harmonic mixing

Harmonic mixing


What is harmonic mixing?

Harmonic mixing, also called mix in key, is the chaining of pieces with the same key or a "compatible" key. The sequences will be done in harmony. Just as notes are played together on a keyboard to form a chord, harmonic mixing is the assembly or linking of keys that are in harmony with each other.

In a DJ mix, mixing songs with harmonious tones will sound much better. This is also the case with the notes of a chord in music. After adjusting the speed, today's DJ will choose to link songs in harmony. It is therefore to create a mix that will make his mix one great piece.

How to create a harmonic mix?

So how do you choose your songs that create a harmonic mix? And above all how to know the tone (the key) of its pieces and how to know if they are compatible or not?

It is with a key or tone compatibility wheel that we can know if our songs will be compatible or not.

Understanding the camelot system wheel

This wheel called camelot represents the notes of the whole scale. However with the English denomination from A to G and not as with the Latin denomination from C to B (see the designation of the notes here).

Associated with a number and a letter which corresponds to the seven whites of the keyboard and the five quarter notes, thus the twelve semitones for the number (1 to 12) and in minor (A) or major (B) for the letter. Click here to see the new harmonic key wheel.

harmonic mixing

Analysis of audio files

Now for the analysis of the songs. Software is available to create tags in the audio files. For example 1A, 3B etc., and according to the camelot wheel you can choose the songs according to their key. This way harmonic mixing becomes possible.

The two most used software : Mixed in key and key Finder

DVS like Traktor or Serato also analyze audio files but are much less accurate which makes them unreliable for this function.

So how do you string the pieces together?

Once the pieces are analyzed and tagged, the wheel will not be useful anymore knowing that you can link the pieces as follows:

1A>2A>3A and so on or vice versa 11A>10A>9A or from minor to major and vice versa, 8A>8B> or 7B>7A.

Another method is to add 7 to the key of the current piece. So by following the direction of a clock, we obtain a new harmonic key. For example the key 10B goes very well with the key 5B.

The tag in Serato (key) if this column is not displayed right click and check key.

harmonic mix

harmonic mixing

Harmonic mixing with Ableton

Pre-selecting songs by key for harmonic mixing, editing in Ableton's sequencer in arrangement mode and leveling the final mix. To make programmed mixes, know how to use warping, eq, make loops. Then, position the tracks well, put effects and play with the song tempo. A 27 minute mix is made.

Click here to listen to the harmonic mix

Duration: 1 hour 56 minutes

In addition to the choice of tracks, the Bpm, the mix, the key of tonality is a criterion to create a link between the pieces.

IF you want to learn all about mixing techniques, including harmonic mixing click here.

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    1 thought on “Mixage harmonique

    1. Hello,
      The site is very interesting, I've been looking for something like this for a while, keep it up!
      The video on the creation of the harmonic mix is not easy to find on the site nevertheless, it is necessary to seek the article to reach it.

      I would like to deepen this work on the harmonic mix with the number of chained pieces: when you listen to it, the mix is "soft", that is to say that the pieces are chained one after the other (like in a podcast).
      In some mixes, there are more pieces linked together in a short time; maybe faster links with more pieces in less time is what we could call a Mashup.

      I seek to understand the creation of "rises" or "falls" and the control of cycles in order to identify these aesthetic rules and how to use them.

      For example the sequence (live or semi recorded or totally recorded) of 10 pieces in 10 minutes (for example, random numbers) will create a rise that can be used to highlight a key piece for example. If I had to make an analogy with a firework, it's a moment where a lot of fires follow each other increasing the excitement and at the end of the sequence a huge bomb (very large fire).

      Note that the management of "descents" is also interesting.

      In the end, a synthesis perhaps: which sequences to go where? and above all a real panorama of these aesthetic rules
      I haven't looked at everything, but some of my questions have already been answered in other articles you've published.

      Have a nice day

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