Recording Guitars: Why You Need A Gate

A Gate is a simple plugin used in your audio chain to decrease, or eliminate unwanted noise.

Picture this…you FINALLY dialed in the perfect guitar tone!  This took you hours to accomplish and you can’t WAIT to start recording.  However, for some reason your guitar sounds like a cat in heat when you aren’t playing it!!!  Where is the awful screeching sound coming from?  Why can’t it just cooperate?  If this is you….there is a solution.  And it’s an easy one!  

If you have finally dialed in that perfect high gain setting on your external amp, or in your DAW using an amp modeler, i.e. Bias Fx, or Amplitube, then good on you because it isn’t easy!  But it always seems like the side effect is constant “noise” when you aren’t touching the strings.  Put very simply, what happens is that your External Amp, or Amp Modeler is picking up so much gain from your pickups on the guitar that it literally overdrives EVERYTHING!  When your neighbor farts and your rig starts screeching like a rabbit being chased by a coyote, it’s because of his or her very slight fart vibrations causing extremely small sound waves.  This in turn vibrates your strings ever so slightly causing that wreched noise because the gain is set to the extreme pushing your pickups to the max.

Ok, so what’s the fix?!  The answer…..a Gate.  They are used to decrease, or completely eliminate sounds below a certain decibel level that you choose.  So don’t worry, you can keep that killer guitar tone, you just need to learn how to properly use a gate in your signal chain!  You can do that right here.

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Cheers!

Black Hills Audio Video Productions

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