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What is Gate Attack?

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asked Apr 14, 2015 in Audio Terms by AlexTinsley (924,630 points)
What is Gate Attack and how is it used?

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answered Apr 14, 2015 by AlexTinsley (924,630 points)
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The gate attack time sets the rate at which the gate opens. A fast attack rate is crucial for percussive instruments, whereas signals such as vocals and bass guitar require a slower attack. Too fast of an attack can, on these slow rising signals, cause an artifact in the signal producing an audible ‘click’. All gates have the ability to ‘click’ when opening, however a properly set gate will never click. Below is an example of a gate opening very fast on a pure sine wave. Notice the almost vertical edge of the waveform when the gate opens. This is what produces the high frequency artifact known as ‘click’.