To get rid of the likes of white noise and that irritating hissing sound that just won’t go away, a noise gate pedal is like a multi-purpose cleaning aid for your guitar. You may have spent hundreds, even thousands on kitting out your pedalboard only to find that more than one pedal is causing your amp to create unwanted background noise.
Even the best pedals are guilty of this, and you never know what combination is going to cause havoc. This is why the best noise gate pedals are so sought after. Not only do they help clean up your sound to your benefit, but an audience waiting between songs will be grateful for it too. Any gain-reliant sound should use them and to help you find the ideal product for your needs, we have created a list of the best.
Quick Summary of Noise Gate Pedals
BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor/Power Supply Pedal
To clean your sound you need a reliable product but you might want to do so without having to dip too deep into your pedal piggy bank. This is where BOSS comes in. Their noise gate pedal is the best on the market in terms of value and performance as it reduces the hum from your guitar and suppresses the bass left over when you don’t need it.
It detects the natural attack of the sound of your instrument to ensure the excess noise is cut out and can be tailored to your sound. This means you can leave the notes and sounds you like to hear and cut out the mess thanks to the threshold, decay, and mode knobs. It leaves your guitar signal alone so you end up with added clarity and no irritating background noise.
- Easy to use
- Good value
- Threshold, decay, and mode knobs
- Robust design
ISP Technologies Decimator II Noise Reduction Pedal – (New)
With a quick open time, this ensures you don’t have to wait for the unwanted noise to filter out before it works its magic. It tracks your guitar’s signal to decay the noise smoothly which means the signal remains strong at all times. We like that is can be inserted into an effects loop although it is one of those noise gate pedals that can be placed anywhere.
Once you’ve set it up you can leave it alone but you do pay a little extra for the convenience. It works well with stacked gains that usually cause a humm to take over and has a robust outer that is often described as bulletproof. The buffer will leave those intricate notes sounding crisper and we found that any unwanted white noise became a thing of the past.
- Kills any hum
- Easy to use
- Durable design
- Cleans up the guitar sound without sacrificing tone
- It is on the heavy side
Donner Noise Killer Guitar Effect Pedal Noise Gate Pedal 2 Modes
There is no excuse for anyone to not find room for a noise gate pedal with this pocket rocket on the market. It offers two modes with hard noise and soft noise reduction to either bring it completely dramatically or reduce the hum in increments. The noise reduction can be amended via the threshold knob at a rate of anything between -70 to +10dB and it has a sturdy aluminum outer to ensure it will last.
The true bypass ensures it does not impact your high-end when not in use although it is hard to think of a time when you will want to switch it off. There is also good value in this product as it is one of the more reasonably priced options that is small enough to fit in your pocket.
- Two modes of noise reduction
- Reduces noise of anything between -70 to +10dB
- True bypass
- Compact design
- Not as good for heavy metal music
TC Electronic EQ Effects Pedal, Regular (SENTRY NOISE GATE)
With a decent amount of adjustable knobs, there are various ways you can bring the noise to a halt whilst maintaining the clarity of your guitar. There are two modes so you can switch from multiband to hard noise gate to switch any excess humm or hiss off in an instant.
As with many TC pedals, this comes with TonePrint technology which allows you to upload preset effects onto this pedal making it one of the most versatile noise gate pedals available. Of course, you get to tailor the threshold to close the gate on those hiss and humm sounds, There are also knobs for damp so you can tailor how hard you want the reduction to be and decay to clean up your sound.
- Two noise reduction modes
- True bypass
- TonePrint technology to access preset effects
- Send/Return loop to patch noisy pedals
- Can take a little getting used to
Behringer Noise Reducer NR300
Although it has its limitations, anyone on a budget will find this to be a welcomed addition to their pedalboard. The diminutive price tag is not a reflection of the quality as it does a good job of getting rid of those unwanted noises without impact tone. It also allows you to maintain the original attack of your playing and has a dual reduction mode.
This gives you two noise gating modes and there are also thresh and decay dials although mute is simply an on/off function for your guitar. There is an extra send/return loop to suppress any added noise from other effect pedals making this a fuss-free yet effective option.
- Attractive price
- Mute and reduction modes
- Thresh and decay knobs
- Can be a bit harsh with distortion
Mooer EQ Effects Pedal, 2.25 x 4.25 x 1.75 (Noise Killer)
Also Consider (Best Compact)
With a compact size and attractive price tag, Mooer has created another contender for the best noise gate pedal. It features the same hard and soft noise reduction mode that we’ve seen on other models and the threshold can be set at anything between -70 to +10dB.
