Top Noise Gate Effect Pedals That Are Perfect Candidates For Your Pedalboard

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By most standards, noise gate pedals are not that much of an effect pedal as they are a tool. That’s the type of gear you start being interested in once you get to know the full nature of your tone, and how it works from top to bottom. So what does a noise gate do? We’ll cover that part in depth a bit later, but let’s just say that they deal with the noise being produced by your entire signal chain when you are not actually playing anything on your guitar.

Whether or not you need a noise gate pedal depends on how powerful your amp is, what type of guitar you are using, and the configuration of your pedalboard. On a similar note, the application of this equipment also has an impact. If you are just practicing at home, or in a studio with your friends, a noise gate pedal is probably not really that essential.

However, if you are playing gigs in large venues in front of even larger audience, a noise gate stompbox is probably something you should start thinking about. Whatever the case may be, we have done some research, and we have come up with six models that we consider to be the best noise gate pedals on the market at the moment, and definitely some of the best effects pedals in general. Let’s see what we have in store for you.

Top 6 Best Noise Gate Effect Pedals:

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Reverb Pedal
Summary
Rating
BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor Pedal
BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor Pedal
One of the best noise gate pedals you can get right now.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
ISP Technologies Decimator II
ISP Tech Decimator II
A more complex solution that brings great features and an impressive performance.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
MXR M135 Smart Gate
MXR M135 Smart Gate
Great middle of the road solution with some advanced features to offer.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
TC Electronic Sentry Noise Gate Pedal
TC Electronic Sentry Noise Gate Pedal
The future of effects pedals, this time applied to noise gate segment.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Donner Noise Killer Noise Gate Pedal
Donner Noise Killer Noise Gate Pedal
Inexpensive, yet capable pedal that brings great value at a reasonable price.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5
Behringer Noise Reducer NR300
Behringer Noise Reducer NR300
One of the cheapest, but still respectable noise gate pedals out there.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5

BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor Pedal

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Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:5.0 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Boss often comes packing the perfect balance of price and performance. Just look at their awesome EQ pedals. When it comes to noise gates, they’ve done it again. The whole idea behind having a good noise gate in your signal chain is precision. In other words, you want the pedal to kick in with enough speed and at the exactly right volume threshold, otherwise you’re going to start experiencing some issues. Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor delivers exactly that – a true no-nonsense noise reduction that is offered with no additional bells and whistles to bog down the performance. The pedal comes in that standard Boss package that we have grown to love over time.

It’s virtually indestructible, and it gets the job done with ease. On a scale from most basic models to more complex boutique ones, NS-2 sits comfortably somewhere in the middle. It might not be something you’d want to look at all day, but it’s the silent hero of every pedalboard. Controls are offered in the form of two knobs which allow you to regulate the threshold and decay, making it one of the better user friendly models in this segment of the market. However, the type of value it brings to the table is something you just can’t afford to ignore.


ISP Technologies Decimator II

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Features:5.0 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

The market for noise gate pedals has seen one of the more consistent rivalries that isn’t all that common elsewhere. Boss NS-2 and ISP Technologies Decimator II have always been battling it out for the top position. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. What we can say about the Decimator II, is that it’s a mighty pedal that brings you exactly the type of performance you would need from a good noise gate pedal. There’s a ton of interesting features with this one.

To start things of, you can use it in your effects loop without a single issue. ISP Technologies Decimator II also comes with a unique set of inputs and outputs that enable the user to connect more than one of these units together. In terms of performance, the situation is stellar. High amount of precision combined with a very practical principle of operation guarantee zero noise left over at the end of the day. The price? Just perfect when you look at all the benefits ISP Technologies Decimator II brings to the table. It’s by far one of the best noise gate pedals available at this moment.


MXR M135 Smart Gate

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Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Seeing an MXR pedal on this list comes as a no surprise considering that they are known for making some of the best pedals of niche variety. In some cases, MXR does things differently just enough that it’s noticeable and appealing to a decent amount of users. That is exactly what MXR M135 Smart Gate does for its users. The enclosure is a pretty standard MXR design which features tough materials and a very simple graphic design on the top panel. As its name states, it’s not your regular noise gate pedal.

