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Noise Gate Pedals

Noise is an issue that often afflicts high-gain amps & overdrive/distortion pedals. ‘Noise gate’ pedals are regarded as the best remedy — designed to reduce & eliminate annoying buzz/hum from your rig!

Noise Gate Pedals

Many modern guitar players use noise gate pedals. Although most amplifiers these days are “quieter” than they used to be, they can still produce static noise — which can drive you crazy! Heavily-distorted guitar amps are particularly susceptible to this, but even clean combos can suffer. And typically, it’s not the amplifier’s fault — with the type of pickups in your guitar (like single-coils) and AC supply/interference identified as common culprits. A noise gate pedal can save you from a lot of frustration, as while it won’t fix the cause of the buzz or hum, it will help to mask it!

So, how does a noise gate work? Magic? No, they’re actually quite simple! A noise gate works by opening and letting sound through when your guitar/amp signal goes above a threshold that is set, and then closes to eradicate the hiss when its level falls below the threshold. There’s a little bit more to it than that, and you can find out exactly how they work and more if you read our Ultimate Guide to Noise Gate Pedals.

A lot of brands make noise gate pedals — with affordable options, high-end offerings and everything in between. Boss, Electro-Harmonix and TC Electronic noise gates are popular as they’re fairly affordable and very effective, with the likes of MXR and Fortin offering more premium noise gates that’ll satisfy professionals looking for the most efficient noise reduction.