I’m not sure if you will be familiar with Infected Mushroom or their music, but if you are, then you’ll understand why they handcrafted this plug. It fits their style perfectly and you can even hear it in action in their more recent material.
Let’s Talk Highlights:
- 8 Fully Functional & Editable Envelopes
- Time, Amp & Pan Parameters for Each Envelope Independently
- Easy to Use Pencil Tool with 30 Preset Shapes & 5 User Made Shapes
- Tempo Mapped Looping
- CV Output for Modular Synths
- Over 100 Presets
In my opinion, Gatekeeper’s power is in the ability to have 8 simultaneous but independent envelopes modulating an audio source. Designing modulations with the pen tool and then adjusting the pan, amp and time parameters for each differently garners interesting results quickly.
I was very impressed with how well it could take any already groovy loop and completely transform it into something different and, in some cases, much better. Also a side note - I got some great results using it on a reverb return track that had a large amount of 'verb to play with.
Furthermore, you can do more surgical processing easily as well. You can duck a bassline to make room for a kick: in other words, what amounts to a pseudo-sidechain and even get something like compression if you trace the contour of drums with the envelope shapes. Plus, there's a really helpful help section.
Creative Sparks Flying
I found just placing it on any audio source, and I mean any audio source, and cycling through a few of the many, many presets gave me inspiration quickly. Then I could go in and manually adjust things to get the final output closer to my liking and what was necessary for my audio. Sometimes, more often than not in fact, Gatekeeper brought me to places I never would have thought to go on my own, helping me to create new rhythms that were outside my imagination!
What’s It Missing?
It’s limited to just volume automaton. Don’t get me wrong; so much can be accomplished with just that. However, with the brilliant envelope system already in place, with the easy to use pen tools and other controllable parameters, I would have loved to see filtering, time shaping and other effects that use envelopes as options to follow the curves as well. Maybe that is coming in the future though or maybe I’m just being greedy.
If you are looking for a volume automation tool, Gatekeeper should be at the top of your list. I find myself using this plug for inspiration over and over again. With the flexibility of the 8 envelopes and over 100 presets there is no end in sight for new, creative and interesting ideas.
Pros: 8 envelopes with complete control of volume automation
Cons: The GUI is not resizable. Limited to just volume automation