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Drums: lots of compressor love; what about gates?
Old 14th January 2007
  #1
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DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

Drums: lots of compressor love; what about gates?

I'm just asking.

There's no shortage of compressor threads. But very few even mention gating.

And, no, I'm not refering to use of gating as an effect a la in the 80s.

Regarding dynamics, compression can work wonders for drums, but, in my limited experience, gating/expanding a hihat track, for example, can totally alter the feel of the groove.

For what it's worth, I use samples. BFD, DFHS, RMX, EZ, DC2, ect. I find slapping an appropriately tweaked gate on certain kit pieces (hihat in particular) indespensible to getting a feel that I can live with.

Am I barking up the wrong tree?

What do those more experienced than myself have to say?
Old 15th January 2007
  #2


I use gates live all the time.

It usually sounds a little weird in a recording on anything other than toms.

Samples are totally different and you do what you have to to get them to sound good.




-tINY

Old 15th January 2007
  #3
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I usually try to stay away from gates as much as I can...When I do I'll reach for a ds201 or an intelligate which works just fine. I also have an spl transient designer 4 that I use on a lot of what I used to use gates on.

A gate like the ds201 can really do wonders on a problematic snare, make it really jump out of the mix if it's set right.

And no you're not barking up the wrong tree, if it works for you then it's goodthumbsup .
Old 15th January 2007
  #4
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Considering that it's unwise to use gates when tracking, and assuming you are recording with a DAW, then I think software gates are the way to go.

If you don't actually want a gate, but more of an expander, the Kjaerhus one is fairly good. He calls it a Golden Audio Gate (GAG), but it can't gate to digital black and therefore simply isn't a gate.

But I like the Sinus Golden Gate (named before Kjaerhus's, but updated recently with lookahead and stuff). Setting up side chaining - even in Cubase which lacks side chaining facilities - is so easy with this one.
Old 15th January 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

I find gates useful for tailoring hip-hop kicks.
Old 15th January 2007
  #6
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

i'm in the camp that if you're using a computer...gate plugins are an excellent thing. also allows for easy automation of the gate.
Old 23rd March 2007
  #7
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junior's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger View Post
Considering that it's unwise to use gates when tracking, and assuming you are recording with a DAW, then I think software gates are the way to go.

If you don't actually want a gate, but more of an expander, the Kjaerhus one is fairly good. He calls it a Golden Audio Gate (GAG), but it can't gate to digital black and therefore simply isn't a gate.

But I like the Sinus Golden Gate (named before Kjaerhus's, but updated recently with lookahead and stuff). Setting up side chaining - even in Cubase which lacks side chaining facilities - is so easy with this one.
hey, kiwiburger. thanks for the tip on the sinus gate. it's pretty good!
Old 23rd March 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 

A rack of 201's are going to be your gate friends for life! Nothing you can't squeeze into any pocket with those.

PLugins as mentioned about. Kjaerhus and Sinus (more and expander than gate) are both exellent and the new Sonalksis is slated to be very good too. In fact an extremely fussy engineer friend just write to me raving about the Sonalksis gate.

GM
Old 23rd March 2007
  #9
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Sigma's Avatar
derr.. downward expansion...there is a range control on a gate..you ever wonder what it's there for? 3-9 dB of downward expansion can help you keep tom bleed in and help ya out ..
Old 23rd March 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGMA View Post
derr.. downward expansion...there is a range control on a gate..you ever wonder what it's there for? 3-9 dB of downward expansion can help you keep tom bleed in and help ya out ..
Your point?

Not ALL gates have range controls!

GM
Old 23rd March 2007
  #11
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PhilR's Avatar
 

I just use the Floorfish freeware gate. Works a treat.
Old 23rd March 2007
  #12
i used to use gates a lot , now i find they sound unnatural on drums. well except for kick.
ever since micing underneath the snare i find i am using them a lot less.
Old 23rd March 2007
  #13
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I find if i've gone through and gated the whole drum kit like i used to first starting out and then took all the gates off, I liked the real kit without the gates a whole lot better. For live work gates are great but I never really use them anymore on recordings unless I get some really badly recorded stuff and theres far too much bleed then i'l use a gate.

For toms I'd much rather just go in and edit out anything I don't need but the tom hits.

As for working with samples, Unless ur going for the hiphop electronic kits type of sound not sure why u would have to use gates if the samples were properly done. Again, maybe you just like the sound. I've never been a big fan. that SPL deesser unit sounds interesting... link?
Old 23rd March 2007
  #14
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If you look at why you use gates....more often than not its to keep the verb from spalshing all ove everything. I tend to gate the sends instead. Its a less critical signal path, and often achieves the same results without the downside part of gating.

