Mixing - In key, follow rules, or play tunes that you like?

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#1
Hi all

Just looking for a little heads up i suppose.

Ive enjoyed mixing dnb for a few years now.
Jump up is what i like to play, all the time. I love ALL drum and bass. Infact i love all music but dnb i feel passionate about..

Anyway! so do you fellas always plan a mix to be IN KEY and 100% thought out to seamlessly carry on a pure vibe in a certain key?

or does it NOT matter what tunes you decide to play? lets say you have an audience and not just in yer bedroom.

I would think that maybe in say, trance, or...some melodic house...possibly even liquid dnb? could follow that, key structure and harmonious mix.
what is you views?

thanks
 

BrewUp

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#5
I'm quite anal about my mixing, I spend a lot of time trying different tunes together to see what works and what doesn't and then I'll only use tunes that I know work together. I mean, I don't look up what key they're in or anything, but it should be obvious if they clash, sound alright, or sound good together.
 

Howitzer

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#6
mixing in key can be frustrating, especially if youre not on a laptop with keylock.
the issue is, when you change the tempo of a track, you change the pitch. Therefore, anything youre mixing in the same key at a different tempo will probably clash.
It can work well though and I generally mix in key (mostly liquid dnb). Just make sure you know your tracks, have an idea of key and flavour, use your intuition and your ears.
Dont mix everything in the same key either. You can go up/down one or two keys at a time, +7 works for me too, and its always good to have a selection of keyless tracks, like ruffhouse, stuff thats really deep and minimal that'll mix with absolutely anything if you need to change it up quickly.
 

Forau

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#10
Looked into mixing in key for a while. Then it just ended up sucking the fun out of mixing when you think about it too much, so just thought "fuck it". Mix what sounds good. Simples.
 

saam

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#11
Vocal or tracks with melodies in them will only go with specific other tunes that are also vocal or melodic. To an extent anyways...
 

WhoSayReload?

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#13
I've never liked the idea of this key thing, use your ears and your imagination, nothing worse than making something so personal and creative formulaic.

- - - Updated - - -

I don't think any jump up djs worry about key.
I know that's tongue in cheek but still pretty dumb, most djs stick to one subgenre so they're basically all stuck to one tone of dnb.
 

Olllie

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#14
Mix what sounds good and chances are you're mixing in key anyway.

You don't have to analyse each track and know it's key, it's just about remembering the mood each track has and taking the mix on a smooth journey. E.g. You don't usually follow a melancholy roller with a huge happy dance-floor smasher.
 
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RUSSLA

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#15
Pros and Cons to both sides, in my experience do not ever use it religiously but as said for more melodic stuff it can really really help.

Knowing your tunes well is all you really need to create a vibe but using this can help if you get stuck on a mixtape etc.
 
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#17
Strictly in-key mixing takes the fun out of it. I found it useful on a few tracks that just couldn't be mixed in with anything but the same key tune (rregula - life on earth drove me insane!!), but besides that I find it just too limiting and frustrating! Just play whatever sounds good to you; it's way more creative not to mention the time spent on finding the right key tune to mix
 

Lorre

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#18
It's not as interesting as it seems/sounds. I gave it a try aswell when I still wandered around on different DJ-sites that apparently advertise mixing in key alot. First, as been mentioned before, there is the issue with pitching. You lose the key of your track, and most people who 'mix in key' basically mix tracks that have been analyzed in the same key. As with anything in music, in my opinion, trust your ears. And most of all, just enjoy what you're doing. Technology helps us alot in figuring out BPM's, keys & what not, but don't forget to just tear out some tunes & enjoy it.
 
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#20
End of the day it's a decent tool to have available sometimes, but the same as everything in life use in moderation don't ridiculously use it the same way you wouldn't ridiculously eat weetabix and milk every morning you wouldn't realise how good vodka and weetabix goes if you never try it.
 
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