We take a look at the new Gates Bundle for Virtual Mix Rack from Slate Digital. Steven and his team have been working hard creating a new take on the classic gate concept and come up with something truly new. Could these be the ultimate gates for your DAW? We first try the new Gate Drums module on a full drum kit focusing on the kick drum. Then we use the Gate Classic module on a vocal to get rid of some background drum bleed.
A New Set Of Gates For Your Studio
The gate as we knew was one of the most important yet, often misunderstood weapons in the audio engineer’s bag of tricks. Used surgically, it can eliminate or reduce undesired bleed or background noise from a recording or live mic. However, when used creatively, a gate’s applications are many and varied. The new Slate Digital Gates Bundle puts the 2 new gates (Classic and Drums) into your Virtual Mix Rack (VMR) for you to use as part of the Slate Everything Bundle or to be purchased separately.
Gate Classic is a traditional, straightforward gate that is designed to be highly efficient at removing background noise from guitars, vocals, and other acoustically-recorded tracks.
In “normal” circumstances the Slate Digital Classic Gate would be the only gate you might need, enabling you to remove unwanted background noise from a variety of source material with ease. The Classic gate features more traditional gate parameters such as threshold, ratio, range, attack, release, slope, with TWO distinct gate modes - Classic and Vocal.
Think of Classic mode as a standard detection based gate that triggers from an input signal. The input signal can then be filtered with the inbuilt high-pass & low-pass filters.
Vocal mode introduces internal filtering designed to better detects a vocalist’s natural breathing. A unique timing circuit has been added to ease and smooth the opening and closing of the gate.
Gate Classic also features a highly-accurate side-chain filter so if you into your kick drum pounding EDM you have everything you need to get creative in a mix.
Gate Drums is a sophisticated application for drums. It has been designed to combine a gate based on transient detection with smart dynamic filtering the the aim of achieving cleaner drum tracks than with a traditional gate.
Unlike the Gate Classic, which is it triggered by the amplitude of the incoming signal, Gate Drums is based on the signal’s transient input. This means that the gate is triggered by sharp and soft transients rather than volume levels. With this original approach to gate processing, you can now separate the transient from the signal tail, and, if you wish apply different processes to each.
During the Transient phase the gate is open and dynamic filters are flat. In the tail phase the gate is closed and dynamic filters are active. Thus, it is possible to preserve a kick hit and reduce cymbal bleeds by using dynamic filters in high frequencies. Watch the video see and hear this in action.
Gate Drums Workflow
Gate Drums is divided into three sections, Transient Detection as the top is where you start by adjusting the detection to catch only the desired transients. Gate: Is the second step of the workflow and adjusts the floor and timing of the gate. Debleed: Is the final step and filters the tail when a transient is caught.
Gate Drums Features
Transient Detection: The controls the ability of the gate to detect more or less transient.
Detection Threshold: Above this threshold, transients can be detected. Below, transients can not be detected. By excluding low levels, you are able focus on a specific amplitude range and have insanely precise transient detection.
Detection Filters: You can now filter the signal before detection, so the gate only reacts to certain frequencies.
Debleed On/Off: This enables the dynamic filters.
Release: As you might expect this controls the speed of filter activation once a transient has been detected.
What We Think About The Slate Digital Gates Bundle
Do I think that Slate Digital have created the ultimate gate plug-in? Well, in the mind of this “gate-a-phonic” they really have. The drum tracks that I have used it on thus far sound really nice and “clean” and a lot of the mud that often clouds and fogs up my mixes is gone when using the Gate Drums in the first slot in my VMR chain. I’m quite sure that this is going to be one of my “go-to” plug-ins when mixing drums and other percussion in future.
As for the Gate Classic, well, even this version of the gate is far more audio friendly in my opinion that other gates I have used before in either hardware or software format. I feel like I am able to be kind to the audio not just chop it off, so to speak!
If you are looking for a new gate plug-in or maybe, like me you weren’t, the Gates Bundle from Slate Digital is well worth a look and a listen.
You can find out more about the new Gates Bundle and all the other VMR modules by visiting the Slate Digital website and check out the official launch video bellow.