The Art of the Mix

April 7, 2005 at 1:45 AM | Mixes, Music | No Comments

To me, the hardest part about making a mix CD is being able to fit everything that you want onto a CD. Sure, there is the difficulty of diligently arranging tracks into just the right order, but this is nowhere as painstaking as the process of picking the perfect 80 minutes of content, which is directly related to the purpose of the mix.

A mix for a varied audience, such as a party CD, is generally very easy to make, because you generally have a gut feeling about what people enjoy and chances are you’re right… unless you are ignorant or somehow fail to understand the purpose of the mix. It’ll probably not be the “greatest” by any means, because to make the same mix really killer for more than like 10 people would require a group with similar musical taste and awareness of this taste, but at least people won’t hate it either.

A mix intended for a single person is a different story. That shit is personal. I believe it’s more difficult. Every summer, I put together a mix CD for Amanda back in Wichita… I always view that one as sort of like writing a letter – it has purpose. Most other times, one-person mixes usually takes a combination that paints a story with songs that evoke certain thoughts, certain feelings at the intended times.

…Really tough to do when you’ve got grand plans of painting mural-sized stories. The sacrifice that you make is painful and you find yourself constantly wondering if you’ll later regret cutting the tracks that you did. So you pour and pour over the mix in progress, adding, moving, deleting, listening… and then 3 hours later you have it. If you’ve done well, both the process and results can be quite gratifying.

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