Plugin Preset: Digirack Gate for Toms

It’s an an age-old struggle… trying to cut out bleed from tom tracks but having the gate misfire or not open up when it’s supposed to.

In the past I would just skip the gate all together and manually cut out bleed from tom tracks.

Ugh… what a waste of time. I hate wasting time and I knew there had to be a faster way.

Eventually I figured out how to gate my toms perfectly without having to manually cut up the tracks. It’s pretty simple actually.

Here’s the preset I use to gate my toms with the stock Avid Expander/Gate.

My preset for tom tracks on the stock Digirack Expander / Gate plugin.

My preset for tom tracks on the stock Digirack Expander / Gate plugin.

With these settings, I can cut out the bleed and have my gate opening perfectly for toms 99% of the time.

The trick to this is in the upper right-hand side of the plugin – the side-chain.

Since the main frequency response of a tom is in the low-mids, I engage the side-chain of this plugin and filter out everything above 1k. That means the gate will ignore higher frequency bleed like snare hits and cymbals, and only open up when it sees louder low-mid frequencies – like toms!

Makes sense huh?

I love it when just one little tweak saves hours of effort.  Try this technique for yourself or swipe these settings to use in another DAW (if you don’t use Pro Tools).



Leave a Comment:

Jeff says

Jordan, do you just use this one while tracking? I've never found gates to work very well while mixing, always chopping/fading tom bleed out manually, wondering if you've found it to be the same.


Jordan says

Yeah I use it during tracking but mixing as well. I used to manually chop out bleed manually like that, but these days I'm using gates 95% of the time. I found by using the side chain eq on the gate I can get rid of most misfires, and if there are only a few rough spots i just automate the gate. Much faster!


steve says

Would the same concept work on a distorted guitar hiss? It always sounds glitchy when I try gating them. What would the settings be?


Paul Chris says

I like the preset, sounds perfect!! I just used it on a track that I thought I was gonna have to take a
lot of time to clean up the Toms. I used your preset and saved me about 15-20 minutes of editing
and fading. Killer!! Have a GREAT DAY!!


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