The 6 Best Noise Gate Plugins Ever – 2021

Here is the complete list of the best noise gate plugins updated for 2021:

  1. FabFilter Pro-G
  2. Boz Digital Labs Gatey Watey
  3. Waves C1 Compressor/Gate
  4. Infected Mushroom Gatekeeper
  5. kiloHearts Gate
  6. AlexHilton A1TriggerGate (FREE)

If you’ve ever dealt with unpleasant hiss or hum in your audio, don’t feel alone, you’re not the first, or the last person experiencing this.

Getting rid of these unwanted elements can be tough, but with the help of a noise gate or expander eliminating these issues can be quite simple. The choices of noise gates on the market are nearly endless, so choosing what fits your production style the best can be a difficult task. That’s why we crafted this list of the best noise gate plugins available in 2021.

If you want to check out a full, comprehensive list of the best VST plugins in 2021 check out our full guide.

1. FabFilter Pro-G

fabfilter pro g noise gate plugin

Pro G is made by the awesome FabFilter, who are known for their incredible, industry standard mixing utility plugins like Pro-Q3.

FabFilter’s Pro-G is the best noise gate plugin out there. It’s simple to use, easy to pick up, and damn powerful. Pro-G comes with 6 different algorithms as well as mono, stereo and mid/side processing.

In addition to all that, it’s also light on the CPU. Pro-G works as both a noise gate and an expander, and modes are switched between very easily.

What we like the best about Pro-G, is it’s lightning fast workflow. Whatever you might be trying to accomplish with your gate, can be done in just seconds.

Combine that with a bunch of really powerful presets, and you’ll have all your gating needs met in one single awesome plugin.

Pro-G is available in VST, AU, AAX plugin formats for both Windows and Mac.

2. Boz Digital Labs Gatey Watey

boz digital labs gatey watey noise gate VST

Gatey Watey is as fun to use as it name might suggest. Boz Digital Labs’ amazing gate plugin is frequency dependent. This essentially means that you can gate separate frequencies of your sound. You can choose between low, mid and high modes to accomplish this.

As different as it is from a normal noise gate plugin, Gatey Watey retains the standard gate parameters. So, using it is no different than any other gate out there.

The UI is simple, but inspiring, and the looks alone make us want to use this plugin quite often.

Probably the most unique of the Gate plug ins on our list, Boz Digital Labs Gatey Watey is an incredibly fun and creative effect, which can be pushed to great lengths.

If you already have a great Gate plugin in your noise reduction arsenal, trust me, you need this one as well!

Gatey Watey is available in VST, AU, AAX plugin formats for both Windows and Mac.

3. Waves C1 Compressor/Gate

waves C1 compressor/noise gate plugin

A true production workhorse, the Waves C1 is an impressively versatile production tool. The C1 features compression, expansion, gating as well as equalization functions. Split into three modules, these effects can be used separately, or in tandem, to shape your sound even further.

All three options are extremely powerful processing modules in themselves, making the C1’s versatility something to keep in mind when choosing a gate plugin.

Split-band dynamics help you isolate the frequency ranges in your signal, for a more in-depth dynamics control. A look ahead feature also helps the C1 anticipate transients better.

Lastly, our favourite part of the C1 is it’s spectacular sidechaining. Your sidechain comes with it’s own filters, and equalizers, to help shape your tone further, as well as reduce muddiness.

All-in-all, if you’re just starting in production, the C1 is a powerhouse that you’ll get a lot of mileage out of.

The Waves C1 Compressor is available in VST, AU, AAX plugin formats for both Windows and Mac.

4. Infected Mushroom Gatekeeper

infected mushroom gatekeeper gate VST

Polyverse’s Infected Mushroom line of plugins never fails to deliver. Gatekeeper, their volume modulation plugin, is as good as the rest.

Gatekeeper stands out from other standard gate designs with an interesting feature that includes eight envelopes, independent of each other. This essentially makes Gatekeeper, one of the best noise gate plug ins for rhythmic gating purposes.

While it can perform the same function as a standard noise gate plugin would, The rhythmical capabilities of Gatekeeper are intense.

The UI is also just as complex and eye-catching, as the other plug ins from Polyverse. But while it may look complex, the GUI is extremely easy to operate, and will get the job you need done in a matter of moments.

In addition to everything else that’s already awesome about it, Gatekeeper also comes with hundreds of presets for you to use.

Add to that gain, envelope and pan controls for every envelope, and you have a powerful and unique noise gate plug in.

Gatekeep is amazing for sound design purposes due to its sheer customisability.

Gatekeeper is available in VST, AU, AAX plugin formats for both Windows and Mac.

5. kiloHearts Gate

kiloHearts noise gate plugin

Just like the rest of kiloHearts blocks plugins, the Gate is designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind.

The simplicity of this plugin shouldn’t be taken at face value, since, this is a very capable and powerful gate plugin, with absolutely nothing in terms of added functionality. What you ask for, is what you get with the kiloHearts plugins.

