13 Best Noise Gate VST Plugins 2022

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Best Noise Gate VST Plugins

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Creating more separation and isolation in your mix allows every track to “breathe” and “sit” better.

To achieve these ends, though, you need to be taking advantage of the right tools.

A noise gate may not hold the allure of a compression, for example, but it tends to play an important role in the mixing process, especially with drum tracks (where there tends to be a lot of bleed) and distorted guitar tracks (which often contain amp noise and feedback).

In this guide, we look at the best noise gate VST plugins.

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poltergate by denise – Best Overall

poltergate by denise – Best Overall

poltergate is a combination transient designer, gate, and de-bleeding plugin to help you achieve multiple desired ends simultaneously.

DJ and producer Achat loved it for creating sidechain rhythms on bass lines or percussion arrangements, and producer / mixer Rhys May thought of it as an all-in-one EQ, transient designer, and clipper.

Whether it’s live drums or samples, you can easily and quickly shape your sounds using poltergate. And it does have its share of creative uses too.

For example, looping. You can use the EQ graph and spike to isolate an instrument within a sample, set the release to sync the tempo, and create automated rhythm effects with the curve feature. You can further alter the dynamics to add some fatness to the loop.

poltergate features a one-of-a-kind de-bleeding algorithm to achieve added precision. The de-bleeder takes advantage of the same threshold as the gating so you can effortlessly adjust both simultaneously.

The user interface is simple and bright. Everything is clearly marked, and it features a “flat vector” style design.

So, altogether, poltergate features a built-in sidechain EQ graph, transient design, gating, and de-bleeding, spike control, presets, clipper, unique de-bleeder algorithm, audition mode, and flip (reverse gate to hear the audio that’s been eliminated).

With all the power that it puts at your fingertips, we couldn’t resist making poltergate our best overall pick.

poltegrate is available for Windows and Mac at Plugin Boutique.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Oxford Drum Gate by Sonnox – Best Premium Option

Oxford Drum Gate by Sonnox – Best Premium Option

The name kind of says it all, but Sonnox’ Oxford Drum Gate promises to be a powerful transparent effect for your drum tracks.

Engineer / producer Will Russell called it “amazing,” producer / mixer Dax Liniere loved the dynamics handling, and musician / songwriter / guitarist / producer Any Sneap called it a great “one-stop-shop” plugin.

Where some gates might leave you feeling a little frustrated with lost ghost notes, chatter, misdetection, and even complex workflows that slow you down, Oxford Drum Gate was created to offer fast, simple, and transparent gating.

The plugin takes advantage of intelligent drum-hit detection, so all you need to do is decide which hits you want to keep.

The decay function helps you narrow in on the natural ring of toms and preserve the resonance while blocking out the excess you don’t want.

The convenient leveler function lets you separate the louder hits from the softer hits and control the target level each.

You can also take advantage of hit detection and MIDI triggering to beef up or replace individual drums with samples while keeping the dynamics of the original performance.

So, all in all, you get transient detection, intelligent drum-type matching, custom drum profiles, decay curve, spectral decay editor, a leveler with dual-target and amount controls, as well as real-time MIDI output and MIDI file capture.

While Oxford Drum Gate costs more than most, it makes mincemeat of drum gating, allowing for control like no other. So, we’re excited to share it as our best premium option.

You can get Oxford Drum Gate for Windows or Mac on Plugin Boutique.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Gatekeeper by Polyverse – Best Budget Option

Gatekeeper by Polyverse – Best Budget Option

Polyverse’s Gatekeeper is a volume modulator with a variable smoothing algorithm (to reduce clicks and pops) and sample-fast transition capabilities.

Gatekeeper also features expressive envelope drawing tools, boost and clip features, eight independent volume envelopes, customizable MIDI-triggering, panning tools, tempo mapped looping, CV output for modular synths, as well as hundreds of presets.

Highly effective as a gate, Gatekeeper is also a powerful LFO, envelope, and step sequencer tool as well.

