New Key Algorithm Disappointing

David Dell's Avatar

David Dell

22 Jun, 2011 09:26 PM

First of all, I want to acknowledge that key analysis is incredibly difficult, so I can't expect perfection. That said, I had high hopes for Beatunes new key analysis algorithm, but have to say I'm disappointed. First, I'm a dj, and it analyzes 50% of my tracks as being in a major key, when in fact very few tracks are in major keys these days.

Also, like earlier versions, it analyzes very similar-sounding remixes of the same track as being in different keys, when my human ear can easily tell they're in the same key. If I test MIK with the same tracks it comes up with the same key almost all the time. I'd prefer to use Beatunes, though, because I use a lot of Apple Lossless tracks and MIK won't work with those. Couple examples: 1) Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream - Original - A-flat Major; Kaskade remix - C-minor; Passion Pit - The Reeling original - E-Flat Major, Groove Police Remix - C-minor (more forgiveable since major/minor of same spot on the wheel).


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by hendrik on 25 Jun, 2011 11:11 PM

    hendrik's Avatar


    I'm on vacation right now, but please check the news/blog entry about key accuracy on the website. BeaTunes actually does pretty well compared to other software.


  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by hendrik on 29 Jun, 2011 02:21 PM

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    Actually, one more thing that comes to mind:

    Please make sure to turn ´use online resources´ off. At this point in time, it will most likely lead to worse results than having beaTunes analyze your files.
    The post I mentioned is at



  3. 3 Posted by David Dell on 29 Jun, 2011 05:18 PM

    David Dell's Avatar

    Thanks, Hendrik, for taking the time to respond on vacation, including the online resources tip. I don't use online resources in my analyses, and had read the impressive blog on the key detection of Beatles songs. That's a big part of why I upgraded (though now love "3" for lots of reasons). Still, Beatles songs have very different chord structures (much more challenging, I would think) than most dance tunes. Not sure who builds your algorithm, but please just consider the tracks I gave as examples, and the complaint about too many major keys, as input to the ongoing algorithm development. Nothing can beat the ear, but getting keys right for song-transitions is a huge help in building a set.


    P.S. I can sendfile the tracks to you if you wish when you return...

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by hendrik on 04 Jul, 2011 02:47 PM

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    Hey David,

    as a matter of fact, beaTunes is a one-man-show. So you are talking to the person who implemented the algorithm.

    The problem with modern dance music is that there aren't any widely recognized reference annotations. I.e. it's hard to find a collection of which the exact key is known and that one can test against. For beaTunes3, I will probably not change the algorithm anymore, but the next time around, I'll try to find or create better reference data for contemporary music to test against.



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