Harmonic mixing, or mixing using musical keys is very prevalent today. From the bedroom DJ to the superstar, almost everyone is doing it to achieve the perfect sounding mix. When properly applied, harmonic mixing can achieve superb results.
Traktor Tips has previously touched on the basics of harmonic mixing and today we will be looking at Mixed In Key software that, among other things, classifies your tracks by musical keys.
Mixed in Key uses their own proprietary Camelot Wheel for classifying keys.
To quote Mixed In Keys “How to”
“To use harmonic mixing in your DJ sets, you can change keys with every mix by moving around the Camelot wheel one step at a time. Mix between songs by subtracting one hour (-1), adding one hour (+1), or staying in the same hour as your last song. So if you’re playing a song tagged 4A, your next track can be 3A, 4A or 5A”
Using Mixed In Key
Once you install Mixed in Key and run the program you are presented with a nice clean intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface). Browse to your track collection folder(s) and immediately your songs are loaded and Mixed In Key begins analyzing.
Mixed In Key analyzes and displays:
- Key Result (In Camelot Wheel format)
- Tempo (BPM)
- Date Added
After you have analyzed your files they are added to Mixed In Key’s localized database and can be referred back to as needed via the Mixed in Key’s “browse collection”.
As of version 6 there is now a convenient piano popup that allows you to play and hear the keys.
In addition to the above, Mixed In Key also indicates the need for audio file optimization by showing a key result that appears as an underlined hyperlink. Once you click on the file it will indicate the adjustment needed in the space below. With the click of a button the file can then be optimized in Platinum Notes, which will be covered in a future review.
A search area is provided and all fields are sortable plus you can click the Camelot Wheel in the GUI to show only the key specified. Drag a track into the preview area and you can listen to it in its entirety viewing the waveform as well which is also color coded by its key.
Mixed In Key integrates nicely with Traktor. In the “update tags” section of the “Personalize” menu you can set it to populate the “key text” field viewable in Traktor with the key value. Additional settings allow you to insert the energy value in fields of your choice. Keep in mind that .wav file values will need to be entered manually for Traktors database, as they do not utilize IDv3 tags.
Conclusions and Final Thoughts
I found Mixed in Key to be extremely accurate and useful beyond the scope of DJing, It is also a handy tool to refer back to when listening to tracks, and doing remixes or mashups. I analyzed 270 tracks of various genres and it returned key values for all including the very hard to detect minimal techno. Mixed in Key has received positive recommendations from many big name dj’s and rightly so.
At $58 (US) I believe it is an excellent value and a worthwhile investment for any DJ pursuing the art of harmonic mixing.
Thanks to Matthew Shaw for providing Traktor Tips with this review.