Gatekeeper has one of the best GUIs we’ve seen, at least in this category of plugins. It sacrifices a bit of usability to achieve a look this smooth, but if you don’t mind taking your time with the interface, this should not prove much of a problem.

As you’ll discover in the video below, Gatekeeper is great for adding rhythmic effects, punching up your drums, adding ghost notes to the snare track, and much more.

We had some strong contenders for our best budget option in this guide, but Gatekeeper came out on top, because it looks good, sound great, does more than just gating, and is affordable to boot.

You can get Gatekeeper for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Valley People Dyna-mite by Softube

Valley People Dyna-mite by Softube

Softube’s Valley People Dyna-mite takes after the original hardware rackmount unit. Considered a Swiss army knife limiter / expander, some consider it a secret weapon, others think of it as a hidden treasure.

Engineer / producer Joe Chiccarelli loved the front end attack it added to percussion, producer Andrew Scheps thought it sounded “dynamite,” and mixer / author Eric Sarafin thought it sounded as good as the original hardware gear.

While the essence of the plugin is a limiter /expander, it can process dynamics at just about any level, whether it’s gating, RMS compression, keying, ducking, and even extreme levelling.

This bundle also comes with a couple of powerful add-ons – Slam and Gate. Slam is for compression and limiting, while Gate is for gating and expanding.

While Valley People Dyna-mite is ideal for drums, it’s a great tool for any sound you want to beef up.

Valley People Dyna-mite is available for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

SSL X-Gate by Solid State Logic

SSL X-Gate by Solid State Logic

Solid State Logic’s SSL X-Gate is a precision gate processor featuring an advanced SSL workflow.

SSL X-Gate was inspired by SSL’s digital broadcast consoles with a rolling waveform graph, mid / side processing, and tweakable hysteresis using independent open and closed thresholds.

Further tweaking is available using the sidechain filter interface, as well as mid / side balance option.

Also onboard are EXP and DUCK modes – a fixed expander mode for transparent gating, and a duck mode for attenuating only when a signal exceeds a threshold.

Overall, SSL X-Gate is beautifully designed. We love the turquoise accents of the interface, along with the lifelike classic knobs of hardware consoles. Though feature packed, the limited controls make it easy to tweak and dial in your ideal settings.

SSL X-Gate is available for Windows and Mac and its list of officially supported DAWs includes FL Studio, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Reaper, Pro Tools, Cubase and Nuendo, and Studio One.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Gatey Watey by Boz Digital Labs

Gatey Watey by Boz Digital Labs

Boz Digital Labs’ Gatey Watey lets you choose which frequencies you want to attenuate as the level drops below the threshold. The idea here being that you can get a more transparent, natural sounding gate.

Whether you want to eliminate drum bleed or reduce amp noise from your guitar tracks, Gatey Watey can handle just about whatever you throw at it.

Frequency selective attenuation and ease of use are the primary selling points of Gatey Watey, but it also comes with lookahead.

As for Gatey Watey’s user interface, we love the clearly marked knobs as well as their slick design. The other elements don’t seem to fit quite as well, and the cyan on red accent color scheme is a tad questionable. But the gate is indeed easy to use, and the design doesn’t affect the usability, so we can’t be too hard on them.

Gatey Watey works on Windows and Mac and is available at Plugin Boutique.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

MRhythmizer by MeldaProduction

MRhythmizer by MeldaProduction

MeldaProduction’s MRhythmizer time manipulation effect allows you to achieve a variety of effects controlling time, volume, and filters – gating, glitching, repeating, and even scratching.

This baby comes with 36 sequences for time, 36 for volume, and 36 for filter with up to 64 quarter notes long and automatic synchronization.

MRhythmizer also features a scratching slider, four global modulators, and up to eight channels surround processing.

MRhythmizer is controllable via MIDI, modulation, and automation, and includes Sinc interpolation and high-quality upsampling, automatic synchronization to host tempo, MIDI controllers with MIDI learn, global preset management, and more.

