Best Noise Gate VST Plugins in 2022 (Free & Paid)

by Alex.   Last Updated On October 4th, 2022.
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Noise gate VST plugins are an incredibly powerful tool for music production with both corrective and creative uses. By controlling the amplitude of the input signal, a noise gate can completely change a sound’s envelope and dynamics.

One of their main uses is to remove background noise and other unwanted noise from an audio signal. Although a skilled audio engineer will be able to use noise gates for a range of creative and expressive techniques beyond noise reduction.

You can find a huge range of noise gate plugins on the market. Each one has a slightly different approach to the tool. This review highlights the best noise gate VSTs on the market today. I’ve tried a huge range of gates in my time, and these are my top recommendations.

Equalizers are another essential tool for music production. Check out my review of the best EQ plugins!

Table of Contents
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Comparison of the Best Noise Gate VST Plugins

Best for producers on a tight budget who want something a bit better than a DAW’s basic noise gate plugin.See On Amazon
photo of the Minimal System Group SSi Pro Analogue Modeled GateMinimal System Group
SSi Pro Analogue Modeled Gate
Best for producers who want a deeper and more powerful gating / transient design tool. See On Amazon
photo of the Denise PoltergateDenise
Poltergate
Best for drums and other percussive performances.See On Amazon
photo of the Sonnox Oxford Drum GateSonnox
Oxford Drum Gate
Best for anybody who has the budget and needs a professional, fully featured, and flexible gating plugin.See On Amazon
photo of the FabFilter Pro-GFabFilter
Pro-G
Best creative gate-style effect, Stutter Edit is an unbeatable choice. See On Amazon
photo of the iZotope Stutter Edit 2iZotope
Stutter Edit 2
Best if you need comprehensive noise gate plugins on a smaller budget. Will be a step above most DAW’s stock gate plugin.See On Amazon
photo of the Wave Arts MR Gate 6Wave Arts
MR Gate 6
Best for those who love the sound (and look) of old studio hardware, the Nomad GX622 brings retro visuals and sonics to the world of noise gates. See On Amazon
photo of the Nomad Factory Blue Tubes Gate Expander GX622Nomad Factory
Blue Tubes Gate Expander GX622

Reviews of the Best Noise Gate VST Plugins

A simple but effective noise gate that has a sweet analog tone. It might be a step above your DAW’s native gate, but don’t expect anything fancy.

See On Amazon

Sometimes, simple is all you need. The SSi Pro Gate is a basic but effective plugin. Unlike many gate plugins, this is an analog modeled VST, which means it’s been designed to mimic the sound and workflow of real hardware devices. When using this noise gate plugin to remove unwanted noise it adds a nice subtle analog saturation.

In terms of features, it’s streamlined but has all the standard controls you need to gate signals and remove unwanted background noise. It comes with controls for gain, threshold, attack, release, and range control. It doesn’t come with any extra functionality like a sidechain control, lookahead, or filtering, but it gets the job done.

The built-in VU meter lets you monitor incoming levels, however, it’s not as useful as the full visual displays that other plugins on this list have. It’s probably going to have a similar level of functionality as your DAW’s gate, although it does have the analog sound.

While the plugin is limited, it is resource efficient and only uses a little amount of CPU for clean background noise attenuation. You can have a lot of these in your project before it will start lagging. It also comes with a bunch of presets designed to quickly solve a range of gate-related issues, and are geared towards certain instruments and scenarios.

What We Like

Highly affordable.

Low CPU use – resource efficient.

Easy to use.

Analog modeled.

Know Before Buying

Windows only.

Limited functionality.

No lookahead.

See On Amazon

A fully featured, comprehensive gate/dynamics engine with a range of modern features. Offers excellent value for money and is more than just a noise gate!

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Designed by Denise Audio, Poltergate is a creative gate effect with a unique approach to gating and diverse functionality.

This is more than a standard noise gate. Sure, it can perform all the standard gating tasks, but this plugin has a few extra tricks up its sleeve which makes it an exciting pick for creative producers.

Poltergate is sold as a hybrid noise gate plugin that mixes features from transient designers, gates, and bleed-removal tools all in one. This is a really powerful tool for shaping drums, although it works well on many instrument types.

The plugin comes with 4 distinct sections which work in tandem – Sidechain, Curve, Dynamics, and De-Bleed.

