Our tutorial today looks at how to create a fast gating / stutter effect using Ableton 9.5. It’s one of my favourite audio effects and I remember creating it in CoolEdit many years ago. The process was much more manual but it worked great. As mentioned, today we’re using Ableton but I have also used Maschine 2.4 and the Neon Drive Expansion Pack for the audio on this track to avoid any YouTube copyright problems so you can also see the Maschine VST plugin being used within Ableton.

Fast Gating in Ableton

What is Fast Gating?

Fast gating (often referred to as stutter gate or similar) is a really dramatic and powerful effect often used in dance / trance music among many others. Noise gating in general is the dropping or cutting of an audio level under certain conditions (a threshold level for example). Fast gating is a very quick drop and recovery of the audio level from normal to zero and back up to normal many times in quick succession. The level doesn’t have to be dropped to zero. A slow release on the gate creates a smoother ramping sound rather than a harsh stuttered gate. This is demonstrated in the video. Either way, it’s usually done in time with a rhythm at some division of a beat (e.g. 1/8 or 1/16). The track below is a jingle from the latest Radio 538 package. It’s not a song and you might not be into radio jingles :-) but they’re fantastic productions and this shows off fast gating at it’s most obvious. The guys at Wise Buddah have done a marvelous job with these.  Ableton has all the controls you need with the arpeggiator and gate effect to perfect this effect and easily turn it on and off on one or multiple tracks. This tutorial runs through setting up this effect.

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