AnthonyEhsani

Harmonic mixing

13 posts in this topic

Hey there

I heard from heaps of DJ's this is an awesome "tool", to avoid clashes etc.... and from others I heard they hardly do it.

I did a little harmonic mixing myself with the vinyls I had. I jut found the key by going onto the net and going into the mixshare website library (most songs you know are in it)

But I really doubt the so called "famous pro DJ's" go into that library. Although I know some (eg. Deep Dish) buy a software that does it for them.

My friend says that only a tiny minimal knowledge of music theory is needed.. the rest is just getting a keyboard and pressing a key that sounds similar to the base key of the track.

Just wondering how you boys do it.. if do it at all?

I know its really popular with trance DJ's and progressive house DJ's

EDIT: do you also write down the BPM of your tracks? cause harmonics will be affected when changing BPM (except with pitch control ofcourse)

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I have perfect pitch which helps a lot, tho it means i can also pick 1/4 and 1/8th tones. Sometimes it's more of an annoyance than a blessing...

I learnt very quickly when i was teaching primary school kids how to play violin to 'switch off' this ability!

As for BPM, I used to write the bpm on my records when i first started dj'ing, tho for the last 8-9 years I have never bothered. it's pointless. Learn ya choons... simple as that

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Learn your tunes. that is all.

Having perfect pitch would help with really new stuff you haven't had time to learn, as would keying your tunes. But essentially its something i subconsciously do. Some times i don't just to create a change. But yes it is helpful especially once you understand how to create tension and release. Which is what really good "prog" Djs do. Aka Digweed and Sasha.

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In my experience it's something you could spend a lot of time trying to do but as Jay says you're best off to just know your records really well.  The next tune will more often than not enter my head while I'm playing the previous one.  If the 2 tracks are tracks I know well then usually they'll mix in key, it's a sub-concious thing that I (and most other DJs I think) do, my brain/soul(??) feels the next track, i guess if it's not in the same key for some reason then my mind wouldn't be thinking about it as it's currently working in the key that the track I'm playing at that point is in.  So it's probably a neuro-pathways type thing.  You could download software and write the key of all your tracks on the sleeves but that seems a bit dumb to me, feel the groove yo!

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Agreed ,  iv never got into the whole  marking keys and writing down track specifics,  its all about feel for me ...  Ill just mentally match up in my head what I think will work well..

But then again , im not a professional DJ , so im sure each to their own.

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Its funny that as this thread has progressed, i have begun Keying my tunes...

This has been another thing that has got me more inspired about Djing again, especially when a typical night for me can often start with deep house and end up rather banging.

It has made me feel the groove again.

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for an interesting transition in a set, try mixing out of a choon into one in the key of the relative minor.

Top shelf chin-stroking here folks...

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oh, and pre the digital era on them big black spinning things, one would also have to take into account the pitch-shift the speed of the record produced before jumping into the bag to find that choon that would match at a slower(lower key)/faster speed(higher key)

nowadays it's easier, thank fuck!

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digging this up from the archives... Mixed in Key looks great, but I'm of the view that it's better to learn the hard way - at least to start with. It's a learning/training thing. Sure, once you have it nailed you can use software to speed up the process. But I think I'd beneift more from doign it the old fashioned way.

Now, just gotta find the time to key up my 1000 or so records....

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i wouldn't bother

i got all concerned about key back when i was getting into club dj'ing as i watched a lot of other people do it

my observations of mixing in key

1- it takes a lot of the satisfaction away from djing as you never get to play the tunes you want

2- a lot of the time people cant make good progressions so they just sit in the same key and the set becomes flat

3- you have to buy so many more tunes to construct sets

4- the whole pitch up/down key change did my head in

there are certainly genres of music where it can really work well but once again you want to know your progressions to make it work well

i'd rather just go out and play the crowd wants to hear and whatever in your box suits the theme of the night

after awhile you will be able to do with subconsciously (without keying your records or anything) because you know your sound and your tunes

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Hey everyone.

I used to play trance quite often, but over the past few years, ive become more of a house/deep house fan. I want to get back into trance again although i think i may have chosen a bad time to do so after just going through BPs trance chart lol.

Ive also been getting more into harmonic mixing using the camelot system. So heres my question, how often do you follow the camelot system and is it a rule in trance? I ask this because melodic mixes just sound so much better in trance music, since it is such a melody-driven genre, but i find myself becoming stuck to the wheel and concentrating more on the key than other factors in the mix.

Thanks for replying.

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I'm no pro with the whole DJ thing, but i think it's a bit of an issue - focusing on key over set structure and other mixing techniques. It's not just trance that's guilty of it.

 

Forget these wheels and stuff. They're a useful tool for you to "train" your hearing to notice and recognise the key or at least which two tracks are going to meld the best. IMO, just like instrumental musicians, it comes with practice. It helps if you have a natural ability to recognise key (even if you can't pick or describe it) but it can be learned via things like the wheel system you're talking about. However, if you're constantly trying to look up a key or figure it out without using your ears, i'd suggest more focus needs to be given to listening and recognising what sound good and what doesn't.

 

Practice makes perfect - reading a wheel or sheet music or a book isn't a substitute. Read them and then leave them to practice, IMO. I mean, sheet music is a bit different if you're playing in an orchestra or something - but you're not... so leave the books, wheels, notes and written stuff and use your ears.

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