4 Creative Uses for Noise Gates in Music Production
There is more to gates than cleaning up noisy signals. Follow along with audio examples and we dive into four creative approaches for noise gates in music production.
Its common to see gates prefixed with the word “noise,” in reference to their traditional use removing unwanted sound between musical parts. When a guitar is plugged into an amp with the drive turned up, the amp produces a consistent hum. We don’t hear the hum when the guitarist plays a riff because it gets masked in the overall tone. But once they stop playing, it becomes quite distracting, especially in context of a mix. Instead of carefully scanning a recording to edit out the hum, we dial in a gate and set the threshold level (in dB) above the noise bleed but below the guitar signal. Using this setup, when the guitarist pauses between strums and the signal drops, the gate is triggered to attenuate the unwanted signal. For some, this is where gates begin and end. But for this article, we’ll go beyond this one move and explore four different ways to use gates.