UPDATE: DEX 3.5.5 (and up) now comes with Key Detection built in – no need for third party key detection utilities. You can use Key Finder for DEX 3 RE and DEX 3 LE (*all versions).
Harmonic mixing, or key mixing, is an innovative and exciting way to mix your music, and many top DJs already incorporate it into their sets.
With DJ software making it easier than ever to beat-mix tracks using “Sync“and beat-grid-based waveforms, Djs have been focusing on blending their tracks seamlessly by using key. Mixing songs in key makes creating on-the-fly mash-ups easier because the tunes will sound similar when played together, and not just on beat. A practiced DJ mixing in key can make it sound as if the two songs intermingle, and harmonically sound as one.
We have plans to release key detection in our DJ software line later this year, but for now there are some solid key detection software applications on the market that work great with DEX 3 and DEX 3 RE. Our DJ software will display the key in the library, and you can now search for key specifically.
A great free key detection software we’ve been testing here at PCDJ HQ is KeyFinder.
Description From the KeyFinder Website:
KeyFinder is an open source key detection tool, for DJs interested in harmonic and tonal mixing. Designed primarily for electronic and dance music, it is highly configurable and can be applied to many genres. It supports a huge range of codecs thanks to LibAV, and writes to metadata tags using TagLib.
It’s intended to be very focused: no library management, no track suggestions, no media player. Just a fast, efficient workflow tool.
Using KeyFinder to detect key is really simple: You drag and drop your tunes onto a window from finder (Mac) or explorer (Windows), then click a single button to batch analyze all imported tracks. Once the key detection is completed, you can select all keyed files – and from the menu (or right-click) select “write key to file”. This will permanently write the found key to the file tags of the analyzed tracks. Under settings you can also setup KeyFinder to write to tags automatically when it’s finished Analyzing your tunes.
An important tip for DEX 3 and DEX 3 RE customers is to use KeyFinder to detect and write the key to the tags of your tracks before importing (or accessing the folder from explorer/finder or adding as a favorite in the DEX 3/DEX 3 RE browser).
KeyFinder offers quite a bit of customization and advanced options, but those capabilities are likely better served for users with an in-depth understanding of key detection parameters.