We love the kiloHearts bundle, for the sole reason of it being full of extremely useful utility plugins designed for ease of use.

If you’re looking for reliability, ease of use, and zero latency, kiloHearts’ software is absolutely for you.

KiloHearts’ Gate is available in VST, AU, AAX plugin formats for both Windows and Mac.

6. Alex Hilton A1TriggerGate (FREE)

A1 Trigger Gate noise gate VST plugin

Lastly, we’ve saved the A1TriggerGate as dessert. This Alex Hilton plugin is truly amazing. The A1TriggerGate let’s you trigger audio with a gated sound. You can even adjust this further with the built-in settings.

A1TriggerGate is absolutely free to download. And, what makes that even more impressive is the included FX section, with access to effects like delay, distortion, filters, reverb, etc.

In addition to this, A1TriggerGate has a built-in pattern sequencer with 4 or 3 beats, divided into 16th notes and 8th note triplets respectively.

Lastly, adding to the already creative approach to Gate plugins, you get a randomize button. If you’ve read some of our reviews before, you’ll know how much we love randomize buttons.

Sometimes you’re just a bit lazy, and want to get results quickly, and easily, which is why having a randomization feature is awesome. It makes crazy things happen without having to do much. You can then resample these crazy things, and turn them into something even more.

All in all, the AlexHilton A1TriggerGate is an impressive free effects plugin. Whether you want to remove some background noise, or want to sequence a rhythmic gate pattern, you can do all of it with A1TriggerGate.

A1Triggergate is available for free in VST, AU, AAX plugin formats for both Windows and Mac.

What Is A Noise Gate?

A noise gate is a an audio effect, which affects the sound by not allowing sound through the gate below (or above) a set threshold. Noise Gates are usually controlled by a combination of parameters.

Threshold controls the level, at which your Gate will kick in. When the sound is above the threshold, the gate is open, letting sound through. If it’s below, the gate closes and no sound goes through..

As a lot of effects like this, you also get an Attack and Release interface, as well as Hold.

Attack controls the speed at which your gate kicks in.

Release sets the length of time your gate will fade out for.

Hold controls how long your gate remains in it’s closed state, before checking for new transients.

Some Gates also feature a Range control, which sets the amount by which the signal is reduced, when the gate is shut.

Noise Gates are in general, extremely useful effects, that can be essential to achieving clean mixes, when using distorted and rough sounds.

How To Use Noise Gates

Sadly, while gates are incredibly important, beginner producers rarely utilize it, if at all. Let’s look at some precise use cases and settings to use, to get the most out of this tool.

Noise Removal

Removing noise from a recording is going to be the first, and usually, the most frequent type of operating you’ll do with a Gate plug in.

No matter who you are or how long you’ve been recording for, a noisy recording is something everyone needs to deal with regularly.

Imagine you’re doing some field recording, and want to use a sample as a hi-hat, but the background noise is too loud or you’re getting some mic bleed. Using a noise gate, to catch the hi-hat transient, while removing everything else is a quick and easy way to fix unwanted noise in your tracks.

You can also use noise removal tools, like the amazing Acon Digital Acoustica, but sometimes a gate is better for this.

Make sure to set your threshold above the background noise, but below the main transient of your hi-hat. A great visual representation of your Gate envelope can be very helpful when doing this.

Additionally, if your gate has a look ahead feature, turn that on. Quicker and sharper sounds work better with more precision when gating, so a look-ahead feature can be a life-saver.

Rhythmic Gating

Secondly, a favorite of all EDM producers of the 2010’s, rhythmic gating.

Some gate plug ins allow for rhythmical gating, which will produce a rough and stuttering sound. While this isn’t great as an effect you’d leave on all the time, using rhythmic gating on impacts, or at points of tension in your music, can create intense transitions.

We love to drop a gate going in triplets on our synth bus, and automating it to turn on during a transition, or pulling focus back to the element. Whether you put it on your bass, drums, samples or a snare, rhythmic gating can be a very powerful, and interesting effect to add to your tracks.

Additionally, if your gate plugin has a “Range” control, you can control the intensity of the gating. Automating this further can create an awesome riser in your music.

Rhythmic Gating can be a bit finnicky at times, and just like mixing, or any other process in music production, takes a bit of time to get used to.

Once you become better at operating your noise gate plugin, you can be as precise as you like and create some awesome effects for your tracks.

Finishing Up

Here is the essential list of the best noise gate VST plugins updated for 2021:

  1. FabFilter Pro-G
  2. Boz Digital Labs Gatey Watey
  3. Waves C1 Compressor/Gate
  4. Infected Mushroom Gatekeeper
  5. kiloHearts Gate
  6. AlexHilton A1TriggerGate (FREE)

Whether you’re looking to fix your drum spill, add a rhythmic flavor, or just remove some unwanted hum, a noise gate can be a great support for your tracks.

Adding some spice to a sample or fixing acoustics in real time, you probably want the best noise gate plugin you can find.

Hopefully this list has helped you find the best quality noise gate VST plugin for your daw production process.

Check out our other plugin roundups: