Creative, rules are made to be broken.
Happy mixtaping to all readers of this blog!