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).