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Mixedinkey

kaniz

TRIBE Member
Use the tools that are available to you - then take that time you would of spent on figuring out how to do harmonic mixing and put it towards more creative / interesting elements.

This "technology is evil! its taking the art out of DJing!" mindset just seems a bit silly to me.

If the only thing that DJing involved was playing two beat matched tracks back to back - then yeah, I could see a point. But, there is more to building sets than simply mixing tracks, and dont think a computer will replace that any time soon.
 

dtox

TRIBE Member
I was reading about this last week and was like what the frig>!>!>!>!>????!!!!
I guess if you are completely tone def or something.....sheesh....
 

Humanjava

TRIBE Member
kaniz said:
Use the tools that are available to you - then take that time you would of spent on figuring out how to do harmonic mixing and put it towards more creative / interesting elements.

This "technology is evil! its taking the art out of DJing!" mindset just seems a bit silly to me.

If the only thing that DJing involved was playing two beat matched tracks back to back - then yeah, I could see a point. But, there is more to building sets than simply mixing tracks, and dont think a computer will replace that any time soon.

I say if you can't hear how sounds go together you should not be playing out. Its that simple. All this digital shit just makes people become less and less skilled at what they do. Next you will find people only mix in one key and combined with the fact no one can even lock a beat together you will see more people bored to death and the scene die even more.
 

JK

TRIBE Promoter
Humanjava said:
I say if you can't hear how sounds go together you should not be playing out. Its that simple. All this digital shit just makes people become less and less skilled at what they do. Next you will find people only mix in one key and combined with the fact no one can even lock a beat together you will see more people bored to death and the scene die even more.
I couldn't agree more...

Use your fucking ears people!
 
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Spazz Jazz

TRIBE Member
What puzzles me is in the bio of the promo chick dj Sarah Simms it says;
She's classically trained and has an ear for harmonies and melodic blends.

If "Dj Sarah Simms" is classically trained i expect more, your ears are trained and you need a program to tell you what sounds good wtf??
 

JK

TRIBE Promoter
kaniz said:
Use the tools that are available to you - then take that time you would of spent on figuring out how to do harmonic mixing and put it towards more creative / interesting elements.

This "technology is evil! its taking the art out of DJing!" mindset just seems a bit silly to me.
Normally I would fully agree with you -- i'm always for new and inspiring technology that can help us improvise more freely -- but software like this just makes people lazy, and stops them from using their EARS.

If you can't hear what keys work together, then you should be teaching yourself, not looking for short cuts like this.

like come on, how about touching a real instrument, learning what 'notes' are, and teaching your ears to hear keys.
 

ChadMIK

TRIBE Member
Humanjava said:
I say if you can't hear how sounds go together you should not be playing out. Its that simple. All this digital shit just makes people become less and less skilled at what they do. Next you will find people only mix in one key and combined with the fact no one can even lock a beat together you will see more people bored to death and the scene die even more.
Hello,

I've enjoyed reading this thread, you've all got good points, but I want to make a few things clear. Mixed In Key is in no way intended to make a DJ lazy and unskilled. It just does what many professional DJ's have been doing by hand with a piano for years.

Once you know the keys of your tracks, you can do all sorts of cool things, like energy-boost mixing, and shifting easily from minor to major tracks. Playing only in one key is definitely not recommended, that would most certainly be boring.

While knowing your tracks well is definitely a plus, many DJ's I've spoken with have so many that this is nearly impossible. We've had people analyzing over 15,000 track libraries! Having these tracks keyed can unveil mixing possibilities that you may not have thought of otherwise.

Cheers,

Chad

Mixed In Key
Business Development Coordinator
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Interesting point.

Does easy == lazy, does easy == unskilled.
Is there an art left to DJ'ing if there's no longer a necessity to beat-match or be able to discern tracks being off-coloured.

Certainly the fundamental talents required of a DJ are changing and perhaps that is allowing individuals to listen to different elements of a track, then say someone who is indeed learning the arts of the days gone by.

This may indeed add a new element to the life of DJ'ing but it may deter from actually learning the art of DJ'ing on a whole.

