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Fuzzy Keymixing Explained: A DJ's Harmonic Hack

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Fuzzy keymixing is an emerging harmonic concept for DJs, giving them a new way to think about mixing and transitioning tracks. 

This is an evolution of core DJing concepts like the Camelot Wheel and Harmonic Mixing, which companies like Mixed In Key and other DJ software have pioneered. 

The main difference between fuzzy keymixing, and regular keymixing, is that the 'rules' of which keys you can combine aren't so rigid. Yet, the harmonic flow from one track to the next is equally smooth. 

This guide explains the details and nuances of fuzzy keymixing and shows how to use DJ.Studio's AI automixer to automatically order your setlists using the fuzzy technique. 

TL;DR - Fuzzy Keymixing #

  • Fuzzy keymixing is a new harmonic mixing technique conceptualized by Phil Morse of Digital DJ Tips. 

  • Compared to traditional keymixing, fuzzy keymixing is more flexible and less rigid. 

  • Fuzzy mixing allows you to break away from certain harmonic limitations and mix a wider range of tracks together.

  • DJ.Studio has a powerful automix tool with harmonic mixing, fuzzy keymixing, and mood mixing options. 

Keymixing Overview#

Keymixing is a core DJing technique, where the DJ considers the keys of tracks when they mix them. With 'Harmonic Keymixing', DJs would use the Camelot Wheel and Circle of Fifths to work out which songs could be mixed with the current track, by determining harmonically matching keys. 

Find out more details on key mixing in our full guide: Harmonic Mixing Explained.  

Traditional keymixing (influenced by Mixed In Key and other key sync DJ software), would suggest that you should mix tracks that are an exact key match, the relative key (major/minor), the dominant key (perfect 5th), or the sub-dominant key (major 4th). 

This ensures that the incoming track is in a closely related key to the first track and that each key change will be very smooth. However, it can be unnecessarily restricting and prevents you from even considering other tracks that could work just as well. 

This is where fuzzy key mixing comes into play - a concept refined by Phil Morse of Digital DJ Tips to give a fresh perspective on harmonic mixing. Read his original post here: Fuzzy Key Mixing on Ditial DJ Tips

Fuzzy Keymixing #

The main difference of fuzzy keymixing is that it suggests that DJs can mix with a wider range of connected keys. 

For example, in traditional Camelot Wheel/Harmonic Mixing, a song in 8A would be suggested to mix with the same key (8A), 7A, 8B, or 9A. 

However, with fuzzy keymixing, you can ignore the letter (which dictates the major/minor quality of the key), and instead just focus on the numbers. So you could also mix an 8A track with 7B and 9B. (Find out more about Musical Keys: Explained).

This opens more doors when you throw in DJ tools like key shift software, which is included in most DJ apps. This means that you don't need to keep the tracks in their original keys, and you can shift the next track up or down by 1 or 2 semitones.

The diagram above shows you how fuzzy keymixing works, or you can use software like DJ.Studio to help you with the calculations. 

How To Use Fuzzy Keymixing in DJ.Studio #

dj studio fuzzy keymixing automix

DJ.Studio is a unique piece of DJ software - fitted with powerful mix-creation tools

Unlike standard live mixing apps like rekordbox, Traktor, Serato, and Virtual DJ; DJ.Studio uses a 'studio-based' approach to mix creation. 

Rather than working with decks and a mixer, DJ.Studio uses a DAW-style timeline to create mixes, as well as a range of other handy tools. 

One relevant feature here is the automix tool, which allows you to use Camelot Wheel or Fuzzy Key Mixing to help sculpt the order of your setlist. 

By analyzing the keys of tracks in your mix, DJ.Studio can recommend the best order based on your choice of harmonic mixing methods.

Fuzzy keymixing playlist.

Let's look at the workflow steps to understand how to use this feature. 

  1. Open DJ.Studio - you can use the app, or run it in your browser. 

  2. Make a new project - There are three types:

    1. Local File Project - This uses your downloaded music collection to make mixes. You can even connect DJ.Studio to your main DJ software to sync music libraries. 

    2. YouTube Project - You can make mixes with tracks on YouTube and Spotify, and then share it on our powerful YouTube community mix platform. 

    3. Beatport Project - DJ.Studio has an integration with Beatport Streaming, allowing you to access the enormous library of music, and try out any song before buying them. 

  3. Add songs to your mix - Start off by adding tracks to your project that you want to use in the mix. 

  4. Automix - Now you can use the automix to rapidly create the perfect order for your mix using harmonic mixing and beatmatching. You can set the preference between key and BPM, and choose between Mood (Camelot Wheel) or Fuzzy Keymixing.  

  5. Edit the mix - After your set order is generated, you can start to refine your mix with the powerful timeline editor. This is full of controls, features, and tools so you can sculpt the mix in as much detail as you want. You can use the transition presets for some quick blends, or get in deep with the manual editor. 

  6. Export your mix - When you're happy with your overall mix, it's time to export it and share it with the world. Depending on what type of project you used, you will have a range of export options available. 

    1. YouTube - YouTube mixes can be shared on our online mix platform. Here, you can make a DJ profile, share mixes with a URL link or QR code (people don't need an account to listen to them), interact with other DJs and leave comments on their mixes.

    2. Beatport - Beatport mixes can be shared with the private Beatport community, or you can use the Legalize feature. This smart feature creates a Beatport shopping cart so you can buy and download the tracks, which are then automatically recreated as a Local File mix, giving you more export options. 

    3. Local File - This type of mix has the most export options. You can rapidly render your mix as a WAV or MP3, you can create a fully animated music video to upload to YouTube, you can export your mix as an Ableton Live multitrack project, or you can create a DJ set file to share it with your live DJ mixing software - getting you ready for a performance. 

DJ.Studio's unique workflow gives DJs a new way to experiment with music and make mixes. Rather than being restricted to rehearsing and recording mixes with decks, you can now make a full, perfect mix from a laptop alone. 

dj studio carousel

This expands the creative horizons for DJs. You can make promo mixes on the move, you can masterfully experiment and prepare your next live show while you're on an airplane to the club, or you can make hypnotic and engaging animated videos to please your fans and boost your online presence. 

These are just some of the possibilities offered by DJ.Studio, but in reality it can do so much more. Have a look through the rest of this website for more info, or check it out yourself with the free 14-day trial. 

Finally...#

dj studio stem separation

Using fuzzy keymixing can help DJs to break free of self-imposed limits from harmonic mixing and the Camelot Wheel. 

This new way of thinking about key mixing is a powerful and important concept - that you should learn, and start integrating into your DJ workflow. 

DJ.Studio can help you get your head around this concept, as well as make the process of building fuzzy mixes easier thanks to the automixer

It's the perfect tool for planning and making DJ mixes smoother and more detailed than ever! 

Test it out today with the 14-day free trial and see how this can accelerate your DJ workflow. 

FAQs About Fuzzy Keymixing

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