Not only does the new DEX 3.15 (beta) include in-browser support for Beatport LINK and Beatsource LINK — DJs that mix in key received a big boost with a slew of new key detection and key mixing features.
Mixing tracks on beat is one thing, but if you really want to take your mix sets to new heights you’ll want to mix your tracks in key — otherwise known as ‘Harmonic Mixing’. The closer the two tracks are in key the more infused the sound of your mix will be. When key mixing is performed correctly the seamless sound will have your listeners unsure where one song ends and the other begins.
For example, If both tracks your mixing are in the key of C they will sound great when played together. However, other keys within a scale can also sound great when mixing with other keys. For example, another track in the key of Am will also sound great mixed with a track in the key of C. It would also work with G, which has ‘most notes’ in common with C. Confused yet?
If you’re not a musician mixing in key has it’s challenges — but thankfully you have help: the circle of fifths. The circle of fifths is basically a compatibility chart and the new DEX 3.15 beta supports three variations of the ‘chart’. You can choose which variation best suites your needs:
- The Standard Notation: Musical Key
- Open Key Notation: Default
- Alt Key Notation: Similar to, but Modified “Camelot” — IE: The note C corresponds to 1D in Open Key or 8B in Alt Key; note F-Sharp (F#) corresponds to 7D in Open Key, etc.
Providing you’ve enabled “detect automatic key'” under the general tab in DEX 3.15’s options, when our top DJ software analyzes your library of tracks it will display the key in the file browser and in the players using the chosen notation. To mix in key all you need to do is select a compatible key either from the charts/wheels or by following a simple rule. This will work for both the Open Key and the Alt Key notations.
To select a track to match an existing (playing) song’s key you need to:
- change only one number up or down (eg. Open Key: go from 8D to 7D (1 down) or 9D (1 up))
- or, change the letter (eg. Open Key: go from 8D to 8m (from major scale to minor scale in this case))
Still confused?!? We get it…
No problem, since we’ve simplified things for DJs even more: you can visually select matching keys by color. DEX 3.15 now displays key in color code within the file browser. Simply select another track with the same key color code and you’ll be mixing harmonically like a Juilliard graduate!
Maybe we should have led with the “mixing key by color” bit, but then you wouldn’t have learned much, would you have?
Have questions about mixing songs in key with DEX 3.15 DJ software? Please leave them in the comments section below!