Magical Gate: an input-receptive Gate device for Ableton 9 + Max For Live

Magical Gate

— A gate with soul.

Magical Gate

“Magical Gate” is a gate effect with a magical touch — it moves according to the input signal. It doesn’t cut off sounds as linearly as a normal gate.

It’s organic. Kinda like it’s alive or something. It is more reactive and sensitive to the host material. It’s less cold and digital and robotic and linear than most gates.
…You could say it has a soul.

Version 1.0 had a couple of issues so here is the new version 1.1 which works better and has a more versatile interface.
[Important!: You need both Ableton Live 9 and Max for Live to use this, as it contains the “Max Api CtrlEnvFol” device. See below for link to that if you don’t have it.]

Louder source input causes the gate to move up in response; quieter input causes it to back off. You choose the basic intensity and watch and hear as the threshold moves around. You can boost the overall gating and even add random gating, as well as control the choppiness vs smoothness with the “attack”, “hold”, and “release” macros.

It can, for instance, be used on an audio track with a large variance of volume dynamics without cutting out the quieter sections completely like a normal gate would. Where the threshold hovers is relative to the overall loudness, not just a static value.

Download the FREE Magical Gate Effect Rack for Ableton 9 + Max For Live-> CLICK HERE

I have also created for you the “Magical Gate Plus” effect rack, which you can use to add effects which only come in when the signal is gated. This is great fun for very organic & volume-controlled fx layering. 

The “Magical Gate Plus” rack for download has an example fx rack inserted into it (In the example fx rack that comes with the device you have some erosion, saturation, and random beat-repeating going on), but you can use whatever fx you want or design — just drop in whatever where it says “Drop FX ->”.

Download the FREE Magical Gate Plus Effect Rack for Ableton 9 + Max for Live-> CLICK HERE


1: Gate Bounce: Turn up the Magical Gate. As you turn the knob up, the amount the Gate Threshold moves in response to the input signal will be altered in intensity. Look at the visualizer in the gate device to see what is getting greyed out, and the orange gain reduction meter on the right. For the “Magical Gate Plus”, FX will come in when the meter is orange.

2: Gate Boost: Turn this up to increase gating even more, once you have found the Bounce point, if needed.

4: Random Gating: Adding value to this macro will increase random jitter of the gate threshold. The higher the knob, the more random gating will occur.

5,6,7: Attack, Hold, Release: These 3 macros control choppiness vs smoothness. To the left more is more choppy — to the right more is more smooth.
If the gate doesn’t seem to be coming in, one of these is probably too high. If the chop of the gate needs to be less choppy, test gently increasing these to find the perfect setting.

8: Floor: (Magical Gate only) Increase this if you would like to pad gated sounds rather than cut them out completely.

8: FX Amount: (Magical Gate Plus only) Sets the maximum value of the Drop-In FX chain. At 0% it will just gate sounds. At 100% FX chain is let through at -0db.


“It goes up and down.” – anonymous


Icon image credit: Bird McElroy.

Get the “M4L Building Tools” live pack with the “Max Api CtrlEnvFol” device by Cycling ’74 here:

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