As the video below demonstrates, this VST plugin is more than just a gate. It’s a powerful tool for electronic music genres of all types. You can take any of your sounds and transform them in a variety of ways to make tracks stand out in the mix, whether it’s rhythmic effects, pitch effects, or otherwise.

If you’re looking for more of a conventional noise gate, though, this plugin is not for you.

MRythmizer is available for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

SSL Native Channel Strip 2 by Solid State Logic

SSL Native Channel Strip 2 by Solid State Logic

As you’ve already seen, gates come in a few different sizes and shapes. But there’s another type of plugin – one with some added sound shaping power – known as a “channel strip” that can offer some powerful gating / expanding options in addition to EQ, compression, saturation, and more.

We’ll be exploring just such options in the rest of this guide.

Modeled after the legendary SSL 9000K console channel strip, the SSL Native Channel Strip 2 is obviously more than just a noise gate.

This baby features “Anti-Cramping,” external side chain input, an EQ section with a classic four-band design, parametric LMF and HMF and shelving LF and HF sections (which switch to Bell), E and G series (switchable), as well as a dynamics section with a separate compressor, as well as a gate / expander.

The compressor has soft and hard knee modes, while both the compressor and gate / expander come with fast / slow attack switches and independent sidechains.

SSL Native Channel Strip 2 also features high and low pass filters (which can be applied to the side chain).

The user interface obviously takes after the original hardware unit, but it’s nicely laid out, and it’s easy to navigate and use. Simply beautiful.

The great thing about this VST plugin is that it does everything at once (and that’s the point of a channel strip). For adjusting your EQ, highpass and lowpass filters, compression, gate / expander all at once, SSL Native Channel Strip 2 offers a nice analog style character to your tracks.

You can get SSL Native Channel Strip 2 for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Solid State Logic XL 9000 K-Series For Console 1 by Softube

Solid State Logic XL 9000 K-Series For Console 1 by Softube

The Solid State Logic XL 9000 K-Series For Console 1 is an emulation of one of the most popular analog consoles for hip-hop and R&B, as well as classical and acoustic audiophile recordings.

With a clean, transparent sound, Softube added Solid State Logic’s VHD (Variable Harmonic Drive) circuit to allow for creative distortion. You can adjust the Drive and Character Knob to dial in the exact saturation characteristics you want.

XL-9000 K-Series also features a gate with Punch and Sustain knobs, which control Range and Hold levels. The onboard compressor has switchable Peak and RMS modes for added options, and there’s also a built-in equalizer for more tone shaping possibilities.

This VST plugin is perfect for adding width and depth to your mixes.

You can get Solid State Logic XL 9000 K-Series For Console 1 for Windows or Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Weiss Gambit Series For Console 1 by Softube

Weiss Gambit Series For Console 1 by Softube

Weiss Gambit Series For Console 1 channel strip is a 1:1 code port of the original DS1-MK3 and EQ-1 units created in partnership with Weiss Engineering. Of course, it features a few extras like below-threshold compression, high / low pass filters, gate, expander, surgical equalizing, compressor, and limiter just to make it even more attractive.

Effectively, there are five sections to the Weiss Gambit Series For Console 1 – the input section, shape section with expanding / gating as well as below-threshold compression, equalizer section with four bands and fixed Q-range for low and high bands, compressor section, and drive and character section (basically the limiter from the DS1 and Weiss MM-1).

Check out the video below to hear the Weiss Gambit Series For Console 1 in action. It’s a fantastic option for adding some punch to your mixes, evening out the dynamics, shaping the tone, and much more.

You can get Weiss Gambit Series For Console 1 for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

American Class A by Softube

American Class A by Softube

Softube’s American Class A channel strip is a combination of the best American console hardware, with gate and transient designing features, a four-band EQ with proportional Q and range control, compressor with feedback and feedforward options, and an output drive section with warm and crunchy saturation.

