#1
I see that a lot of people with high-gain amps such as myself have a noise-gate in thier pedal chain. I understand how a gate will cut that staticy, noisy hiss when not playing. However, my rig doesn't really have a whole lot of noise, even when turned up loud. I mean, it's there, but it certainly isn't a real problem.

Is there some other benefit to having a noise gate, such as a difference in your 'sound' while playing? Thanks?
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#2
Yeah depending on the type of gate - most gates have a dB threshold at which they cut out noise - it changes the attack of the notes you play, and often kills the sustain faster. Listen to Fear factory to hear it in action, or anything like the rhythm parts by Periphery or Meshuggah. All have heavily gated high gain tones
#3
The opposite of a benefit. Most noise gates aren't smart enough to know exactly when you're playing and when you're not, so they tend to cut off some sustain and treble. They're something you use only when you have to.
#4
When playing at bedroom levels, the single coil hum of a Strat is more noticeable. I used to use a noise gate to cut that noise off during pauses in playing. Especially if I was using flanger, phaser, or chorus...

A gate can be problematic in that regard if wanting to use sustain and let the note decay away...
#5
Quote by Roc8995
The opposite of a benefit. Most noise gates aren't smart enough to know exactly when you're playing and when you're not, so they tend to cut off some sustain and treble. They're something you use only when you have to.


as far as i know only the mxr smart gate doesn't do this - it some how works out when you are playing and not, and cuts noise accordingly. But for some bands the disadvantage of a regular boss ns-2 style gate is a benefit coz it creates a signature style of high gain rhythm tone
#6
Quote by gman128
Yeah depending on the type of gate - most gates have a dB threshold at which they cut out noise - it changes the attack of the notes you play, and often kills the sustain faster. Listen to Fear factory to hear it in action, or anything like the rhythm parts by Periphery or Meshuggah. All have heavily gated high gain tones


I'm a long-time Fear Factory fan; that's kind of what I was wondering about - whether people use noise-gates as an "effect." Thanks for the info!

And yeah, I'm not really going for that effect - I prefer my muting to determine the attack/sustain of my notes. I guess I don't really need one unless noise becomes a problem...but it might be something fun to play around with if I have money to blow.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
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Last edited by KailM at Jan 3, 2012,
#7
Quote by gman128
as far as i know only the mxr smart gate doesn't do this - it some how works out when you are playing and not, and cuts noise accordingly. But for some bands the disadvantage of a regular boss ns-2 style gate is a benefit coz it creates a signature style of high gain rhythm tone

My experience is that it's not as smart as it claims to be - it's supposed to know when you're playing, but it can't always tell the difference between the quiet decay of a note and noise. Most noise gates fall into two categories - the NS-2/smart gate style, which has that gating effect, and the EHX hum debugger style, which just try to notch filter out the hum. Both can be used to influence the sound in an interesting way, but are detrimental to the original tone of the guitar with the settings too high, and allow a bit of noise with the settings too low.

Basically, with some gates you can get close to a neutral/no effect on tone, but few will get rid of all the noise with no effect, and many will do strange things to your signal with a lot of noise suppression dialed in.
#8
I also use the MXR smart comp. For a while, I noticed that my sustain was kinda weak, but then I experimented with different settings on the pedal, and now it sounds great. Actually, it doesn't sound at all There will always be a little noise, especially on high gain, but unless you plan on spending hundreds of dollars on an awesome rack mounted noise gate, the MXR is worth it.
#9
they normally tighten things up a bit, too

if you set the decimator judiciously at the absolute minimum level you need to cut all/almost all the noise, i haven't noticed much effect on sustain or decay of the notes.

put it like this, i'm perfectly willing to take pedals out of my chain if i think they're killing my tone, and my decimator's still there.

that's not to say roc/colin's wrong or anything, some gates are better than others and you do have to set them pretty carefully to get teh best results.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#10
I've not used a decimator. I hear that's the way to go, which is good because the ones I tried were terrible. The NS2 was a disaster, the EHX is a toy and the MXR was just ok. I'm no expert on noise suppressors, I gave up on them long ago.
#11
yeah. i mean i wouldn't say it's 100% transparent, because it's not, but it's close enough that if you do have noise problems or are playing at high preamp gain levels, that teh advantages you gain from using the decimator outweigh the disadvantages. IMO, anyway.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
My amps have a "gain off" switch, which is always engaged. Not a lot of preamp saturation going on in my signal path.
#13


i don't run mine dimed anymore, but since i'm using an od as a boost now most of teh time, they're still pretty high gain most of the time.

but yeah when i do play at lower gains i generally turn the decimator off. i actually used to think it was completely transparent, but now i can hear it... which is weird because in most other ways i think my hearing has got worse
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
I know my noise gate is probably degrading my original tone and what not, but I've just learned to make it a unique part of my playing. Considering that I usually pile a lot of fuzz and delay, I don't really need much of the original tone.
#15
i love it when i am doing some cool trail-offs and the noise gate totally clamps me off and maybe does the crappy 'stuttering' on/off thing. or how it cuts off my feedback when the harmonics are changing, and getting intricate.

i really like how noise gates facilitate the use of too much gain; you know, the amount of gain where you can't even stand still without inducing feedback and your overloaded on squashed harmonic content to the point where every note sounds the same and you can only tell what octave you are playing in.

really, to each his own; but i don't see how people use noise gates. they completely truncate my skill set by eliminating many subtle tricks i use, and i know more effective solutions to uncontrollable feedback.

one the best things i did as a young player was ditch the compressors and noise gates, it made me much better.
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#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
they normally tighten things up a bit, too

if you set the decimator judiciously at the absolute minimum level you need to cut all/almost all the noise, i haven't noticed much effect on sustain or decay of the notes.

put it like this, i'm perfectly willing to take pedals out of my chain if i think they're killing my tone, and my decimator's still there.

that's not to say roc/colin's wrong or anything, some gates are better than others and you do have to set them pretty carefully to get teh best results.


+1

I have the Decimator as well, and as long as you aren't expecting miracles, it's pretty transparent. For example, one guitarist I know expects there to be no open string noise when he lets his hands off the guitar. Obviously doing that is going to cut sustain, but if you just dial it in to cut the hiss and hum out of your sound, it doesn't affect sustain at all. There's still that dead-silent cutoff, but that's kinda expected since it's cutting off the extra noise there. If it's dead silent when you stop playing and mute your strings, then the pedal's doing its job. As for pick attack, if you're dialing it up to have no open string noise, it makes it so you have to wail on the strings to hear anything, but that's also not what the pedal is for.

Put it this way:
I bought mine and the other guitarist in my band was saying how he was gonna grab a noise gate/suppressor, but was afraid of affecting his sustain. I showed him mine and the first thing he said was "wow...I've gotta get me one of those...". At that point, I still had it set a bit higher than I should have, so obviously it was doing a damn good job.
#17
^ exactly
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?