Sonible’s smart:gate is a content-aware gate plugin that uses AI to detect specific instruments

The plugin is triggered by intelligent target source detection as opposed to input level

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Sonible smart:gate

Sonible smart:gate

Plugin developer Sonible has launched smart:gate, an intelligent content-aware gate effect powered by AI technology.

It gates audio triggered by specific target sources rather than purely by input level using intelligent target source detection. This means you can pick out a kick drum or a snare from a drum loop – identified by AI – for example, and process elements separately without having to spend time chopping up your sample.

The gate works effectively even if a target source varies in level, or if a competing instrument is louder than the signal you want to keep. So, if you’re wanting to pluck out the snare drums from a sample but some are quiet while others are loud, smart:gate still picks these out.

Unlike most level-dependent gates, smart:gate helps with parameterization in music production. Simply select the source from a drop-down menu, say “kick”, “vocals” or “hi-hat”, and the plugin actively singles out that sound source.

You can then adjust the parameters of the gate, with pretty standard controls available, as you’d expect, such as Threshold, Attack/Release, Hold and Tolerance. You can also control the Level Bias, which allows for accurate adjusting of the gating behaviour. Here, you can tell the gate to follow the detected signal closely or loosely, which helps refine transients or keep vocals natural or not.

Sonible smart:gate
Sonible smart:gate

There’s Impact Control, so you can adjust the gain reduction when the gate is closed, a Ducking mode, and you can fine-tune the gating even further with a three-band suppression control, so you can set the levels of the lows, mids and highs.

Sonible’s smart:gate also lets you sidechain audio in reaction to external sound sources with an external sidechain input function, which will detect audio in mono/mid or side signals.

On the plugin, Peter Sciri, Sonible’s co-founder and CTO, has said: “Conventional gates have been eyed sceptically in the past – I sure did so. We figured, that the solution to eliminating the uncertainty that comes with gates was to shift the processing’s focus onto the target signal instead of the overall signal. It’s a new approach that might need a little time to wrap one’s head around, but the results speak for themselves.”

smart:gate is available for an introductory price of €89. You can also download a free trial of the plugin, if you want to test it out. Find out more information at


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