How to Make a Mixtape in 2020

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Photo: KRiPPS_medien

If you grew up in the 1980s or 1990s you remember mixtapes.

Back then you spent hours recording your favorite songs for a best friend or crush. Your mixtape meant something special and the recipient saved it for years to come.

Some people believe the digital age made the mixtape go extinct but that can’t be any further from the truth. In fact, new digital programs have revitalized mixtapes and made it easier than ever to create one.

Are you thinking about giving mixtapes for Christmas? They make a great vintage gift for anyone.

Keep reading below for tips on how to make a mixtape in 2020. We’ll give you a few suggested programs to use and how to structure it just right.

Ways To Make a Mixtape in the Digital Age

Building a mixtape is more complex than it used to be. Thirty years ago all you had to do was slide an empty cassette tape in your deck and hit record.

The challenging part was timing the transitions and making sure your songs were in the right order.

These days recording all of your favorite music in one spot involves online streaming or burning a CD. While many people still listen to CDs, online streaming is becoming more popular. They can be played instantly from many different devices.

So, with all of these modern choices, how are you supposed to make a mixtape?

A few enterprising individuals on the internet are now offering solutions.

Services like the 8tracks platform let you make and upload your own playlists. It’s like a Pandora for homemade collections. Besides sharing your own playlist, you can also get inspiration from others. You can easily find songs for sleeping, studying, or driving—whatever mood you’re in.

Having a hard time thinking of songs to include on your playlist? Other tools like The Music Map help you select the right artists for your playlist. You can do this by entering the name of your favorite artist and seeing an interactive map with a load of suggestions.

If you’re in a hurry or just don’t have the energy to organize a mixtape from scratch, try a full-service concierge service like All you have to do is to send founder Chris Caulder a list of your five favorite bands and current mood. He’ll create a mixtape for you in a week.

As you can see, the digital age has offered us many new options for mixtapes. You can be as hands-on as you want and get a good quality playlist at the end of the day.

Tips on Making a Mixtape for Someone You Care About

In some circles, mixtapes are considered works of art. You should put a lot of thought into what songs you select and how you arrange them on your chosen medium.

Your very first step should be selecting a mixtape theme. Examples of this could include a road trip, a declaration of love, culture, or a high-energy workout mix. Some could be as simple as songs you like to listen to when you’re in a happy mood.

The mood of your tape is very much interconnected with the theme. It’s something you’ll want to consider right from the start. Road trip mixes, for instance, should be positive and motivational. How someone feels listening to your mix will come down to what songs you select.

Next, be careful about how you arrange songs. Avoid jarring listeners by switching from light to heavy songs. You need carefully planned transitions. Try to start and end with a lot of energy, and put your songs in order like a narrative.

The best thing you can do is listen to it a few times to spot any issues. Or, better yet, ask a trusted friend to give you honest feedback.

Once everything is set up just the way you want it, select your medium. If you still have a working tape player, stay old school by trying cassettes. Or you can use CDs, flash drives, or online streaming services as we mentioned above.

The last step is one of the most fun and expressive. You can name your mixtape and spend time on the perfect cover art. Draw something by hand, use a photograph, or a graphic design program. Choose something that showcases your artistic strengths.

Giving a Mixtape as a Gift Over the Holidays

The holidays are approaching quickly and throwback Christmas gifts are a creative twist on the traditional.

Whoever gets your mixtape will appreciate the time and effort you put into creating a work of art just for them. And they’ll enjoy it for years to come when they play it.

If you really want to make an impression, turn to a service like WTS Duplication. Upload your playlist and cover art, and the company will make you a professional-looking CD album. The options for packaging include Digipaks and sleeves.

Vendors like WTS Duplication have staff who will listen to every CD you order to ensure quality and consistency. Their service also applies to DVD, Blu-Ray, and USB.

Besides assembling and recording a playlist as a holiday gift, there are also a ton of vintage gift ideas that would go perfectly with your mixtape. Search the internet for cassette pillows, keychains, smartphone cases, and t-shirts.

You can even order a cassette tape USB drive that could actually hold your mixtape! A nod to the past in digital format.

Time to Record That Mixtape!

We’ve covered everything you need to know about how to make a mixtape in 2020. The technology may have changed, but mixtapes are just as relevant today as they were back in the day.

Don’t forget to settle on a theme in the beginning and arrange your songs carefully to hold a listener’s attention. And pick the right format.

If you love music as much as we do, check out the rest of our website. We have informative articles on the latest trends in the music industry, new technology, entertainment law, and pop culture.