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Best (Noise Gate) VST/AU/AAX Plugin [2020]

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A noise gate is similar to a compressor in the sense that, it is used to control the loudest and the quietest part of an audio signal, but specifically, a noise gate reduces audio signals that are below a certain threshold, so, when the signals are above a threshold, it let the signal pass-through (opens the gate). on the other hand, if the signals fall below the threshold, no signal is allowed to pass (closed the gate) or the signal is attenuated with respect to the settings dialed.

Practically, noise gates are used to remove noises in an audio signal, for example, if you have some unwanted noise you would love to attenuate, you can use a noise gate plugin to find the threshold where that noise becomes annoying and adjust your settings to quiet everything below that.

Also, it can be used for sidechaining, gluing bass & kick drum together, and in fact, most producers I know use it for stuttering effect, where you can turn a sound e.g an ‘Ah’ sample sound into the same rhythm as the drumbeat, which in turn makes it groovy and danceable on the dance floor 😉

Since Noise gate works similarly to a compressor, you can read the guide on how compression works to understand some of its parameters. In this guide, I will be recommending the best Noise Gate VST/AU/AXX Plugin for use in your DAW, let’s get started…

1.) Gatekeeper – Polyverse ($49.00)

Gatekeeper - Polyverse

The first Gate plugin on our list is Gatekeeper plugin by Polyverse, which is not only easy to use but also intuitive and allows for drastic, punchy gating and sequencing while keeping the output smooth.

Whether you plan on using gate as an LFO, envelope, step sequencer, volume automation, Gatekeeper is capable of all that, plus it has 8 MIDI programmable envelopes, CV output for external hardware, and hundreds of presets that will spice up your sounds.

Note that, Gatekeeper doesn’t work well for denoising, so, if you want a gate plugin that would attenuate noise at a certain threshold, I’ll highly recommend using Gatey Watey by Boz Digital Labs, which is what I am reviewing next.

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Key Features:

  • Sample fast and precise volume modulation
  • Expressive and fun envelope drawing tools
  • Boost and clip features for extra punch
  • Smoothing algorithm to eliminate clicks and pops
  • 8 independent volume envelopes
  • Fully customizable midi-triggering
  • Panning tools
  • Tempo mapped looping
  • CV output for Modular synths
  • Hundreds of presets

System Requirements:

  • OS – Mac/PC
  • Bit Depth 32/64
  • Format – AAX, VST, AU
  • Hardware Requirements – Mac: Intel Core 2 Duo or higher, 4GB RAM minimum
  • Hardware Requirements – PC: Intel Core 2 Duo/AMD Athlon 64×2 or higher, 4GB RAM minimum
  • OS Requirements – Mac: OS X 10.6 or later
  • OS Requirements – PC Windows 7 SP1 or later

Get Gatekeeper by Polyverse

2.) Gatey Watey – Boz Digital Labs ($49.00)

Gatey Watey - Boz Digital Labs

Gatey Watey is a simple and easy to use gate plugin, it lets you choose which frequencies you want to attenuates when the signal falls below the threshold, similar to the way the threshold kicks in compression settings. Gatey Watey works well for de-noising annoying signal without affecting the main audio signal, a use case is getting rid of drum bleed without cutting off your drums.

Unlike Gatekeeper that isn’t suitable for denoising, Gatey Watey has a frequency selective attenuation, which means you can tell it to only attenuate a certain frequency when the input drop below the threshold. This feature can be really powerful if you know what you are doing, for example,  if you want to cut the high hat bleed out of a snare without killing the ring of the snare, Gatey Watey is your preferred choice.

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Key Features:

  • Frequency selective gating
  • Lookahead
  • Simple Interface
  • No Learning Curve

System Requirements:

Mac

  • AAX/AU (Audio Units)/RTAS/VST/VST3

Windows

  • AAX/RTAS/VST/VST3

Get Gatey Watey

3.) Gate Snapin – kiloHearts ($19.00)

Gate Snapin - kiloHearts

This is my favorite gating plugin, and I highly recommend this for producers or mixing engineer that love simple and straight to the point plugins. The Gate Snapin by kiloHearts helps to get rid of low hum and noise from your audio signal, cut reverb tails short or exaggerate the dynamics in a beat.

If for some reason, you want a ducking effect/sidechaining, it can be easily driven by an external sidechain signal, However, I’ll highly recommend sidechaining through your stock plugins, it’s a matter of preference anyway, use what suits your style.

System Requirments:

  • CPU: 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB or more
  • Operating System: Windows (7 or newer) or Mac OS X (10.7 or newer)
    Supported formats: AAX/AU/VST2/Snapin

Get Gate Snapin

4.) Trance Gate Snapin – kiloHearts  ($39.00)

Trance Gate Snapin - kiloHearts

This is another gating plugin by kiloHearts, Trance Gate Snapin can be used to chop up any sort of sound, think of it as a gate sequencer where you chop up an audio signal, and turn it into an arpeggio or rhythmical groove.

System Requirments:

  • CPU: 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB or more
  • Operating System: Windows (7 or newer) or Mac OS X (10.7 or newer)
    Supported formats: AAX/AU/VST2/Snapin

Get Trance Gate Snapin

5.) FabFilter Pro-G – Fabfilter ($179.00)

FabFilter Pro-G - Fabfilter

Fabfilter Pro G features 6 awesome expander/gate algorithms, including upward expansion and ducking or sidechaining.

One feature I love about the Fabfilter Pro G is the way you can route signals, also, you can choose between mono, stereo or mid/side processing and in expert mode, external side chain input is available with completely customizable channel linking and routing.

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Key Features:

  • Six meticulously tuned expander/gate algorithms, including upward expansion and ducking
  • Program dependent attack and release curves
  • Low CPU usage
  • Adjustable range, hold time and knee settings
  • Optional look-ahead time up to 10 ms
  • Precise and helpful metering, including a real-time level display
  • An expert mode that offers highly customizable side chain options
  • Mono, stereo or mid/side processing
  • Up to four times linear-phase oversampling
  • Zero-latency operation mode
  • MIDI triggering: open the gate/expander with your MIDI keyboard
  • External side chain option
  • Separate dry/wet level settings
  • Easy to set up for common gating/expansion scenarios with the included factory presets
  • GPU-powered graphics acceleration
  • Double-click text entry of parameter values
  • Stereo and mono plug-ins available
  • Supports common Pro Tools hardware control surfaces
  • Extensive help file with interactive help hints

System Requirements:

Windows:

  • 32-bit: Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP
  • 64-bit: Windows 8, 7 or Vista(x64)
  • VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools

Mac OS X:

  • 32-bit: OS X 10.5 or higher
  • 64-bit: OS X 10.6 or higher
  • AU or VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools
  • Intel processor

Get FabFilter Pro-G

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