Best noise gate pedals: clean up your signal with the best noise gate pedals for guitar

MXR Smart Gate on a white background
(Image credit: MXR)

The noise gate is perhaps the most overlooked utility pedal there is. Guitar tuners are essential, and people recognize the need for one. Meanwhile, the coloration offered by a compressor can be very musical and help define a signature tone. The best noise gate pedals, on the other hand, are more like insurance – they're not cool, they're usually not that cheap, and if all is well, you won't even notice they're there. 

Do enough club shows however, with bad wiring at the venue, a loud amp that's four feet from the nearest stage wedge, and a single-coil equipped electric guitar, and you'll realize that a noise gate is by no means a tool only for the pros. Even the cheapest of gates, stuck at the start of your chain and left on, can make a world of difference.

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Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.