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> What Is A Noise Gate And A Compressor?
Nody
post Oct 22 2007, 08:09 PM
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What is a noise gate and a compressor?
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Fabian Schulz
post Oct 22 2007, 08:16 PM
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a noise gate supresses weak signals from your pickups. If you turn your amp loud there will normaly be feedback if you don't turn the volumeknob down. The noiseagte kills those noieses and feedbacks.


A compressor makes loud signals quieter and quiet signals louder wink.gif

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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 08:19 PM
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noise gate is what is says. you have signal coming into it from your guitar/devices. when the signal falls to a certain threshold level, the gate closes, i.e. it cuts the signal. There is a low signal to noise ratio if you start using a lot of devices, so if your signal from the guitar falls low enough, the noise becomes very apparent. The noise is still there when you have a strong tone coming from your guitar, but it is overwhelmed by the guitar sound so is not so apparent. This has been the thing about Strats all these years. They are very noisy, but any attempt to limit that takes away from the strat sound (such as a lot metal shielding or noiseless pickups). So for decades people have just worked around it, to get that pure Strat sound.

Now for compressor, well that is technically just the opposite in a way, it boosts signal as the signal falls. Not exactly the opposite. It boosts the signal coming from the guitar. While the noise gate just has a threshold where it cuts out everything (both signal and noise).


I have a multi device, and one of the canned settings has a bit of compression. I did not think I needed that, but I found that it really improves the sound a bit. Not really for sustain purposes, just makes it sound better to me. So it is something to experiment with, just add a bit, and see if things sound better.

I would look at a multi device if you want this stuff, such as my Zoom g9.2tt. It has all that stuff. Very quite, great noise gate.

edit: added stuff

This post has been edited by fkalich: Oct 22 2007, 08:27 PM
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Andrew Cockburn
post Oct 22 2007, 08:31 PM
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They are both important playing and recording tools.

A Noise Gate will shut off all noises below a certain loudenss. IF your guitar hums, you tunr your noise gate on and turn it up until it just cuts in and goes quiet. When you play for real you are making more noise than that, so the noise gate switches off and lets all the sound through. When you stop playing again, it kciks in and turns of the hum. Can be very useful, but a better solution is to get rid of the hum in the first place if you can, because they can effect your sustain.

A compressor is a more difficult concept. Put simply, it irons out changes in volume. So any noises below a certain volume are made a little louder, any noises above that point are made quieter. The effect is that the average volume is pulled towards that middle point. You can make adjustments as to how aggressive that action is. Why would you want this? FOr two main reasons. The first is in recording, it lets you keep more control over instruments whos volumes vary a lot and that would otherwise be hard to mix, for instance drums, and often bass. But a more subtle reason is that compressors change the character of a sound as well, depending on how they are adjusted, and they are often used to get a particular effect as well as to control the level. For instance, a well used compressor can really make a vocal sound a lot more "solid", or it can emphasise the attack of a guitar not to make it sound like a big click. Another main use for compressors is to increase the sustain time of a guitar note.

EDIT : Scooped by Fabien & Fkalich!

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Oct 22 2007, 08:32 PM


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 08:39 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Oct 22 2007, 02:31 PM) *
They are both important playing and recording tools.



EDIT : Scooped by Fabien & Fkalich!


You explanation of Compression is far superior to ours, I am sure Fabien will agree. I really have found that you can improve the sound with it, it just sounds better. I thought it would have an adverse effect on my attack, but really, that is not the case, just a nicer sound for the most part.

I may feel different later, and not saying I would use it always, but it does add something in smoothness, while still (if you don't get too carried away with the settings) maintains your attack.

I think a lot of these settings are very subtle, sort of like salt. A little is great, too much the stew goes into the dumpster, even the dog won't eat it.

edit: type

This post has been edited by fkalich: Oct 22 2007, 08:41 PM
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Fabian Schulz
post Oct 22 2007, 08:41 PM
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Sure Andrews was much better smile.gif

P.s.: my Name is Fabian not Fabien wink.gif


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE (Fabian Schulz @ Oct 22 2007, 02:41 PM) *
Sure Andrews was much better smile.gif

P.s.: my Name is Fabian not Fabien wink.gif


I blame Andrew, I copied him. I looked up your city when you first arrived, looks like a nice place. How would you describe it?
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Andrew Cockburn
post Oct 22 2007, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Oct 22 2007, 03:44 PM) *
I blame Andrew, I copied him. I looked up your city when you first arrived, looks like a nice place. How would you describe it?


Sorry Fabian!

QUOTE (fkalich @ Oct 22 2007, 03:39 PM) *
I may feel different later, and not saying I would use it always, but it does add something in smoothness, while still (if you don't get too carried away with the settings) maintains your attack.


Some units come with a separate control for the attack - my Keeley 4 knob for instance. I got this unit for the very purpose you describe, to prevent over enthusiastic attack for the most part, but I also like to dial it in occasionally for specific effects.


QUOTE (fkalich @ Oct 22 2007, 03:39 PM) *
I think a lot of these settings are very subtle, sort of like salt. A little is great, too much the stew goes into the dumpster, even the dog won't eat it.

edit: type


Agree - especially in mixing, compression should be very subtle - along the lines of you miss it if it isn't there but don't really notice it.


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Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
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Fabian Schulz
post Oct 22 2007, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Oct 22 2007, 09:44 PM) *
I blame Andrew, I copied him. I looked up your city when you first arrived, looks like a nice place. How would you describe it?


biggrin.gif


I think Cuxhaven is very boring for living, here not so much you can do in your freetime, but i like it because nature isn't far away from where i live and i't not so crowded like in Berlin or Hamburg.

