Production Techniques

Hello again readers so today’s blog will be about production techniques as you may have already figured out. I however, will be writing about gated reverb in particular as this specific technique has caught my attention.

Gated Reverb

Gated reverb is a processing technique that when applied

gated reverb.jpg
(Howell, 200

to recorded drums makes them sound powerful and punchy at the same time keeping the mix clean overall. This technique can be used in a live sound aspect as well to reinforce the drums. This reverb effect was particularly popular in the 80s and was created by accident when Hugh Padgham left the talk button on while Phil Collins was playing the drums in the process it created a distinct, like able sound. If you look to the right there is a diagram from Sound On Sound that displays what is happening when gated reverb is used. So the diagram is explaining that the initial drum hit, shown in the top third of the image, triggers the gate, which is the middle of the image. This then allows the reverb to pass through which is shown by the bottom graph.Sound on Sound writes that the most authentic way to use gated reverb is to send the the drums to a reverb with a medium room preset. It then states to send the output through a stereo noise gate and set an instant attack and an almost instant release with the gates hold time set to suit your tastes.  (Howell, 2005)

So to get a better understanding of gated reverb click on the link and it will take you to video which explains this effect extremely well.

Below is the live and studio version of Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight.’ This song had one of the most famous used of gated reverb. So please listen and see what you think about it.

Writing this blog really help me deepen my understanding of this technique and I look forward to utilising it in my future mixes.


The history of gated reverb. (2017). Richard’s Notes. Retrieved 12 December 2017, from

 Howell, S. (2005). Q. How do I set up a gated reverb? | Retrieved 12 December 2017, from

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