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In the world of studio outboard gear, noise gates and expanders are vital tools for eliminating the environmental noise from your recordings. Here on Reverb, you'll find a world of excellent options that can do everything from add a finishing touch to those drum tracks to summon the iconic snare sound of an '80s classic.

Whether you're just starting out and unfamiliar with gating or want to start venturing into experimental territory, Reverb has the right gear to get solid tracks.

What Does a Noise Gate Do?

A noise gate is essentially the inversion of a compressor: instead of muting signal outside of a designed threshold, it mutes signal within the determined threshold. This is how to tame that unwanted audio in the space between bass drum hits, guitar chords, vocal backings, and more.

The main application here is setting the gate at a low threshold so that your drums, guitars, vocals, and other recorded tracks shine through and pesky background noise and bleeding picked up by added mics is cut.

There are four gating controls to consider:

  • Threshold: The signal level at which a gate "opens" and begins processing the signal
  • Attack: The length of time it takes for a gate to open to its full capacity
  • Hold: The length of time the gate remains open when the signal drops below the designated threshold
  • Release: The amount of time it takes for a gate to fully close when the signal drops below the designated threshold

Differences Between Gate/Expander/Compressor/Limiter

  • Gate: Mutes or drastically decreases the signal inside of a given range
  • Expander: Typically bundled in the same unit as a gate, an expander also lessens background noise but does so by ratios. In certain applications, this makes tracks more organic than completely removing noise
  • Compressor: Mutes or drastically reduces the signal outside of a given range
  • Limiter: Dampens, or "limits", the amount of signal outside of a given range

Gates/Expanders Near Me

To exclusively browse for gates/expanders near you, reference the list of top cities and countries available on Reverb to search within a desired location. You also can review shipping details within an item’s “Shop Policies” section.