To with: does it really matter if you are mixing in key if you don't understand the basic timing or composition of a track?

The fundamentals of smooth mixing will always be understanding the music as well as you can, with your ears first and foremost and with any other tool you might find necessary after that. No one tool is going to make you a great DJ. However if you don't care to spend the time trying by trial and error your mixes and you don't really care about knowing the songs you are playing, then key mixers, bpm counters and track analyzers are awesome tools.

Personally I prefer to connect with my music and play it. This is the way its been done in the hip hop scene for decades. If you don't understand a track, then you shouldn't play it, whether you have 15,000 records or 500.
 

Taro

TRIBE Member
this is one of the worst ideas that I have heard of (as far as djing is concerned)...

>soon someone will invent a program that tells you, live, what tunes are popular and provide you with a setlist of what sounds good. in fact, soemone should just hook this up with beatport, and then not only will you know what tunes are popular, but it will tell in what order you need to play them in order to stay 'in key'
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Taro said:
>soon someone will invent a program that tells you, live, what tunes are popular and provide you with a setlist of what sounds good. in fact, soemone should just hook this up with beatport,

From the sounds of the DJ Dan review thread he may have been pioneering just such a technology..;)
 

ChadMIK

TRIBE Member
oddmyth said:
Does easy == lazy, does easy == unskilled.
Is there an art left to DJ'ing if there's no longer a necessity to beat-match or be able to discern tracks being off-coloured.


This may indeed add a new element to the life of DJ'ing but it may deter from actually learning the art of DJ'ing on a whole.
Good point, and the situation you describe would definitely take a good chunk out of the "art" of DJing. Keying your tracks still requires you to be able to beatmatch, unless of course you are mixing during the breakdowns. Even if you are doing that though, and mixing in key, there is still going to be a certain feel associated with the tracks you are playing. The "feel" of a track I think is completely subjective, and putting tracks together that are not only beat and key matched but have a certain cohesive feel to them is what separates the good DJ's from the great DJ's. I don't think that this is something that can ever be replaced (nor would I want it to be) by a software program.

oddmyth said:
To with: does it really matter if you are mixing in key if you don't understand the basic timing or composition of a track?
I don't think so. Sure they'll be in key, but that's not going to guarantee a smooth mix if you're trainwrecking.


oddmyth said:
The fundamentals of smooth mixing will always be understanding the music as well as you can, with your ears first and foremost and with any other tool you might find necessary after that. No one tool is going to make you a great DJ.
I couldn't agree more. Tools are things that we use to make a task more effective, not take the place of doing the task in the first place.

-Chad P

Mixed In Key
Business Development
 

basilisk

TRIBE Member
Key mixing is fantastic for tonal/melodic music. Indeed, many DJs already mix by key, often unknowingly, but this is largely by trial and error--you throw a record on and if it doesn't fit you take it off and try out something new. This is rather inefficient to say the least--you're wasting time and limiting possibilities, particularly when you are mixing in a key/tempo range for which there are few other suitable tracks. What then?

I can't say I actually know what Mixed In Key is capable of these days. I tried it out a little while ago and found it to be a joke compared to the feature-rich and extremely well-supported Rapid Evolution 2. RE2 is designed to be more like a general all-purpose DJ tool. You don't mix with it--you just build up a database of the music in your collection. If you like you can put on a vinyl record, play around with the piano, and sort things out yourself. Personally, I process everything through the automated analyzer and later keying by ear with the built-in piano whenever I come across a new batch of good tunes I am thinking of incorporating into upcoming sets. Some might say that this impacts spontaneity, but it doesn't need to. You still choose where to take your set--you don't have to use the information at your disposal, after all. It is just metadata, much like BPMs. If you specialize in a particular niche of EDM this might not be useful... but if you roam far afield, knowing key and BPM will help you make all sorts of unexpected connections.

