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Gate parameters

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Stephen Swaffer:
At the risk of sounded like a compete novice-the new digital mixers give me a lot of tools I never had before-some are not well documented or maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

On my SQ the parameters are: attack, hold, release, threshold and depth.  The two I am not understanding are hold and release.  I am using these primarily in two places-piano mics and pulpit and the main issue is having the gate come "on" in between words-or soft/slow places on the piano. I want the gate to open and stay open even if a speaker has short pauses between words-not necessarily intentional pauses but just hesitation pauses. The main reason for the gates in the first place is to cut down on extraneous ambient noise pre-service in vestibule/livestream feeds.

Define what hold and release Actually do?

Mike Caldwell:
First gating a spoken word pulpit mic is tricky if not impossible to get it work well all the time with different people speaking, you will always be chasing after the threshold setting.
By the time you set the threshold to gate out the background noise soft spoken people will be below that setting.

Hold is the time the gate stays open after the input signal has dropped below the threshold level.
Release is the time the gate takes to close after the hold time has expired.
To do what your wanting you want a longer hold time and release time.
Also reduce the depth to only around 8 db.

Ike Zimbel:

--- Quote from: Mike Caldwell on January 18, 2023, 08:22:40 PM ---First gating a spoken word pulpit mic is tricky if not impossible to get it work well all the time with different people speaking, you will always be chasing after the threshold setting.
By the time set the threshold to gate out the background noise soft spoken people will be below that setting.

Hold is the time the gate stays open after the input signal has dropped below the threshold level.
Release is the time the gate takes to close after the hold time has expired.
To do what your wanting you want a longer hold time and release time.
Also reduce the depth to only around 8 db.

--- End quote ---
+1
I will just add that if your mixer has a downward expansion dynamics offering, try that. This is the functional equivalent of the one knob "Gate" that the dbx-166 and similar hardware compressors have. Set the threshold really, low, like -50, so literally a breath will open it. Doesn't seem like much, but what it's doing is immediately starting to pull the gain down whenever there is silence and then seamlessly opening up again when the presenter speaks.

Jonathan Johnson:

--- Quote from: Mike Caldwell on January 18, 2023, 08:22:40 PM ---First gating a spoken word pulpit mic is tricky if not impossible to get it work well all the time with different people speaking, you will always be chasing after the threshold setting.
By the time you set the threshold to gate out the background noise soft spoken people will be below that setting.

Hold is the time the gate stays open after the input signal has dropped below the threshold level.
Release is the time the gate takes to close after the hold time has expired.
To do what your wanting you want a longer hold time and release time.
Also reduce the depth to only around 8 db.

--- End quote ---

Release can be thought of as a slope -- where the X axis is time and the Y axis is depth.

So if you've got a hold of 1000 ms and a release of 500 ms, then 1 second after the audio drops below the threshold, the gain will be reduced by the depth (dB) over a period of time defined by the release parameter. If the release parameter is set to 0 ms, then it's like a switch -- a sharp cutoff.

(Maybe I'm not supposed to resurrect an old thread.)

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