The plugin features a great UI, but then again, we wouldn’t expect any less from Softube. It comes with classic, lifelike knobs, while offering a sleek, modern vibe. The controls are clearly marked and easy to understand, and the design is nicely balanced too.

The video below demonstrates all the ways you can use American Class A to enhance your individual tracks, busses, or even mixes. And there’s no denying that it sounds effortlessly great.

American Class A is a great solution for a near comprehensive effects chain, and it’s available for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

British Class A by Softube

British Class A by Softube

Softube’s British Class A is a dynamic processor offering – as the name would suggest – a classic British sound.

Editor Matt Clinch gave it a 10 out of 10, Grammy-winning engineer Michael Ilbert found it authentic in every dimension, and engineer David Amlen thought it could become his next go-to plugin.

British Class A includes four versions – British Class A, British Class A for Console 1, British Class A for Amp Room, and British Class A for modular.

In developing this package, Softube set out to model the gate, compression, EQ, filter, and drive of some of the most beloved British console modules.

This channel strip is comprised of four sections. The first is the shape section (gate) with sidechain input, the second is the equalizer section with stepped frequency controls, the third is the compressor / limiter section, and the fourth and final section is the drive section.

Like several of the other plugins we’ve looked at in this guide, this one is ideal for situations where you need to do some serious timber molding, and it’s not just for gating, though that is something it does well.

British Class A is compatible with Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Channel G Native v7 by McDSP

Channel G Native v7 by McDSP

McDSP’s Channel G Native v7 is another super-powered option, offering more than just noise gate. In fact, it comes with three plugins – G Dynamics (with expander / gate, compressor / limiter, and filter section), G Equalizer (five-band console style EQ with filter section), and G Console (a combination of G Dynamics and G Equalizer configurations).

So, yes, this is, in essence a channel strip like setup for detailed sound shaping and tweaking.

This VST also comes with presets, zero latency algorithms, real time analyzers, multi-mode filters (high pass, low pass, notch) with selectable slopes of six to 24 dB / Oct, and analog saturation modeling.

We love the design of the G plugins. They’re smooth, colorful, intricate, and lifelike. They are a joy to use too. Excellent work!

Tape Op magazine thought the plugin was the closest thing to the only plugin you need to create great mixes.

Channel G Native v7 is available for Windows and Mac and works with most DAWs that support AAX, AU, and VST3 plugin formats.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Noise Gate VST Plugin?

Ultimately, noise gate VSTs are a utility plugin. So, you don’t want to stress over the purchase too much. In essence, they all do the same thing – they set a “gate” in front of the audio material you don’t want to hear, while preserving the portion you want to keep.

Some plugins do it “better,” and some plugins do more, but the end goal is the same – to eliminate bleed and unwanted noise in a track. All noise gates do this, though their overall competency can vary.

Naturally, there are always new technologies popping up. Some gates like the poltergate plugin act as an all-in-one gate, transient designer, and de-bleeding plugin, making it more useful for creating separation in your tracks overall.

Other plugins are more comprehensive transient designers and dynamic processors that allow for granular fine-tuning.

Basically, there are more options than ever. So, there might be a little more to buying a gate than meets the eyes.

To streamline the shopping process, here are the main factors we suggest considering when hunting for your ideal VST(s):

  • Intended usage
  • Plugin type (noise gate, channel strip, or multi-effect)
  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Let’s look at each of these considerations in detail.

Intended Usage

How are you planning to use the gate?

Noise gates, first and foremost, tend to end up on drum tracks and busses (to reduce bleed and offer more separation), and secondarily, on noisy distorted guitar tracks (to reduce excess amp noise, feedback, etc.).

Sometimes, though, gating is used on other types of tracks, be it vocals or synths – sometimes as a creative effect, and again, sometimes to reduce unwanted bleed or noise.

