A gated reverb is a technique to create thick snares, without cluttering your sound negatively with a long reverb tail.

This sound was made very popular in the 80’s. I guess, we all remember this classic track from Phil Collins, a perfect example for gated reverb in music production.

Over the years, this sound has been produced and used and now it’s time to revitalise this technique and integrate it in on your own production.

This technique can be done in any DAW. All you need is a reverb and a gate.

In the picture above you can see, that I already created all the important tracks – a snare track, an Aux track and a master send (I just created a kick track, so the snare doesn’t play alone).

Here are the drums with the dry snare.

Send the signal from the snare track to a new bus. Assign this bus as input for the Aux track.

Now, that the Aux track is getting a signal, it’s time to add a reverb to the snare. I made it with a extra long tail. Make sure to have the effect on 100% wet, so the Aux track has only the reverb signal.

Here are the drums with reverb on the snare.

Now, we have to get that reverb under control. Add a gate after the reverb. Put up the threshold as far as you can to kill most of the reverb.

The gate needs a trigger track, so choose the bus, which is getting the signal from the snare track as key input for the gate.

Now, you can tweak around the settings of the gate. Hear how the reverb breathe in time wih the snare. Change threshold, attack and release, until you’ve got the result you want.

Here’s my example of a gated reverb.

Try around different Reverb and Gate settings, until you’ve got the perfect thinck ‘Phil Collins Tribute Snare’

  1. […] reverbs are more an 80′s thing, I know, but this time it’s used to power up our normal kick drum sound. The kick reverb is […]

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