Harmonic mixing
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Thread: Harmonic mixing

  1. #1
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    Default Harmonic mixing

    Hey DjTT

    This thread is really just for my own interest then needing to find a common answer. But first alittle about how i have been planning and mixing music.

    I have been mixing with controllers for around 4 years now. Started on Ableton and love the fact that your can create any template your mind can imagine. For the first 2 years i would always mix in complex mode and then complex pro when 8 came out. I would always use mixed in key to plan my playlist and over these years i can say i became a slave to harmonic mixing and when i could play tracks i wanted to.

    I have since then moved over to traktor and have not really used mixing in key when playing live or creating a planned playlist. This has been great learning!! I have found out so much more about cutting.. using fx to jam tracks together etc.

    So this brings my to my questions or thought really.. How many of your use mixed in key and if you do?? Are you harmonic mixing for the whole of your set or only at times?? How do you mix harmonically if you are reading the crowd??

    Sorry for the wall-o-text
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru basspenetrator's Avatar
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    hey there.

    i mix harmoically like 90% of the time. just sounds better
    Setup: TP 2, VCI-400 EGE, MF3D, MF Classic, DIY-Midifighter, iPad 2, Aiaiai Tma-1 // Launchpad, Ecler Smac32, 2 CDJ900, Presonus Firebox, KRK Rokit 8 //
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  3. #3
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    so.. before you even consider mixing 2 tracks together to you find out what key it is in??

    I am sure to be fair most people are mixing harmonically without even know it.. This then raises another thought or question.Are most DJ's using their ears to find if 2 tracks go together or just processing it through mixed in key.. and work from there??
    Macbook Pro 2011 :: Xone 22 :: Technics 1200 :: Denon DNS3700 :: 2x Midifighter ::Akia MPD24 :: Kaoss Pad 2 :: Audio 6 :: KRK Rockit 5 Darkstar :: Roland Sh-101 :: Traktor Scratch Duo :: Ableton live 8


  4. #4
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    I use harmonic mixing to help me decide which track to play next. For example, track A is in 7A, so I'll look at my list of 6A, 7B, and 8A songs and pick from there.

    Another thing I'll do is pick a song I want to play and mix my way around the wheel to get to that song.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru basspenetrator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamthrax View Post
    so.. before you even consider mixing 2 tracks together to you find out what key it is in??

    I am sure to be fair most people are mixing harmonically without even know it.. This then raises another thought or question.Are most DJ's using their ears to find if 2 tracks go together or just processing it through mixed in key.. and work from there??

    well, after i purchase my songs i run them through mixed in key, before putting them into traktor..
    Setup: TP 2, VCI-400 EGE, MF3D, MF Classic, DIY-Midifighter, iPad 2, Aiaiai Tma-1 // Launchpad, Ecler Smac32, 2 CDJ900, Presonus Firebox, KRK Rokit 8 //
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  7. #7
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    I do. I almost always harmonic mix unless I'm doing a wedding or highschool dance or something where it really doesn't matter. I love the transitions in between songs with fitting keys and the way they blend together very nicely. The Camelot system known for being used by mixed in key software is very helpful. I do own a copy of mixed in key but it isn't even close to accurate enough for my taste... I find it makes a lot of mistakes and so I use a piano and find all of the keys to my songs myself, by ear.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Harmonic all the way .... I like using those things on the side of my head

    I just do it on the fly using transpose (shift+Jogwheel for me) to catch the synth/bass/vocal etc and pitch it correctly with the playing track Of course the issue there is that when you get further than +-2 side, things start to sound kinda weird

    I just cant see how a program like MIK (or even a piano which is limited to semitone increments) can be THAT accurate for harmonic mixing though when my ears can differentiate between a .1 semitone clash if 2 synths are played together.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    I mixed for years by ear before I knew anything about mixing in key. Going back over old mixes that I recorded, the better ones usually did turn out to have been mixed in key, I just didn't know it. Trust your ears before you trust the numbers -- sometimes you'll hit on combinations that work well even though they shouldn't according to the keys. It depends on choosing your mixpoint too -- software can tell you what key the song is in, but a lot of songs switch keys, and there are parts of the songs that don't have a key. MIK is great for having more info available to you when you decide what to play, but if you stick only to what it tells you, you are in danger of sounding like a robot. Also there are plenty of good reasons not to mix in key at times -- when it feels like it's time to play a certain track, go for it, even if it's not in a compatible key.

    Also, I don't know crap about music. I couldn't tell you what key a song is in by listening to it, and sitting in front of a piano just makes me want to play chopsticks. I don't even know what key my songs are really in -- I just know the Camelot codes that MIK tells me they're in, right or wrong. I know it's wrong sometimes because there are times MIK tells me two songs should work together and they just don't sound right. So trust your ears, not your software.

  10. #10
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    I don't use MIK, but I do harmonic mixing for every mix. I actually use a little Behringer Nano controller mapped to deck key and use it for fine tuning. When I was vinyl only, I used to mark the key of the track on the sleeve along with the BPM. But since going digital, I find that I can tune just about any song to a pleasing interval of the program song without needing to note it beforehand.

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