Are you a fan who wants to listen to all your favorite artists’ songs on just one vinyl record? Or are you a new garage band who just wants to do a DIY vinyl to give away? Or maybe a couple who wants to put their favorite music on vinyl as a wedding souvenir?
No matter who you are, if you want to have a custom vinyl mixtape, then you’re on the right path.
If you’re already well versed about it, then visit our main site, we offer short-run vinyl records pressing. If you’re new to this, you might want to read on. On we go.
Table of Contents
THE BASICS OF CUSTOM MIXTAPE ON VINYL
Before we go on about how to create your very own mixtape on a custom vinyl record, you have to know the basics of a custom mixtape on vinyl.
MIXTAPE V.S. ALBUM
Mixtapes are perceived to be small projects with no goal of pulling in new audiences or fans. If you’re a kid of the 80s, this needs to introduction. You’ve probably made a mixtape using your cassette player.
Mixtape is simply a term for a D-I-Y compilation of songs.
An album, on the other hand, is released by the artists. It is much more structured and is mostly composed of new or unreleased songs. In addition, it is created for the purpose of attracting and gaining more profit and fans.
This is why it is regarded by most as a big project that needs financing. It needs good promotion to reach other people outside of your fandom’s circle.
Mixtapes are much like a Spotify playlist, so if there is a digital music playlist, there’s definitely a way to create a physical music playlist.
If you’re a fan, and you want to have your personalized mixtape, then you better keep this in mind. Your mixtapes are not to be produced for profit, it should only be for personal use. Otherwise, you could get sued! This is why some manufacturers only let customers order one copy of their fan-made mixtapes. It helps avoid illegal distribution and copyright infringement.
WHEN DO YOU NEED CUSTOM MIXTAPES ON VINYL:
- For personal occasions like weddings. You can put all your favorite songs into a mixtape and have them pressed. It would be an awesome souvenir!
- As a gift. Maybe you want to surprise your audiophile of a dad with some of his favorite songs. You can easily press one unit and have it delivered to him.
- As a keepsake. Do you have a playlist you want to keep forever? Well, put it on vinyl then.
- Your own recordings. If you just starting out as a band and you really want to have your own vinyl record, I say why the H not?
Now let’s move on to the steps you have to do to achieve your mixtape on custom vinyl records.
1. Prepare the songs
This is the first thing you have to do if you’re planning on having a mixtape of your own. You might be thinking that you can just have all your favorite songs on it, yes you can if it’s for yourself.
But even if it is, you will still need to decide on what to have on the vinyl because there is a time limit. Remember that vinyl records have their playback times. On average, 12-inch vinyl records have 15 minutes per side, 10-inch have 10 minutes, and 7” with 5 minutes.
Most personalized mixtapes, however, are created to give as a gift to someone special, may it be family, friends, or a life partner. If you are giving it to someone, then it would be best to think of what you want to say to them and have the tracks on the mixtape speak for you. It’s both creative and thoughtful.
2. Create a design for your artwork
Just like how artists create a design for their vinyl album, you will also need to create your own. You will need one for the jacket, one for the inner sleeve if you decide on having a printed one, and one for the record itself.
If it’s for yourself, you can just have a picture of your favorite artist/s along with the title you want to name your mixtape like “Jackson’s Ultimate Playlist” or “Taylor’s Best of the Best” on the front cover. If you’re gifting it, then you can have a photo or artwork of the person. For the back cover, you can have the tracklist printed
If you decide to have a printed inner sleeve or to actually have one for that matter, then you can have the lyrics of the songs printed on both sides. You can also have a short letter or another artwork printed on it.
For the actual design of the vinyl records, you can have any design you can think of. You can have a colored one, mono, bi, or multicolored. You can also have a picture disc or maybe one that glows in the dark. There are tons of other ways to customize them so just pick one.
3. Find a good vinyl manufacturer
After preparing everything needed for a mixtape, then you can look for a good manufacturer that offers no minimum vinyl pressing. This is a tricky one especially if you don’t have any experience with ordering things like this.
You can try looking at their ratings and customer reviews to avoid going into the wrong hands. Or you ask people you know if they know a good manufacturer of these things.
4. Place your order
If you’ve already decided on a manufacturer, then you can already place your order. It would be best to have everything specified if there are certain things you want to be customized.
It would also be better to talk with a person about this, just to make sure of everything, and that they understood your requests. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have some questions too, this will help your manufacturer help you understand things you don’t know or are confused about.
5. Wait for your order to arrive
And the waiting game starts. After placing the order, you will have to wait until they are delivered to you. This does not mean you won’t have the right to contact them. You can still contact them and ask for updates if you want to.
Here are some tips you have to keep in mind when having your own mixtape on custom vinyl records.
#1 Make sure the songs were purchased
The problem with customized mixtapes is that they can be ordered by anyone, and that robs the artists of their music as well as income. To avoid this, manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to stop crimes of illegal distribution and copyright infringement.
Manufacturers do not accept music files readily. They inspect it carefully and don’t manufacture for those that were not purchased by the customer. Here are some of those rejected files:
- Copied audio files with no permission or licensing
- MP4 files from iTunes or streaming sites
To ensure that there will be no problem with your songs, then you can buy your songs from Amazon Music, it’s a dollar or more per song. You can also ask your manufacturer if they can do it for you, because some will accept this request./span>
#2 Indicate the sequence of your songs
When placing your order, you will have to indicate the sequence of your songs. You have to separate the one for side A and side B.
Aside from the message you want to deliver with your tracklist, you will need to take into account the mellowness and musical information of your songs. Remember to always put the mellower ones, those with lesser music information at the latter part of each side.
Those songs that are heavy on information should be put at the beginning part. This is because the latter part of each side of the record is prone to distortion. The more information there is on them, the higher the risk for distortions.
#3 Design your mixtape based on your budget
The more customized the records the costlier they become. The more colorful the cover the more expensive it becomes. If you have an inner sleeve then you will have additional costs for it.
If you’re on a tight budget, then it would be best to think of toning down the customization. You can have a simple record and fancy packaging or a simple packaging and a fancy record. But if you have money to spare, then you can go all out if you want to.
#4 Be patient
Ordering for a mixtape on a custom vinyl record would demand patience, especially if you ordered from a manufacturer with tons of customers. Even if you have only one copy ordered, it might still take a month before they can ship it to you. That’s how you create your own mixtape on custom vinyl records. If you don’t have a manufacturer you know or can contact for this project, then try visiting or contacting us. We will be happy to work on your project.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.