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How To Organize Your Music CDs for Harmonic Mixing

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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Saturday, April 14, 2007 4:25 AM
Hi everyone, Here is a method that may help you organize your music CDs. It's fun, easy to use, and helps you get into Harmonic Mixing. Organize Your CDs For Harmonic Mixing 1. Detect the key of every song in your music collection 2. Burn separate CDs for each key. For example, put all your 8A tracks on one CD. Put 9A on another CD. 3. If you burn two copies of every CD, you can mix between songs in the same key. Added benefit: If one CD gets scratched, you can play another copy. 4. Print a CD label with the following information:
  • Keycode on top (8 in this case)
  • Date the CD was made
  • Full track names
Using Color Labels Add some color on top. This will help you find the right CD because your visual memory will connect "8A" with red. We use three different colors to label our CDs: Blue for keycodes 11 to 1 Orange for keycodes 2 to 5 Red for keycodes 6 to 10 Here is an example of 8A: Here is an example of 4A: Here is 11A: Color Can Help You Color association helps you find CDs quickly. In a dark club, you'll remember that you burned your favorite tune onto a Blue CD. It must be in keycode 11, 12 or 1. You'll find it quicker if you use color labels on every CD. How To Sort Your CDs We usually put 1A / 1B in the front and 12A / 12B in the back. Sort your CDs from low numbers to high numbers. This way, you can flip one page forward or one page backward, and see other compatible songs. It makes finding "the next tune to play" very easy. In Summary
  • Burn separate CDs for each key
  • Make two copies of every CD
  • Sort your CD wallet from low to high numbers
Your CD collection will be a joy to browse. We have field-tested this method for many years and it worked great for us. Question For You How would you improve this method? What are your thoughts?
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Nephew
Saturday, April 14, 2007 5:58 PM
Nice! I love it. Now if you can help me find a way to organize this you'll be my hero! http://download.yousendit.com/97C52DA03AD3A764
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DJ Nikol
Sunday, April 15, 2007 9:13 PM
Hey How do i make labels like this on CD's?
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Monday, April 16, 2007 12:45 AM
Hi, We used the free software that came with our printable CD labels. In our CD template, we created a rectangle on top, filled it with solid color, and put white text over it. It was pretty easy. It took a bit of practice to get it right, but the results look great in person.
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Ashley M
Monday, April 16, 2007 7:12 AM
As you know Yakov I use this method and its great. A good touch with the colour (color) coding though. I've got a similar label program and can give this ago too (I can just use a coloured pen to add a patch to the disks already in my case and presto). Fellowes CD label kit and software is what I use & should be able to get it from an office store like Staples or something.
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davidstone
Friday, April 20, 2007 1:34 AM
Thanks for this - I've been drowning in ways to figure this dilemma out, and I'm almost ashamed for not thinking of this myself. I'm gonna start this weekend, I think!
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Darren
Friday, April 20, 2007 2:39 PM
I really think this will work well I have individual cd single originals in prosleeves with song/title & key at the top it is ok but means I still carry a lot. I am going to attempt this plan with the purchase of some cd labels. The only problem I can see is that for new releases that you are currently playing you have to wait for several tracks in the same key before burnin a complete disc of one type.........
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Ashley M
Friday, April 20, 2007 8:45 PM
Yes true, You will still have to label your new CDs key and just include them in your case until more tracks mount up.
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Aybe
Saturday, April 21, 2007 8:26 AM
Hello Nephew, I have been looking at you DB, it is interesting the Place & Mood fields ! Can you tell more about how you use that for mixing ? Thank you !
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Saturday, April 21, 2007 5:03 PM
The only problem I can see is that for new releases that you are currently playing you have to wait for several tracks in the same key before burnin a complete disc of one type......... That's true, and it's a big problem with this method. I often have to burn "in between" CDs until I have enough new tracks in a particular key.
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joey
Friday, May 4, 2007 10:14 PM
Hello all, I have a few questions- What CDR brand is the best for recording (mitsui/ taiyo yuden) gold, silver, white? Is there any known brand that is inkjet printable audio CDR that will NOT degrade sound quality on a big sound system? Yes, I know by playing CD's instead of vinyl we are allready degrading sound. I'm not too found of using those sticker type lables in a $1000+ CDJ. As for programs, has anyone tried Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker? I have lightScribe but it does not do the color thing and I have yet to find a good audio cdr thats compatible other than Hewlett Packard (not realy meant for audio). At the moment I've been using the good old sharpie, but the system described looks more organized indeed. Thanks for the heads up.
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electroanarc
Saturday, May 5, 2007 4:15 AM
I use inkjet printable Taiyo Yuden. Have never had any issues. I then use Canon Pixma iP4300 to print directly on to disc from a program called Audiolabel. strAta
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joey
Sunday, May 6, 2007 11:20 AM
Any links on where to buy the cds you use? Are these the ones your referring to http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=006&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=160036670465&rd=1&rd=1
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Monday, August 6, 2007 11:16 PM
Bump for this old topic because more DJs may find it useful.
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Darren
Sunday, August 12, 2007 5:42 PM
I have embraced this method of organising my music and I am really impressed by the difference it has made. Firstly I had a Dj box stuffed with cd singles and & 2 Cd folders (holding 240 each) containing mainly older tracks and other genres. I now have one caselogic folder which holds 240 cds. This combines all my music from all genres past and present. No more jewel cases or cd albums which I previously kept for just 1 or 2 tracks. The colour coding doesn't really work for me I find I will just move up and down the scale selecting tracks without pre planning. One tip is to make your printed text big, bold and clear and only use 8-10 tracks per cd. Also put your favourite/most popular tracks at the top of your printed cd label - it saves you scanning across your cds to find your big tunes! Lastly I keep a different colour cd for all my new tracks (try and download several every week) and label them by month until you have enough tracks in a particular key to burn another cd. Thats it, give it a try, I hope it works for you. If anyone else has any other tweaks or advice regarding organising please share your thoughts.
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Alex Evans
Saturday, October 6, 2007 10:43 AM
hey yakov ive jsut started using this system 2day and im burning my 2007 and 6 collection as we speak, i think it mite take a week from now at this rate! lol good system tho, genuinely looking forward to using the system, i always run out of time to find a record thats compatible!
