The Best Guitar Noise Gate Pedals You Never Heard Comin!
Maybe it’s a paradox we’re working with here. We want the noise. We want the roars, screams and hisses of an amp gone wild. Why would we need a noise gate pedal?
The quick answer is that we want that tone on our terms. Because all like, to some degree, a bit of control.
And sonic control matters. Because no matter how much you identify as a shredder, or what ever you go to sleep telling yourself, you are at the core -a creative artist!
And your setup is both your paint and your canvas. And you want to shape the brush you use for what you need when you need it.
Well, when it comes to guitar feedback and distortion, either from a pedal or an overdriven amp, having the right effects pedals to dial in the amount chaos you want is critical.
And not even the most heaviest of Metal guitarists, or any genre out there, want to have their playing style be about managing constant feedback.
So, with all that said, enter the next tone tool you need -the noise gate pedal.
In this article, I’ve rounded up 13 of what I consider to be the best guitar noise gate pedals out there. All with FREE Shipping and great low prices.Don't Want to Read? Jump to the Reviews Section!
How Exactly Does a Noise Gate Work?
The features of each pedal are all going to be the very similar for the most part. Giant beast noise sent as a signal loop that can be turned on or off.
When a noise gate pedal is on, depending on your settings, it acts like a real closed gate to a portal to another dimension of sound.
All the way on, when you are not playing, you signal is dead muted. Then when you strike a cord or hammer off a solo, the gate opens, smoothly or quickly (again depending on a pedals features or settings), to allow your jam to pass.
If you'd like to better understand what happens to the sound envelope over time due to a noise gate, here's a great overview from the Wikipedia entry on the subject:
“A noise gate or gate is an electronic device or software that is used to control the volume of an audio signal. Comparable to a compressor, which attenuates signals above a threshold, noise gates attenuate signals that register below the threshold. However, noise gates attenuate signals by a fixed amount, known as the range… A noise gate does not remove noise from the signal. When the gate is open, both the signal and the noise will pass through. Gates typically feature ‘attack', ‘release', and ‘hold' settings and may feature a ‘look-ahead' function.”
Now, playing hyper staccato, or dampening your sound with your hand works. And a noise gate might not be necessary when you're playing alone in your bedroom. Though you might get ear fatigue really quick if it's all “squeal city” up in tha joint!
But when you're jamming with a band, or placing your guitar parts within a song, you need to shut that puppy down so the other elements can have their space.
A good noise gate, not only restricts endless squeals of feedback and overblown signal line noise. It can make the listener yearn to hear your monster tone again!
Because, ever noticed how we tend to tune out something that is constant.
So let’s see what out there in the market, their specs, and what I think are the winners as far as features and price.
A Quick Shoot Out To Get You Started
If you're new to guitar noise gates and silencer pedals, here's a great shootout video by Simon Smith which covers five of the pedals we are showcasing in this article.
1. Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor Pedal
The NS-2 Noise Suppressor eliminates unwanted noise and hum without altering an instrument's natural tone. It's the perfect pedal to quiet down any pedalboard or effects setup. I also own this pedal and love it to pieces!
- Compact noise suppression pedal for eliminating noise and hum in guitar and bass effects and amplifier setups
- Unique noise detection circuit preserves the natural attack and envelope of an instrument's sound
- Threshold and decay knobs allow for shaping the elimination/suppression as desired
- Price: MSRP: $137.60. Sale price with FREE shipping: $99 New (Amazon).
2. ISP Technologies Decimator G String II
ISP's Decimator II G String noise reduction pedal tracks the signal directly from your guitar, which lets you go from clean to high gain without changing the threshold. This improved design lets you connect the processing channel into your effects loop after your high-gain pedals or preamp. An 1/8″ phone cord engages the linking function, letting you link two Decimators for two channels of noise reduction.
- Tracks the signal directly from your guitar
- Go from clean to high gain without changing the threshold setting
- Linking function lets you link 2 Decimators for 2 channels of noise reduction
- You can use 1 Decimator G String II and 1 Decimator II pedal for a stereo setup
- Offers the same tracking performance of ISP's professional ProRack G system
- Price: MSRP: $269.99. Sale price with FREE shipping: $226.35 New (Amazon).
3. TC Electronic Sentry Noise Gate Guitar Pedal
Sentry Noise Gate is your gateway to a noise-free and fully dynamic performance. Its cutting-edge multiband technology is set to cater to all of your hum and buzz-killing needs and with its highly intuitive design, you'll be dialing out that unwanted noise faster than an Yngwie Malmsteen arpeggio lick. Take control and enjoy the silence!
