Last modifiedby & filed under Mixing & Other Tips.

How can you make a gated Synth without any special plugin?

Answer: use a gate with side chaining to chop any sound you like (works best with pads or sustaining instruments) aprox. setup time 2 minutes

Note: if you wanna have more of an smooth sounding you can use a compressor with side chain instead

A compressor is smooth, doesn’t completely cut your instruments and creates a soulful timbre whereas a gate is aggressive and really chops the sound staccato like. Mostly you know this technique from electronic music. Also many modern Synths already got a build-in rhythmical gate.


 gated_synth_11. add a new trigger track with a percussive sound. It would be best to use a closed & open HiHat or a percussive synth (like pulse or sawtooth). Record a rhythm, like this one HiHat Trigger



gated_synth_1-12. add a second synth track and record your synth line Synth Line




gated_synth_53. Add a gate to your synth track and activate side chaining. Don’t set the threshold too low otherwise your synth will be completely muted.





gated_synth_3 gated_synth_44. Simply route the trigger (synth) output to your gate’s side chain input now. In Cubase you can also use one send slot of your trigger track (see left picture). If you are using a send slot make sure you set it to pre-fader* so that you can turn down the trigger volume, in case you wanna silence the trigger in your mix. To do so, right click on the send slot and select “Move to Pre-Fader” from the menu (see right picture). Don’t mute the trigger track because the side chain wouldn’t receive any signal any more

*) Pre-fader means that the volume fader has no influence on the send output volume because the signal of your send output is routed to your fx (or side chain) inputs before the volume fader. 


5. Open your Synth track again and play around with the gate’s attack and release time. Also with the threshold. This all influences the chopping sound directly. Also note that the trigger sound itself (in this case the HiHat) has a big impact on the chopped sound as well. Also the gate plugin itself influences the sounding but not that dramatically.


You’re Done. This it what it could sound like Gated Synth (gate)

Or you can also chop strings Gated Strings (gate)Or any other instrument


How useful was this article?

something you didn't like? Please tell us before you rate!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

NOTE: highly negative votes may be removed without any reasonable given feedback!

Tell us how we can improve this post?


  1.  Add a voluminous Sub Bass without using any Bass Extender Plugin (mixing) - YummyBeats
  2.  Gated Synth – With Side Chain Compressor - YummyBeats

Leave a Reply

use <pre> </pre> to wrap code blocks

use <code> </code> to wrap small code snippets

use basic html to style your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *