Harmonic mixing

Harmonic mixing

Harmonic mixing or key mixing is a DJ's continuous mix between two pre-recorded tracks that are most often either in the same key, or their keys are relative or in a subdominant or dominant relationship with one another.

The primary goal of harmonic mixing is to create a smooth transition between songs. Songs in the same key do not generate a dissonant tone when mixed together. This technique enables DJs to create a harmonious and consonant mashup with any music genre.

Traditional methods

A commonly-known method of using harmonic mixing is to detect the root key of every music file in the DJ collection by using a piano. The root key that fits the song perfectly may be used to create harmonic mash-ups with other songs in the same key. The root key is also considered compatible with the subdominant, dominant and relative major/minor keys [cite web |url=http://www.harmonic-mixing.com/overview/overview.mv|title=Harmonic Mixing Overview |date=2007-01-01 |accessdate=2008-03-21 |publisher=Camelot Sound] .

A more advanced harmonic mixing theory has been proposed which accounts for the various modes as well (aeolian, ionian, lydian, mixolydian, dorian and phrygian) [cite web |url=http://www.mixshare.com/wiki/doku.php?id=harmonic_mixing|title=Harmonic Mixing Wiki|date=2007-01-01 |accessdate=2008-03-21 |publisher=Mixshare] . It is shown that these alternate modes can be seen as variations of the traditional major and minor keys, and that they can be translated to traditional keys via the Circle of Fifths.

Recent developments

In 2006 and 2007, harmonic mixing has attracted substantial media attention [cite web|url=http://www.mixedinkey.com/InTheNews.aspx|title=Mixed In Key magazine articles|date=2007-09-13|accessdate=2007-09-15|publisher=Mixed In Key] . Pioneer Pro DJ, the manufacturer of DJ products have released DJM-800, an audio mixing console capable of correcting the key of the song while it is being played [cite web|url=http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/content/press/news/djm800.html|title=DJM-800 Mixer with Key Adjust function|date=2006-01-19|accessdate=2007-09-15|publisher=Pioneer UK] . Allen & Heath has teamed up with Mixed In Key to release music software that analyzes MP3 and WAV files and determines the musical key of every file. [cite web|url=http://community.mixedinkey.com/Topic.aspx?ID=1629|title=Allen & Heath press release|date=2006-12-22|accessdate=2007-10-10|publisher=Community.MixedInKey.com] MixShare frequently updates a freeware utility called Rapid Evolution which can also detect the musical key, in addition to the BPM, of audio files [cite web|url=http://www.mixshare.com/wiki/doku.php?id=change_log|title=MixShare Change Log|date=2007-09-15|accessdate=2007-09-15|publisher=MixShare.com] . MixMeister has continued to offer "harmonic mixing" features in their DJ software. Traktor DJ Studio software from Native Instruments and Torq from M-Audio display "Key" columns in their interfaces to allow for easy sorting of songs by key as does Virtual DJ from Atomix as of version 5.0.

There has only been one software key detection accuracy comparison to date, initiated by Camelot. [cite web|title=Key Detection Software Comparison|url=http://www.mixingonbeat.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2268|date=2006-04-26|accessdate=2008-03-21|publisher=MixingOnBeat]

DJing for Dummies book, published in the US on January 29th, 2007, and in the UK on December 1st, 2006, includes a chapter dedicated to harmonic mixing called "Building a Foolproof Set." [cite web|url=http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470032758,descCd-tableOfContents.html|title=DJing for Dummies, Table of Contents|date=2007-01-01|accessdate=2007-09-15|publisher=Wiley]

New tools released in 2006-2007 have made it easy for DJs to eliminate key clashes from their DJ sets.

upport from professional DJs

Paul Van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Armin Van Buuren, Ben Liebrand, Sasha, Deep Dish, and Pete Tong from BBC Radio1 are known to use harmonic mixing in their DJ setsFact|date=February 2008. Some notable examples are Northern Exposure CD series by Sasha and Digweed, the series of Grandmixes and weekly "In The Mix" radio show by Ben Liebrand, and the A State of Trance weekly radio show by Armin Van BuurenFact|date=February 2008.

ee also


External links

* [http://www.track-finder.com Harmonic Mixing Database]
* [http://www.mixshare.com/music Online BPM & Key Database]


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