There is no gift more personal than a mix tape or mix CD. There is a difference between a random assortment of songs put on a cd and an actual mix tap or mix CD. Rather than being completely random, a mix tape or mix CD are usually themed expressions of ones feelings for that person. They are each extremely personal music gifts that are from the heart. By burning an actual mix CD or mix tape for someone, you are giving an intimate gift that can mean way more to someone than something that's bought from a store. If you decide to make a mix CD or mix tape for someone, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. There are several different things you can do to make your mix CD or mix tape so much better of a gift to that person that you care about. I'm going to list several different things you can do to your mix CD that won't take a lot more time, but will make it so much better. If you want to learn how to make the best mix CD or mix tape, follow these steps:
Have A Theme - During the planning stages for the best mix CD or mix tape, think of a theme. The theme is the central element that connects all of the songs to each other in some way or another. The theme can be a world of different things in order to connect the music, but there needs to be something. Without a theme, your mix is just a scattered track list that comes off as being unthoughtful. The difference between a meaningful, perfect mix and a mix that really doesn't have that much of an effect, is having a meaningful theme. By gluing all of the songs together in a thoughtful fashion, it makes the track list of the mix CD or mix tape seem as if you really did put thought into it, rather than putting together a random conglomeration of your favorite songs.
Also, when burning a mix CD or mix tape, it's best not to stick to one band or one album. Sometimes people don't really appreciate certain artists, and by sticking with one band or album, your perfect mix will turn into an awful dud. You want to put a wide variety of musical artists on your mix so that if a specific band wasn't the best band for your listener, another band will be perfect.
When deciding a theme for your mix CD or mix tape, think about a clever length between you and your listener and the songs in the track list. A good idea for the mix, may be a nostalgia mix CD. Place several different songs on the mix that are from you and your friend's past. These songs will remind your friend of all of the good times that you had together, and will surely be one of the best mix CDs or mix tapes that your friend has ever gotten. Another popular theme for a mix is having all of the songs correlate with the seasons. Possible things that you can look for if you want to make the best seasonal mix CD or mix tape, are the names of the season being in the track, a season being mentioned in the lyrics of the song, the name of a month that's in the season in the name of the song, or even if the feeling of a certain season seems to be within a song. If you've decided to make a mix centered around a season, make sure to give it to that person in that specific season. It's a bad idea to give someone a fall mix CD if it's spring.
Another wonderful idea for a theme, so that your mix CD or mix tape is perfect, is a theme to express your emotions. If you're in love with the person that you're burning the mix for, it'd be a good idea to focus the theme around love. Make sure to put several songs in the track list that have to do with love, having feelings for someone, being happy, etc. It's easy to find songs that describe certain feelings, and there's no better way to express your own feelings then to put all of those feelings together in a mix CD or mix tape that will surely be the best.
The theme is the binding, most important element to all of the songs. There are still several more things you can do in order to make your mix CD or mix tape the best, but focus very hard on your theme. This is the desired message. Giving someone a mix CD with no theme, is the equivalent to giving someone a birthday card with no words on it. It gives you the extra boost if you put a little care and thought into it, and makes the mix so much more meaningful.
The Arrangement of Songs - The way that your songs are organized plays a key role in the way your mix CD or mix tape will be overall. A lot of people ignore this when they make mixes, but it's best to keep this in mind when arranging your tracks together. The flow of the songs are a key ingredient in making the best mix CD, and there are a few things that you need to remember when putting them together.
Do not bounce around in levels of intensity in songs, have them follow a certain order. It's painful if you have songs on a mix that just don't work well together. If you have a soothing song, and the one right after it is a screaming, loud, brutal song, the songs don't blend into each other well. Flow is important, because it makes the mix CD or mix tape an experience. Have all of your songs gradually build up, and back down if you want, or have them all on the same plane as far as level of intensity goes, but don't have them scattered as far as varying intensity. Listen to the last seconds of songs in your playlist and be sure to hear how it bleeds over to the next song. If it works, keep it...if it doesn't it, arrange the songs differently. You really want your album to flow as one piece, so work hard at arranging songs into the best order. iTunes has a feature where you can allow for a 2 second pause between tracks on a burnt CD, or have no pause at all. Find out which option works the best.
The best way to tell if your mix CD or mix tape has flow, is to listen to it after you burn it. If there's a specific spot that just doesn't feel right, rework the track list and burn the CD again. Time and effort has to go into the making of the best mix CD or mix tape that you can possibly make.
The Design - Mix CD's and mix tapes are much more meaningful if you put designs on them. If you take a sharpie marker and draw pictures on the outside of the CD, it adds a more personal element, it will easily be noticed in a stack of CD's, and it will be a sign that you cared a little more.
You can have fun with the design. Draw funny pictures, hearts, your favorite quotations, or just random little doodles across it. If you decided to go with a seasonal theme, draw small things on the CD that are representative of the season. The best mix CD's and mix tapes all have designs drawn on them.
Liner Notes - Putting in an insert of notes is a wonderful idea to make your mix CD or mix tape complete. In the notes section, you should list the track list, including song, artist, and length in correct order as they appear on the CD. You should also write a couple paragraphs explaining the mix and why you made it specifically for that person. You can go into a lot more detail with the liner notes if you want, but a few paragraphs should do the trick. The notes are essential because it adds your voice to the mix CD or mix tape, in ways that the songs couldn't. It will help the listener understand everything more. Place the liner notes in a case along with the mix CD or mix tape.
The Delivery - Make sure that when you give the person the mix CD or mix tape, you listen to it together. By listening to it together, it will always have that time period associated with the listen. It works best if you're driving around and listening to it.
If you follow all of these steps, your mix tape or mix CD should be the best that there is. Your gift will be greatly appreciated. Have fun while making mixes. The more you make them, the better you will be at making them. Some things, such as arrangement of tracks and the theme are kind of hard to perfect. Practice makes perfect. You can have a lot of fun, and make people extremely happy if you followed these ways of making the best mix CD or mix tip.