- Noise gate pedal based on the System 6000 algorithms
- Multiband or Hard noise gate modes squash noise
- Versatile Send/Return jacks for side chaining effects of isolating noisy pedals
- TonePrint Editor software for Mac, Windows PC, and iPad gives you access to downloadable presets
- Choose from buffered or true bypass via an internal switch
- Made with high-quality analog and digital components
- Road-ready, ultra-tough all-metal chassis
- Price: MSRP: $194.99. Sale price with FREE shipping: $129.00 New (Amazon).
4. Behringer NR300 Noise Reducer Noise Reduction Effects Pedal
So you love the bite, twang and snap of single-coil pickups, but can’t stand the 60-cycle hum that comes along for the ride. Plug into the NOISE REDUCER NR300 and kiss unwanted noise goodbye for good! The NR300 preserves the original attack and envelope, while leaving your playing and dynamics intact – helping you keep your mind on your performance.
- Noise reduction pedal for electric guitar
- Perfect for eliminating buzz and hum from single-coil pickups or noisy effects pedals
- Reduction mode eliminates noise, Mute mode acts as a kill switch for instant silence
- Integrate external effects with the Send/Return loop
- Dual LEDs for on/off and noise reduction status
- Price: MSRP: $37.99. Sale price with FREE shipping: $24.99 New (Amazon).
5. Rocktron Guitar Silencer Noise Reduction Guitar Effects Pedal
If you play ferocious metal riffs via a hot amp and a pedalboard full of stompboxes, then you know how hard it can be to tame all that inherent noise that comes in when you're not playing. That's why Rocktron's amazingly effective Guitar Silencer pedal is such a must-have! This pedalboard-friendly noise reduction stompbox takes care of unwanted noise and feedback your way. Choose the threshold setting and control noise without chopping of notes or affecting sustain. That's Rocktron's patented HUSH technology at work. Use the gate knob to totally “slam the gate shut” as soon as you hit a note (Dimebag and Helmet fans, take note). True-bypass switching means that, when the Guitar Silencer is switched off, your signal won't be affected.
- Cuts hiss, unwanted feedback, and pickup buzz
- Incredibly easy to use
- Threshhold control won't cut off notes or chop sustain
- Gate control lets you totally kill noise, immediately
- ACTIVE LED lights up when gate threshold has been met
- Perfect for pedalboards
- Tough metal construction
- Custom designed laser-etched artwork
- True bypass
- Price: MSRP: $189.00. Sale price with FREE shipping: $129.00 New (Sweetwater).
6. MXR M195 Noise Clamp Noise Reduction Guitar Effects Pedal
Crank your stomp pedals to the extremes without the fear of any hiss or excess noise with the MXR Noise Clamp. By sensing your guitar's dry signal, The Noise Clamp reduces the noise level within the effect loop, coming down hard on even the noisiest signals. A single Trigger knob allows you to set the volume threshold at which the pedal is active, and a green LED shows whether the gate is on/off. This bad boy is capable of reducing Noise up to 26dB, maintaining riff definition at extreme gain levels.
- Eliminates hiss and excess noise from your effects chain
- Trigger knob sets the volume threshold
- Capable of reducing noise up to 26dB
- Price: MSRP: $128.56. Sale price with FREE shipping: $89.99 New (Amazon).
7. Electro-Harmonix SILENCER The Silencer Guitar Noise Gate Pedal
A sophisticated noise gate that can tame a single pedal or an entire effects loop! The Silencer’s three-control layout provides precise fine-tuning to fit your system, axe and playing style. Threshold adjusts how much level is required to open the noise gate and allow a signal to pass thru. Reduction regulated the degree to which the gated signal is reduced and is variable between -70dB and +4dB. Release controls how long the gate remains open after the signal drops below the Threshold. Release time is variable between 8ms and 4 seconds.
- Noise gate with built-in effects loop
- Fine-tune the noise gate with Threshold, Reduction, and Release controls
- Noise reduction is variable from -70dB to +4dB
- Release time can be set between 8ms and 4 seconds
- Use the Send output jack with the built-in loop or as a secondary output
- Buffered output (via Send)/buffered bypass keeps your signal strong and clean
- Powered by a single 9-volt battery or optional AC adaptor
- Price: MSRP: $79.00. Sale price with FREE shipping: $78.97 New (Amazon).
8. ISP Technologies Decimator II
ISP's Decimator II noise gate guitar pedal ups the ante over the original Decimator design to give you even better noise reduction. The Decimator II sports linearized Time Vector Processing in its expander tracking, giving you incredibly smooth sustained-note decay that's virtually free of release rippling. Connect a Decimator pedal between your guitar and amp's input and another in you effects loop, and you can link the two via 1/8″ cable allowing both pedals directly track your input signal. For the ultimate in electric guitar noise reduction, put an ISP Decimator II in your signal chain.
