In this blog I am going to talk about how important harmonic mixing is, what it is, and why we need to know how to apply it to our DJ sets. If you want to take your mixing to the next level this article is for you.
What Is Harmonic Mixing?
Harmonic mixing is when you mix two tracks together that are in the same key as one another, or in its own relative scale. Every song has its own key, or musical note, that the whole, entire track is based around. For example, if you have a track that is in A minor, you will need to mix another track in A minor, or another key that would be in the A minor scale. If you don't know your keys, there is a computer program that 99.9% of all DJ’s use, and that program is called Mixed In Key, which I will go into greater depth about in a moment. It is essential now as a DJ to mix harmonically, especially if you want to make seriously great DJ mixes that stand out to play in nightclubs.
Why Is Harmonic Mixing So Important?
It is important because we as DJ’s do not want key clashes in our DJ sets. We need our sets or mixes to flow smoothly in order to build or decrease energy over time, depending on how we choose to structure our set. Knowing how to master this makes a professional DJ, and also helps a DJ stand out amongst his or her competitors.
It is important to know that we, as DJ’s, do not want to continually mix in the same key note all of the time, or our set or mix we are putting together will never be energetic; it will just stay at the same energy level. Each note in its scale has a different energy to it, and notes higher up the scale the energy will increase, while notes lower on the scale the energy will decrease. This is where our beloved Mixed In Key and its Camelot wheel come in. (Click here for more)
Do I Need To Know Musical Theory?
No, you don't have to know musical theory, but knowing musical theory will definitely help you master the process of harmonic mixing a lot quicker. The beauty of the Mixed In Key program is that it takes all of the learning out of musical theory for you, and converts and labels musical keys harmonically into a numbering system: 8A, 9A, 10A, and so on, as shown in the photo above. In order to achieve this, you can simply add your music files in the “analyze songs section” in Mixed In Key, then let the program do all of the work. The file will come up once analyzed in its own number code, as shown below, and away you go.
Note: Mixed In Key can have errors just like any other program, I have noticed in my experiences that it can sometimes, but very rarely, scan my music and give me a different number code then what it should have. I know this only because of my expertise in musical theory; if I didn't know any musical theory I would not have known it. However, I can safely say that the program has been right 90% of the time I have used it.
By blending different musical keys, or numbers, with one another, you will feel that the energy of your mixing will either increase, decrease, or stay the same if you mix in the same key. You cannot mix in every key or number; that is why it is important that you read the tutorial in Mixed In Keys program on which numbers/keys that you can combine with one another in order for you to mix successfully harmonically (Click Here For More)
There are plenty more advanced techniques and tips that you can get help with once you purchase the program and join the forum. For example, you can find information about how to boost the energy in a mix by combining numbers 5A to 7A, bringing twice the energy to the mix.
Sometimes tracks can still work together out of key with certain songs. Over time, when your ears develop from gaining experience, and from listening to your music collection over and over, you will start to get a feel for what track goes with another, and you may not need to use Mixed In Key all of the time – or who knows, you may even stop using it!
Mixed In Key now has become a “must” have item for all DJ’s, and if we want to stand out, be creative, and take our mixing skills to the next level, we need to master this process. This program is a vital asset to our success as DJ’s, and has taken all of the hard work and time out of learning musical theory, in order for us to fast track our mixing skills on our way to becoming a professional DJ.