I just read the latest Remix magazine, October 2007, and it had a couple of really intriguing articles. One was about the techniques DJ Moldover is using, the customized Novation SL keyboard with ribbon controllers was just plain amazing, as well as the custom 4-bar chopping Reaktor plug-in that is available as a download — I need to test that one out. If you have a chance to check out Moldover sessions on YouTube, try to see what he’s doing, he’s one of the bleeding edge controller DJs out there.
Anyway, the other thing he mentioned — and to remember, he is the ultimate mashup of clips — is that he deliberately saves the pitches for clips in only the following keys: A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Can’t be simpler. With complex mode it’s also a no-brainer. This makes his choices much easier than to try to remember to pitch some parts down, and others up. I will most likely re-save my clips into this simplified format, as well.
The other technique he is using is to colorize the clips based on how well the keys work together, for example, B and D keys don’t work together, so they have very different colorization, let’s say pink and dark blue. While B and E will work well, so those are pink and red.
I would most likely extend this to use another shade for major and minor keys. Just now I’m just registering the key somewhere in the clip, so that works for me — I visualize a keyboard in my head to see if that works or not when mixing together tracks. Anyway, these techniques were worth mentioning.