I have no doubt that the art of creating a mixed tape still exits. In fact I would think that with the current CD burning technology available even more people are participating than ever before. Ok, sorry. Even as I typed the preceding sentence I was painfully aware that even mixed CD's are probably dying off. The sentence is about six years too late. Or maybe not- what do I know.
Anyway, regardless of what is going on now I think we Gen Xers and older Gen Yers will agree that the the CD burning revolution changed the process creating a mixed tape forever. What used to be a labor of love, taking hours upon hours, can now be accomplished in minutes as an after thought while you surf eHarmony and Craigslist for whatever it is you surf for (hey, I'm not here to judge, your business is your business).
In case you are too young or simply have forgotten here are the steps we used to painstakingly take to make just one of these things.
1). Go to the store and purchase a 10 pack of blank tapes. I always used 90 minute tapes. Sometimes they were colorful and sometimes they were black. As with almost everything, the most expensive were not worth the cost and the least expesive were not worth the savings.
2). Own or borrow a double tape deck
3). Cue up your music (more on music selection in a minute).
4). Start taping. Remember though that this was a different era. Every song needed to be listened to in it's entirety. You needed to be near the tape deck when the song ended so you could wait one second and hit pause while you cued up the next song. Remember also that you needed to be ready to adjust the recording volume of each song so that the end result was not a difficult to use product. This was especially true if recording off multiple sources such as records, tapes and CDs. This volume control issue was difficult and important.
5). Carefully write out the song and artists names on the tape ledger.
6). (optional) Create original artwork for the cover.
Now the above steps are the technical steps. The real art lay in the song selections. There are a million ways to go with this depending on the purpose of the tape you are making. Road trip. Courtship. Study. Sharing with music nerds. Traveling light. No shortage of varietals. I will let you fine people share your approach. I often went with a particular mood and then looked for songs in a few different genres that fit tat mood. A good mix would likely include some "classic" anchors, some weird fits, and something I was just getting into. It might end up looking something like this:
Your turn Hoopers. How do you make a mixed tape or CD?