The whole idea here is to give you more control when it comes to the type of noise you want to cancel out, and when the pedal is going to kick in. In a lot of ways, it’s very similar to ISP Technologies Decimator II. Performance wise, MXR M135 Smart Gate brings a very refined and precise experience that is easily adjusted to fit any needs you might have. Simple and reliable, this MXR model definitely belongs to any noise gate pedal top list out there. On a grand scale of things, it’s just a hair bellow the ISP and Boss units we have talked about earlier.


TC Electronic Sentry Noise Gate Pedal

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Features:5.0 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

TC Electronic has some of the hottest and probably most unusual pedals right now. Their TonePrint technology is a part of most of their recent overdrives pedals along with other releases, and it definitely brings a level of versatility that is extremely rare when it comes to guitar effects pedals. One segment where we didn’t expect to see this tech being applied are noise gate pedals. With that said, TC Electronic Sentry Noise Gate Pedal is among the best noise gate pedals on the market, so something must be working alright after all.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with TonePrint, this technology allows you to program the pedal using a piece of editing software that is provided with every purchase. Not only can you create your own unique presets, but being able to mess with the core performance of a guitar pedal in general is just an amazing feature. As a standard noise gate pedal, TC Electronic Sentry Noise Gate Pedal works very well. There’s precision, sensitivity, and enough juice to suppress even the most pesky hissing. Is it a standard pedal? Nope. Is it cheap? Cheaper than you would expect it to be. Should you get it? That depends on your requirements and taste, but objectively the pedal is a beast.


Donner Noise Killer Noise Gate Pedal

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Features:4.6 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.7 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

One of the great things about noise gate pedals is that they don’t have to be expensive at all. There are quite a number of decent models which won’t break your bank account, but will still give you the type of performance that gets the job done. One of the two models we want to show you is the Donner Noise Killer pedal. It’s among the most basic, yet functional noise gate pedals you can get at the moment. Straight out of the box, it’s nothing special, however plugging it into your signal chain tells a different story.

The enclosure is a great aluminum design that is lightweight but capable enough to withstand reasonable use over extended period of time. In terms of features, you get a more basic layout. However, there is a mode select switch that lets you toggle between a hard mode and soft mode. Is it the most precise noise gate out there? Nope, but it tracks well enough for it to be used even for more serious applications. If you’re on a tight budget, this little stompbox might be exactly what you were looking for all along. Bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat Donner Noise Killer.


Behringer Noise Reducer NR300

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Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:5.0 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

When money is tight but you still need to get some effects into your signal chain, one brand that keeps on delivering proven solutions is definitely Behringer. Once again they have created an awesome cheap pedal, only this time it’s a basic noise gate unit that goes under the name Behringer Noise Reducer NR300. First look at the pedal reveals all of the tell-tale signs that you are dealing with an affordable model. However, it is not about what you see on the outside, but rather what you hear coming out of your amp. Correction, what you don’t hear would be a more accurate parameter.

Behringer Noise Reducer NR300 features a design that is very similar to that of a Boss NS-2. You have your standard Threshold and Decay knobs with decent values on them, along with a mode switch that offers Mute and Reduction options. The pedal comes with a Send/Return input and output, if you want to noise gate other pedals as well. Overall, this Behringer performs much better than you would expect for the price. It’s the ultimate value for the money deal, and anyone with a tight budget should start from this model.


Effect

Noise gate pedals are there to reduce the hissing sound that often occurs either due to sensitive pickups, a loud amp, or a pedalboard where one or more pedals are just not that great in terms of bypass. Either way, a noise gate will eliminate these issues as long as you are not playing guitar. The moment you start to play, the noise gate will shut down. That is because the pedal is activated when a certain threshold of volume is exceeded in the signal. Overall, noise gates are one of the most valuable effects pedals a guitar player can own, but also one of the most overlooked and ignored.

Conclusion

If you haven’t dealt with noise gate pedals in the past, now is definitely the time to get your feet wet in this type of effects. There are many great solutions out there, some of which are more expensive than others, but as you saw for yourself, there are affordable models as well. Hopefully this article has helped you better understand what this type of pedal does, and which ones are currently the most recommended models.