Djay 2 Key Lock

The key lock function is available only on Nexus devices with quad-core processor. The tracks in AAC format whose extension is aac or mp4 are not playable on DDJ-WeGO4. Djay 2 for Android supports only AAC files whose extension is m4a. Please visit Algoriddim's website for the latest information. Sep 24, 2013 The new 64-bit djay software for iPhone 5S adds key detection in analysis and harmonic matching in real time. Among a slew of new features in its products announced today, Algoriddim has added the big one to its djay 2 software: Key detection and key matching – but only for users of the new iPhone 5S.

  1. Djay 2 Key Lock Key

This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by 4 years, 6 months ago.

  • When it comes to key’s, there is a little music theory going on here.

    For instance, a song will (normally) go well with either it’s relative minor or its perfect 4th or perfect 5th.

    Example: The key of C will go with A minor (relative minor), F (Perfect 4th) and G (Perfect 5th). This means that you can transfer between keys with relative ease – you don’t need all the tracks in your collection to be in C and A Minor – once you have tranferred to G (From C), G then has a whole new set of Relative Minor, Perfect 4th and Perfect 5th.

    A different way of expressing all this is through the Camelot system – this gives each key a number and a letter which somehow tells you how it relates to the other keys. I don’t understand it (I’ve never tried though – I am musically trained and prefer the traditional system) but it is apparently a saviour for many people who aren’t musically trained.

    Your questions:

    1) The little “note symbol” I assume is keylock – this will mean that when you change the pitch (Tempo) of a track, the key stays the same. This makes mixing in key and beat matching a lot easier – traditionally, if you speed something up, then it will also increase the pitch of it. If you want a track to stay in the key it was written in, keep it lit. I never turn mine off 🙂

    2) I assume (I don’t use DJay Pro) that it colours the tracks according to the key. If you use the buttons to change the key, then it should change the colour. (Not 100% sure on this one. Happy to be corrected.)

    3) If you go down a tone from C, you get to B Flat. I suspect this is what the software is doing – why would it go up 5 tones when you click “+1” ?? Again, I don’t (And can’t as I use Windows) use DJay Pro – so I am happy to be corrected on this one.)

    Hopefully this helps – try using the search function on the blog as well as I am sure I have seen some articles relating to this at some point.

    As I said, I am not a DJay Pro user, but the vast majority of this stuff is completely transferable between all software and so should be relevant 🙂


    Hi Pascale,

    Sorry for the very long message, but there’s a lot of stuff to cover in addressing your questions and concerns. I’ll try to help you but with a disclaimer: I profess to have great expertise in music theory, and while I have a lot of experience with djay on the iPhone and iPad, I have only tinkered with djay pro on OS X since the new version came out.

    So, first, I suggest that when using djay pro (and really, with any other app, unless you’re using Mixed in Key, which is a whole different story) you should rely on a <standard> circle of fifths chart, which has C major on top, and not the camelot wheel with the clock-like numbers, which has E major at the top.

    Here’s a link to a standard circle of fifths chart with C major at 12 o’clock =

    Now, regarding your djay pro-specific questions:

    The note icon next to the tempo slider is for engaging key lock. The software will use whatever key lock algorithm it has for trying to keep the song on its original key signature regardless (in principle) of the tempo changes you make with the tempo slider.

    But it’s actually more tricky than this.

    For the purposes of the discussion below, let’s assume that you have djay pro set up for only two-deck mixing and horizontal waveforms, and that you have loaded in deck 1 a song in the key of A major and on deck 2 a song on the key of B major.

    In this case, notice that when you click on the note icon next to the deck 1 (left deck) slider, the icon at the top center of the app that has the key signature of the song (A major) will light up. This means that you have engaged key lock. Like I said, in principle, the software will try its best to keep the song on its original key while you make tempo changes with the slider.

    However, notice that I said “in principle” because not all djing software has truly good key lock algorithms, so if you make drastic tempo changes, going, say, from 116 to 128 almost all djing software will have a hard time keeping the song sounding good because the greater the bpm change, the greater strains you put on the app’s algorithms.

    (Side note: By the way, that the exception to this massively important rule is Serato DJ, which uses a proprietary algorithm based on its widely-acclaimed Pitch N Time plug-in for Pro Tools, a professional music and sound production app. For more info, google the comparative key lock tests done by DJ Tech Tools when Serato DJ added its Pitch N Time module in early 2014.)

    Anyway, let’s get back to your other questions.

    Technically, when you say that you perceive that the sound of the song changes (deteriorates?) when you light up the key lock icon, to me this raises other issues: the sound of the song should not change much at all if you engage key lock but do not move the tempo slider. If that’s actually happening, then either your computer doesn’t have enough horsepower to handle properly the computationally-intensive key lock process, or the key lock algorithm in djay pro really sucks. (I want to test this one day with my brand-new, top-of-the-line MacBook Pro and studio reference monitors. But let’s move on.)

