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User reviews on Software noise gate / expander products

moosers's review (Nomad Factory - BT Logical Gate Expander GX622)

By moosers, 26/12/2010
The Nomad Factory Blue Tubes Logical Gate Expander GX622 is a plug-in that's a part of Nomad's Blue Tubes Dynamics Pack. The bundle has six in total, with this one being the only gate/expander of the bunch. I don't own the bundle and have only used it at the studio where I work, so I wasn't at all involved with the installation process. It shouldn't be hard anyway, as you install the full bundle at once. Using the plug-in should be just as easy, but of course it helps if you have basic knowledge of how to use a gate. The plug-in gives you parameters for attack, hold, decay, range, threshold, and both a high and low pass filter. There's also a VU meter which can be set to show either input or output level. It does have a good amount of parameters for a gate/expander, but I like having the control for sure. I haven't checked out the manual for this plug-in at all.


The studio I work at has the Nomad Factory BT Logical Gate Expander GX622 and the Blue Tubes Dynamics Pack running on all of our systems, which are Pro Tools HD based. Our main room, which is the one I've used it on most, has a Mac Pro desk top computer with 10 GB or RAM and dual 2.66 Ghz Intel Xeon processors. I've used it on the other systems, but all of them run it about the same since they're Pro Tools HD to being with. It runs flawlessly here, but I can't really say how well it would run on an LE system or something similar...


The Nomad Factory BT Logical Gate Expander GX622 is effective and has a lot to work with, although it's not the plug-in I'll go to first if I'm just looking for a simple gate. In fact, I like using this best as an expander as I think the extra parameters cater to this best. Don't get me wrong, it's an effective gate as well, it's just not as basic and simple as some of the other ones out there to get the job done. It does it's job well but is really an extra bonus within the Blue Tubes Dynamics Pack. In other words, I wouldn't look to this bundle for this plug-in. Check out the others in the bundle that you'll most likely be using more often, and if you like them (which I do), it's cheap enough where it's worth it to pick it up. This is nice to have around, but definitely isn't worth getting the bundle for it unless you're into using the other plug-ins more regularly.

Great free edition, with a small bug (Digidesign - DigiRack Expander/Gate)

By stompboxjon, 18/09/2012
The Digidesign DigiRack Expander/Gate plug in came with my Pro Tools version 6 I think. I have been working with the Expander/Gate plug in for many years now and it has a lot of useful features. You do not have to do anything to download or install the DigiRack Expander/Gate plug in, it will be automatically installed on your system when you purchase Pro Tools ( I am not sure if this still comes with the newer versions of Pro Tools). There isn’t a manual for the Expander/Gate plug in but it does have a section in Pro Tools manual explaining it. Setting it up was easy because there is nothing to it, and it works great just like pro tools does.


I run Pro Tools on a Apple Macbook Pro 2.66 Ghz i7 Dual Core 4GB Super Drive system. Pro Tools has always run great on my system and of course so does the DigiRack Expander/Gate Plug in. There is a small bug when using the DigiRack Expander/Gate plug in, and it has always been a problem and I don’t think they have ever corrected it. The Ratio Slider flat out does not work, you cannot change the Ratio Value. The Ratio Value is always stuck at 100:1 and will always be at that ratio. Many of use have tried to contact the company and they were aware of the issue. Maybe it has been corrected if you have a newer version of Pro Tools.


The DigiDesign DigiRack Expander/Gate Plug in is a great free edition for a Pro Tools user. It includes some really good low and high pass filters as well as all of your parameters like release, threshold, attack etc. There really are no other models of Expander/Gate plug in, this is really the only one that is standard with Pro Tools. I hope they have fixed the Ratio bug by now or atleast in the newest versions of Pro Tools. This was a huge issue from Pro Tools 5.1. I am happy that the Digidesign DigiRack Expander/Gate comes with Pro Tools though, it has very useful tools that every engineer has to have. It would even be worth the money if I had to pay, I would still purchase it.

Great Plug In (Digidesign - DigiRack Expander/Gate)

By chrislieck, 25/09/2012
We use this compressor all day at our facility. I like it as a second compressor in the chain. It does have a harsh compression and I use it on everything again, as a secondary compression. I like this unit for more of a limiter use opening the attack up to let the sound hit initially and then grab it with a light 3:1 to 4:1 ratio. My students all use this in their audio classes and love it. It can sound a bit harsh if you over compress or use a hard hitting snare drum or kick drum. I think it sounds a bit loose at about 50hz on Kick and does not tighten the kick but rather over compress the sound and make it a bit colored. To avoid this just pick the right instrumentation to use this compressor on. Use it for vocals and you can start with the presets the factory sends when you purchase. It is a bit to compressed but it is a good starting point and should be good for you to get a basic idea of how this compressor works and how much gain reduction you can use without sounding to effected.


It works great and has not issues with any playback engine issues. I have used it for years and it works flawlessly. I use on IMAC, LAPTOP, DUAL LAPTOP, QUAD LAPTOPS. If you are running about 32 or more of these it can bog a slower PC or Dual Mac or IMAC down a bit but in that case use it on a group or an aux send and return. I use group compression for my room mics so that I don't bog down the processor if I am having any problems with latency or if I am not running on an HD system. I find it stable and only if I am on a slow computer does it have any issues at all. I like using the attack more than I use the threshold. The attack is smooth and is really quick to grab the signal but not in an obtrusive way and not in a way that you can hear like a bomb factory 1176. I like the fact that these come with the install pack but I do think that it is best used with other compressors not alone. I don't use this plug in just solo rather I use it in conjunction with others. I normally pull this up in conjunction with a Bomb Factory or the SSL and I use this for more of a limiter rather than my main compressor as when you hit it with level it can sound a bit processed.


I like it and it comes standard with any pro tools bundle for free. I don't think you will find a better compressor as an included compressor. Like I said above I think that if you want to use as a limiter not as your primary compressor then you will love it as the second in the chain. I like this unit but it is not my main compressor when it comes to vocals or snare. I do use it some times on my bus sections but I do not use it all on the master fader. I have some students that put this on their masters and that is not a good idea it is not a stereo buss compressor.

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