What is Mixcloud?


Mixcloud is a licensed internet broadcast service that allows DJs and content creators to upload radio shows, podcasts, and DJ Sets to the cloud which are then available “on demand” to listeners worldwide.  While the DJ Sets (what we used to call “mixtapes”) are available “on demand,” due to the licensing rules, the individual songs within the DJ Set are not available “on demand” and  the songs within the set are hidden on the tracklist until the particular song within the set is played.  There are also limitations on the "number of songs by the same artist or from the same album" so it isn't practical to upload sets based on a particular artist unless all the permissions have been cleared. Otherwise, there is a lot of creative freedom in what can be uploaded and the Mixcloud community is quite active.  I've been uploading sets to Mixcloud since 2011.




What are Eclectic Sets?


Eclectic Sets are the style of sets created by Rare Wave Music for the internet broadcast service known as Mixcloud.  An Eclectic Set is defined as, "an uninterrupted arrangement of songs and/or sounds produced and engineered in such a way that the grouping becomes a work in itself."  The set really does become greater than the sum of the songs.  Much attention is given to themes, eras, story-lines, beat, key, rhythm, flow, and most importantly: relationships.  Eclectic Sets can cross all genres and eras and vary in length from 30 to 90 uninterrupted minutes.  


Eclectic Sets are pre-recorded using multi-channel DAW software.  Songs are assembled and then cross-faded, one at a time, onto alternating pairs of tracks.  Additional tracks are used for ambient effects and sound bridges (samples from adjacent songs and/or other sounds mixed and processed to create a seamless bridge between the songs).  This whole process, while very time consuming, allows for selective content, precision segues, artistic flow, and creative programming techniques.  Also, the multi-channel recording method and the ability to chain multiple sets together allows for custom dubs and mixdowns of any length or configuration.  


Eclectic Sets contain previously copyrighted material.  Set content neither duplicates nor even attempts to emulate the selection or arrangement on any existing album or compilation.  The intent is to create a work of art with other’s works of art and not be a substitute for commercially available material.  Within each set, all songs are cross-faded in and out of one another without blank spaces.  Listeners are encouraged to seek out and purchase the music they like.


Eclectic Set Programs are produced only for known licensed entities including, but not limited to, over-the-air radio stations and internet radio venues such as Mixcloud.  Music programs are never sold under any circumstances and are not available for download nor intended for general distribution.  Eclectic Set Programs do not intentionally violate format guidelines for internet broadcasts set by SoundExchange and the DCMA.




What Is Rare Wave Music?


Rare Wave Music, founded by Ken Laughlin, is a media production service that has created and produced music programs since the early seventies.  Ken was originally inspired by the work of John De Witt, creator and producer of “The Young Sound” which peaked in popularity from 1967 to 1972 and aired on many CBS-FM affiliate stations.  “The Young Sound” consisted of a series of one-hour music programs—specially selected, arranged, and mixed such that the relationships among the songs were as artistic as the songs themselves.  This inspiration led to the formation of Rare Wave Music as a vehicle for producing eclectic sets for college and local radio stations during the seventies.  Rare Wave Music also produced various weekly music shows and a series of Chicago comedy radio shows and continues to provide soundtrack, voice-over, consulting, and audio/video production services for other endeavors.


From the early seventies through the nineties, music programs were produced using analog multi-channel tape recorders and mixers (specifically, the Teac A3340S 4-channel reel-to-reel tape deck and Teac Model 2 mixer with the Teac MB-20 meter bridge).  The current set-up includes Apple computers that handle program production and data management; computer software such as Reaper, RipX, DJ-Studio, Ocenaudio, Mixed In Key, and iZotope RX and Ozone plugins; plus other audio and video software for creating audio programs, radio shows, videos, slideshows, and soundtracks.  Many of the original music programs that were created during the seventies through the nineties have been re-created, revisited, and/or remastered, then uploaded to Mixcloud along with newly created programs.


Click on the Home link or the logo above to see all the uploaded Mixcloud sets.