noise gate

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(n.) An audio signal processor with a fixed infinite downward expansion ratio. When the incoming audio signal drops below a preset threshold point, the expander prevents any further output by reducing the gain to zero. The actual gain reduction is typically on the order of -80 dB. When the audio signal falls below the threshold, the output level becomes the residual noise of the gate. Noise gates are useful for controlling unwanted noise, such as preventing open microphones and sensitive instrument pick-ups from introducing extraneous sounds. Noise gates can be used to enhance percussion instrument sounds. Adjusting the attack and release settings for a gate can NFS add punch to a sound. A noise gate is said to “open” and “close” as the signal passes through the threshold value.