    Furthermore, to address now another one of your questions: you should <not> keep the key lock icon on (engaged) all the time because, sooner or later, it will introduce sound artifacts, based on the issues I raised above.

    You should activate key lock only if you are going to change the tempo while mixing, but should avoid changing the tempo too much. I think that Phil and others here on Digital DJ Tips advice people to not go further than, say, maybe 3 or at most 4 bpms, up or down, unless you’re using Serato DJ with Pitch N Time, or you’re willing to deal with sound artifacts and use any number of techniques to hide it during the segue from one song to another, then move the song’s bpm back to its normal bpm or close to it. (There’s more about this topic for another day.)

    Now, in terms of the other issue, of where djay pro takes the song’s key when you click on the key signature icon at the top (in two-deck horizontal view), what happens is that you are confusing the steps in the circle of fifths with what the plus or minus numbers mean in the change-key pop up menu in djay pro.

    When you click on the right arrow in that pop up menu, what djay pro is doing is moving up half a semitone, or to the next black key that follows the A major (white key) in a piano, in other words, it moved from A major to the black BbA# (B flatA sharp) key. Conversely, if the song is in A and you click on the left arrow, it will move the key to the next semitone to the left, the AbG# black key.

    In other words, it is not moving one step forward or backwards on the circle of fifths, as you have been assuming.

    By the way, notice that if instead you click on the “match” button in that pop up menu, the key will be shifted to B major, which in my example is the key signature of the song loaded on deck 2 (right deck). Notice also that the pop up menu will now indicate that the app has moved the key +2, in other words, a full semitone forward from A major to B major, from the A major white key to the B major white key next to it on a piano keyboard.

    Actually, if you check this on a standard circle of fifths chart you will notice that although B major is two piano keys up (a full semitone) from A, in the circle of fifths B major is seven steps forward, clockwise . . . but this would take us into more complex music theory territory, so I will defer to others with more music theory expertise to go further if you want more details.

    So, to conclude, let me reiterate that I wonder what’s the processing capacity of you Mac and whether it might be affecting the performance of the computationally-intensive key lock and key change algorithms in djay pro.

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    It might be worth mentioning here, for example, that algoriddim, the makers of djay, did not allow key change in the mobile app until the iPhone moved to a 64-bit processor, so this makes me wonder if you’re running into a horsepower challenge with your current computer, or it could be an issue with having other apps (and utilities such as wi-fi, bluetooth, dropbox, etc.) running at the same time as djay pro, for example.



    I’d be careful with keylock (the blue note) in DJay Pro. It does change the sound quality. Take a good pair of headphones and compare. I never use it.
    Here’s another good article on harmonic mixing:

    From what I’ve read, if I put a C song on deck 1, I should choose either a F,G or Am song on deck 2 to improve my odds of mixing 2 songs that are harmonically compatible.
    Is that generally correct ?

    Yes. You can also mix a song to another song in the same key of course 🙂

    And if I match deck 2 to deck 1 (F is now « sounding » like a C, right ?) then I guess that I should consider the song playing on deck 2 as a beeing a C to select the third song in the set ?

    Not quite. If you have mixed from a C song to an F song, then you can now fade into the keys relevant to the F song – EG, the relative minor of F is D Minor, the 4th is Bb (B Flat) and the 5th is C.

    This chart shows the Relative Minors, Perfect 4th’s and Perfect 5th’s for each key.

    Hopefully that makes sense.


    Your MacBook is powerful enough, it’s the algorithm. It’s not dramatic but it’s audible. I thought about comparing the keylock quality of different software once, but as I said, I don’t use it.
    As for backups. You are going to lose your files if they are only stored on one HD. Activate Time Machine and do backups to an external.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by DJ Chris Bush.

    /virtual-dj-8-3-full-mac.html. Hi Pascale,

    First of all, let me clarify a typo at the beginning of my first response last night: I do <not> profess great expertise in music theory. For some reason that <not> didn’t show up, which I’m afraid might have made my statement sound very arrogant.

    Anyway, based on the specs I found for the various MacBook Pro 2012 models, I doubt your problem has to do with the CPU or RAM.

    You actually pointed out a huge problem: your hard drive is way too full! This usually affects performance because the operating system doesn’t have enough hard drive space to create and manage virtual memory allocations, where it places and fetches data and computational processes in and out in tandem with RAM memory. Ideally you should never let a drive be more than about 80 percent full, especially in the case of 500GB drives.

    So, I would recommend that you consider buying two external USB 3 hard drives to manage your photo collection, one to serve as your main external drive for that, and the other one to serve as a backup clone. I do this regularly to keep two backup clones of my main iTunesSerato external hard drive, using the Carbon Copy Cloner app (CCC).

    Essentially, the first time you clone external drive 1 to external drive 2 with CCC it will copy everything, but in subsequent cloning operations it just update the backup drive by copying only the files that have changed, or new files you’ve created, since the last time you ran the cloning operation.

