17. January 2022 | News | Noizefield

Polyverse Gatekeeper – Review

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Although the first release of the Gatekeeper plugin by Polyverse was quite a while ago, we decided to share our experience with Gatekeeper. How good is the volume automation tool and is it still worth buying in 2022? You will find out in our small Gatekeeper review.

What is Gatekeeper?

Gatekeeper is a volume modulator and volume automation plugin, that can create sequenced volume patterns, stutter effects, sidechain effects (ducking), gain clipping, MIDI and control signals (CV / Control Voltage).

The plugin was developed in collaboration with Infected Mushroom, the electronic music duo that has also been responsible for other plugin developments. Among others Waves Pusher and Polyverse Manipulator.

Envelopes

Let's start with the most important and obvious point, gatekeeper has 8 envelopes which allows to draw highly complex curves. These curves can modulate not only the volume but also the panorama or other parameters like Midi CC. Every envelopes can be looped and synchronized to the tempo of the DAW. A paint tool offers several preset shapes to quickly enter complex curves.

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The Grid

A very user-friendly grid function allows you to magnetically align the individual points of the envelope to the grid. The Grid can be set to note values ranging from one bar down to 128th and even supports dotted notes, triplets and swing.

Particularly noteworthy are the many keyboard shortcuts that allow a very fast workflow. For example the keyboard shortcut "2" switches to a dotted note grid and the keyboard shortcut "3" switches to a triplet note grid. The +/- Keys change the size of the grid which is also super handy. But there are many more very useful keyboard shortcuts that enable fast editing.

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MIDI and CV

Another highlight is the ability to control other instruments or effects via MIDI CC (Control Change) or CV (Control Voltage). This means that you can basically send the modulation envelope to any software or hardware synthesizer or effect that can receive either Midi CC or Control Voltage. In the case of Control Voltage, Gatekeeper generates an audio signal that can be routed via a separate audio output of the audio interface to a CV input of a hardware device, e.g. a Eurorack module.

Another highlight is the ability to control other instruments or effects via MIDI CC (Control Change) or CV (Control Voltage). This means that you can basically send the modulation envelope to any software or hardware synthesizer or effect that can receive either Midi CC or Control Voltage. In the case of Control Voltage, Gatekeeper generates an audio signal that can be routed via a separate audio output of the audio interface to a CV input of a hardware device, e.g. a Eurorack module.

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Featrues:

  • Sample-fast and precise volume modulation
  • 8 independent volume envelopes
  • Expressive and fun envelope drawing tools
  • Boost and clip features for extra punch
  • Smoothing algorithm to eliminate clicks and pops
  • Fully customizable MIDI triggering
  • Panning tools
  • Tempo mapped looping
  • CV output for Modular synths
  • MIDI CC output for controlling other instruments and effects
  • Hundreds of presets

Conclusion:

Gatekeeper is an awesome plugin, period! There are several plugins available that are dedicated to volume automation, but Gatekeeper clearly stands out from the competition, because of it's precision, clever features and fast workflow.

Especially with extremely low gates or pulses, some other plugins can't keep up. In direct comparison I could see considerable differences in the precision.

The possibility to remotely control each of the 8 envelopes via MIDI Key individually, to send the envelopes via MIDI CC and even CV to other devices and and the really very well done workflow make Gatekeeper a real keeper in the arsenal of every producer.

I actually have only two small wishes or suggestions that would enhance Gatekeeper even further:

  • a function that creates a random envelope
  • a built-in multiband mode, which allows to process only a certain frequency spectrum, so that e.g. only the bass range is affected by the volume envelopes.

Gatekeeper is directly available for:
$49 USD
at the Polyverse website here: Polyverse | Gatekeeper

Polyverse Gatekeeper Review
  • Overall Sound Quality
  • Features
  • Stability
  • Workflow
  • Pricing

Summary

Gatekeeper is an awesome plugin, period!
There are several plugins available that are dedicated to volume automation, but Gatekeeper clearly stands out from the competition, because of it's precision, clever features and fast workflow.

Especially with extremely low gates or pulses, some other plugins can't keep up. In direct comparison I could see considerable differences in the precision.

The possibility to remotely control each of the 8 envelopes via MIDI Key individually, to send the envelopes via MIDI CC and even CV to other devices and
and the really very well done workflow make Gatekeeper a real keeper in the arsenal of every producer.

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