- Input Impedance: 500K ohms
- Maximum Input Level: +12dbu
- Effective Noise Reduction: greater than 60db
- Dynamic Range: greater than 100db
- Total Harmonic Distortion: .05% typical
- Power consumption: 35mA @9VDC
- Release response: Program dependent based on Time Vector Processing
- Price: MSRP: $159.99. Sale price with FREE shipping: $134.13 New (Amazon).
9. MXR M-135 Smart Gate Pedal
Tame your hissing high-gain amp or silence your string of stompboxes with this ingenious pedal. The Smart Gate is equipped with three selectable types of noise reduction to handle virtually any type of signal. It bites down on sizzle and hum but lets the smallest detail of your playing through. With its uncanny ability to sense precisely when-and how fast-to engage, this little genius will never get in your way, so you can wring every last bit of sustain out of that chord without being cut off. The M135 features a hardwire bypass, precise threshold trigger, and amazingly clean circuitry.
- Noise gate pedal for electric guitar or bass
- Intelligent gating means the gate reacts slowly when you're holding sustained notes, and faster when your playing speeds up
- Variable threshold lets you control how much gating is taking place
- Three operation modes: Hiss for high-frequency noise, Mid for noisy guitar amps, and Full for wide-range signals and bass rigs
- Price: MSRP: $185.70. Sale price with FREE shipping: $129.99 New (Amazon).
10. Rocktron Micro HUSH
With pedal board space at a premium these days, and smaller pedals in demand, Rocktron is pleased to provide the MicroHUSH to wipe out hiss, unwanted feedback and pickup buzz by providing up to 65dB of signal cleanup, while maintaining your music signal integrity. Guitar Player Magazine wrote that a “HUSH pedal will work for all guitar-related noise problems: it's perfect” and “its potent noise-killing abilities will be fully appreciated.”
- Input Impedance: 470kΩ
- Output Impedance: 1kΩ
- Price: MSRP: $135.00. Sale price with FREE shipping: $119.00 New (Amazon).
11. Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger
Every musician battles hum in their signal chain. The Hum Debugger turns it into dead silence, courtesy of a little EHX magic. Not a noise gate, and not a noise suppressor — but a real hum extractor. Silence is golden.
- Eliminates hum from any audio source without corrupting your sound
- 1/4″ I/O ideal for guitar and bass
- Compact, tough, stage-ready die-cast chassis
- True bypass
- Price: MSRP: $156.70. Sale price with FREE shipping: $117.50 New (Sweetwater).
12. Donner Noise Killer
Donner Noise Killer effector pedal is attached to two of the working mode “hard / soft”. To reduce the “hard mode” noise component, providing a hard effect, “soft mode”: to reduce the noise component and provides a soft effect. Because the full medal casing, this effector pedal is compact in elaborate. Like most of the excellent effector pedal, there is also a true bypass function.
- Two models.Hard Mode: Provide hard effect of noise reduction, Soft Mode: Provide soft effect of noise reduction.
- Adjusting the noise reduction degree:-70—+10dB
- Whole Aluminium-alloy classic, stable and strong
- True bypass provide transparent tone.LED indicator shows the working state.
- DC 9V Adapter power supply. Working Current: 26mA
- Price: MSRP: $55.00. Sale price with FREE shipping: $37.00 New (Amazon).
13. Pigtronix Gatekeeper Micro Noise Gate Pedal
The Gatekeeper Micro utilizes ultra-high speed J-FET circuitry to completely eliminate hum, hiss, buzz and any other non-musical sounds from your signal path. The wide range threshold control combines with superior headroom to deliver smooth transient response and warp speed time constants previously available only in rackmount, studio oriented noise gate processors. These extreme performance characteristics allow for musical gating even under the most punishing demands of high-speed metal. The addition of the release time knob allows the user to control how long it takes gate to slam closed. Mercilessly cutting out any and all sounds you don’t want to hear at the very instant you stop playing, the Gatekeeper Micro will allow players to crank up the volume without fear of hearing the annoying 60-cycle hum or white noise that plagues most high gain rigs.
- 100% attenuation when gated
- Wide range threshold control
- Variable release time
- High-Speed performance
- True Bypass
- Size = 3.75″ x 1.5″ x 1.75″
- Sound design by David Koltai
- Price: MSRP: $149.00. Sale price with FREE shipping: $99.00 New (Sweetwater).
The Best Guitar Noise Gate Pedals Wrap-up!
Hope you got a lot of value from this article. Again if you don't have one of these noise gates in your kit -get one today. It seriously changes the game. Especially if you are running a monster sound.
Let me know if you have any questions. Or if there is a noise gate pedal that you really love and was not featured here.
Thanks for reading. And be sure to share this article with your friends!