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DJ a)ex O.
Sunday, November 4, 2007 2:41 AM
I bought Avery CD Labels but it did not come with a template. I tried checking Avery.com and only found something for PCs? Does anyone else know of another FREE template program for Mac? Using just MS word is very tricky trying to line up the text within the print area. Thanks, DJ a)ex O.
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mark_alexandre
Sunday, November 4, 2007 3:36 PM
Yakov - I must be missing something. But how do you tell the difference between 8A and 8B - From looking at your sample photos, I just see #08... is there some kind of coding I am not aware of?
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Sunday, November 4, 2007 3:59 PM
Hi Mark, Good question. I don't have a lot of Major tracks, so I put them on the same CDs as minors. My CD labels look like this: #08 - Nov 2007 (Red color) 1. Artist - Track 2. Artist - Track 3. Artist - Track 4. Artist - Track 5. Artist - Track (8B) 6. Artist - Track (8B) 7. Artist - Track (8B) I recommend printing the major keycode (8B) after the track name. That way you can easily find major keys in your collection.
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mark_alexandre
Sunday, November 4, 2007 5:11 PM
Thanks for the response! OK - i'm new to this, but if I understand correctly, you basically: Find the Key for all your music Label your cd's as such (i.e. - 1,2,3,4...etc) For the most part they will be in "A", or "Minor Keys" You can mix within the same number,one above, one below... or, if you want to go up a semitone or two, you can mix +7 on the number scale, or +2, respectively... and same goes for mixing DOWN a semitone or two... (as for the "B's" or "Major Keys" there most likely won't be many, and if there are - you can just mix with them in the same exact manner. Is this all correct?
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Sunday, November 4, 2007 5:28 PM
Yep, you are 100% correct about my labeling procedure. My only recommendation is to not mix -2, or -7... It's the opposite of an energy boost, so it slows down the dance floor. People may stop dancing.
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Dj Stix
Tuesday, November 27, 2007 6:25 AM
surely if u put to many mp3 s on a cdr it weakens the sound,all my mp3 are single with the key note wrote on them.
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DJ Hooker
Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:48 AM
There is no reason why it would weaken the signal. It's digital and not effected by by the amount of data on the disk. However if you have more tracks on a CD it will take a marginally more time to read the track info( I'm guessing in fractions of seconds) Also I find that CDs wear the most on the outside lip. CDs are written from the inside toward outside so the tracks near the end of the CD tend to be the first to skip due to regular use.
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Ourfriend722
Sunday, December 2, 2007 10:55 PM
This method is neanderthal, considering the software technology of virtual DJ software. Do you know how many tracks DJs have in thier music files, to then have to seperate and record them all on CD, so they can use your software to their advantage? This method is time consuming to say the least. Your engineers have to make this software to be able to be play in any DJ software, which is the new DJ technology being used today. One should be able to copy and paste the results your software finds or add the results to the tracks within the folders they were scan from.
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Tuur
Monday, December 3, 2007 7:33 AM
The software actually does that. This thread is about what to do when you are using CD's - have a look at the topic title...
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Ryan_Harmonic
Monday, December 3, 2007 2:41 PM
Quite a good system this . ive usually jut labelled my cds up seperatley.But now ive got far too many cds and its getting to be a headache .Im going to use this system though but ill also add bpm info.and somehow work out a method for working out tracks that work together (percussion wise) not sure how to put this info on cds though , more of a dj box thing i use for that . a great system for cutting down how many cds you have though :)
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Sentient
Monday, December 10, 2007 3:51 AM
1. Great idea! I will start doing this asap, sounds like a much much better way to organize and locate good mixes. 2. I might use more than 3 colors to differentiate between keys. Maybe purple, yellow, green, pink as well. Couldn't hurt! =) 3. Yes, this is for people who mix with CDs. You laptop DJs don't need to think of this as something you need to do, just organize your music folders the same way if you wanna. 4. Just had to say... WHY are you guys playing mp3s????? lol sorry, couldn't resist. Being an audio engineer as well as a DJ (and audiophile), I never ever play mp3s, because, even at 320kbps, the compression is getting rid of almost 7/8ths of the track. Meaning, the software that shrinks the file down from 80Mb to 10Mb is getting rid of frequencies above 16kHz and below 60-100Hz. IMO, especially when playing on a big system, it deteriorates the sound quality too much. But hey, if mp3s work for you, then go for it! =) Maybe it's because I spin psytrance, and there's such an emphasis on production. It seems that psytrance audiences are super sensitive to sound quality, more so than most people who go out dancing. I just wish sometimes that I wouldn't be so picky, lol. But then again, I'm glad I'm not. ;-) 5. As for the outside part of the cd deteriorating, I found a solution that works wonders. First, try not to put more than 8 tracks on a CD. Nine at the most. Never 10 or more. That way, the outermost layer of your CD doesn't have any info that could be scratched or deteriorate over time. The second solution is to use SLAPPA CD cases. The design guys at that company are geniuses! Not only do they make some of the most stylish and durable CD cases around, they have a brilliant design that adds extra fabric above the CD insert, so that when you put your CD in it, there's always a soft material rubbing against the outermost data. Even after putting a CD in and out of the case hundreds and hundreds of times, NO deterioration at all. Plus, they give you 2 cd inserts per spot, so you can have 2 CDs in each space, or 1 CD with 1 tracklisting. Killer. If you wanna check out their stuff, go to: http://www.slappa.com/site/index.htm Anyways, thanks Yakov, you have saved me countless hours of banging away on my keyboard and listening to each track. Your software rocks, and I tell all my friends to get their ass in gear and buy it. Cheers.
