Free Gate VST Plugins; List of the best ones!

Last Updated on February 19, 2021.

Here’s an article about the best free Gate plugins currently available.

I have to say, there are very few available, which is definitely not what I expected, so I hope that these suit your needs!

Here’s a table with the 5 Gate plugins that I think are the best:

5 Best Free Gate VST Plugins

Floorfish VST, AUWindows, Mac
Bob Perry GateVST3, AUWindows, Mac
A1TriggerGateVST2, AU, AAXWindows, Mac
RenegateVST, AU, AAX, LV2Windows, Mac, Linux
Dead Duck GateVSTWindows

What is a Gate VST and what does it do?

A gate is a hardware device or plugin that can be set to automatically mute certain pieces of the signal of an audio track. Some gates can just reduce volume rather than mute it, but you can manipulate all of the parameters to set the gate exactly how you like it to get your audio sounding how you need it to.

Floorfish (Windows, Mac)

FLOORFISH is a simple expander/gate plugin that is easy to set up and that offers a broad variety of processing capabilities, ranging from slight expansion, background noise attenuation to extreme gating effects.
What’s different from similar units is the ability to scan the source and adjust the transition curve accordingly.

While it may be quite limited when compared to its premium counterparts, it really does work well, which is why I think that it deserves a spot in this list.

You can download Floorfish here.

StormGate 1 (Windows, Mac)

StormGate1 is a rhythmic gate that lets you shape audio with an amplitude of patterns, and these patterns can be freely drawn by hand or with the aid of powerful drawing tools. 

Within seconds you can transform a static pad into an exciting rhythmic part, create new rhythms from vocals, instruments, and noises of any kind. 

It can also be used to simulate compressor sidechaining.

Features

  • Free drawn amplitude envelope.
  • Powerful envelope drawing tools: Free, step, spike and exponential.
  • Variable quantization grid.
  • 16 patterns with variable length and chaining support.
  • Steps of one octave or one octave triplet.
  • Intelligent host loop support.
  • Advanced synchronization.
  • Swing on octaves and sixteenth.
  • Volume controls for original and gated audio, with crossfading control.
  • 13 functions for editing the envelope (including randomizations).

You can download StormGate1 here.

Bob Perry Gate (Windows, Mac)

Bob Perry Gate is the ideal way of making the best of your signal. Real Side Chaining and the choice between three distinct- smooth sounding algorithms make Bob Perry Gate a fantastic gate plug-in.

Perfect for bringing that noise level down, be it for Drums, Vocals, Guitars, or just to be creative.

Main features:

  • Three distinct algorithms
  • Optional Real Sidechaining
  • Easy-to-use Graphical User Interface
  • Gain Reduction Metering
  • Numeric Data Input
  • Windows and Mac OS X support
  • 32-bit and 64-bit versions, universal binaries for OS X
  • Retina Display support on OS X
  • comes bundled with demo versions of Gate Pro, ATC, DuckerDucker ProCrossfader
  • It’s really free!

You can download Bob Perry Gate here.

Cymbal Killer (Windows, Mac)

Cymbal Killer is a 2-band gate especially designed for drums.

With it’s two bands you can have different envelope settings for the sustain (low frequencies) and attack (high frequencies) of the drum.

It allows the sustain to breathe while keeping the attack short to kill the cymbal bleed entering through the close mics on a drum set (hence the name).

  • It has a side-chain input and high-pass, low-pass and parametric filters (shared by the two bands) for focusing the sound of the drum on the detector circuit.
  • Lookahead for allowing the full transient through (introduces latency).
  • Two visualizers (one for each band) for watching the envelope.
  • Mix slider for allowing a mix between the original clean signal and the gated signal.

You can download Cymbal Killer here.

A1TriggerGate (Windows, Mac)

In the last decade it was a very popular producing style in all the dance music genres to have at least one ‘rhythmic gated’ sound in almost every production. Nowadays this powerful production technique for achieving more rhythmic dynamics got its revival in house music, dubstep, trap, hip-hop and even pop tracks.

A1TriggerGate is a very flexible yet simple and intuitive tool which even in expert mode is simple to understand and to tweak all the parameters available.