Cuxhaven is a nice place to make vacation i think (never made vacation there sleep.gif ) we have a nice beach here and the air is very fresh and vitalising. Also there are a lot great fish restaurants here smile.gif

Edit: no problem Andrew wink.gif

This post has been edited by Fabian Schulz: Oct 22 2007, 08:58 PM


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (Fabian Schulz @ Oct 22 2007, 02:57 PM) *
biggrin.gif
I think Cuxhaven is very boring for living, here not so much you can do in your freetime, but i like it because nature isn't far away from where i live and i't not so crowded like in Berlin or Hamburg.

Cuxhaven is a nice place to make vacation i think (never made vacation there sleep.gif ) we have a nice beach here and the air is very fresh and vitalising. Also there are a lot great fish restaurants here smile.gif

Edit: no problem Andrew wink.gif


Looking at it, good thing it is not real big, a person would get lost otherwise. Those streets all curve all over the place. Looks like a neat place to visit, probably that whole region I would expect.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 22 2007, 09:24 PM
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Compression is perhaps the most overlooked but one of the most useful audio tools for guitar.

BTW Andrew - on the 2 knob Keeley there are the extra two pots internally. It's just more a set it, screw the box together and forget it - 4 knob you can make adjustments on the fly.

Personally I'm not overly fond of noise gates and go with Andrew's comments of eliminate the source of noise rather then use a gate. A badly set gate can seriously and adversely affect your tone, even a well set one takes the shimmer away imo.

Cheers,
Tony


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 09:31 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Oct 22 2007, 03:24 PM) *
Compression is perhaps the most overlooked but one of the most useful audio tools for guitar.

BTW Andrew - on the 2 knob Keeley there are the extra two pots internally. It's just more a set it, screw the box together and forget it - 4 knob you can make adjustments on the fly.

Personally I'm not overly fond of noise gates and go with Andrew's comments of eliminate the source of noise rather then use a gate. A badly set gate can seriously and adversely affect your tone, even a well set one takes the shimmer away imo.

Cheers,
Tony


Not sure, not exposed enough to stand alone boxes. But with the Zoom g9.2tt, integrated noise gate, at the setting they use the most (5) it does not seem to hurt the tone at all. I have heard others rave about that item on the Zoom, in reviews. Possibly in the multi effects they are able to work around the tone degradation you mention, but I am not sure. Have not seen enough.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Oct 22 2007, 09:36 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Oct 22 2007, 04:31 PM) *
Not sure, not exposed enough to stand alone boxes. But with the Zoom g9.2tt, integrated noise gate, at the setting they use the most (5) it does not seem to hurt the tone at all. I have heard others rave about that item on the Zoom, in reviews. Possibly in the multi effects they are able to work around the tone degradation you mention, but I am not sure. Have not seen enough.


They tend to be a little more sophisticated these days in the digital world - rather than cut off dead they tend to fade which gives a nicer sound - the problem really comes at the cutoff point, and how smoothly that happens, and also, how much sustain you lose (albeit sustain that is increasingly masked by hum). The gate in my Line6 Pod does a good job of hiding the fade out, but sustain does of course suffer and I hate that. I'd imagine with your LP you have more sustain to play with so it isn't nearly so much of a problem.


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Oct 22 2007, 03:36 PM) *
They tend to be a little more sophisticated these days in the digital world - rather than cut off dead they tend to fade which gives a nicer sound - the problem really comes at the cutoff point, and how smoothly that happens, and also, how much sustain you lose (albeit sustain that is increasingly masked by hum). The gate in my Line6 Pod does a good job of hiding the fade out, but sustain does of course suffer and I hate that. I'd imagine with your LP you have more sustain to play with so it isn't nearly so much of a problem.


you know, you're right. I learned something. I have not used much noise gate. If I go from 5 to 4 setting, the change is dramatic. I have used 5. But I also have a Firebird (bought that first, then decided I could not live without a Les Paul). And I see that I should turn that thing off with the Firebird. With the Les Paul I am ok at setting 5. But now, my Les Paul will sustain even longer if I want it to. So thanks, you taught me something.

edit: changed your to possessive you're so as not to look like a total dufus.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Oct 22 2007, 09:50 PM
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 22 2007, 09:51 PM
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One way to check though is to record with and without the gate and do an A/B comparison.

Cheers,
Tony


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Oct 22 2007, 03:51 PM) *
One way to check though is to record with and without the gate and do an A/B comparison.

Cheers,
Tony


Oh, I just did the hit a note routine with it on, and at the moment it died, click it off. And I would get maybe another second of tone with the Firebird. With the Les Paul I generally have enough anyway, really always do. But I can see that with the Firebird I should leave it off. Maybe with the Les Paul to. But definitely with the Firebird.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 22 2007, 10:01 PM
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Not to worry fkalich - think I just was writing my comment when you posted yours.

Cheers,
Tony


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fkalich
post Oct 22 2007, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Oct 22 2007, 04:01 PM) *
Not to worry fkalich - think I just was writing my comment when you posted yours.

Cheers,
Tony


Thanks for your comment. Learned something from you here also. My Firebird sure sounds good right now, I think you may have pointed out something that I was oblivious to, the effect on tone. I am going to try and avoid using it now, clearly that is the way to go, and I was not aware of that an hour ago.
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Nody
post Oct 22 2007, 10:22 PM
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WOW!!!

Many thanks to everyone for the replys. I too have learnt loads now. Cheers.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 22 2007, 10:36 PM
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Pleasure guys,
glad to have helped a bit.

Cheers,
Tony


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