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Super Duper Gating With Transformer

There are many plugins that can create a gating effect in a snap. Some of these even allow you to quickly make your own gating pattern, usually in a visual environment. In Logic Pro, it’s fairly easy to make a gating effect without any plugins, by using an Instrument object and a Transformer object in the Environment. The best part is that you get to play the effect on your keyboard, and even program the gating pattern in the Piano Roll editor. Let me walk you through the steps to see how this is done.

Making A Gating Effect In Logic Pro

You could cut up the audio region by hand, making multiple cuts with the scissor tool while holding down , like so:

That could work, but what if you wanted to change the pattern? That would be an awful lot of mousetime. You could do it by hand, drawing in the Volume automation, like this:

Same story. Quantizing automation is possible, but requires some work. Why not actually play the effect on your keyboard, having the option to quantize it later, and edit your pattern in the Piano Roll editor?

The Golden Gate

Look here:

We have an audio track with a drumloop, and another audio track we want to gate. In Environment, I’ve created the familiar combo: a new Instrument and a Transformer object. All we want to do is make the track audible when we hit a key, and mute the track when we release that key. Let’s target the Volume slider of the audio track. Check out the Transformer object’s settings:

We’re simply converting note information to volume information. Note that we’re converting note data to control data this time. Also note that the Max setting of 90 corresponds to a Volume slider level of ‘0.0’.

Super Duper Gating Accuracy

I’ve selected the newly created instrument in the Arrange window, and played around a little. I then edited and quantized my ‘triggers’ in the Piano Roll window. Listen to the rough example:

Did you catch the 1/32 notes in there? Pretty accurate, if you ask me.

Have fun.

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  • Tom Maisey

    I leanred the other day that you can actually quantize automation, which made me very happy. You have to open the Automation Event List (yes, it has it’s own events list, which you may have to assign a key command to) from where you can quantize the automation data! Sweet, right?

    • Hey Tom, thanks, yes. I believe that keycommand is ctrl+cmd+E (for the US keyboard presets).
      Once you’ve ‘burned in’ your automation into a region (see my latest post), you can use the standard Event List too
      for editing and quantising automation. I believe ‘Additional Info’ has to be deactivtated for all
      automation steps to be visible. Pretty sweet, yes! I feel another article coming… 🙂

  • Thomas Bailey

    Nice! You could also sidechain a gate plugin to get the same effect, though it looks like this technique could be used to affect parameters other than volume.

    Glad I’ve stumbled across your blog, sir.

    • Hey Thomas, that’s always nice to hear, thanks!

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