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hanahool
Thursday, December 13, 2007 4:28 AM
Hi there, Sorry if this query has been covered already, i couldnt see it anywhere.. This system is great for older tunes, but it wont work for me because of the reason mentioned a few times.. it takes a while to accumulate current tunes all in the same key. What I have been doing is simply labelling the key along with the track name and artist on my cds ( i am using the canon ip4500 cd printer ). I really want this process to be simple so that i can churn out my cds quickly before a gig, but ive come across a problem. I use TOAST 8 to burn my music, and ive tried using the cd label design application which it comes with by importing the toast tracklist. toast ONLY gives you the track name which makes the renaming of my files in mixed in key useless. I want to be able to in this order: 1. Download tunes off beatport 2. Analyze the songs in MIK, and Rename files to be eg. 8A Artist - Track 3. Burn the CD 4. Print onto the CD - Track Number - 8A Artist Track Ive been suprised how difficult this has been - the closest ive come is to create an itunes playlist and copy and paste into a word document, but there does seem to be a way to put the artist (which contains the key before it) before the track name Any suggestions?? Cheers guys
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ario
Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:58 AM
I have numbered all of my tracks imported into MIK simply as 1 2 3...etc I also marked my cd's with this number. I organized my music in MIK's browse collection into folders by type of song so if I want to play a vocal trance song next I open that folder and look for a similar bpm and matching key. With this system every time I purchase a track I give it the next number in my collection and place it in its folder type. This is great because when you feel like playing a good gritty electro house song you open that folder and bam nothing but gritty electro to choose from. Just another way....
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gemineye7
Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:36 AM
Nice work, any sugestions for a marking system for vinal man?
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Sunday, December 16, 2007 6:26 PM
Heya, For vinyl fans, put the stickers on your vinyl sleeves, and write down the key and tempo on the sticker. Then, arrange your record box starting with "1A" in the front, and "12B" in the back. It'll make finding tunes very easy. I used this method for many years before switching to CDs and it worked great for me.
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Archon
Monday, December 17, 2007 3:22 AM
just a thought...but would adding the BPM of each track help you find compatible mixes all across the range?
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iceberf
Thursday, December 20, 2007 6:39 PM
Hope in your mixing you are also considering what the tracks stand for. Listen to the story from the vocals, can be quicker by using track name, then make sure your next track's meaning (it's message) is following on the story. You can end up with a huge mix which not only is in key, beat matched perfect, finely tuned, but also the whole mix telling a story not just each idividual track. For example: Trk1: Windy Trk2: Cheekygirls Trk3: In My House Trk4: Smells Dreadful Trk5 : Ha ha ha ha ha hargh!
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e-Legal
Thursday, December 20, 2007 8:16 PM
Here is a very basic way , expanding on the tutorial mentioned on the first post... If you dont have a burner or a printer that prints on cds , like me , this is the cheapest and easiest way... I always had dilemma till this day on how to organize my cd library and after reading this guide it made me want to open an accuont and create a template for you n00bz this is a template i been using before for many of my collections but now i just modified it, making it easier to use with the tutorial listed above.... http://www.megaupload.com/?d=9613V1UX hope you guys enjoy it thanks again for a general idea on how to organize my collection :D :D :D I was going to mix my new mix, but after finding about this software , the new tracklist will be amazingness, considering after i ran the softwares most of my tracks are at 8A and 10A Myspace.com/Housessive
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djenzlive
Friday, January 11, 2008 12:01 PM
hi guys im kinda new to MIK, i was woundering is there any way on the software to have everything organized by the key? for example having all the 2a's then 3a's,4a's ,etc....?
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djenzlive
Friday, January 11, 2008 12:17 PM
nvm, im a retard... i figured it out.. lol
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walidnasser
Monday, January 28, 2008 11:50 AM
ive just analyzed all my traks in MIK and i was wondering, since i use Traktor Scratch for DJing is there a way i can automatically update my track collection with the keys for the tracks ive just analyzed or do i have to edit the track info manually? thanks!
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walidnasser
Monday, January 28, 2008 12:10 PM
i figured i have to delete the tracks from traktor and re add them to my track collection so the key would be displayed, however i would like the key info to be listed in camelot notation, is there a way i can do this or would i have to do it manually? also when i delete the tracks the track info that ive edited before is deleted, is there a way to avoid this? Help would be much appreciated, Thanks again!
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Monday, January 28, 2008 12:11 PM
Hi walidnasser, There most certainly is a way to update your key info in Traktor Scratch. Simply click on your tracks in Traktor and choose "Read file Async." This will make Traktor read the id3 tags again and update the info that you had Mixed In Key write into the tags according to your specifications in the preferences menu. If you had the "Write to InitialKey tag" option selected, you will be able to see your keys in the dedicated key field within Traktor. Let me know if you need further assistance. Cheers, Chad
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walidnasser
Monday, January 28, 2008 12:35 PM
Thanks for the help Chad, however when i select to read the ID3 Tags, all Traktor does is replace the track info ive written down with the original track info (as downloaded) and i still dont get the Key listings. Also like i asked earlier, can i have the key stated by Camelot notation? when im done im guessing i have to write the ID3 tags for my tracks so they get stored in the permanent memory (and on backups) as i want them? Thanks!
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Monday, January 28, 2008 9:38 PM
Hi walidnasser, It doesn't sound like you have your preferences in Mixed In Key set-up properly. You need to enable "Write song key into MP3 tag" under the "Key" menu of the Preferences window. Choose the option to "Write key in front of the Comments." Make sure that you have "Camelot Notation" selected in the main "View" menu. Now erase the results you already have from the "Browse Collections" window, add them to the "Analyze" window, and re-scan them. Now when you choose "Read file Async" in Traktor you should be able to view your key results in Camelot notation in the Comments field. When you do this, I don't think that Traktor should erase any info that you have already put in. If it is doing this, I'll see what I can do. I've recently gotten in touch with Native Instruments, and we are coordinating fixes for the issues that people are having with our software. Cheers, Chad
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brooksy
Thursday, January 31, 2008 6:07 PM
hi, i think its a good idea but if u orginize ur wallet in just key wont it be very differcult to find the sorta style of music u want. you cud have rocking electro tunes next to loads of minimal tunes. so it cud take ages to find the sort of music ur after in ur wallet. But i think that having the info on the cd will work for me but instead i`ll be putting my tunes in moods rather than key. Oh yea, cud u tell me what label sofwere u use and what printer. cheers
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:48 PM
Hi, I forgot the name of the software -- it was a generic label maker that came with the Avery labels. The printer is Canon i560 (a cheap inkjet).
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KrissO
Monday, February 4, 2008 11:24 AM
Thanks a lot for this method! I can see how it works so great, except for the part having enough tracks to make a complete cd. But I thought I'd give it a shot... The Canon Pixma iP4500 that hanahool is using was a test-winner on our biggest online store here in Norway. It's very cheap (125 euros), so I think I'll go for it. Are you happy with the printer hanahool? And with your use, how often do you need to buy new ink? However my question was. I see those Taiyo Yuden printable CDRs are VERY expensive. But a brand called eProformance is 2-3 times cheaper, anyone here have any experience with those? Or should I rather go for Verbatim? Cheers
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Tuesday, February 5, 2008 1:48 PM
Hi, I think that the CD brand doesn't matter -- as long as it's a good company, and you burn at a slow rate (no faster than 24x), you should be fine.
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KrissO
Thursday, February 7, 2008 7:09 PM
Thanks man, I just bought a 50 pack of Verbatim... and I also picked up my printer. I was really impressed by the result. My camera is bad, but here's a shot: http://www.dump.no/files/509df98d09d9/Photo0001.jpg I have another question. In my case, I will most likely use 4 colours; red, blue, green, yellow. 3 keys for each colour. What is the reason you used blue for 3 keycodes, orange for 4, red for 6? Why not use 4 for each colour?
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Yakov (Mixed In Key)
Thursday, February 7, 2008 9:41 PM
I am color-blind to an extent... For me, it's easier to tell between Orange, Red and Blue. If I add Green to the mix, it'll look the same as Orange :)
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Kenny B
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:17 AM
hi. i just can't get this straight to my head. i mean, why do we need to date the cd it was made? besides telling me that so u can remember when it was made? just this benefit? what others then? thanks alot!
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 12:43 PM
Hi Kenny B, I think that having the date on the cd just helps for organizing. Hmm, where is that cd? I think I burned it last month sometime...
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Kenny B
Sunday, February 24, 2008 9:15 PM
Hi, which text size do u guys used to print on the cd label? 10? 12? btw, im using nero cover designer software and i'm using this cd label brand TINLEX, TL-LABEL-NEATO-C. Thnx.
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KrissO
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 7:52 PM
I use arial for the title. For the key / ### part I use size 30 with bold. For the date part I use 20 without bold. For the tracklist I use times new roman size 12. Actually I wasn't aware I used different font types for the title / tracklist, weird. Yakov what font type do you use? Edit: And actually, I recently started to print the tracklist on paper instead and the CD itself only having the title part. It's just handier so you don't have to take out the cd to look at the tracklist, although you would probaby have cd text on your CDJs... as well as a second copy of the CD to look at. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what suits me...
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SS
Sunday, March 16, 2008 5:30 PM
yeah...or use your cd's multisession fuction and print the label at the end writing on the cd meanwhile.
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DJ Syo
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:55 PM
I burn two cd's with the same key but I skip one track in each cd. that way I don't have to burn them two times and i go from one song in one cd to another song in the other cd.
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djsmex
Saturday, March 29, 2008 6:48 AM
I'm using MIK & Traktor and have the Key & BPM put in the ID3 comment. What would be real nice is if it could put the music key (sharp/flat) in Traktors Key field, so it is a quick reference for key transpose. Also another idea someone told me was to analise your tracks key relative to bpm. IE set your tracks to the same BPM, say 130 then put its analysed key as relative to 130BPM. The idea is to help with knowing what key a track will transpose to when moving pitch up/down without a key-lock feature, useful when using vinyl on Technic SL's, as +/- 3% = 0.5 semi-tone (I believe).
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Saturday, March 29, 2008 2:41 PM
I'm using MIK & Traktor and have the Key & BPM put in the ID3 comment. What would be real nice is if it could put the music key (sharp/flat) in Traktors Key field, so it is a quick reference for key transpose. You can do this. Check the 'write to initial key tag' box in the preferences window. If you want the actual music key shown, change your view options to either sharp or flat keys before analyzing. Cheers, Chad
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Jonah Fresh
Sunday, April 6, 2008 8:01 AM
Maybe kickin in open doors here - as we say in Dutch - but because we usually play new tracks more often than old ones - several times a night even if you play several gigs -, I usually burn cd's labelled "New tracks date" and make sure that the key is added to the track name, so u can see it on the label. I keep these cd's in a separate holder. Depending on your buying volume this can be smaller or bigger. Once the "less recent most recent" tracks are removed from this holder, I burn them to a regular key number cd.
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crono_
Sunday, April 6, 2008 11:53 AM
Awesome thread, thanks again for the link Chad! I'll definitly try to incorporate this method once I fully switch to CD. One thing I'm curious about however was that there was very little talk of labeling tracks with their BPM or genre. Do people not worry so much about BPM's or genres and just mix them all together based on their key? Or do they use Master Tempo / Key Lock thus elliminating any real need to know a tracks BPM as it'll remain in the same key regardless of how much its pitch is adjusted. I'll probably be tweeking this method a bit and burning CD's based on key and then keeping similar BPM's together and then naturally keeping genres seperated, possibly in different CD books. Coming from using a laptop and serato for the last year this will be a huge change especially as I'm normally terrible at organizing things and even worse at keeping up with it! But I'm happy to put the "laptop dj" thing in the past. Less hassle with playing CD's. Once again, awesome thread!
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DJ Baruch
Sunday, April 6, 2008 11:24 PM
Guys very soon there will be no more cd's. So you ask what will there be right? its there now its called Serato so there for Save the planet use Serato and Mixed In key and your fine. Check out www.surroundsounddj.com for more info
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KrissO
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:55 PM
crono_, you're right. There hasn't been much mention of BPM in here, something which is pretty important. Most people won't be able to remember the BPM's of their tracks, maybe not even within the "3% pitch border". It must be kind of frustrating inserting a CD containing a favorite track which has the same key, only to notice that "damn, I didn't know this one was so fast". Ofcourse a little on the edge here... in most cases you would have a clue. Either way, after each trackname, I add the BPM of the track. Also if the track is not an A-key (minor), but a B-key (major) instead, I combine these. Example: 1. DJ Sammy - Heaven [138] 2. Scooter - Ramp [140-B] I also sort the tracklisting by their tempo, slowest to fastest. Check url. http://www.dump.no/files/bc5c8cbd3666/DSC00003.JPG Note, this is not the reason I do this, but the other big advantage of having the BPM on the tracknames is that you can almost guess where to put the pitch slider. So you give yourself a headstart. Now ofcourse if you're a DJ in the first place beatmatching should be a piece of cake. But then again, hearing what tracks sound good together should too ;) But the other reason I like this is because it trains you to calculate pitch % adjustment by comparing the BPMs :) So basically my method: Decide key: Go left or right between cds / pages. Decide tempo: Go up or down on the tracklists.