Doesn't always get the job done, but I have to agree with Stryke that many times I'll agonize over drum processing only to find it sounded better before......

In general, gates are a lot more crucial in a live setting.
Old 23rd March 2007
  #15
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I'll second the Floorfish.

Really simple and effective, and FREE!
Old 23rd March 2007
  #16
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Waves C-1
Old 23rd March 2007
  #17
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Engine Room's Avatar
 

I like my Kepex II's alot. Sidechain, range control, linear or logarithmic. Useful for all kinds of studio sorcery.

Old 24th March 2007
  #18
I use a gate as a send to a reverb, or to key the room mics off the snare. Sometimes I've used the expander on my musgrave modded Neve V compressors but not very often
Old 12th June 2014
  #19
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Okay, I decided to dust off this old thread to add my two-cents. Unlike most of you, I'm into live broadcasts in the spoken word, so gating out background noise is very important in my pithy home studio. The S201 and its feature set is pretty hard to beat for my purpose, and while I could use the digital alternative within a mixer, it's just not the same.
Old 12th June 2014
  #20
Deleted 8aee39a
Guest
imho....

i personally dont like gates... they alter the sound way too much... even with "modest" settings
i prefer to actually edit out any bleed or unnecessary things..

as for "altering the groove" with a gate.. its an interesting concept.. but first thing that comes to mind
is why dont you get the groove you want off the back.. rather than have to resort to processing to
get the groove you want... should be easier to do that than to tweak around with a gate...

holy **** this is a ****ing old thread...
Old 12th June 2014
  #21
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 8aee39a View Post
holy **** this is a ****ing old thread
Must mean gates have come back into fashion in the intervening years! heh
Old 12th June 2014
  #22
Not a fan of gates on drums unless there's lookahead and even then you often hear the mics coming in and out. With regard to messing with the rhythm by cutting off leading transient, I'll never forget the unfortunate gating on the kick in much of the first Red Hot Chili Pepper's album, I felt like the kick was behind the beat through whole songs.
Old 12th June 2014
  #23
Deleted 8aee39a
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Must mean gates have come back into fashion in the intervening years! heh
perfect for this "throwback thursday" thing people seem to be so into

... pfft. hipsters.
Old 12th June 2014
  #24
Occasionally useful to split out a drum for FX processing if you want to keep other stuff out, but never on the main mix. Too choked for me.
Old 12th June 2014
  #25
Gear Nut
 

I tried using in-the-box gates ... always sounded unnatural ...
I had better luck using UNVEIL to take out the bleed
and then using Time-Align to phase align everything to the snare

then out through mixer -> 33609 -> Fatso ->Electra EQs
Old 12th June 2014
  #26
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666666's Avatar
Depends on the genre but in some cases drums can really benefit from some careful gating. If you dial it in properly it can be pretty transparent. If you feel it sounds too unnatural in the mix it likely means the gates just aren't set up well.

The gates I'm really digging these days are the new Valley People Dyna-Mite 500-series modules (which have gating, limiting, compression and expansion) and the trusty old API 235L modules. These gate just work. Smooth and musical. Somehow they're easy to make sound good. Other cheaper gates I've tried tend to be a bit too "heavy-handed".... they gate but in a less refined manner overall, harder to dial in. Cheaper gates are fine for live gig situations, but for mixing, use the good stuff.

Old 13th June 2014
  #27
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWgEAR View Post
Drums: lots of compressor love; what about gates?
Yes the Gates compressor is also good.
Old 13th June 2014
  #28
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It's seems to me lately that I'm gating drums for more poppy stuff and not gating drums for more rootsy stuff.
Old 13th June 2014
  #29
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SighBorg's Avatar
 

Smoothest Expander/Gate I've used are the ones in SSL 4Ks... most other gates arnt as smart or have more artifacts like clicks/popping on the attack or attack numbing.

The funny thing about it is that they work best when bleed isnt a major problem... If you're in a situation where you truly have an excessive amount of hats/cymbals in your snare then gating/expanding make the sound worse because every time the snare hits theres a sudden flare up of crazy cymbals. Better off mixing around it or sample replacing if thats the case.

For ITB mixing, if you're using it strictly for getting rid of bleed and not as an effect its kind of outdated imo... Strip silence and batch fades have less artifacts and you have 0 missed triggers.
Old 13th June 2014
  #30
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BillSimpkins's Avatar
I like the Waves SSL 4k gates too. Good for noise reduction and shaping transients (I use the expanders more in this way). Can be used to add punch or soften the transient.
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