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John D. Leon

Music Composer

How to make 80s Gated Reverb Snare


A popular technique in 1980s music was to add gated reverb to a snare. That is, add a lot of reverb to a snare, but then cut it off abruptly so it doesn’t ring out for a long time. This can be done by adding a noise gate after the reverb unit.

In Logic Pro X

First, add a big reverb like Space Designer and turn up the Size and Wet to taste.

Space Designer reverb in Logic Pro X with size and wet turned up.

Next, to cut off the sound at a certain point, add the Noise Gate after the reverb in the FX chain. Adjust the Threshold to get the right level for activation. Turn the Release up if you don’t want the sound to cut off immediately and completely, but ease out.

In the noise gate, you also need to sidechain the snare drum. This way the noise gate will use the dry signal of the snare drum instead of using the wet sound. If you use the wet sound, the gate might flip open and closed as the reverb fluctuates.

Noise Gate in Logic Pro X, sidechained to a snare drum


You should now be able to create a gated reverb effect in Logic Pro X.