It includes a look-ahead feature, as well as a modern interface and graphic metering to make it easier to use than the classic
Gates were originally called noise gates, because that was their function: closing to block background noise when nothing was going on, then opening when the music (or voice, whatever) was sounding.
But creative engineers like Eric ET Thorngren came up with a technique, in his case using the gate in an SSL console, to create new parts (ET may have invented it, we’re not sure).
ET would have the session synth player record some long sustained notes before he or she left the studio. He’d send the appropriate synth notes to a gate, but use (for example) the bass drum to trigger the gate in its sidechain input.
So the synth would play shorter notes in sync with the bass drum. He’d take it farther by using musltiple digital delays on the bass drum feed to the gate to create more interesting rhythms.
The SSL console became a musical instrument. Times have changed, but SSL now has a software version of their gate.
Here’s the company release:
Solid State Logic announces its latest plug-in release: SSL X-Gate. The new plug-in is available now in several formats including VST2, VST3, AAX and AU as part of the ever-growing SSL Complete subscription from $14.99 per/m (Ts&Cs apply). X-Gate is the fourth new plug-in added to SSL’s Complete Bundle in recent months.
Featuring a rolling waveform graph, mid/side processing options and tweakable hysteresis using independent open & closed thresholds, X-Gate builds upon the company’s renowned knowledge of hardware gates, all delivered through SSL’s advanced workflow interface. The new plug-in is suitable for music and content creators alike and delivers a unique range of features for extended sound sculpting — an invaluable tool for sound design, audio restoration and of course, mixing.
“X-Gate continues to expand the SSL plug-in offering with a comprehensive but easy-to-use surgical gating tool for mixing, live and broadcast applications.” commented Jonathan Sandman, Plug-ins Product Manager at SSL. “Fast, snappy and precise, X-Gate is guaranteed to be your new workhorse plug-in for shaping drums and other instruments, adding punch to your mixes, and transparently fixing ghost notes, noise or room bleed.”
In addition to M1 processor compatibility, X-Gate also introduces variable lookahead times and zero additional plug-in latency at the lowest setting, making it a perfect tool for tracking situations where mic bleed can distract from the primary source material. Meantime, its EXP and DUCK modes allow either transparent gating or ducking options; ducking is typically used for attenuating a signal when it exceeds a certain threshold, and this can be used in conjunction with a DAW’s sidechain function for intelligent ducking.
Features of the new X-Gate include:
- Easy-to-use THRESHOLD and RANGE controls, visually aligned with WAVEFORM GRAPH and GAIN REDUCTION METER for coordinated control.
- ROLLING WAVEFORM VISUALISATION GRAPH for setting the perfect threshold.
- ATTACK, RELEASE and HOLD time parameters gives detailed control over the shaping of the audio.
- Tune the performance of the gate using the interactive FILTER GRAPH to apply HIGH- and LOW-PASS FILTERS the sidechain signal.
- Use the EXPANDER mode and accompanying KNEE control for a more transparent option: make quiet signals quieter and expand the dynamic range of the signal.
- Simple discrete LOOKAHEAD options for minimising the latency when using a lookahead.
- Transform the plug-in into a production ducker with a single click – use DUCK mode to invert the sidechain logic, attenuating the signal only when it exceeds the threshold i.e., to duck the music when you speak into your microphone.
- Tri-colour TRAFFIC LIGHT CUES give a clear indication on the momentary open/closed/hold state of the gate.
- Use the MID/SIDE processing options to trigger the gate in creative ways or gate only the mono or stereo components on the signal.
- SIDECHAIN and GATE audition modes.
- Apple M1 processor compatible.
Along with the SSL Complete Bundle Subscription, X-Gate will also be available at a cost of $129 (ONLY $89 until July 28th).