Marcos Milos ​TECH + TOOLS

Mixed In Key is widely touted by mega-DJs such as Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Markus Schulz, and Pete Tong as an essential and simple to use utility to improve their workflow in both production and DJing. This week marks the release of version 6.0 of their energy, tempo, and key-detection software, replacing version 5 which first debuted back in 2011.

The software now benefits from additional multi-core support for a fast-as-possible analysis and a virtual piano to allow direct user comparison with its results. The biggest visible difference within Mixed in Key 6.0  is that a song’s result is now broken into sections to illustrate fluctuations in energy as well as key throughout the track – first seen within their Flow DJ Software.

Yakov Vorobyev of Mixed in Key elaborates more on the internal changes, “The previous version analyzed the melody and combined all “A” notes into one overall value for “A”, regardless of octave. Similarly, all C# notes would be combined into a single “C#” value for analysis. The limitation was that the bassline would be analyzed together with the lead synths, pads, et cetera. The new version has access to 6 times more detail because it listens to the entire 88 note piano roll. It can separate the bassline from the other synths and take that into account during analysis. So, the results sound more harmonic and we’re really happy with the quality.”

Mixed in Key 6

Rather than resort to the behemoth known as iTunes, many of us today organize our music first in Windows Explorer or Macintosh Finder before migrating it into our audio application(s) of choice. With the release of Mac OS X Mavericks and the new Finder Tags feature there’s room to enable a robust and powerful array of automated tagging options, including (albeit limited) color tags for the key itself. One thing we’d we’d love to see the team tweak in an update is the piano. In its current state it responds to the mouse only, enabling keyboard usage would provide a more natural experience.

As with any new software some users are reporting issues. Techno and minimal tracks which were successfully keyed with version 4 and 5 now indicate a harmonically neutral key of ‘None’. Other’s have fielded problems re-tagging their files and our usage does not display the same changing energy level. The support staff are very helpful and expect to straighten out these kinks soon.

Even amidst these minor inconveniences and quips we can’t recommend this software enough.

A new user license for Mixed in Key is $58 for Mac or Windows & ​​Version 5 owners can optionally upgrade at a discounted $29.99.

Not quite sure what harmonic mixing is and if it will aid your goals as a musician or DJ? Watch this tutorial from Dubspot to learn more about this powerful software.