Which Key Signiture To Choose For Tune


Drench Audio
VIP Junglist
May 21, 2007
I never really gave it much thought before, but I produced all my tunes in A minor, as it was easy on the keys coz it has no accidentals.

But when I played some of my tunes out on a CD deck mixed with some vinyl it didn't really harmonically sit right in the mix compared to most other tunes.
So I checked on Chemical Records with the harmonic mixing key and found a lot of dnb tunes were in G minor, so transposed all my songs down a tone, burnt a new disc and tried again but the same thing happened.

This was especially bad when mixing with subfocus - x-ray as it's in G# Minor, and melodies with a semitone difference clash horribily.

Sorry it sounds so complex, just wondering if any producers who play out their tunes have any tips or suggestions.

the majority of my collection is in a min, and it's what i was going to suggest :-/ so that's pretty weird....
There are lots of tracks in the same key that just don't work for a lot of reasons.

let's say you're mixing two tracks, track A and track B, they're both in the same key.

The problem could lie within octave differences, track A could be in G minor, but it could all pivot around the G above C6, while track B pivots around the G above C3. Sometimes if you try to mix two tracks like this you'll just get a really thick sounding mess that doesn't really work.

Or most commonly, it could be because the chord progressions in each song are completely different.

Track A might go from the first to the fourth, fifth, fifth. While track B might go from the first to the seventh, fifth, fourth. When track A hits the last fifth chord, track B is hitting it's fourth chord, this means you'll hear some horrendous clashing, even though they're in the same key.

To be honest there's no real solution to this problem, other than mixing track A with something else, or track B with something else. Sometimes a mix just wasn't meant to be.

Sorry if this is too convoluted or if I've rambled btw lol. Hopefully this helps
Most people write in G, F# or F
G is good a root to use... The lowest sub
is very close to 50hz...
that way your kick sits an 8ve above
that at 100hz and the snare at 200hz
one 8ve above the kick.. all in key
and punching through in the right

getting any lower than F pushes the
root to low for the subs... doesnt get
enough energy as a lot of systems cant
handle going that low... 50Hz is
about right...

any higher it starts to move outta the sub
and interfere with kicks low mids etc...
gCheers for the responses

I've been analysing the different tracks, both mine and the ones I was mixing with, to see why they were clashing so badly, my track was using a Gminor Dorian scale, whereas a lot of the tracks were using a melodic minor, so the diminished and augmented fifths often clashed along with some other intervals.

Also, even if they are in the same key, the tunes have to be pitched up or down to sync beats so sound slightly detuned.

I've never given harmonic mixing much thought, apart from when it was obvious to hear, but guess i'm just going to have to plan mixes more carefully.
90% of DnB is written in minor to create a more serious or dramatic sound. Nursery rhymes tend to be written in major for a more playfull sound.
...the Camelot rule doesn't always work - that's where practice & preparation comes in to experiment with what works and what doesn't.
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