Since the early days of trance music, gate effect has been a trademark of this genre and it’s still going strong in a form or another. There’s several different ways and plugins for creating a gate effect, but in this tutorial I’m going to show you how to do it with Love Philter (advanced filter plugin) in FL Studio.
First thing to do is to create a melody – long chords played with a sweeping pad sounds works very well with gate effect, but of course you can use gater with any sound you wan’t.
Anyway, here’s a very simple chord pattern I created for this tutorial. I’m using a preset called “PD Sun Rise TAL” from the TAL-NoiseMaker (freeware VST synth):
This is how it sounds:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Chord-Pattern.mp3]
Ok. Assign the TAL-NoiseMaker to an empty mixer track, add a Fruity Love Philter plugin to the first fx slot and load a preset called “Default”:
Now, click on the first filter unit and do the following:
- Set the Filter mode to Off
- Set the Editor target to Volume
- Set the Articulator part to Pattern envelope
- Enable envelope by clicking that little box at the bottom of the plugin
- Click Tempo to enable tempo based time
Click on the Options (that little arrow icon at the bottom of the plugin), and select Create sequence from the pop up list box:
This is a 32 step sequencer for creating a repetitive sequences for envelopes. When you open it, there’s already a 8 step sequence created as a default, but you can modificate it anyway you wan’t. Here’s a quick introduction to the functions:
- The “boxes” you can see at the top row is where you add/remove the control points. Left-click to step forward, right-click to step backward through four modes: Off, Normal step, Step without gate, Step merged with next.
- The blue bars that are below the step boxes is what you use to control the volume of the envelope.
- Controls on the right: Mode selects via two modes: Normal (loops the envelope), Ping-pong (repeats envelope once backwards), Time multiplicator changes the envelope time-base, Swing creates a ‘swinging rhythm’ to the sequence, Attack, Decay and Sustain controls the shape of the envelope and Gate sets the gate time.
Click on Reset to set the sequencer back to default settings and Accept to apply the changes.
Now, press play and open the Love Philters envelope sequencer again to tweak and hear the changes in real time. For a very basic, old school trance gate, use the following settings:
This is how it sounds:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Old-School-Trance-Gate.mp3]
Old school, but pretty cool, eh?
Let”s make it a bit more interesting by creating a sequence to the filter envelope as well.
- First, select a Filter type: Chocolate state variable (default)
- Set the Filter mode to Single
- Set the Editor target to Filter cutoff
- Articulator part to Pattern envelope
- Enable envelope
Now, open the envelope sequencer.
This time, the envelope sequencer controls the filter cutoff envelope as we set the Editor target to Filter cutoff.
Use the following settings for some interesting cutoff envelope sequence. Pretty much same settings except adjust the filter cutoff frequency step by step via the blue sliders:
This is how the whole thing sounds:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Trance-Gate-With-Filter-Envelope-Sequence.mp3]
Remember that you can also create a longer sequences (32 steps) and 10 different patterns each with different sequence to make a very complex gating and filter effects.
Here’s a video showing me creating the trance gate effect:
That’s basically it. Hopefully you got the idea. Now experiment with the different settings and have fun!
I’m also sharing the FL Studio project file with you to get started (TAL-NoiseMaker required):