The outer is protected by the completely metal shell and has a bright LED light to indicate when it is on. Some might find it a little too basic for their needs but it does a good job of eliminating the humm of a busy rig. When placed at the. beginning of the chain it can completely rid your guitar of any excess sound which is all you can ask for really.
- Compact size
- Full metal outer
- Two noise reduction modes
- Can be a bit basic for some tastes
Noise Gate Pedal Guide
Sometimes it can be hard to find the culprit of that distracting and somewhat irritating hum or hissing from your amp. The more pedals you have in your circuit the more challenging it is to make adjustments but any experienced guitarist will tell you there is one pedal to fix all noise – a noise gate pedal.
Unfortunately, there are some low-quality products out there that might reduce the excess noise, but impact the overall quality of your sound. To help you avoid making such a mistake, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In A Noise Gate Pedal
This is important with any pedal you are looking to add to your pedalboard. We’d all like to have one the length of the stage to accommodate every pedal known to man but this isn’t the case. Because they are often added retrospectively, not everyone has a lot of room for a noise gate pedal.
This is where a compact product might come in handy but otherwise, they are an important addition to clean up your sound.
A lot of products will give you a couple of options or move for reducing the humming sound of your amp. The hard reduction and soft reduction options are useful when you are trying to reduce noise in a hurry.
This is what can help to ensure clarity when in use, and prevents losing high-end when switched off. Some use true bypass as the sign of a decent product although there are plenty of other attributes to look out for as well.
Although this might seem like a given for any pedal, you will be surprised at how fragile some less than reputable pedals can be. Always look for a metal outer as anything else will only be found on budget options and it can also be a good idea to research how robust other people found it.
As well as the different modes, you might wish to tweak the settings. This can be in the form of decay or other adjustments that make it easier to tailor how much of the reduction is right for your sound.
What Is A Noise Gate Pedal?
Essentially, these pedals are used to reduce any unwanted noise from your amp that can be caused by one or more pedals. The electric set up of your rig that includes all your pedals, cords, pickups, and pedals will create plenty of signal for your playing, including some unwanted ones.
These can be reduced and all but eliminated with a quality noise gate pedal as it picks up the unwanted hums, hissing, and other white noise to leave you with added clarity. They are particularly useful in recording studios and when performing live although anyone who has to live with the added noise of a busy circuit can benefit from using one.
Is A Noise Gate Pedal Easy To Use?
Unless you buy a complicated unit that has loads of settings to tweak, even those using one for the first time should find a noise gate pedal easy to get to grips with.
For some pedals, you only have to turn the threshold knob and listen to the hum disappear whilst others allow you to play with decay and mode among other adjustments. The good news is that a lot of it is done by ear which makes them easier than the likes of a wah pedal when you haven’t used one before.
How Effective Are Noise Gate Pedals?
Although you might be unlucky with a sub-par brand, the majority of noise gate pedals have a reputation for being very effective. If you notice any unwanted noise in your amp, no matter how much of a distraction it is, the better pedals are great for giving you only the notes you want.
Any recording or touring guitarist should seek one before they embark on their next recording or concert.
How Much Does A Noise Gate Pedal Cost?
Although it certainly won’t be the most expensive pedal on your circuit, it is still a wise idea to invest a little to get a good product. Anything between $70 – $120 should be enough to land a top-quality noise gate pedal.
This will probably get you more than one noise reducing mode, adjustable settings, and a durable product with a robust build.
Anyone on a budget who cares about the above a little less as long as they get their hands on something will be pleased to know that there are decent pedals available for around $40.
Noise Gate Pedal Vs Suppressor
The main difference is when they work. A noise gate pedal waits until you play the guitar or bass until it suppresses unwanted noise and does this without impacting tone. When you stop playing, the noise gate pedal cuts everything below a certain setting so you aren’t left with white noise.
A suppressor works by getting rid of noise when the guitar is playing and when it isn’t. If you don’t purchase a quality product, they can be guilty of sucking tone.
What Is The Best Noise Gate Pedal?
No one size fits all but one thing a lot of people agree on is the quality and value of the BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor/Power Supply Pedal. It has a simple operation without any unnecessary knobs to tweak. Threshold, decay, and mode are your only options here but that is plenty enough.
You can set it to cut noise at different levels and it even comes with a 5-year warranty. Going by the brand reputation and the quality of their other pedals, it is unlikely that you will need it as you enjoy hum and hiss-free guitar. It has a durable outer and makes it easy to shape the suppression or complete reduction of unwanted sound.