Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Drums Gating

  • This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by simonbest.
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  • #10691

      So I'm curious about this topic... Gating drums vs. not gating.

      I know some people like to do it always, some don't... I can't seem to make it work for me, anyway. For example, I always have problems with the Hihat bleed in the snare mic being way too evident after gating, even after adding the Hihat's own mic to the mix.

      So what's your approach on drums gating? do you usually go for it, avoid it, and why? What do you look for when gating drums? Does it fit some styles better than other?

      I know it's not a juicy subject as compression or analog vs. digital, but it's something that has been kinda bugging me lately.

      Mark Warner

        Hi Simon,
        I keep to the philosophy of "only do what is necessary" so gating is probably a last resort for me. I might use it to control an excessive ring on a Tom for instance or natural reverb. If bleed is really bad more likely I will use a midi trigger and substitute or layer with clean samples.
        Cheers Mark

        Chris Sweet

          I concur with Mark but another option is expanding vs gating (reducing volume vs hard gating). Most gates offer a volume reduction level. You can get more natural results that way, just dropping the volume 10 db instead of cutting it out entirely. So if it's a more organic thing, I would probably do that. For pop/rock I might gate harder for a tighter sound.


            I’m the total opposite, I love gating drums especially on faster songs. Although I usually find gating too imprecise, I use ‘strip silence’ instead on Kick, Snare & Toms. After doing that tedious job, it’s much easier to use clip gain and trigger samples. More overall control and separation also becomes noticeable when using pan and on individual sends for reverb.
            Overheads and room mics become increasingly important and one trick to glue it all together is create a custom made drum room track using artificial reverb (UAD Ocean Way Studios, Overloud REmatrix). If you like a grittier tone you can also use only the raw kick and snare tracks (no gating) and use lots of compression and distortion with the lows & highs turned down. This track can play the role as alternative mono room mic/Wurst-mic (© Moses Schneider).

            Rich Zei

              Live I have always ued them to tame bleed on a loud stage. I recall in my formative years that we used to joke that our Gates were only for triggering the Verb.


                " always have problems with the Hihat bleed in the snare mic being way too evident after gating"

                For this specific problem a new plugin called DeBleeder has been released. Apparently it's a hybrid between a gate and a dynamic EQ. I have no personal experience with this plugin, but there's a discussion on Gearslutz and it's on sale this month for $40 .


                  Thanks everyone for the replies!
                  I have used strip silence sometimes and manual editing, and while I find it the most precise, it is a last resort thing. I'll definitely check out DeBleeder, as I often struggle with hihat bleed on snare hits after gating.

                  EDIT: I just checked out the DeBleeder website, isn't it basically a sidechain expander?

                  • This reply was modified 7 years ago by simonbest.
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