Picture of holiday mixer - 'the remastered mix tape'
I had such a blast making gifts this year, I'm going to do this every year! Unemployment has a way of juicing the creativity.

The gift I had most fun making is a modern take on the "mix tape." Who doesn't love mix tapes?!

I made these all the time. They are always a winning gift for countless reasons:

A) Sharing is good. Sharing music is better.
B) YOU create the 'album cover'.
C) Option to add personal notes, pics etc.
D) It's completely personalized.
E) You get a groovy new mix out of it!
and F) Mix tapes are cool.

Need: Music selection, ability to record music (doi), bits of scrap (ie. stickers, mag clippings, pics, fabric), scissors, some sort of adhesive, blank write-able discs...you get the picture.

Cost to me? About a buck.

Step 1: Play DJ

Picture of Play DJ
Ok, here's where the essence of what it is to master a mix tape is. The ultimate mix will be a blend of songs that you know the person likes; perhaps they mean something to the both of you? However, you want to introduce them to new music. This is key.

Are you of the itunes generation? This is comprable to exchanging music via 'mix tape'. DO NOT, I repeat, do NOT throw a mix together absentmindedly. It is not worth anyone's time nor ears.

Ok, so compile your list. I fancy itunes.

I recommend listening to your mix thoroughly before burning. Make sure the transitions are cool. Lead in and ending are apropos. You want this mix to be listened to!
deadbody7 years ago
I like what you did with the cover its got a nice patchwork to it. But how exactly is this remastered? I think I missed something
Runeshai7 years ago
I like how you talked early on about making it good to listen to, including the transitions, lead-ins, etc. Good idea. And sweet-looking final product! Do you know of www.threadbanger.com?
Daykun7 years ago
It's a rather difficult question to which extent this is legal. If you keep the songs on your harddrive, the CD is considered a copy. If you give the CD to someone else, you might break the law in some countries because you effectively pirated music (in some countries this is allowed however). I don't think it's wrong, just wanted to remark that you should check if it's legal in your country ;)
randofo8 years ago
Stay unemployed as long as you can. Once you get a job its all downhill from there. Trust me on this one. Unemployment is grand.
lilo (author)  randofo8 years ago
Isn't it though? I am afraid my glorious days of unemployment will be soon over. I start a job next week. :P But the cashflow needs to be moving in the other direction anyway. Thanks for the tip. :)
teeps8 years ago
iTunes will work alright but if you want something real tight it is worth getting some audio editing software like audacity (free) or I especially like Sony's CD Architect (free trial, not free). This way you can fade out or remove entirely a self indulgent bit of rambling at the end of an artist's track or hell even an entire verse. I remember I took out the entire rant part of Denis Leary's Asshole song for one mix just because it is such a mental break in the flow. CD Architect is real nice because you can blend two songs VERY easily with custom fade-in/outs and set exactly where you want the track to change in the mix.

Another tip is to try and use lossless files for mixes instead of just going through all your mp3's try and rerip a single lossless copy of a song if you want to use it on your mix. If you recipiant has any kind of good sound system it will make a difference. I don't know how easy this is in iTunes either, I use EAC

You might also want to think about the possibilities of beatmatching
lilo (author)  teeps8 years ago
thanks for the info and tips, teeps. i use audacity for recording tunes (guit and vox), but hadn't thought of using it for mixes. it sounds like you're the master mix master. i have not tackled beatmatching just yet!
erfonz8 years ago
yay threadless!
wombat78 years ago
digable planets nice!
Austinisi8 years ago
sigur ros. awesome.
lilo (author)  Austinisi8 years ago
good stuff! i missed their show last spring. i was not so pleased.
I like the cover dude that rox
lilo (author)  TheCheese99218 years ago
merci buckets. :) i was rather pleased with the end product.