    Now, regarding your other mixing in key questions, I would just this to what bob6397 said (great chart btw):

    (1) Harmonic mixing can add something special in most situations, but you should not feel trapped by it. You should not think that you can only mix in a new song if it’s harmonically compatible with the current one, just like you shouldn’t fall into the trap of beatmatching two songs at, say, 126 and then continue to play all your next songs at 126. This is where creativity, free flow, and improvisation comes in a DJ set or mixed-tape. Practice different strategies to make your mixes flow up and down in tempo, vibe, energy, and harmonic key, etc., but also try things out in front of people in response to the vibe you develop with them.

    (2) Ideally, I would strongly recommend that you take Phil’s “Master Class” comprehensive course, but DJ Vintage said in another thread that this year’s edition is now closed. So, instead, consider subscribing to the “How To Master Key Mixing” course, which you can do by watching first an introduction video and then clicking on the green button that will appear below the video screen at the end.

    Based on multiple experiences, I’m a strong believer in the effectiveness of Digital DJ Tips courses.

    Good luck!

    Oops, forgot to paste in the link to Digital DJ Tips harmonic mixing course:

    So, my computer is probably having trouble with key lock. It’s a 2012 Mac Book Pro and my HD is 90% full since I have about 35 000 pictures and about as much music.But don’t know what to do with these besides leaving them on my computer. I’m afraid to loose them if I transfer them on an external HD (for some reason I don’t trust HD.

    All of your data is on you computer hard drive, so what’s the difference from one hard drive to the next?

    Pictures: If you don’t want to back these up to an external hard drive, you may consider burning them to a CD, DVD or Blue Ray disc. You may want to look into a cloud storage service. Buy a small NAS external storage solution. Typically they are setup in a mirrored configuration and come with pre-packaged software for making back ups, this way if one hard drive crashes, you can replace it and the NAS software will typically automatically rebuild the mirrored drive (think of it as having a back up and and a back up of the back up)

    Music: I use a Western Digital 2TB My passport drive for pretty much all of my DJ “stuff”. Documentation (scanned receipts, manuals, warranty information, etc.); copies of installation software with some kind of text document with registration / license keys; music folders with all of my music in it; the list goes on. The My Passport drive fits perfectly inside a Pelican 1020 case.

    I’ll have to post a picture of my drive inside the case later and post it. Anyway, the case protects my hard drive from bumps, thunks, liquid spillage etc.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by DJ Wyld1.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by DJ Wyld1.

    So, I made a small cut out for the USB cable to slide through the case and attached it with velcro ties on each end. My hard drive never leaves it’s little turtle shell and the case protects it from just about everything. I thought about trying to seal where the USB cable goes through, but if the cable goes bad, that would seem a more difficult proposition to put myself in (having to try to dig out the cable to replace it).

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by DJ Wyld1. Reason: Trying to get pics to show up

    I was thinking of playing a F song after a C song but using the match feature of Djay Pro. That brings F to +5. But that sounds horrible! (the key note and the F sign are now both lit in blue and the match feature say +5).
    So I guess that I shouldn’t use this match feature, probably because C and F match already, F being C’s perfect fifth.
    But then again, when is that feature useful, could you give me a concrete example?

    F is C’s Perfect 4th – which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. The same key, Perfect 5th and Relative Minor should all work, but it will depend on the chord structure of the song amongst other things. There are no “set in stone” rules here unfortunately.

    I have no idea what this “Match” feature is unfortunately so I won’t comment on that.

    Also, been thinking about the different storage options you mentioned. I use Time machine and backup my MacBook about once every 10 days.I have a 1T external HD for that. I also found this weekend an old 250 G external HD.
    I have 2 iTunes librairies: one is my “general” library and the other is my DJ library. The first one is much bigger. Let’s say I would like to delete all the files from my general iTunes library to make some space on my Macbook, could I just drag the entire “general” library to that 250G HD and then delete the files? I would then have my general library on my backup external HD and in Time machine on the 1 T external HD. Does that makes sense?

    I don’t think that you can delete all the tracks just by dragging the library file.?

    In theory, you could keep all your “General” music on an external drive, and then keep only your DJ music on the HDD of the laptop. For a while, I stored all of my music files on a NAS drive (before I started DJing) and ran iTunes from there so that I could use the same library from different PC’s (Before iTunes Match). This worked pretty well for what I did with it, and there weren’t any delay’s really despite it all being on the LAN rather than on USB – even when on WiFi.

    Hope That Helps,


    The match feature in Djay Pro will change the key of the song on one deck to the same key of the song on the other deck. Let’s say on deck 1 you have a song in the key of C playing. On deck 2 you want to mix in a song with the key of Bb. If you click on the match button on deck 2 it will change the key to C raising the Bb 2 half steps to C. That is why you will see (+2) on deck 2. The match feature works best when the keys are close together by half steps.

    If you click on the (-/+) it just lowers or raises the key by half steps. For example if you have a song in the key of G and you +1 the key will change to G#/Ab. -1 will change the key to Gb/F#.

    The (-/+) and match feature does not work like the Camelot wheel.


Djay 2 Key Lock Key


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