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Creating a Mix Tape or CD

Updated on May 19, 2014

Have you ever made a mix tape?

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Making a Mix Tap or CD

A mix tape or CD is equivalent to a playlist in iTunes. If you were born earlier than 1995, you have probably made a mix tape or CD.

Making a mix tape was way more time consuming than creating an iTunes playlist. Mix tapes connected you in the moment with each song on your playlist as it entailed listening to each song as it was copied over. Making mix tapes required preparation, contemplation, precision, patience, alertness, and the hunger to put a collection of great music together.

To burn music on a CD also requires time. However, you do not need to be present when you 'burn' the music to the disk, so that part of the process does free up some of your time. You will need a computer to make a mix CD. Upload the songs you want to burn to your new CD onto the computer or download the songs from the internet. When you have all the songs gathered you will move the songs to a folder titled as your new playlist. When you have your folder filled with all the songs you will then burn the music to a blank CD.

It is suggested that you write out a playlist when you are making a mix tape or CD.


How To Create A Mix Tape

Materials Needed:

  • A double tape recorder or also known as a double boombox
  • A blank tape to record on
  • Tapes with the music you want to transfer
  • Radio (You can record music directly from the radio. NOTE: During radio recording other sounds would also be recorded including, the phone ringing, burping, and any other noises you make while you are recording songs off the radio.)


Making a mix tape requires precision, alertness, quick hands, and time- lots and lots of time. It is recommended to write out the playlist for your mix tape before you begin. Gather the tapes with the songs you want to create your mix tape. Have them prepared and lined up in order of your playlist.

Step One:

Put the blank tape into the cassette player on the side with the record button.

Step Two:

Put the tape with the song you want to transfer onto the other cassette player. Rewind or fast forward the tape with the song you want to record to make sure it is at the beginning of the song. When you are at the exact place press stop.

Step Three:

When you are ready to record, have one hand ready to press the record button while the other hand ready to press the play button on the side that will transfer the recorded song. With precision press both buttons at the same time.

Step Four:

Press stop on the record side when the song is finished. Press stop on the playing side when the song is finished.

Step Five:

Repeat the steps for each time you want to switch to another song or artist.

Important Note:

Most tapes come with 60 or 90 minutes of recording time. That means on side A and B there are 30 or 45 minutes of recording time. Be aware that a long song at the end of each side may be cut off. Calculate the minutes of the songs to make sure you have enough room for all the songs you want recorded.

© Vilax | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
© Vilax | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images | Source

How To Create A Mix CD


  • A computer
  • A blank CD
  • Music you want to transfer over, either uploaded from other CDs or downloaded from the internet


Gather the music with the songs you want to create your mix CD. Unlike mix tapes, you have some leeway with your playlist because you are working with it on your computer. You can move songs around easily before you finally decide on the final playlist. Once you finalize and burn the music on your CD you can no longer move the songs around. It is recommended to write out the playlist for your mix CD before you begin.


Create a folder on your computer and give it a title, such as, "New playlist."


Upload songs from other CD's onto your computer and put the songs you want to be recorded on your new CD into the new playlist folder. You can also download music from the internet.


When you have your songs gathered in your playlist you can move them around until you are satisfied with the order.


Put the blank CD into the disk drive in your computer.


Burn the music from your playlist to your blank CD.

Making Mix Music For Friends

If you like to make mix music for friends you might want to have a signature song or artist. A signature song or artist is putting the same song or artist on every mix tape or CD you make. It is your 'signature.'

Here are some suggestions to make a Mix tape or CD.