It comes with a couple built-in presets as well, but these are generally more geared towards EDM/dance, which means that if you’re not into that kind of music, you won’t be able to take full advantage of them.

However, since using this plugin is so easy, you don’t really need to rely on presets.

You can download A1TriggerGate here.

Renegate (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Renegate is simply just a full-band Gate plug-in and it has an always smooth, natural sound, and is quick and easy to operate, making gating a lot easier.

But surface-level simplicity is only possible because it’s complicated on the inside:

  • Program-dependent hysteresis automatically captures the desired phenomenon.
  • Builtin Look-Ahead lets you hit the transient 100% of the time.
  • Program-Dependent Auto-Release
  • Expensive 43 bands psychoacoustic auditory model for State-of-the-Art envelope detection.
  • Alternative ways to apply Gain Reduction, namely with a 1-pole lowpass or highpass (Full Edition only)
  • Oversampling (Full Edition only)
  • Built-in Sequencer (Full Edition only)
  • Raw knob to get back digital grit if needed (Full Edition only)

That all makes Renegate a workhorse plug-in for all your creative (or boring) gating needs.

You can download Renegate here.

Dead Duck Gate (Windows)

The side chain signal in the lower half of the diagram is derived from either the main stereo input (1 & 2) or an external stereo input (3 & 4) as determined by the ‘External’ switch. 

It can then be adjusted using the ‘Trim’ and ‘Low Cut’ controls before being used to control the output signal.

The ‘Listen’ switch can be used to temporarily divert the sidechain signal to the audio output to allow the signal to be monitored, both aurally and via the input level meter.

Features

  • Input gain control (+/- 20 dB)
  • Gate threshold down to -40 dB
  • Attack, hold and release controls
  • Sidechain input gain trim
  • Sidechain 12 dB/oct high-pass filter
  • Side chain ‘listen’ option with metering
  • Option external sidechain input
  • Level meters for input and output

You can download the Dead Duck Gate here.

Analog Rack Noise Gate (Windows, Mac)

The Analog Rack Noise Gate is the latest addition to the Nembrini Audio’s Plugin Collection with the same simple user interface and beautiful sound, and it is a very simple but powerful noise gate plugin especially tuned for guitar and bass.

Nembrini Audio has taken the guitarists most preferred analog and digital effect pedals and has repacked it in new rack style plugins easy to use and extremely powerful at the same time, with the addition of a custom design tube preamp virtual circuit which gives color to the signal in a very special way.

Just insert the Analog Rack Noise Gate plugin in your tracks to hear its beautiful analog tube coloration!

Download Analog Rack Noise Gate here.

T-Force Trance Gate 2 (Windows)

T-Force Trance Gate 2 is an envelope controlled rhythmic gate effect that is used to chop an incoming audio signal like e.g. a pad sound into a rhythmic sequence. 

This kind of effect was used a lot in old classic trance tunes which also gave this effect its name. 

In early days of trance music this effect was realized by using a noise gate device. The rhythmic sequence was done by using e.g. a hi hat sequence which was routed to the sidechain input of the noise gate. 

The T-Force Trance Gate 2 uses an internal step sequencer instead, to make the workflow easier to create this effect. It also can be switched to a sidechain mode, to use it the “classical” way by using an external audio signal as a sidechain input. 

The Trance Gate 2 also has a multimode filter. The effect is fully controlled by an amp envelope and a filter/resonance envelope. With all these features it’s even possible to turn your favorite pad sound into an arp-like sequence.

Features

  • Effect device for using as insert effect or send effect
  • Stereo audio input (L/R)
  • Stereo sidechain input (L/R)
  • Bypass mode
  • Step sequencer with up to 32 steps
  • Adjustable tempo with bpm host sync
  • Multimode filter with 13 different filter types, with controls for cutoff, resonance, cutoff envelope amount and resonance envelope amount
  • 1 ADSR amp envelope with on/off function
  • 1 ADSR filter cutoff envelope with on/off function
  • 1 ADSR resonance envelope  with on/off function
  • 2 LFO’s
  • Mod Matrix

You can download T-Force Trance Gate 2 here.

Conclusion

Floorfish, A1TriggerGate and Renegate are my favorite, but you can definitely download them all and see which one suits your needs.

I hope this information was useful!

Have a wonderful day!

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