Noise Gates & Noise Suppression Pedals

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About Noise Gates & Noise Suppression Pedals

Noise Gates and Noise Suppression Pedals eliminate - or greatly reduce - unwanted noise. Originally only available in big studio hardware, they have now become available in handy guitar pedal formats.

Noise suppressors work by letting anything above a certain volume pass through while killing anything below a certain volume. The ‘threshold’ is how you can pick what this volume is. This doesn’t mean unwanted noise is gone for good, however, it only works when you are not playing. Another way of imagining this is like a child safety gate; kids are only kept out while the gate is shut. As soon as you open it to get through yourself they can get out with you!

Noise gate pedals are particularly popular among metal guitarists. They enable them to play with huge amounts of gain but still have a clean, precise tone without any unwanted hissing and screeching.


What Makes an Expression Pedal Different?

  • A noise suppressor guitar pedal stops unwanted noise
  • Popular for metal and heavy styles
  • Clean, precise tone

Frequently Asked Questions about Noise Gates & Noise Suppression Pedals

Question: What's the difference between a noise gate pedal and a noise suppressor?
They are pretty similar: a noise gate mutes everything below a certain volume whereas a noise suppressor greatly reduces it. Studio noise suppressors can isolate specific frequencies but this doesn’t tend to be a feature in pedal suppressors.
Question: Do I need both a noise gate and a noise suppressor?
No, one should have the desired effect. If you are still having a problem even with a noise gate it might be worth investigating the source of the noise. Noise can often come from cheap power supplies and poorly shielded guitars.
Question: Where does a noise gate go in the signal chain?
Guitar noise gates should come after overdrive and distortion pedals. This is because they are the most common source of noise. However, you could experiment with placing them before if you have a particularly noisy guitar. Noise gates should definitely come before delays and reverbs because it would cut the trails short artificially.