The de-bleed section is a powerful noise-removing tool that is ideal for removing unwanted tails and ‘bleed’ on mics from other instruments. This can instantly clean up a drum beat and leave it sounding much tighter and better defined. The Curve section lets you alter the transition curve.

The Dynamics section gives you precise control over the transient and sustained sections of your sounds. This means you can edit the punch and impact of sounds individually using the gate envelope. This section combines a mix of clipping, limiting, and transient shaping to let you sculpt the dynamics of your sounds in detail. You can push this area fairly hard too, which lets you add some saturation and distortion to your sounds.

My favorite feature is the EQ-based sidechain mode. This is a powerful (and rare) control that lets you choose which parts of the frequency spectrum are used in the detector circuit. This means you can focus on particular instruments or sections of a sound to activate the gate. For example, you could use it to only listen to the snare or kick drum frequencies in a drum recording.

Other features include a clean clipping algorithm to color sounds and give more warmth and thickness. Isolation mode – which you can use to listen to different parts of the incoming signal. A Flip mode switches the way the gate is working, so the sounds you can hear are swapped with the sounds that are removed, which can be used as a fun creative effect.

You also get a bunch of presets which demonstrate a range of situations where this plugin is useful.

Overall this is a powerful hybrid gating tool. It might be too complex and over-featured for basic gating tasks, but if you want something that offers a little more than the basic functions then Poltergate is a great pick.

What We Like

More advanced gating and transient design features.

De-bleed helps to quickly tighten up drums and percussive recordings.

Detailed and helpful visual display.

Powerful EQ-based sidechain.

Know Before Buying

Over-featured for basic gating tasks.

Maybe too complex for beginners.

See On Amazon

A professional, studio-grade plugin that gives you detailed and nuanced drum gating in an unprecedented level of depth and customization.

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The Oxford Drum Gate is a high-powered, premium drum plugin that comes with smart and futuristic features. This is a Sonnox plugin, so you’re guaranteed that it offers the highest quality in terms of design, sound, and power.

With an intuitive and productive user interface, this Sonnox plugin is probably one of the best tools for gating and controlling drum recordings. Sure, it’s mostly designed for drums, but it can still excel in many gating scenarios.

It has smart gating features, which detect the best way to process your drum audio. It understands the differences between different types of drum hit, like kicks, snares, toms, hats, and cymbals, and adjusts the transients and gating to compensate. This is incredibly powerful when working with a multi-mic’d drum kit, and saves a huge amount of time compared to manually processing the drums.

The Oxford Drum Gate has a whole load of other smart features – I can’t describe them all here! So check out the plugin page for more details. Most notably are the spectral decay editing and the built-in leveler. It can also automatically generate MIDI in real-time, which you can use to trigger additional samples. This feature could be an expensive plugin on its own. All of these features (and the others) are incredibly useful for a range of dynamics/gate-related tasks.

It’s going to be too expensive for many producers and might be overkill for basic gating work, however, if you spend a lot of time working with drum beats, this is one of the best tools out there.

What We Like

Super powerful drum gate/drum processing powerhouse.

Smart features and drum detection saves a tonne of time.

MIDI conversion features.

Pristine audio quality and interface design.

Know Before Buying

Expensive

Over-complex for basic gating tasks.

See On Amazon

An industry standard gate plugin, and for good reason. Pro-G offers incredibly accurate and powerful gating features with all the meticulous design FabFilter plugins are known for.

See On Amazon

FabFilter is one of the biggest names in the plugin industry. They are known to create some of the most powerful, efficient, and well-designed plugins on the market. They offer a range of professional, essentially industry-standard plugins that are designed with technical accuracy and clinical detailing in mind.

FabFilter’s Pro-G is the gating plugin on their lineup, and this is a beast of a gate. Like most FabFilter plugins, this has every control you need and more. The graphical user interface is incredibly intuitive and natural, and the visual display lets you see exactly how the gate is working. Fab’s plugins are designed to increase workflow efficiency whilst also providing a comprehensive level of control, and Pro-G exceeded my expectations.

Pro-G has all the essential gate controls – threshold, attack, hold, release, range, and lookahead. It comes with some extra powerful features too, like an internal filtered sidechain, external sidechaining, a multimode filter, a ratio control, independent controls for left and right channels, and knee control. You can also control the oversampling, which increases CPU usage to provide a boost in audio quality (up to 4x).

You can switch it into “Expert” mode, for even more detailed sidechaining and gating tools, including a multimode filter and a stereo sidechain input for triggering via an external audio signal. It also comes with 6 different algorithm modes including expanders and ducking. This is probably one of the best “technical” style gates out there. It has everything a professional needs without any unnecessary gimmick features.

