Key Detection Has Been Added To DEX 3.5.5, But How Does This Benefit DJs?

Key mixing in DEX 3

DEX 3.5.5 is now equipped with musical key detection for harmonic mixing.  This means DEX 3 can calculate and display key for all your audio, video and karaoke files.

Under the general tab in DEX 3’s options tick the box for ‘musical key detection‘ and when you load a track into any deck, key will be calculated automagically. Key is then displayed next to the key step buttons located in any of DEX 3’s decks (default 3.5 skins only).  You’ll be provided 2 key options per track:  A modified Camelot (pre “/”) and the musical notation (post “/”).

So now that key is available in each deck and in the DEX 3 browser, how do you benefit from it?

Mixing songs in the same key, otherwise mixing tracks harmonically, has become a popular technique with pro DJs in recent years. Tracks simply blend better when in the same key, providing the ability to create on-the-fly mashups without key clashes.  Mixing songs on beat is fundamental, but if the melodies don’t intertwine seamlessly the result is clashing keys and a poor quality mix.

As Wikipedia explains it:

“The primary goal of harmonic mixing is to create a smooth transition between songs. Songs in the same key do not generate a dissonant tone when mixed. This technique enables DJs to create a harmonious and consonant mashup with any music genre.”

DEX 3 also provides a key stepper for pitch shifting, so you can change the key of one track to better match another.

There are many advanced key mixing techniques we’ll touch on in future blog posts, but our suggestion to try your hand now at mixing in key is to select two tracks of the same key (IE: 9A and 9A) and have a play.  You’ll immediately notice how very easy it is to mix songs harmonically in key with DEX 3.5.5, and how mixing in key can open the door to exciting creative possibilities during all your DJ sets.


Have questions about DEX 3.5.5’s Key Detection? Please leave them in the comments section below!