- Jun 9, 2000
Hey everyone, I'm trying to make a mix CD and need some advice on composition, etc. What do you think is important in making a mix CD? Feel free to go all High Fidelity on me here.
If you're making this CD for someone else, a cynical warning: he or she will probably listen to it once, maybe twice, and forget it. It will never mean half as much to that person as you think (or hope) it will.Hey, it isn't always true. I started dating my husband because he made me a mix tape (yeah, this was before CD burners were everywhere) that intrigued me at first, and then really grew on me. I decided that anyone with such interesting, eclectic taste in music had to be worth a shot (plus, there were obvious messages in some of the songs he chose -- that was how I figured out he might want to be more than a friend). And I've had a couple of exes who let me know how much they liked the mixes I had made for them (even after we were history).
I don't know. I think you really have to consider carefully the personality of the person you're making the mix for. The advice given above about sticking to one genre or mood might be good, but there are people out there who will appreciate a range of styles. My usual strategy is to go for lots of different styles and moods, but to move between them gradually and slowly, as someone else advised.
My husband, though, likes to just throw songs together, preferably in as jarring an order as possible. What that means is that he comes up with some really odd-sounding mixes that don't really hang together, but every once in a while, serendipity strikes, and he comes up with something brilliant.
Of course, the beauty of a fast burner and cheap CD-Rs is that you can burn a mix, play it and decide if you need to tweak it, and then redo it. That wasn't so easy in the days of cassettes!
(Yes, I need to get out more)
I always put snippets from movies, TV cartoons etc in between the songs and people seem to like that aspect of them.Yeah, one of my favorites was a party-ish mix I had in college and a gushy ballad would start playing and just as the crowd would start to say "WTF is this crap", all of a sudden you'd here the record scratch and hear the openning dialog to Cheech & Chong's "Earache my eye!" and then pick up with another party tune. It was good for a laugh.
"Hey man, I just bought that record!" good times, good times.
The most recent disc features songs picked by Sheryl Crow. A profoundly mainstream songwriter, she has profoundly mainstream taste. Carol King's "So Far Away," James Taylor, Elton John, the Crowded House ballad "Don't Dream It's Over," Rod Stewart's stalwart "Maggie May." It's the sort of stuff you might hear playing in the background at Walgreens—or maybe these are themes from several generations of eighth-grade dances. Scan the list of titles and artists, and you feel as if you'd heard it without even putting the disc on. Sort of like Crow's music.