The monitoring is clean, the gain reduction is precise, and the functionality is comprehensive – this is easily one of the best gate plugins you can find.

What We Like

Super intuitive UI.

A range of styles and characters.

Also works as an expander.

Lookahead mode for increased transparency.

Highly flexible.

Know Before Buying

Relatively expensive.

Can be a CPU drainer.

See On Amazon

iZotope Stutter Edit is a creative gating multi-effect. It’s by no means a standard noise gate, this is a colorful and expressive tool that uses gates to add movement, texture, and rhythm to sounds.

See On Amazon

In terms of creative gating effects, I can’t think of anything better than Stutter Edit 2. This isn’t a traditional noise gate. It’s an expressive effect used to make sounds more exciting and rhythmic. Sure, you probably could use it as a standard gate, but I wouldn’t recommend it. However, if you’re looking for something more creative and colorful with sound design power, this is as good as it gets.

Stutter Edit is essentially a multi-effect with a strong emphasis on gating and envelope shaping using an internal step sequencer. Use it to quickly create classic pumping trance gate effects, rhythmic sequences, and more. It works like a dream on vocals, pads, synths, and other melodic and harmonic instruments. This rhythmic gate plugin is an essential tool for any electronic music producer.

It uses gates and a range of other effects to rhythmically process sounds. Effects processors include distortion, lo-fi, chorus, comb filter, reverb, flanger, phaser, low pass filter, tape stop, high pass filter, and delay. All these effects are activated rhythmically to enhance the motion and texture of input sounds.

The entire plugin and its rhythmic sequence can be synced to your project via midi to ensure the processing is perfectly in time with the rest of your track. It also comes with a bunch of professional presets to kick-start your inspiration, ranging from rhythmic patterns to a classic distorted gated sound.

Stutter Edit is ideal for making glitchy effects, rhythmic stutters, and sweeping filters. It’s perfect for chopping up samples and brings a new exciting dimension to old, static sounds. It’s not a standard corrective gate, it’s a powerful gate-based creative multi-effect. It excels when being used as a rhythmic gate to generate rhythmic patterns.

What We Like

Creative rhythmic processor with an intuitive graphical user interface.

Gate-based multi-effect.

Brings a new layer of excitement and movement to static sounds.

MIDI synced and full preset bank.

Know Before Buying

Not a typical corrective gate/noise reduction tool.

More suitable for advanced producers than beginners.

See On Amazon

A full-featured but streamlined gate tool that gets the gating job done without breaking the bank. It’s affordable and simple, but sometimes that’s all you need.

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This isn’t as embellished as other plugins here but is still a powerful and efficient noise gate. It’s definitely more geared towards corrective than creative tasks. (Although you can use it just as creatively as any standard gate plugin.)

It has all the standard features and controls you expect from a gate plugin. Threshold, ratio, attack, and release. You also get control for changing the knee type, and it has a variable lookahead control for increasing transparency and clarity and minimizing unwanted late gating.

The visual display is easy to understand and helpful. The time/amplitude chart shows you everything you need and helps you to get the gate settings in the right place.

It’s also worth noting the monitor feature switch, which enables you to listen directly to the trigger signal without hearing the full audio recording.

You also get a bunch of useful presets built into this full band gate plugin.

This simple but refined gate vst plugin gives you everything you need for detailed and transparent gating and gain reduction, packaged in an intuitive and easy-to-use plugin.

What We Like

Simple but effective and intuitive noise gate vst.

Gets the job done.

Clean sound.

Affordable

Know Before Buying

Lacks advanced features.

See On Amazon

Using Nomad’s endearing tube-style analog modeling, the GX622 is a powerful and sweet-sounding noise gate vst plugin that can also be used for slight expansion.

See On Amazon

This was one of the first gate vst plugins I brought. I like the sound, and the analog rack noise gate approach it takes. Not only does it perform well as a gating tool, but it also adds a nice analog saturation characteristic to your audio.

In terms of controls, it provides everything you would expect – threshold, attack, decay, hold, and range. It also includes extra controls for a high pass and low pass filter section. These filters are part of an internal sidechain mode that helps you target the gate to specific frequencies, giving you more control, expression, and precision.

It features a VU style meter, which is good enough, although I prefer the more modern style time chart displays like the Wave Arts vst plugin above. Still, it helps you to find the sweet spot for your values and get your gate snapping just as you need.

