15. Harmonic Mixing

After the relative intensity of the production chapters previously, I thought I’d take thing’s down a notch for this post and talk a little about harmonic mixing and how I implemented into the remake.

HARMONIC MIXING THEORY

Harmonic mixing operates on the basis that as tracks are usually written in a particular musical key, in theory by understanding what key your records are in, you can then mix compatible keys together to create more fluid and harmonious transitions.

At it’s most basic form the technique relies on the age old ‘circle of fifths’ which as anyone familiar with music theory will know, is a tool portraying the relationship between the tones on the chromatic scale, and the amount of sharp or flats contained in a key.

 

Click To Enlarge

 

When looking at the above diagram, harmonic mixing comes into practice by understanding that blending a record in a particular key one step to the right or left, or directly above or below can in effect create a ‘harmonic mix’.

For example if you have a track using the Am scale, you can mix with:

  • Am (the same key otherwise known as the tonic)
  • C Major (3 steps above in the scale also known as the relative minor)
  • Dm (4 steps above in the scale also known as the subdominant or ‘perfect 4th’)
  • Em (5 steps above in the scale also known as the dominant or ‘perfect 5th’)

Another element of key mixing that I used within the project was to use the tone directly above or below in the scale, for example Am into Bm or Fm into Ebm, which although not strictly harmonic, gave the impression of an energy surge or a sense of drama as the scale uses notes not familalr with the previous key.

As with everything in music theory, the topic of harmonics is a very deep subject, far beyond the scope of this blog, and although the above guidelines are a very basic introduction to the subject, the truth is that there is no limit to what you can achieve if you understand music, scales, modes and chords as music all works on the same basic fundamentals.

TRANSPOSITION

A point I’d like to cover in this section is that due to using Ableton’s time stretching algorithm for the mixing, I had the ability to lock the tracks tempo but change the key – something that would have been impossible on vinyl back in 1998  due to the fact that turntables work on the principal of varispeed, in which altering the tempo would also alter the pitch.

I believe that for most instrumental tracks a change in +/-1 semitones is fine, but anything more can be quite noticeable, and for vocal tracks I find it is a definite no go area, although it does have creative uses – Madonna famously had her voice pitched up on ‘Like A Virgin’ to give the illusion of her being younger, and Tom Jones did the same thing on ‘Stoned In Love’ – his collaboration with  Chicane in 2006.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “15. Harmonic Mixing”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




CONTENTS

1. Welcome
2. Rationale Behind The Project
3. My Background
4. Euphoria Brand Background
5. Original Compilation Analysis Part 1
6. Original Compilation Analysis Part 2
7. What Makes An Anniversary Edition?
8. Obtaining The Tracks
9. Importing The CDs
10. Importing The Vinyl
11. Third Party Influences
12. Mixing The Album Part 1: The Live Sessions
13. Track Warping In Ableton Live
14. Mixing The Album Part 2: The Studio Sessions
15. Harmonic Mixing
16. Track Editing
17. Mastering The Compilation
18. The Artwork

TRACK EDITING: DISC ONE

01: Karen Ramirez - Looking For Love (Trouser Enthusiast’s Joy Of Sex Mix)

02: Chakra - Home (Original Mix)

03: Billy Hendrix - Body Shine (Original 12 Inch Mix)

04: Da Hool - Meet Her At The Love Parade (Nalin & Kane Remix)

05: Faithless - Insomnia (Moody Mix)

06: The Egg - Getting Away With It (Rollo Indared Mix)

07: Heliotropic - Walk With Me (Mix No.1)

08: Josh Wink - Higher State Of Consciousness (Dex & Jonesy's Higher Stated Mix)

09: A.T.G.O.C - Repeated Love (Ibiza Mix)

10: Moonman - Don't Be Afraid (Brittany Remix)

11: Lost Tribe - My Soul

12: Rodd-Y-Ler - Lifesigns

13: Ventura - Birds (Instrumental)

14: Armin - Blue Fear (Trouser Enthusiasts E.B.E Remix)

15: Coyote - Spirits Dancing (Mix#1)

16: Paul Van Dyk - For An Angel (PVD E-Werk Club Mix)

17: B.B.E - Seven Days And One Week (Club Mix)

18: BT - Flaming June (BT & PVD Mix)

TRACK EDITING: DISC TWO

01: Way Out West - Domination (Album Version)

02: Jam & Spoon - Stella

03: Nalin & Kane - Beachball (Original Club Mix)

04: Hybrid - Symphony (Original Mix)

05: Ruff Driverz Presents Arrola - Dreaming (Lange Mix)

06: Bedrock - Set In Stone

07: Humate - Love Stimulation (Paul Van Dyk's Love-Club Mix)

08: The Age Of Love - The Age Of Love (Paul Van Dyk Love Of Age Mix)

09: Energy 52 - Café Del Mar '98 (Original Three 'N One Mix)

10: The Space Brothers - Shine (Full Vocal 12" Mix)

11: Agnelli & Nelson - El Niño (Matt Darey Latino Remix)

12: Brainbug - Nightmare (Original Sinister Strings Mix)

13: Lucid - I Can't Help Myself (Judge Jules Remix)

14: Sash! - Encore Une Fois (The Powerplant 'Toke On This' Mix)

15: Mike Koglin - The Silence (12" Club Mix)

16: Binary Finary - 1998 (Matt Darey Mix)

17: Blue Amazon - No Other Love (Original 12" Mix)

18: Lost Tribe - Angel


%d bloggers like this: