The profession of DJ at this stage of its development requires diligent hard work from the specialist. To become respected and famous, you need to be a really great professional and be able to diversify your skill sets.
For smooth and harmonious, and most importantly interesting mixing of tracks, experienced DJs often rely on the help of the Camelot wheel. It may also be known as the tonality wheel.
This scheme is a closed circle with a two-way sequence of tonalities. The inner side of the circle has minor tonalities; the outer side demonstrates major tonalities. Both inside and outside parts form a parallel pair of minor and major tonalities.
Without going further into musical theory, we can simply say that this instrument is necessary for harmonious mixing. So, it is necessary for the transitions between compositions to be smooth, soft, and almost imperceptible. Knowing the tonality of your compositions, you, with the help of this wheel, can achieve a perfect integration of one track with another.
How do you use a Camelot wheel?
Just like a normal clock, the Camelot wheel has 12 internal and 12 external sectors, all numbered in the same way as a clock – from 1 to 12. For the first time, you can try mixing a couple of tracks that are in the same tonality (e.g. 2A). It will sound just as professional as any mix from the studio.
Moving around the wheel is possible in any direction except diagonals, which means you can move to adjacent sectors of the same circle, or between inner and outer circles but by the same number. In simple terms, if you are in sector 9A, you can move to any of the following sectors: 8A, 9A, 10A, or 9B. If you are in sector 1B, you can move to any of the following sectors: 12B, 1B, 2B, or 1A. With these transitions, each of your conversions will be smooth and almost imperceptible.
And to keep your set interesting, move around the wheel more often, ideally with every mix, and don’t stay at one tonality for too long.
How to find out what tonality a song has.
- You can determine it by ear. However, not everyone, even the most professional DJ, has such a remarkably accurate ear.
- You can use special programs. There are both paid and free, for all tastes. (By the way, if you use Beatport for mixes, there is tonality information).
If you’d like to start using the new streaming service, simply transfer your music to it with the MusConv application. It works with more than 50 streaming services and you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for. Sign up and start your trial period.