It comes with a bunch of presets and is highly resource-efficient. It is nearly twice the price of the WaveArts plugin above but has a very different approach. This has a more retro-styled interface, which, while being more limiting, encourages a different workflow. I think the extra money is also going on the analog tone, which enhances the feeling of the audio you run through it.

Pitch shifters are another essential creative tool. Have a look at my review of the best pitch shifter vst plugins!

What We Like

Analog-style interface and sonic character.

Easy to use.

Simple but effective.

Internal sidechain filters.

Know Before Buying

Limited features compared to plugins like FabFilter Pro-G.

No lookahead function.

See On Amazon

Best Free Noise Gate VST plugins

BOB PERRY GATE 2 (FREE)

Despite being free, the Bob Perry Gate is a well-featured plugin that gives you everything you need to gate sounds in precise detail. It might have a slightly inferior/noisy sound, but is still a great tool for a free noise gate vst!

This free noise gate vst plugin has everything you need. All the main controls are there (threshold, attack, hold, release, in & out gain, and a bonus reduction knob. It also comes with a well-designed visual metering display, which lets you see exactly how the gate is performing.

The interface and sound might be a little outdated in the Bob Perry Gate, although it’s by no means unusable. You will be able to get a lot of mileage out of this free noise gate vst plugin before you need to upgrade to a professional one!

The Bob Perry Gate does lack some important things like a lookahead function or a sidechain, although if you just need a basic gating tool this is probably the best free noise gate vst around.

Bob Perry Gate Benefits

  • All the controls and features you need in a gate
  • Decent visual display system.
  • Resource efficient and workflow effective.
  • Best free noise gate!

Buyers Guide for the Best Noise Gate VST Plugins

When buying noise gate vsts there are a few important factors to consider to help you get the best choice.

Creative or Corrective?

Some gate tools are designed to be more corrective, while others are more creative.

A standard gate can be used both creatively or correctively, depending on how you use it. But some gate plugins come with a bunch of extra features and controls which gives them more power and flexibility in creative scenarios. This might include features like detailed envelope shaping, synced effects, repeats, and other rhythmic abilities.

More creative effects tend to come at a higher price, so if you only need the raw functionality of a standard gate then it’s probably better to go with something in the sub $100 range

Functions

Not all gates have the same features and functions. More advanced features usually cost more but increase the level of creativity and flexibility. It’s also worth considering whether you want a sidechain input (see also the best sidechain plugins here), which lets you trigger the gate with sounds external to the processed audio.

Interface

It’s often overlooked, but make sure you choose a plugin with an interface that suits your work style. Some people prefer a minimalistic display, whereas other producers favor something with more detail.

Lookahead

Having a look-ahead feature is important for noise gates. This essentially delays the incoming audio signal to allow the gate to detect whether the sound reaches a certain threshold. It helps to create a smoother, more natural sound that kicks in immediately without lagging. The way noise gates work means that they only activate their reduction when the signal is loud enough, and without a look-ahead, this can come after the transient.

FAQs

What are the best noise gate settings?

The best noise gate settings ultimately depend on the source material and approach you are aiming for. For a general task like removing unwanted background noise, you need to set a certain threshold level that hits the right part of the input signal. Then aim for a fast attack time, and a longer release.

What does a gate VST do?

A noise gate VST is used to control the balance of an audio source’s dynamics and amplitude. The purpose of a nose gate VST plugin is to listen to a signal and reduce certain parts of it based on the settings chosen by the music producer. Gate VST plugins can perform several tasks, from noise reduction/removal to transient shaping, and controlling dynamics.

Does FL Studio have a gate?

FL Studio does have a noise gate, although it isn’t provided as a stand-alone plugin. You can find noise gates in FL Studio’s Maximus, Fruity Limiter, and Edison plugins. Maximus is probably the most effective gate in the FL Studio toolkit.

Final thoughts!

Best for producers on a tight budget who want something a bit better than a DAW’s basic noise gate plugin.
Best for producers who want a deeper and more powerful gating / transient design tool. 
Best for drums and other percussive performances.

Good luck picking your new noise gate vst plugin! All of the noise gate VST plugins in this review offer great value for money and will be able to perform a range of gating tasks. I can honestly recommend any of them, although pick one that suits your budget and needs.

Need some killer headphones to make sure your mix is accurate? Check out this review of the best headphones for under $1000!