In this review, we are going to be talking about the new audio effect plugin from Polyverse made in collaboration with Infected Mushroom called Gatekeeper.
Gatekeeper is a plugin made for Rhythmic gating, Volume automation, Pseudo compression, Pseudo sidechaining, and more as you get eight different envelopes that can affect your sound in various ways allowing you to create intricate rhythms or evolving soundscapes or just create some space for your kick to come through.
How it looks
First, off the interface, Gatekeeper looks really nice the colors stand out and really make it easy to see what’s going on. The layout of the plugin as a whole is really nice all it takes is one look and you know what’s going on.
In the Top left, we find the Envelope selector where you can view one of the eight envelopes available to you. The eye button lets you view all of the envelopes at the same time ghosted in the background of the selected envelope. Next, to the eye we have the midi learn function which allows you to set up multiple midi notes for each envelope allowing you to switch between envelopes and easily create some evolving rhythms.
On the top right, you find the preset browser and Gatekeeper comes with hundreds of different presets to get you going neatly arranged in eleven different categories Rhythmic, Evolving, Triplets, Swing, Stereo, Gating, Ducking, Drums, LFO, Envelope, and FX. These presets utilize one or more of the eight envelopes supplied and what is really nice is that each of those envelopes is also available to load straight into the envelope window allowing you to mix mash different presets or just add an envelope you like to your own work saving you time in drawing all of it yourself.
The main focus of the Gatekeeper plugin is of course the envelope window itself where you can draw in all of your envelopes and what makes life really easy when making your own envelopes is the Draw tool which has a bunch of preloaded shapes to draw with but you can also select a section of an envelope and save that as a brush type which is awesome.
- To the left of the paint tool, we have our envelope trigger controls and our grid controls.
- The Autoplay button lets the envelope repeat on and on.
- The envelope button lets the envelope play through as a normal envelope would.
- The Sustain loop button adds extra markers in the envelope window which you can set a certain point that when the envelope has played through the selected section will continue to loop and play.
- This s where you can have your nodes snap to a grid and set what kind of grid you are working in with triplet and dotted grids that can be set to a timed envelope of up to 40 seconds or from 1/1 up to 1/128.
- There is also a swing control to dial in some extra swing if you need it.
- To the right of the paint tool we have the envelope modulation tools Smooth, Time, Amp, and Pan.
Smooth takes out pops and clicks that may occur when the envelope speed is faster than the audio it modulates it does this by applying a filter that curves the peaks of the envelope.
- TIME: can adjust the speed of the envelope from 0.1x to 10x.
- AMP: lets you set the amplitude of each envelope as needed.
- PAN: Pans
Underneath the envelope modulation tools, we find the midi modulation section this is where you can set the Time, Amp, and Pan to be modulated by velocity, Note, Random, and Alternate. With these controls, you can set up things like Velocity sensitivity, alternate panning to each note or change the time of an envelope according to how hard you press a note.
All the way at the bottom we find the controls for the Trigger, in and out the volume, Dry/wet, Simple Ping Pong Delay, and a simple clipper/saturator as well as some levels to see how hot your incoming and outgoing signal is. The Input volume control is nice to have when you are trying to push the Clipper/Saturation section.
The Clipper has two types of clipping available normal clip where the Gatekeeper plugin will clip audio at 0db before the output knob and Soft clipping where clipping will have a slight curve for a softer and rounder sound. The Delay in Gatekeeper plugin is a Stereo Ping Pong Delay with a dry wet slider, Feedback slider, and a Time Slider that goes from 1 to 128 with triplets and dotted intervals.
Gatekeeper is an awesome plugin and does volume automation the best out of all of my other plugins of the same sort, it is really easy to work with and can definitely add some spice to whatever signal you apply to it I’ve used it on Drones, Drums, Synth leads, Chords, Arps, Basslines and with a little tweaking it can work on anything you like.
It is also just a great plugin to play around with when you are searching for some inspiration just glide through some of the presets and the creative juices will start flowing in no time. Gatekeeper has managed to make its way into my go-to plugins list just because of its ease of use and ability to get my creative juices flowing and for the price point that it is at I don’t think you could go wrong when buying this plug.
- Fast, with fast workflow.
- Looks great.
- Great for inspiration hunting.
- Works on any signal you slap it on and works well.
- Unipolar and bipolar CV output for external gear.
- Cannot resize the UI
- Wish it could do filtering as well.
Price & Availability
Polyverse Gatekeeper by Infected Mushroom is priced at $ 49 and runs on Mac and Windows machines as VST, AU and AAX. Unfortunately, there is no demo version of the software.
More Details: Polyverse Gatekeeper