In music theory, the key of a piece is the group of pitches, or scale, that forms the basis of a music composition in classical, Western art, and Western pop music. - Wikipedia
How this relates to mixing music, is that some music keys clash and do not sound well together, while others do. When trying to mix 2 songs with keys that do not work well together, you get unpleasant sounding music.
This section will cover the basics of using software to determine music key, and general basics of which keys go well together in order to know how to properly mix music within musical keys. First, find what format your software anaylzes and displays song key, and then follow my basic rule of thumb below:
As a basic rule of thumb:
- Mix songs with the same key.
- Mix songs minor/major of the same key.
- Mix songs +/- 1 key number (same as major or minor respectively).
*More advanced rule of thumb and explanations/demonstrations available in the full training.
Examples of Improper Key Mixing
Examples of Proper Key Mixing
Harmonic Mixing Key Wheel Diagrams:
(right click save as to download)