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Fun with Gates

Gates can be handy tools for dealing with bleed in situations where there are several mics in close proximity to each other, such as drum recordings. But gates can be used as creative tools as well. For example, if you have a track consisting of sustaining chords, you can use a gate to make the sound pulse in time with another track. Insert a gate (either hardware or plug-in) on the sustaining track, set the gate’s sidechain input to receive signal from a rhythmic track such as kick or snare drum. You may need to experiment with threshold settings on the gate in order to get it to open correctly along with the track feeding the sidechain.

The track that has the gate inserted will pulse in time with the rhythm of the sidechained track. This method works well on any sustaining sound, such as droning guitars or synth pads.

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