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Richie
Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:27 PM
I just organise everything by key. So in my bag I have all the minors organised as C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, then the majors in the same order. Simple. The CD's are labeled by key, then number, e.g. "Am 01", "Am 02" etc.
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djraskuchie
Thursday, May 22, 2008 7:59 PM
What about mp3s? Do you have a method for organising mp3s? I'm using Serato Scratch
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david smith
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:06 AM
like the idea with putting your tunes in 7a 8a etc.. but ive got a big libary with diffrent genre that isnt compatible how would you get around that .... any idea anyone
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:53 AM
bump
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deepcut
Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:00 AM
I like your method (burning tracks together by key its a great idea) the only problem i see.... is if you organize your cd wallet by key you will be loosing space for the fresh tunes..... i burns tons of tunes in a month...In house music release date is more revelant than key you always will be playing your freshier stuff so i will organize it by (date / key / genre) any suggestions???????????
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KrissO
Monday, July 28, 2008 8:46 AM
I guess that really depends on how many "tons" you actually burn. But I simply sort my CD wallet by month. And from there each month can be sorted in key. But to me it seems like even a month for you gets messy? What I simply do now is burn cds whenever I feel for it and each cd contains random tracks with random keys. The only thing I do is write the key and bpm behind each tracktitle. Otherwise the titles of the cds are like: 2008 aug 1 2008 aug 2 So aug 2 would be with the freshest tunes. But obviously: This method doesn't have too much focus on full on harmonic mixing and if you want to mix all tracks in key it's more work to read of the cds. But it's so much easier to burn the cds, to organize them in your wallet... and you'll always know where you have your freshest tunes.
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Chris Hawkes
Saturday, August 9, 2008 8:00 AM
I use a sligthly different approach to organising my collection, with both pros and cons. Basically, I'll run my entire collection trhough MIX and have the software rename my files to this standard: Key - bpm - artist - track (mix) After dividing them into the genres or styles that fit my gigs, I'll sort them all (least to highest) and burn them on CDS, using the filenames on the CD Covers. That way, I get CDs looking something like this: 1A - 126 - DJ Chus & Peter Gelderblom - Feelin' 4 You 1A - 126 - Steve Angello & Dave Armstrong - Groove in You [Steve Angello Mix] 2A - 124 - Mastik Soul - Macaron [Original Mix] 2A - 127 - Jona - Take Five [Original Mix] 2A - 128 - J Nitty ft Shirley Davis_ - Deep Down [Original Club Mix] I find that organising my tracks this way, makes it incredibly easy to stay composed throughout any gig and change the mood up or down both key- and speedwise. On the downside, however, it's rather time consuming and I have to update my collection quite often (make new CDs), to include all new purchases.
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ilasik
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:31 PM
Someone previously asked about mp3s? Does anyone have a great method for organizing mp3s? For those of us that use serato or traktor? thanks!
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Tiguru
Saturday, August 16, 2008 7:22 PM
Hi, Well I just started using Mixed in Key. For Software DJs, An excellent options is the one to change MP3 Tag and put Key & BPM before the artist name. Personalise your software to your need.
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coz
Sunday, August 31, 2008 12:11 PM
Yes, Traktor has a key box and you can search. I would suggest breaking your Traktor collection by genre and then searching by key. Traktor is even better because you can also change the pitch, so an 8A can change to a 10An without changing the tempo. Traktor rocks!
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RockyD
Sunday, August 31, 2008 6:49 PM
@coz, How do you find the key lock / pitch shift in Traktor? On their forums there's currently a thread suggesting the quality isn't that great when compared to Master Tempo on a Pioneer CDJ. :(
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ario
Monday, September 1, 2008 11:24 AM
FYI I would not suggest using ANY master tempo as this could degrade the quality of your sound. Instead try keeping your mix with in about + or - 3% of each track. This is used while mixing vinyl and should be used for digital also. The fun is in making a progression with out having to raise the BPM : ) cheers
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:21 AM
Just a friendly reminder guys, this thread is about organizing cd's. Please feel free to start a new thread to discuss other issues related to DJing. Thanks, Chad
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JennMartinello
Monday, October 6, 2008 11:31 PM
Question....? why don't you put the A next to the number 8 on your cd where it has #08 like #08 A or A#08 Just curious if it matters?
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 12:14 AM
Question....? why don't you put the A next to the number 8 on your cd where it has #08 like #08 A or A#08 Just curious if it matters? Out of 15,523 people who have read this thread, you're the first person to ask that question :) It does matter whether a track is in a minor or major key. I'll check with Yakov, but my guess is that he knows which tracks are minor and which are major, so just didn't find it necessary. Cheers, Chad
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Darren
Friday, November 7, 2008 7:56 PM
Has anyone any new ideas or further suggestions to this process? I currently burn one 'new' cd of tracks of various keys and keep them until the end of the month and then collate all the tracks and pick the most used and drop the others and then create a cd for each key. If there is not enough I then let it carry forward to the next month.
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EVOLVE
Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:25 AM
Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but I haven't been mixing that long. I am a self taught DJ and have always been concerned with the BPM of the songs. I am assuming that all the BPM's must be matched while taking the key into account. Am I correct in this assumption?
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Saturday, November 15, 2008 1:33 PM
Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but I haven't been mixing that long. I am a self taught DJ and have always been concerned with the BPM of the songs. I am assuming that all the BPM's must be matched while taking the key into account. Am I correct in this assumption? Please read this topic. Cheers, Chad
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topcat
Friday, November 21, 2008 1:17 AM
Hi Guys, Does anyone get fed up with using cd wallets.they are nice and light but not so easy if you have to keep rearanging your cds. For this reason I have reverted to using a cd flightcase. I compile cds by key order and you can just slip a new cd into the correct place without messing about. I also use alot of 1 track cds and these are even easier to organise as its just like having a mini record box. Anybody else use this methode
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Darren
Friday, November 28, 2008 6:11 PM
I use a large caselogic cd wallet 4 discs each side of the sleeve - newest tracks to the front and progressively older towards the back. This now means I carry less and take one cd wallet instead of several which is adequate for a 4 hour set.
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sbent
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 7:21 AM
one track cds r ok sometimes but i get fed up of havin 2 keep ejecting n it aint great for quick mixing either. as i play a set that starts slow and builds up i colour code tracks that are slow, building, hard etc. then in each category i burn the tracks in order of their key numbers. but we're all different. it's ok to copy other ppls ways but whatever works for u
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winwin
Saturday, December 13, 2008 7:42 PM
totally agree with you . Being old school DJ (Vynil and tapes ) , turned into modern DJ ( effective sound that will reach you into parts other Djs won't) , I sure try to find themes , mix vocal and instrumental that will tell a story . Not always easy , but then you dont have to make a full length movie , alternate spots no longer than 15 minutes mixes , or else they wont follow up . Keep changing moods and themes , youll always get some audience that will love it and others that will hate it , but not long enough to switch off . However , harmonics are very important too , which makes the job even harder and interesting . Specially so , when you have to run a straight 8 hours night radio program with no talk whatsoever, to save you from hazardous and unrelated mixes ,then you need plenty of ideas and top software to help you . Best of winwin
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jay_1981
Saturday, December 27, 2008 6:42 AM
how did u get your printer to print like that? im using a hp d5460 and it only seams to have set formats, im not sure if i can change it, i may be doing some thing wrong,,, any help would be great, thanks
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Saturday, December 27, 2008 9:28 AM
Hi jay_1981, Thanks for posting, I am happy to help. I believe that usually if you buy a CD label maker kit they come with software that contains the printing format. Cheers, Chad P
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jay_1981
Sunday, December 28, 2008 9:28 AM
yer the priner i bought did come with software contaning formats, but they cant fit many track names in, was hoping for a more simple format like u guys used, or similar
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Monday, December 29, 2008 5:38 PM
Hi jay_1981, I asked Yakov how he did this, and he said it was just a custom format that he made himself using text boxes. Cheers, Chad P
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jay_1981
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 6:58 AM
ok cheers for that, ill have a look see if i can sort out some thing similar, cheers for the help
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jay_1981
Wednesday, January 7, 2009 3:47 PM
im having trouble finding a program to let me make custom prints, as the 1 that came with my printer wont let me make custom prints, can any 1 recommend a program? thanks,
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009 6:14 PM
Hi jay_1981, My recommendation would be to build your own template using layout software. You could do this in Microsoft's Publisher, or even Photoshop. It may take you a couple of tries to get it spot on, but you will have maximum customization. Use a measuring tape to find out what the margins are on your blank labels, and then use a grid/ruler in the layout software to get in the right area. Oh and if you don't have Publisher or Photoshop, you might want to check out Gimp, it's a freeware photo editor that may help with this as well. Let me know which programs you have available and I can help you get started. Cheers, Chad
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Newhouse
Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:51 AM
Hi! I'd just like to start by saying thanks for this great site! It helped me a lot! Ok so here is the problem I have: I have been trying to make the labels using Acoustica Label maker and Memorex exPressit program that came with my labels. I manage to get the track list with the color coding, but unfortunately, I do not seem to be able to create the correct spacing between the tracks. I can either get them all in one big block, ex: 1. 12B - Dim Chris Sampler - Original Mix 2. 12B - Stylus Robb Ininna Tora - Nick Corline Remix 3. 12B - Stoneface & Terminal Inner Voice - Dub Mix Or with spacing between each line: ex: 1. 12B - Dim Chris Sampler - Original Mix 2. 12B - Stylus Robb Ininna Tora - Nick Corline Remix 3. 12B - Stoneface & Terminal Inner Voice - Dub Mix What I am trying to do is to get this in a nice organized display: ex: 1. 12B - Dim Chris Sampler - Original Mix 2. 12B - Stylus Robb Ininna Tora - Nick Corline Remix 3. 12B - Stoneface & Terminal Inner Voice - Dub Mi If anybody could help me with this, or let me know of a program that could actually do this, it would be greatly appreciated!! :o) Thanks!!
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Saturday, January 10, 2009 2:17 PM
Hi Newhouse, Thanks for posting, I am happy to help. Please check the posts immediately prior to yours. You can use most any layout software to do this. If you have Microsoft Office, then you probably have Publisher which should work just fine. You will probably have to make the color coded graphics into jpg or something like that first though. Cheers, Chad P
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Newhouse
Sunday, January 11, 2009 6:13 PM
Thanks Chad! I already had checked the previous posts, and the issue I had with this method is that if you use office or some other similar software, you have to type in the name of each track one by one (I presume). But with a specific label software, you are able to upload the playlist directly.. Is there any way you can do this with publisher?? Thanks again :o)
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Flying Monkey
Monday, January 12, 2009 12:27 PM
Hi Yakov, I am relatively new to this way of mixing but I am trying to incorporate it and give it a shot. I just have a small question on the color coding of the cd's. There are 3 color codes mentioned: blue, orange and red. So if harmonic mixing focuses primarily on mixing by half-steps then why is the Camelot Wheel based on the circle of 5th's for the color coding and not just go clockwise by half-steps? In the article on organizing the mixing material the color code blue which is from 11 to 1 on the Camelot wheel are separated by a fifth, not a half-step so my question is: can you organize your music or cd's by half-steps so you know where you're going next in your mix instead of by the circle of fifths of the camelot wheel or is there a reason why the same color coding is separated by a fifth instead of a half-step or semitone???? Thanks a lot for all your hard work and keep up the investigations on finding the most organic ways to create nice sets. Cheers, Flying Monkey
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Kiwijayne
Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:25 PM
Hi Folks, In reply to Newhouse: I also use Acoustica Label maker and find it pretty good. I agree it would be nice to be able to include a space inbetween tracks, maybe we should email them and ask if they could include it in the next version? I've got an old (1997!!) version of Publisher but cant see how to create a round cd label (the wizard only allows a jewel case label to be created). I've decided to have a mass re-org of all my music CDs using this method including colour coding. I've created a spreadsheet of all my fave tracks and sorted it by key and BPM. I can then refer to this list to burn the CDs with a max of 10 tracks per CD. I bought some CD-RWs thinking that I could just add any new tracks as and when I bought them. So I'm trying to find a program that will let me burn tracks (MP3 or WAV) to a CD (CD-R or CD-RW) and will include their CD text (including Key and BPM) AND will also allow me to add more tracks at a later date (I think that's called multiple session burning). I've spent several long hours searching and trying out dfferent programs only to find they do one OR the other but not both!!! GGRRRR!!! Many thanks if you can help :) Jayne.
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Wiebedoelje
Sunday, January 25, 2009 2:06 AM
Thanks people for sharing all this useful information. I would like to point out that playing in clubs with lots of different colored lighting can affect your perception of color. (Some colors almost seem to disappear when lit with the same color.) Another way of visual recognition could be using shapes (squares, circles, crosses or whatever you like).
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dj john
Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:50 PM
hey guys thanks for all your wonderful tips and hope it 'll enhanced my skills in mixing......you rule
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KrissO
Monday, February 9, 2009 9:24 PM
For anyone not sure what software to use yet, I recommend SureThing! I can't remember if it can import playlists, but it does read CD text. So once you have finished burning your CD you can import the tracklist directly from the CD into your template in SureThing. Actually I only use this for printing tracklists on paper now, I found the whole CDr printing too much work (and not the least ink consuming). But I did manage to make a really nice template for the period I was CDr printing... result was amazing (as the one Yakov posted in the main post). To JennMartinello, look at post number 20 (approx) from the top for an answer to your question :)
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dyno_eq
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:19 PM
Hi guys, i agree with the posts about acoustica label creator it is the best... in terms of cd burning software i would have to say easy media creator 7/7.5 is the best i havent tried the latest edition but i did have problems with any thing later than this edition and other products as they were causing the mp3's and real audio i was putting on to cd to have jumps in the tracks not caused by damaged cds after research i found that easy med creator 7/7.5 was the most stable... I just would like to add one thing to the discussion.. please remember that although mixed in key is superb try to avoid the dominating factor of your mix being the "KEY" of the tracks because it can cause you to overlook other potential mixes that you wont consider because its not in the "KEY" you want and that sometimes although the "Key" is correct is doesnt neccessarily sound right as the instrument in the track playing the melody may sound "dischordant" (when "KEY" clashes) keep up the good work Yakov!!!! A programme that does exactly what it says on the tin!!!!!
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VINVAL
Monday, February 23, 2009 9:44 PM
hello, there is no doubt that gold cds are the most impressive in regards to sound quality [which you might have noticed that one gold cd can cost 3 dollars (if you get master recording) and a hundred silver cds are ten dollars], but beware that they scratch VERY easily, and are not made to handle abuse and damage.
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MAM
Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:49 PM
Newhouse try to press Shift-Enter after each line
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Dj Escape
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 4:45 AM
Ive been using this method for organising my tunes for about a year and a half now, and I download quite a few tracks every month. Just like in Yakov's original post, I always burn 5-8 tracks per disk. I like to keep the original mp3 files grouped together along with a saved copy of the CD label (with track listing, key, date, etc). That way, when one of my burnt cds gets damaged from use (which inevitably seems to happen if your playing lots), I can re-burn the disk. The major disadvantage that I found with this method was the time required to organise my tracks by CD+Key, create the Labels, then burn and print the disks. Problem is - I LOVE this system, and my mixes as a result. In the end, i wrote my own software that reads all the keys of my tracks in a folder, then re-names the files with the Key and the CD # they will get burnt to E.g. Key_CD#_OriginalFileName Each Key starts at CD#1 and increments, so my files for Keys '01' and '02' might look like this: 01_01_track-1 (Key 01, Disk 1) 01_01_track-2 ... 01_01_track-5 01_02_track-1 (Key 01, Disk 2) 01_02_track-2 ... 01_02_track-5 02_01_track-1 (Key 02, Disk 1) 02_01_track-2 ... 02_01_track-5 So, all i do now is just drop my freshly downloaded tracks into my tunes folder, run MIK over them, and then run my app to rename the (new) files with the Key/CD# prefix. I also started to add a function that lets me select the tracks for a CD and generate the label - fast and easy. The concept has saved me *loads* of time so far, and it'll will be even easier/faster for me when I finish integrating it with my label printing software. Yay. More time mixing, less time organising. I thought about releasing it as freeware for people to download and use - but to be honest, I don't have time to deal with all the hassles of user support and constant requests for enhancements. Maybe there is scope for incorporating something like this in MIK? Cheers, Escape http://soundcloud.com/le-escape
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dj aytek
Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:04 PM
Hi, It's been asked before but couldn't find a proper answer. How can I create my cd labels in the following format automaticaly? 128-7A-Dennis Ferrer - Touch The Sky 7:33 Or do you know a way to add bpm and key value to artist name on id3 tag? So that when I use nero cover design, bpm and key will be infront of the artist.
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Thursday, February 4, 2010 7:29 PM
Mixed In Key can add the Key and BPM to the artist tag. It's almost exactly the format you are looking for, except that it is key - BPM - artist name. Check in the personalize menu to enable this feature. Cheers, Chad P
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dj aytek
Friday, February 5, 2010 6:40 AM
Thanks Chad, happy to hear that MIK has such feature, will buy the software now :)
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Oktave
Friday, February 12, 2010 11:29 AM
wouldnt you want to add wether the key is 1A or 1B? Maybe I missed this, but Im just thinking if you are playing a 1B tune and since you know your in the 1 key and decide to play 2A, will your gonna be according to the camelot theory, mixing in a 2A into a 1B, right?
