Submitted by thewhippinpost on Wed, 13/12/2006 - 16:27.

(Noise) Gating is useful for cutting unwanted low-volume noise between the gaps of sounds (amongst other tricks we can cover another day). But gating can also be un-useful  if employed without thought.

First of all, let's keep the following in-mind - Some low-level noise is not necessarily unwanted noise: Think atmospherics; finger-slides on a guitar neck; vocal breaths; natural sounds that tail-off, blah blah blah... So think carefully before deciding to gate to absolute silence.

So a few things to bear in mind:

Avoid Gating when Recording

Sounds are unpredictable, particularly when recording. Setting a gate during recording can play havoc at the mixing stage. - Far better to have the flexibility of handling it at the mixing stage, rather than re-recording.

Gate before Compression

Compression increases the quieter sounds, so clearly, it's best to avoid increasing unwanted low-level noise by placing the noise gate before the compressor.

Gate before Reverb

You don't want the noise gate chopping short your natural reverb tails do you?!

As always, none of the above are laws. For instance, you might want a reverb that's applied to a kick drum to be cut dead, so it doesn't wash-over other sounds, so artistic licence applies.

One last tip to throw in whilst we're chatting about drums over the garden gate (geddit! pah...): Try a range setting of 12dB for fast gate-opening.

Apologies for the slow-posting over the last few days. It's not because there's nothing going down - oh nooo - more because there's a major new section about to be rolled-out which has demanded some brain juice... That, and suffering major insurgency attacks to the left face skeletal structure (Don't ask! Suffice to say; incomprehensible pain never experienced by humankind, trust!)