Harmonic Mixing

…is the natural evolution of beat mixing: mixing in compatible keys. By mixing harmonically, you can avoid sour mixes caused by clashing melodies and harmonies. You can mix long overlays without depending on percussion free beats. Harmonic mixing allows you to be more creative by artistically combining harmonies and melodies in ways that please even the most demanding ears. You can then achieve perfect sounding mixes which audiences crave! :-)

Topics

Motivation

Do composers choose their notes randomly? Of course not. Harmonic mixing theory gives DJs and remixers the knowledge to select songs and samples intelligently by utilizing music theory to find harmonically compatible elements. It enables them to be more creative by artistically combining melodies and harmonies, thus creating entirely new compositions.

There are 12 major keys and 12 minor keys in which most Western music is written. Of the 24 possible keys, only 6 keys are compatible with any given key (4 are in perfect harmony, 2 are in reasonable harmony). This means that only 25% (6/24) of all possible choices are harmonically compatible (in reality, probably less). A beat-mixing DJ would have to test at least four melody overlays to find one which is harmonically compatible. 75% of this time is wasted! By applying harmonic mixing theory, a DJ can make more intelligent selections of songs which will make good sounding mixes.

If you found you've been avoiding sour mixes by using percussion breaks or free beats from one of the songs being mixed, then learning harmonic mixing is a must! Your creativity is severely limited when you cannot combine melodies and harmonies while mixing. Harmonic mixing is a technique of mixing different keys artistically, instead of randomly, in order to create pleasing musical blends rather than bland or sour mixes. It is a skill that seperates the human jukeboxes and personality jocks from the true artists.

Art is about form, texture, movement and composition. A DJ mixing harmonically controls these elements to produce a cohesive whole, much as a composer may write a duet: both parts must be harmonically related as well as rhythmically synchronized. The future holds the greatest opportunities for the DJ artist who can spin new musical tapestries through harmonic mixing.

MixShare provides both the tools and information needed to mix harmonically. The online music database is the largest collection of song key and BPM information in the world, with entries on over 500,000 unique songs and growing! Furthermore, the music library tool Rapid Evolution contains features to make harmonic mixing a breeze. MixShare aims to help DJs share and make use of music knowledge to fully enable their artistic creativity!

Examples

For examples of harmonic mixes, check out the following:

Here are some artists who have been known to mix harmonically:

 
harmonic_mixing.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/09 11:59 (external edit)