Could Someone Define Range on a noise gate?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by forgetmeknots, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Sorry, I know this is such a dumb question, but i think i understand the concept, just need someone to help me solidify my understanding. From what I've read and heard, if the threshhold of a noise gate were to be set at say, -10dB, and we were to set the range at say - 20 dB, this would in turn, allow, some of the noise floor to remain present, and wouldn't be as unnatural sounding, as the gate completely closing. Am I even on the right path with this concept?...could someone help make this clear? Thank you, sorry for the silly questions, I'm still waiting for my wings to be clipped... :roll:
  2. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    No need to apologize.

    Range is basically the percentage of the audio signal that is being attenuated.

    If you set your range at 50%, then when your gate closes, there will still be half of the signal volume still present.

    Range is used to clean up tracks more often than not.

    ie: if you want some of the cymbals removed from your tom mics, but don't want to lose the open sound of the drum set, you can set you range to 20-40%. This will still allow the toms to sympathetical ring with the kit ( a good thing imho) but shave off a little of the cymbals.

  3. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like you got it... The "range" just specifies how much the gate will attenuate the signal once the level drops below the threshold.

    In your scenaro, once the signal drops below -10dB, it would be attenuated by 20dB (the "Range" setting).

    On drums, I tend to use lower ranges to make the gate more natural while still being somewhat effective. With a range setting of 20-30dB, it is essentially an off/on gate. A range setting of more like -6 to -12dB will make a less abrupt gate (but less effective, too).

  4. thank you both soo much....i had it explained once, prior, but his explanation wasn't quite as good as the one i got here, i appreciate your knowledge and patience, thanks again!
  5. Hold on a sec--a noise gate is to an expander what a limiter is to a compressor, right? If this is true, wouldn't a gate with range parameters no longer be a gate?

    ...I mean, if only to pick nits.
  6. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I guess the Drawmer DS201 is not a gate? Sure it is.

    An expander will use a ratio, not a "fixed range" for its expansion. We are just making a more subtle gate - so "off" is more like "attenuated"... Simular but not identical to downward expansion.

  7. spiteface

    spiteface Guest

    would a noise gate do the same thing to a proximity affect on a mic that a high or low pass filter would do? :roll: im $*^t tired here and possibly a little confused on this..hhmm (ive been studying sound for a month now..) em.. does it depend on how youve set the noise gate whether it takes out higher or lower you have a clue what im sayin here..
  8. As long as it's a full-band expander it will take out ALL the sound, regardless of frequency. To be able to filter out specific frequencies it would have to a multiband expander. (Which there are plenty of, of course.)
  9. spiteface

    spiteface Guest

    oh righty, multiband i see....thanx
  10. cameron107

    cameron107 Member

    Jul 20, 2011

    A standard noise gate attenuates signal as it dips below the threshold. Used to remove unwanted bleed from headphones or mics

    The Expander can be used to reduce/remove noise although it is not exactly the same same as a noise gate.
    The expander is the exact opposite to compression upon the dynamic range, instead of squashing it decompresses. Can help over-compressed signal sound a little more natural.

    The ratio is written 1:4 as an example and this means when the signal dips below ur threshold it is X4 times less. Therefore if the threshold is -35dB and I sent a signal of -25db through the unit. I can calculate it, 10dB difference, therefore 10/4=2.5dB @ -25dB

    Hope that helps
  11. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    May 22, 2011
    JHB, RSA
    Home Page:
    There are a couple of ways of thinking of this and there are a few different names that plugin developers label the "range" function.

    I've seen it labeled as "mix" or "floor" as well as "range", and they're all correct. Take gating toms for example. If you set the range to -∞dB (100% mix), the gate will attenuate all the way to "off". This can sometimes sound unnatural and choppy, mostly because of cymbal bleed stabbing in and out when the gate opens and closes. To remedy this, you can set the range so that some bleed is constantly there, albeit attenuated, say, 12dB - which would correlate to a range setting of -12dB.

    An even bigger helper is a dual or multiband gate where you can set the threshold, attack and release independently on each band. I use this one:

    I can't tell you where to get it because it was a custom creation for forumites on another forum, but if you use a DAW that hosts AU plugins, you can get this one, which is stellar:


    You can get it here: Airwindows AU Plugins

    Just so you know, the guy who makes these plugins, ChrisJ, is a genius. Do not be fooled by the stripped down GUI. His plugs work and sound amazing!

    Cheers :)

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