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Gate Drums or Not?
Old 20th July 2016
Gear Maniac

Gates are bad!! instead I ride the faders to tape. watch the drummer and quickly push the tom faders up when it looks like he's about to hit them. a lot more effort but totally worth it! this is the classic technique you read about a lot in Sound on Sound.

but usually I only just one mic total on the drums so that there's no phasing. I hate phasing! hey if it worked for Miles Davis and all those 20s jazz guys it should work for everything from heavy metal to death metal!
Old 23rd July 2016
Gear Guru
kafka's Avatar
Ancient thread, but, no, I can't imagine gating anything at all while tracking. I'm pretty sure I want to capture the sound of the space on drums all of the time. I guess some live engineers might have some reason to, but I can't think of a good reason why a recording engineer would. I've used a little expansion on the OH's at times during mixing, just to put a little space in the mix, but it's still reasonably subtle, and not something I'd do out of habit.

Actually, I can't think of a time I processed drums on the way in. Drummers aren't like a vocalist or guitar or bass player, who might be playing a compressor somewhat. I suppose one might put a safety limiter on, but I've never had enough channels of limiting for that to make sense. Dunno. Maybe I'm just not confident enough about processing drums to think I can do it while tracking.
Old 24th September 2016
Here for the gear

If you gate on the front end you're done. Especially cymbals. They are meant to shimmer down and once the gate closes, it's all over. I think it's overused for the sake of conveniece and cost savings...
Old 12th August 2019
Gear Maniac
Amsoily's Avatar

I just saved a bunch of money on my gate insurance!
Thanks Gearslutz!
Old 12th August 2019
Lives for gear

zombie thread bump alert!

i cannot even remember using gates on drums it's been so long... - but expanders: any time, often on the way in (as i like to record pretty much 'finished' tracks)!
Old 13th August 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by mrface2112 View Post
i never gate during recording. i will quite often gate toms during mixing.
Wow, a big HI to me from 12 years ago! He was younger, thinner, unhappily married and a parent of only one (2 year old) at the time.

Boy how things change. I'm probably about the same weight, definitely older, HAPPILY divorced and I have a teen and pre-teen in the house.

GearSlutz stays the same, though. :-)
Old 13th August 2019
I wouldn't use a gate during recording but there are plenty of functional and creative uses for gating in mixing, for sure.

Live sound - absolutely for anything gig with 'regular' stage volume - ie. not a jazz gig. Kick in, bottom snare, and toms for sure.
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