Perhaps I can clear up a few misconceptions. Mixing in key does not require that you remain in the same key; there are many ways to move from key to key. Pitch affects key but this can be counteracted by careful programming and/or a judicious use of master tempo functionality (if available). Indeed, it is possible to rely on the findings of programs like RE2 or MIK and never bother to develop an ear for pitch, but I wouldn't advise using these programs in such a lazy way. Keying tracks by ear is a great way to develop pitch--I now have a better sense of pitch than I ever did when I was going by the old "trial and error" route. Like any tool, key mixing software can enhance your capabilities or encourage bad habits. It's all in how you use it.

You can find RE2 here:
http://www.mixshare.com/

Check out the ReWiki for detailed information on harmonic mixing if you are curious...
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Staying in a single key is probably one of the most boring ways to mix, and mixing harmonically doesn't mean that two tracks mix well together there is still some trial and error involved in finding two tracks that will give you the intended effect.

RE2 seems to be more of an application the MIK, however MIK is a great analysis tool and has been very helpful in allowing me to create the type of mixes I had previously spent over 80+ hours in trial and error mixing to create.
 

soulmantra

TRIBE Member
if somebody was mixing out of key what would i hear? just two tracks that sound bad together? i've been plugging away and know what i play and what i think sounds good... but if somebody listened and was turned off by potentially off key mixing... how would they hear it?
 
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oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Key clashes in highly melodic music sound horrible to even the most untrained musician, your ear has been trained to understand what notes are harmonic even though your brain doesn't clearly recognize such a thing. The ear is such an amazing piece of our anatomy.

All that said not everyone's ear is as finely tuned as the next persons so what sounds good to you might not ever sound good to everyone else. Just the nature of the beast really.

Key clashes are most obvious in melodic music although they can be even more profound in long minimal mixing where its more akin to water torture than anything else.
 

Humanjava

TRIBE Member
man is this stupid thread still going. BOTTOM LINE can't hear what's in key then fuck off as a pro DJ or anything in public. Too much shit out there already.
 

WestsideWax

TRIBE Promoter
People tend to adopt that sort of hard-line belief when they're under the (99.9% of the time) mistaken belief that the world is bowing down at their feet. Life will serve up a decent dose of humble pie at some crucial junction, I'm sure.

Guys like Thelonious Monk were always being accused of hitting "wrong notes", but "wrong ears" would have been a more appropriate accusation to level at the critics.

Can't be afraid to make mistakes, as some of them can turn out to be quite beautiful.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
I had this thread on the backburner, and got to thinking about dissonance in electronic music and in some of the tracks I have... Sometimes a given track will have dissonance within that single track... ya sure, mixing off-key can sound like shit sometimes, but if you got the timing of the tracks right a little "controlled dissonance" can actually be interesting...

I'm still of the mind that just having a good gut instinct is what's important and that mixing in key is primarily a "thing" nowadays because people like Sasha and other big stars of his ilk have been promoting that they do it... for the kind of stuff they play I can see it, but I just dont see it as all that essential...
 

Aleks

TRIBE Member
i agree with Humanjava... If you can't dj with your god given ears, then you shouldn't be dj'ing!
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Of course who wouldn't agree that DJ'ing is more about musical perfection and less about having fun. :confused:

Almost every set I've ever heard played live has contained off key mixing. Even some of the best melodic DJ's do it. The biggest and best DJ's in the world mix off key all the time .. I guess none of them have any right to be DJ'ing and they certainly shouldn't be out there enjoying music and making clubland fun.

Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Being a DJ, be it pro, amateur, bedroom or otherwise is about those same things. If someone has garnered enough praise from another person to be put on a stage and handed a crowd then they are good enough to be a DJ and they will learn very quickly many common lessons that other DJ's have learned.

To think they are sullying your art-form because they don't do it like you (or with the same tools as you) is to not understand 'art' in the first place.
 

Aleks

TRIBE Member
^ You make some really compelling points, but the basis of my opinion is that, although mixedinkey is an interesting technological innovation, i see it as cheating. Exactly like playing games with the cheats on, you are kicking ass but, you really aren't doing shit. It takes thousands and thousands of hours to train your ear to mix properly and MIK takes away from those real dj's that mastered their craft. It's a mockery.
 
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