Today there are easy and reliable ways to find the key of any song. There are different websites, apps, and VST plugins, each with differing levels of accuracy.
These have a lot of uses in all kinds of music. If you are a DJ, you’ll want to mix your songs in a key. Thus, you’re going to want to have some precise and fast way to find out which songs go in which key.
As a musician or producer, you might find yourself stuck with figuring out scales based on chords you just came up with. Alternatively, you might want to find in which exact key of already released songs was recorded and played in.
There are lots of different websites, plugins, and apps that tackle this problem today.
Note: Determine the keys to a song is not an exact science. Experienced musicians can often disagree over what key a song is actually in. Also, songs might involve key changes, which make it difficult for software to determine the correct key. Use these websites and apps as a tool, but you can’t fully rely on them for 100% accuracy.
1. Tunebat (Website)
Tunebat is a free BPM and tune analyzer for songs that are already released. It is a great database that give you access into spotify insights for songs. This includes the key of the song and BPM, as determined automatically by Spotify.
The key is not always fully accurate, but it’s pretty reliable. Because it uses data from Spotify, this site has access to a large volume of song data. Therefore you should find the key for almost any released song you want.
2. Scaler 2 (AU/VST Plugin)
Scaler 2 is a fantastic plugin by PluginBoutique that has accurate key detection for both audio and midi files.
You can use this song for both compositions and also key and scale analysis of any audio and midi tracks you have.
It’s a very powerful plugin, and very useful for those that are not well versed in music theory. For those that have a lot of music theory knowledge, Scaler 2 could still speed up your workflow quite a lot.
3. BeatPort.com (Website)
Beatport is also a good resource to find keys for already released songs. Just go to a track and it will almost always show you the key that it’s in.
4. Mixed in Key (Plugins)
Mixed in Key is popular software that can be used by both DJs and music producers.
Mixed in Key 8 can analyse music files so that DJs can start harmonic mixing.
Mixed in Key Studio Edition can find the key of your samples in real time, to really make your mixes sound professional.
There are several different plugins and bundles on their website, all which help with key detection, melodies, chord creation, and beat making.
5. Traktor Pro 3 (DJ Software with Key Detection)
Traktor is one of the household names in the DJ-ing world. The German company Native Instruments is focused on making the best gear (both software and hardware) specifically for DJ’s and electronic music in general.
Traktor Pro 3 is a perfect club DJ software that can be used on your laptop while you’re hitting the decks.
In it, you’ll find a brand new edition of Harmonic Mixing. This option allows you to find out the keys of all your songs and helps you to get to know which keys sound well together.
The great thing about this is that it doesn’t just use the standardized notes, but also has s system of “open notes” – essentially markings of letters, numbers, and colors to help you learn faster which can go with which without having to learn the notes as well.
6. Audio KeyChain (Website)
Audio Keychain is a simple, online database that helps you determine the key and BPM of your tracks by simply uploading them.
You can choose to upload your tunes and let them be public but you can also use this website privately.
When you get the findings, you can adjust them if you think that there’s a need for that. This is a completely free website and is a great database for DJ’s that need to find a song’s BPM and key quickly. However, you may need to sign up for a free account before viewing all the data.
7. Scale Finder (Website)
Scale Finder is easy to use, a free tool from the scales-chords.com website.
This tool is made not for automatic listening to the song, but more to finding the matching scales based on the notes and chords you might have in front of yourself.
This being said, you have to have some previous musical knowledge. If you have a good knowledge of music theory, this can be a quick tool to help you while composing.
8. Song Key Finder (Android App)
In the era of smartphones, it would be unimaginable not to have an app that doesn’t help you with anything, a key finding in songs included. Song Key Finder is a great little free app that will help you find your keys in any way imaginable. You can play the song through device microphone to the app for analyzing, you can upload the song to the app or you can manually enter the chords you have been playing. All in all, this is a great, versatile app that is handy and quick, and there’s no reason not to have it on your phone.
9. Music Theory Site (Website)
Music Theory Site is a great website that will help you learn and practice all those pesky little nuances of music theory.
There are several different tools that can help you with different problems you might have and Name That Key is one of them. This site will help you find a key and notes you can play in it through simple entering of the chords you play.
It’s very intuitive and quick and helps you learn more about notes and gives you room to improvise and check out different combinations.
10. KeyFinder 2 (Mac Software)
KeyFinder is a great little piece of software that’s open-source developed by a music enthusiast.
KeyFinder 2 is available only for the Mac OS platform, but you can still download and use older versions of KeyFinder for Windows or Linux platforms.
This software is free and really easy to use. The developer intended to have a small, handy tool for DJs when creating harmonic mixes. It’s great to have on your computer if you don’t have an online connection for the online tools to work.
11. Showscale (Website)
Showscale is yet another free online tool for finding you scale through entering in the notes/chords you want to play.
It’s very intuitive and easy and gives you a plethora of options for any combination you might have and when you choose a scale you get remodeled piano keyboard on which you can see how the notes are laid out.
This list included different music key finders, from professional, paid software to different versions of free online and downloadable tools.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a DJ or a classically trained musician, or professional or amateur, you can find very helpful tools on this list for anyone and for any price you might be ready to pay.