So, are you looking for an all-purpose gate? A gate that’s ideally suited to drums? One that’s been built for guitar?

Consider the application and find a noise gate that matches the intended usage. A drum gate, for instance, might work on other audio material, but it’s not the ideal solution for other types of instruments and tracks.

Noise Gate, Channel Strip, Or Multi-Effect?

Broadly, there are standalone noise gate plugins, channel strips, and multi-effects.

A noise gate is just that – a utility plugin that specializes in gating. A channel strip is like an all-in-one effects chain with EQ, compression, gate, expander, and sometimes other options like distortion and saturation. And a multi-effect is a noise gate with added functionality like EQ.

We’ve featured all types of VST plugins here, because depending on what you’re looking for, one is going to be more useful than the other.

If you are relatively self-sufficient in terms of other effects, like EQ, compression, and reverb, and you’ve got CPU processing power to spare, then a standalone gate effect will work in most situations.

A multi-effect is good if you need the added power that the plugin offers.

And if you’d like to conserve some computer processing power, and the idea of being able to build an entire effects chain appeals to you, a channel strip will serve you better.

I love channel strips myself, but they are more power than you need if gating is all you really need right now.

Do keep in mind, though, that the overall competence of the plugin as well as its sound quality is going to vary from one VST plugin to the next. Which is why you’ll still want to consider…

Sound Quality

The overall sound quality of a noise gate plugin is important, though not as critical as it would be when purchasing something like a reverb or compression.

The goal of a noise gate is generally to eliminate bleed and noise below a certain threshold, and maybe to add a little punch and pump to the mix.

Some noise gates, though, do seem to do this a little better than others. If, for example, you’re able to specify the frequency or frequencies you want to attenuate, you’ll probably be able to keep more of the audio material you want and preserve the performance, versus blocking out everything under a given threshold.

Some noise gates, for example, are less subtle and will remove ghost notes completely or diminish dynamics, making it harder to keep the integrity of a performance.

Have a listen to the noise gate(s) you’re thinking about buying and read up on their features as well. You know what’s going to work for you better than just about anyone else.

Features

Most noise gates don’t come with a ton of features – just a few adjustable parameters to help you eliminate noise below a set threshold (although it’s worth referring to an earlier section on plugin type – standalone noise gate, multi-effect, or channel strip, for more information on this).

But the latest and greatest gates may come with compression, transient shaping, bleed elimination, and other handy tools that allow for additional processing.

We’ve also featured multiple channel strips in this guide, which can do considerably more than just gating. A channel strip can work as your entire effects chain on a track, especially on those only requiring EQ, compression, gating and expansion, and saturation (for most drum tracks, that’s everything you need).

If a gate utility is all you need, then there’s no need to spring for more. The gates featured here are bound to be more powerful than the stock plugins in your DAW. There are some great standalone gating options in this guide.

But do be mindful of what you’re buying – a gate, multi-effect, or channel strip, because a straight comparison between these will not tell the full story. That’s key.

Budget

Most gates are in the $50 to $230 range, but in this guide, we also looked at channel strips, which generally cost around $300, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. Quite surprising what you can end up paying for a utility plugin.

Although it’s not a price that should break the bank, we always like to remind our readers to spend responsibly. Don’t go into debt for any purchase. Use your budget as a filter, and you will be able to arrive at a purchase decision faster.

If you’re still learning and don’t have much of a budget, then master the gear you’ve got. Then you will appreciate the upgrades that much more.

Top Noise Gate VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

Gating may not be the sexiest of plugin categories, but it is essential, especially as you look to create great sounding mixes. Mastering the basics of mixing makes it that much easier for you to achieve desired results rapidly.

When it comes to noise gates, there are more options than ever. You can choose from the latest, cutting-edge standalone noise gates, all the way over to multi-effects and channel strips, depending on what you need right now. They can all give you the results you’re looking for, it just depends on how much power you need! With that, you should be equipped with everything you need to find your next VST plugin. Happy trails.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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