Making Better Gated Reverb In Logic Pro

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Logic Pro’s Space Designer has a limited choice of gated Reverbs, so sometimes it’s best to just make your own. We’ll cover how to make a gated Reverb the classic way, by compressing the Reverb and cutting it off with a Noise Gate. We’ll throw in a Transformer object to finish it off 2011 style.


Gated reverbs have been around since the 80’s. From Wikipedia:

Use of the gated reverb effect spread to popular music during the 1980s. Producer Mutt Lange was a pioneer at drenching the recorded drum sound in gated reverb. An early and prominent use of gated reverb was in Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham’s production of the third Peter Gabriel solo album.

The Classic Way

Here’s how we would set up a gated Reverb in Logic Pro:

making gated reverbs in logic pro

We have an EXS24 Instrument with some snare samples, with a bus send inserted that’s sending to Aux bus 1. On that bus, we’ve inserted a Reverb set to a 2.3 sec ‘Clean Room’ Space Designer preset, which we first squash with a Compressor, then cut off with a Noise Gate. By adding a Compressor, we’ve decreased the dynamics of the Reverb’s tail. Simply put, instead of going from loud to soft, the Reverb is now just a burst of noise. Great for gated verbs.

Compressor Settings

For guidance:

All we need to do now is find the right setting for the Noise Gate’s threshold. This will require you to do some tweaking: find the value where it cuts off the Reverb rather quickly, but make sure that it doesn’t cause stuttering.

Sofar, the basics. Now let’s do some fun stuff. I’m sure you noticed the Transformer object in the picture… Let’s target the Noise Gate’s ‘Hold Time’ with the Transformer object.

Transformer Settings:

Note data gets fixed to fader data, the channel is fixed at 4 to target the third insert slot, another fix at 4 for the Hold Time parameter, value fixed at 30 (put any value you’d like here) – which corresponds to a Noise Gate Hold Time of 300ms. This way, we’re controlling the Noise Gate’s Hold Time via note length. That’s cool, because now we can easily give this snare a little longer gated reverb in choruses or breaks just by editing note length. Small tweaks like this really can make a big difference.

Don’t forget to give the Noise Gate some Release Time. Good luck.

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