23 Mar Why you need a noise gate pedal
Looking to get rid of buzzing and unwanted noise in your rig? Tired of background noise when recording? Then you need a Noise Gate pedal.
What do they do?
Basically, they act as a signal ‘gate’, letting sound through above a set threshold and closing below this. All you need to do then is set the threshold just above your noise floor level and bob’s your uncle!
Whilst it is assumed that only metal-guitarists need a noise-gate due to the heavy distortion and high gain they use, you can get hiss and hum from any part of your chain, particularly if you have a big pedal board with its own power supply. Throw in single pickups and a valve amp and you can get unwanted noise even with a very clean sound.
You might like the old-school noise and hum from your rig when on stage and cranking it up, but at home with lower volumes and the potential to use more gear, it soon becomes a bit tiresome – enter the noise gate.
What causes noise?
- Older valve amps tend to produce hiss and hum as do high-gain amps – boost the volume and gain and the background noise goes up
- Turn up the treble and mid and the unwanted noise increases
- Single coil pickups can generate plenty of unwanted hum
- Power supply; your house supply can be poor and cause noise and interference as can the AC power adaptor on your board
- Electrical goods near your amp – phone, laptop, PC, radios, Bluetooth etc
- Tons of pedals on your board can produce noise even if they are all ‘true bypass’
Where to put it on your rig
Most users will put it after their overdrive and distortion pedals as these may cause the most noise but experiment and listen to where it goes best.
Six of the best
- Boss NS 2 £79
- TC Sentry £80
- EHX Silencer £55
- MXR Smart Gate £135
- MXR Noise Clamp £87
- Mooer Noise Killer £52
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