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DJ Gimp
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:48 PM
This system works great! But have one question with this method in relation to the CDJ 1000.... When using hot cues, I have found that the CDJ will not let me Hot cue every song on the cd.....only the last one done....the method pioneer showed me doesnt work either....so any hints from you all would be much appreciated to fix this problem....I would much rather put more songs on each Cd rather than 1 song/1Cd.
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ZIgor
Monday, May 31, 2010 6:36 PM
hey guys, i am pretty new to djing so excuse me for my question. does the key rule applies as well to drum and bass mixing? cause normally i just mix tracks that go together, but i never new about this key thing. i think the atmosphere, the feeling and the flow (omg big words :-)) are important. so what is your experience with drum and bass?
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wavefreak
Saturday, June 19, 2010 7:16 AM
Hi guys, In case of CDs, I use the following format: On the top, you can find the artist, on the bottom the title and additional info. The keys and the BPM are on the left (you can sort your collection by BPM, by key or simply by newest-oldest), the hotcues on the right - if you ever forget them! You can also use colors to distinguish different keys. It's not the cheapest way to use one CD / track, but you don't have to burn a CD again if you buy another 8A or 7A track. ~wavefreak
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claramb
Saturday, June 26, 2010 1:42 PM
Hi, I use Itunes, and mixedinkey, i asked mixed in key to rewrite coments with the key and the bpm, cause if i ask to re write the IDtags it makes a disaster with all my tracks. So the questions are: 1-Why Mixed in key doeñ`t reewrite the comments of the songs all the time? it only doe`s it in some of them. 2 -how can i organize my music based in keys and bpm? cause when i ask itunes to organized them with the coment it puts all 11A with all the bpms possible and then 11b,and then 1o etc, but there are different king of music ( house, deephouse, electro, etc) has this to be done by me? i only see hours of work!! HELP
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Saturday, June 26, 2010 1:47 PM
Hi claramb, Thanks for posting, I am happy to help. Your post is not related in any way to this thread, so I would encourage you to start a new one. Also, please read my iTunes Tips thread. Thanks, Chad P
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Dj Yani
Monday, August 23, 2010 5:47 PM
Hi Lads, I need some help from you all I just got this program. and i just started DJing But. Does it matter that you only put the keys on the cd and not the BPM ? Is there a good reason for that? Thanks i get my cd's Lightscribed soon :D
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Monday, August 23, 2010 6:25 PM
Does it matter that you only put the keys on the cd and not the BPM ? Is there a good reason for that? Thanks Yakov is just that good. He has a built-in BPM detection program somewhere between his left and right ear ;) Seriously though, BPM is important. The closer the BPM of your tracks the easier harmonic mixing is. Unless of course you are using key-lock, but as we all know that's only good for small tempo changes. For more on this topic, see here. Cheers, Chad P
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Dj Yani
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 1:05 PM
hello lads, I just Buyed Mixed in key. I just sorted all my Cd's on Key. But what you guys do when you get new songs ? you wait till you have 9 or 10 songs of the Same key and then put it on one CD. or you got something else wich would help me ?
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Griffo
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2:08 AM
I have just finished my "labeling system" using MIK technique. It is working really well so far!! How do you guys think I should sort my Acapella's? I can put them on the same Audio CD as my main tracks in the correct Key. This would work great with hot cue's and not rushing to change cd's over befor a track ends and rematching the beats. Or I could just make a separate cd for my acapella's. Is there any Pro's or Con's I haven't thought of? Please share your thought's and idea's....
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Darren
Thursday, October 7, 2010 6:47 PM
On your intial post you have 3 colours for your cds but split the keys differently i.e Orange 11-1 (3 keys) Blue 2-5 (4 keys) Yellow 6-10 (5 keys). Why not split the 12 keys equally over 3 coloured Cds? Or have 12 different CDs all keyed individually? Thanks Darren
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nesohc
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:57 PM
hey hey, ive just bought mixed in key started using and found that most of my collection (that id key'd up already using another programe) was completely wrong!! total fail! :( my question is this... once it analyzes the track some of my toons have a bpm of 70-80 when i know that it should be around 145-150 ish because its hard house. why is this happening and can i fix it??? cheeers nesoch :P
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 5:05 PM
why is this happening and can i fix it??? Much as we would like it to be, BPM detection is not yet 100% accurate, even with the industry standard detection algorithm that we use. If you're on a Mac, you can go into the preferences and set a BPM range for your collection, this will double the halved BPMs for you. Cheers, Chad P
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nesohc
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 9:35 AM
Chad, i wish i was on mac! ha... im on p.c, is there any way i can do it on here like you suggested without putting disks into cdj and manually changing txt? thnx for the speedy reply!
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Jerry Swinger
Sunday, November 14, 2010 11:05 AM
So how to sort the B and the 12 ? In what kind of folder do they fit? thanks in advance from a fresh user
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Sunday, November 14, 2010 7:25 PM
Blue for keycodes 11 to 1 - it's a circle, 12 would fall in this category. You won't have many B tracks, but if you have a lot of them follow the same system but maybe keep them in a separate folder.
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Jerry Swinger
Monday, November 15, 2010 6:29 AM
thanks Chad, Really enjoy the new way of mixing.
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awake909
Sunday, January 9, 2011 2:46 PM
Thanku all for the helpful tips. I had a lot of fun organizing my music on to cds. Software I recommend - Memorex expressit label maker. Had the feature to import your Itunes playlist making the process way easy - I decided to include BPM of each song as well. http://twitpic.com/3ntjqp Good Luck have fun! : )
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PiotrRyncarz
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 12:04 PM
And what to do with the new mixed in key 4, which often gives you two keys you can use. How to arrange your collection with this sort of songs? Burn them on both keys collection or?
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Chad (MIK Mod)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 12:54 PM
Probably better to put dual key tracks on their own CD. These can be a secret weapon for getting to a track in a different key.
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KRA
Friday, November 15, 2013 8:14 AM

On Sunday, April 15, 2007 9:13 PM DJ Nikol wrote:

Hey How do i make labels like this on CD's?

You can use one of the specialized software for printing labels covers, such as this one. Easy to use, no need to study long

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