For years DJ’s have been mixing tunes together using their musical ear and their talents for recognizing what songs will work well with other tunes. Not only does this talent relate to the timing of beats and the blending of bass, mid and treble, but it also relates to the tone or key of these tracks.
In recent years with the explosion of digital DJ’ing and the birth of MP3′s, the DJ world has been treated to software that decipher the key of a track. Musically, certain keys work well with others and knowing which tracks compliment each other can make a DJ set even more pleasing to listen to.
The most well-known software tool used for this is mixed in key, a program designed by And out on the market for $49. This tool analyses your tracks and labels them with a specific key, to figure out which tracks will harmonize with others you can use the Camelot Easy Mix Wheel.
A new software has recently come to light however: KeyFinder. This fantastic piece of software is the result of one computer studies engineer as part of his coursework. KeyFinder is free to download, but there is an option of making a donation to the producer of this software. An option I highly recommend.
Once downloaded, you can simply drag and drop your tracks into KeyFinder and run a batch analysis. This will scan all tracks and tell you the key it finds.
If you were to use KeyFinder with its default settings, the key will be written into the comment field of the ID3 Tag and will therefore appear with in the Traktor music collection in the comment field. In order to make the key detection appear in the key field of the ID3 tags you must change the Key Tag settings to “Overwrite”.
Once you’re all set up and your Traktor collection contains all key tags, you can get cracking with some harmonic mixing and make your DJ sets sound that little bit tighter.
To find out how harmonic mixing works, you can check out the How-to Guide for Harmonic Mixing.
Edit: February 20th 2013 - Traktor Announces their very own Traktor Key Detection Tool in the 2.6.1 Update.
Have you used any Harmonic mixing software? What do you think of KeyFinder? Let us know if you find this software useful.