KMA Audio Machines has just the thing for high-gain players and those whose pedalboard expansion has introduced unwanted noise and other nastiness into their sound. It’s called the Pylon ATB Noise Gate, and it is a noise gate with a twist.
That twist lies in its functionality, in the fact it as an onboard boost capable of applying 30+dB to your signal. Alternatively, run the Pylon as an attenuator. There’s more. Besides the usual Threshold control – appropriately the biggest dial on the enclosure – there is a Cut mini-knob that complements this by allowing players to select between 65 and 730Hz to tighten up your low end.
There is a three-way toggle switch for selecting how you want this boost to behave. It can be left always on, sweetening your tone in perpetuity, or it can be left in Sync mode, so that it is activated with the noise gate, or simply take the boost out of the equation and run the Pylon as a straight-up noise gate.
The Pylon’s noise gate has an integrated audio transformer to be extra kind to your signal, and operates around a high-performance Blackmer VCA. There is a toggle switch to select between the softer decay of the High setting and the Low mode, which will clamp down fast on any noise above your threshold setting.
Now, the prospect of a noise gate is not quite as sexy as a new fuzz pedal or all-singing, all-dancing modulation – let’s face it, what is? But it can make all the difference, particularly if you are playing high-gain metal and need perfect silence in between those staccato powerchords, or when looking to clean up your sound in more intricate passages. In short, used properly, it can make you sound better.
The Pylon has a few more tricks up its sleeve, too. It can be used to switch channels on your guitar amp. It has in/out and send/return jacks to facilitate various setups, including the four-cable method for those occasions when that ornery old tube amp gets a little hissy, or simply if you want to run your dirt pedals through the unit and preserve your instrument’s attack.
It can also be turned on and off remotely, and can be triggered by an external source – as KMA suggests, this trigger function can be set to a drummer’s kick-drum, so the noise gate works in concert with the rest of your band’s sound to help keep the guitar sound tight.
Oh, and there’s even a ground lift dip switch in case of ground issues. The Pylon ATB Noise Gate is available now, priced £165. See KMA Audio Machines for more details.