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You want interaction?

Make your own Mix Tape and send it in
to the show to hear it on the air!


(If you are over 30 years old you may already know this.)


Determine your audience.

     -What do you want to communicate and who are you making it for?

  The first thing you need to remember when you are making a mix tape is that you are using this as a medium to express yourself and these things can become very personal. Are you trying to introduce yourself to that special girl you met last week, or do you simply want to give your Mom a tape of Broadway classics to listen to on her morning walk. Make sure you don't confuse the two... or there could be a lot of people in counseling. Mix tapes are made to bring people together, or to tear them apart, so determine who it is that you want to connect with/disconnect from. You will be thinking about them a lot while you are building your tape.

Figure 1. The perfect reason to make a mix-tape.

What type of theme, mood, and message
 do you want to Convey?

Figure 2. Pack your bags folks, we're going on a guilt trip!

What mood do you want your listener to be in while listening to your mix-tape?
     Are you brooding over something, or feeling great about your new relationship? Select music that represents how you are feeling and pretend you are building your own personal

-Your goal is to make your listener understand you and feel how you feel.


     You should be looking to create a theme with your selections. The music and sound clips you select should all have some sort of common denominator. It doesn't need to be readily apparent, like all of the songs don't need to have the same word in the title or anything like that, but they should all put forth how you are feeling.
     You should start out planning your "message" if this is a personal mix tape. It might even be some sort of personal mantra you have for yourself. Check that all of your songs by either mood or lyric fit your message.


     -I love you.

     -I miss you.

     -I can't believe you did this to me.

     -I hate you.

     -Please forgive me.

     -I am free from that vacuous black hole of emotion of an ex and have really finally moved on, do you want to get to know me?

     - Workout Songs.

     -Road Trip Songs.

     -Morning coffee music.

  start listening to lots of music and
build a rough draft of selections.

Figure 3. Who needs therapy, I have a music library and free time.

To do it right...

you will need to spend hours sifting through songs and clips as a good mix tape may take half a day or more to create. The modern era of music management has made this easier. Using iTunes you can have your whole library in one searchable database. Start by looking for songs that match your theme and write out on a pad of paper
a list of titles of the songs that strike you the most. Think of movies or tv shows that lend to your theme and write those down too. Grab off the internet or record audio clips from movies or tv shows quotes that fit into your theme. This list will serve as your template for the mix tape.


     your list down. Toss out the songs that only "kind-of" fit, searching instead for songs that undoubtedly convey what you think and feel. Let there be no room for misinterpretation on your listeners part. Listen to the songs over and over, confirming that they musically and lyrically fit together to state your purpose. If need be, you can build a playlist in iTunes of these songs and clips so that you can hear them all together.

Arrange and re-arrange.

Figure 4. You will, and should, obsess over the order of the mix.

    This is the part of the process that can turn a good mix tape into an EPIC mix tape. Think of this as a very finicky recipe that requires precision, order, and timing. If things are in the wrong place, it won't sound right. Avoid jarring transitions from one song to the next. Think of your mood. Is it bright and cheery, or all deep and full of kettle drums? You can and should bounce around a bit. Too much of one genre can become boring or even uncomfortable to listen to, so mix it up some. Classical music with some punk rock and a Star Wars clip will work great when the selections make sense in the context of your theme. The contrast between all three make your mix-tape more interesting to listen to. Send them on a ride... up... down... fast... slow. Put them on a roller-coaster ride of emotions that they will want to return to over and over.

Listen to your list over and over, tweaking transitions and song order.
I don't personally use iTunes to build my mix tape, even though you could. I am obsessive about my mixes and need to tweak them to death. Blending one song into the next by overlapping tracks, or adding more reverb to parts 
can force a mood to shift and provide more depth to the mix. iTunes can't due this, but other software can.

     I use Garageband on a Mac. I pull tracks from iTunes, work it together and then export the whole mash-up as one track to a disk. I don't use chapter markers. The whole thing should be so good that the listener will want to sit down and listen to it with undivided attention, in it's entirety. There is another piece of software called Audacity that can do something similar for you if you are on a PC.

-Tips on creating "The Best Mix Tape Ever!"

Figure 5. Are you a god?

     -Start out with something bold to grab attention and then transition into something unexpected.

     -Avoid selecting songs from the same artist or genre, it is a MIX.

     -Using song tempo build tension and release. Something quiet and slow should build into something big and fast, only to return again. Remember the roller-coaster metaphor. Do this in both tempo and lyric.

     -Save the best for last. Hold back on the ultimate piece that says it all, because you want to end on this. Build up to it and then punch your listener in the ear with that one track that is full of your desired emotion and theme.


share and enjoy.

Following the RULES below, send your mix tape in to the show:

I Made You This Mix Tape.
PO box 1149
Rockland, ME

Figure 6. Pack up all your cares and woes.


Figure 7. Clicky to make my notebook big.

1. Your Mix Tape must be 49 minutes in length.

2. Your Mix Tape may not consist of content that can not be broadcast. (swearing, etc.)

3. Your Mix Tape can be sent in on Cassette or CD. (49 minutes is tough to fit, unless you have a 120 minute tape, side A)

4. Please include the story behind the Mix Tape. Why did you make it, and what type of situation or person was it made for? A breakup? A new love? A Workout?

5. Mail your Mix Tape to:

I Made You This Mix Tape.
PO box 1149
Rockland, ME

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