Unforgetable 80's
My 90's Music
Good Mood Music
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
The Freshmen - The Verve Pipe
Be Ok- Ingrid Michaelson
Bad - U2
Smells like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Hi'ilawe - IZ
Dancing With Myself- Billy Idol
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
Lullaby - Shawn Mullins
You Are Loved- Josh Groban
Just Like Heaven - The Cure
You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette
All Is Love - Karen O and the Kids
People are People - Depeche Mode
One Week - Barenaked Ladies
The Mummers' Dance - Loreena McKennitt
Dirty Laundry - Don Henley
Dreams - The Cranberries
I Feel Lucky - Mary Chapin Carpenter
Day-O - Harry Belafonte
Ants Marching - Dave Matthews Band
It's Amazing - Mindy Smith
Closer To Fine - Indigo Girls
Sadness - Enigma
Fireflies - Owl City
Good Mother- Jann Arden
Cryin' - Eric Clapton
F**kin' Perfect - Pink
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
Calling All Angels - Jane Siberry
Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
Beat It- Michael Jackson
Life Less Ordinary - Carbon Leaf
Shinny Happy People - R.E.M
You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
Lightning Crashes - Live
Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
King of Pain - Police
Wonder - Natalie Merchant
Hummingbird - Seals & Crofts'
Time for Me to Fly - REO Speedwagon
Bury My Lovely - October Project
Give Me Strength - Snow Patrol
The Promise - When in Rome
Daughter - Pearl Jam
All This Time - Sting
Take on Me - a-ha
Me - Paula Cole
Come On! Feel the Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens
Doctor! Doctor! - Thompson Twins
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite - R.E.M
Birdhouse In Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
Voices Carry - 'Til Tuesday
Fields of Gold - Sting
Talkin' Bout a Revolution - Tracy Chapman

What song would you add to any of thses lists?

Put it in the comments below.

Carly Sullens 2013. All Rights Reserved.


Submit a Comment

  • RonElFran profile image

    Ronald E Franklin 

    4 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

    CarlySullens, I consider what you’ve shared the namby-pamby, easy way to make a mix tape. Yes, I have made tapes from songs on LPs (not usually from source tapes). But when I went off to college in the late 60's, with no money, I made my mixes directly from FM radio stations. Until you've sat trying to study with one ear cocked for a song on the radio that you like, and then have to jump to get the recorder turned on quickly to not miss too much of the song, you haven't lived! I have one particular off-the-air mix from 1972 that I still listen to, though it's now an mp3 on my computer. Well, you've obviously brought back memories. Thanks!

  • epigramman profile image


    5 years ago

    Hi Carla and good morning - well I live right at the lake here and 47 miles across from me is Erie, Penn. and sometimes on a clear night I can see the lights across the way - or the fireworks on July 4.

    Have a wonderful Sunday my friend and we are receiving some of your Florida sunshine right now

    lake erie time 11:02am

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hello Colin, my new friend. You are so very welcome! I used to live on the other side of Lake Erie in Cleveland for a long while. Now I am down, down, down in the warm and sun of Florida. Looking forward to exchanging with you more. Have a wonderful day.

  • epigramman profile image


    5 years ago

    Hello and good morning Carly and it's so very nice to meet you. I am very proud of your amazing work here on your nice page and now that you are an apprentice.

    Thank you for your fabulous fan mail too and coming from someone as special as you really means a lot to me.

    I am 54 years old now so I know all about mixed tapes and it brings back a lot of happy memories and I sense this wonderful hub presentation is a labor of love for you because of your love for music as well.

    Sending to you my warmest wishes from Colin and his cats Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 6:20am and watching the daybreak over the lake

  • spartucusjones profile image

    CJ Baker 

    5 years ago from Parts Unknown

    Mix tapes! That brings back some fond memories. I actually wrote a hub about a mixtape that I made for a girl back in the day. The hub also dealt with the song Crimson & Clover, which was one of the songs on the mixtape.

    I still make mix CDs. Generally these our theme based for special occasions. For example if a friend was to get married I would make them a wedding mix CD. I also have an unwritten rule in connection with my mix CDs. Every mix CD I have ever made has had a Ramones song on it.

    Thanks for writing this awesome hub!

  • Elias Zanetti profile image

    Elias Zanetti 

    5 years ago from Athens, Greece

    I used to make for my friends, mostly rock compilations! I kind of miss the whole procedure! Nice lens :)


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