Gatey Watey


(20 customer reviews)

Note for M1 Mac Users: This plugin is not yet compiled to work natively on M1 Macs. We are currently in the process of rewriting it so that it will, but it will take some time. In the meantime, it should work under rosetta on M1 Macs.

Unlike other gates, Gatey Watey enables you to zero in on precisely the frequency range you want attenuate without the hit-or-miss tweaking of complicated controls, yielding excellent results regardless of your skill level.

Available Formats






  • Frequency selective gating
  • Lookahead
  • Simple Interface
  • No Learning Curve

Instead of the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff* that traditional gates chatter on about, Gatey Watey lets you select the frequencies you want to attenuate for a smooth and natural sound. If you want to shorten cymbal tails without losing the resonance of the kit, quiet singing toms without choking them, or tame the fizz but keep the fuzz on distorted guitars, Gatey Watey will give you the closure you need to move on and mix. Gatey Watey is a forward-thinking, resource-friendly plug-in that not only eliminates the guesswork typical of complicated gates, but also the steep learning curve as well. Gatey Watey is how a gate should work, especially if you want to breeze through the tedious housekeeping processes of noise cleanup and track preparation and focus on creativity.

Gatey Watey—Just the Facts:

  • Frequency-selective gating
  • Look-ahead preserves transients
  • No gate chatter
  • Simple user-friendlyinterface
  • No learning curve

*Some of our customers have asked if the name, “Gatey Watey” is a nod to the Doctor Who monologue in the episode, “Blink” regarding time not being a logical progression of cause to effect, but rather a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. . . stuff. The definitive answer is . . . nobody knows. Nobody.

Gatey Watey—Cracking the Code

The reasons for using gates have never gone away: singing toms, too much metal-work on a drum kit, bleed in kick and snare that makes processing troublesome at best, and we haven’t even gotten to guitars. Gating is a key element for increasing dynamic range and bringing out the punch and focus of drums in a dense mix. And yes, gates come standard in all DAWs, but how often do you actually use them? And wouldn’t you prefer a gate that works without all the histrionics (and hysteresis)?

In order to increase appeal, gate plug-ins have some complicated and downright incomprehensible controls, yet they still operate on the same principle as analog gates from the days of yore (with names like Kepex). Some argue that gates are outdated technology in the face of powerful DAW editing. For example, there’s that clip gain trick used in place of gating, which requires you cut regions, say between tom fills, and reduce the gain of the clip by around -14dB to maintain a natural sound. If you don’t have an intern (studio slang for “slave”) to do it for you, you’ll want something that gets the tedium out of the way. The real question is whether you want to focus on mixing, or spend hours cutting spaces between every snare, kick, and tom hit? And what if you have cymbal or hi-hat bleed you want to get rid of? That’s near impossible to edit. Again, wouldn’t you rather have a gate that does all that for you in a fraction of the time? Of course you would.

Transient ischemic attack

Even gate plug-ins, as fast as they are, have the same problem with transients as their analog ancestors. One clever workaround in DAWs is to copy the track you wish to add gating to, offset it slightly ahead of the track to be processed, and send a sidechain signal from the offset track to the gated track. The offset track opens the gate slightly ahead of the gated track so that transients will pass unmolested. Clever, yes? Well, not really when Gatey Watey will do that for you with its look-ahead feature.

Boz Fun Fact: In the days of recording to tape, gates were used on drums as part of the tracking process. It took a bit of expertise to set the hold and release functions to have the gate close smoothly, but transients were another problem altogether. Since audio signal crossing a threshold opened the gate, a certain amount of transient information was lost, which was further exacerbated by analog tape’s tendency to soften transients. To preserve as much of the attack as possible, some devilishly clever engineers came up with an analog look-ahead scheme, which involved placing two microphones on each drum; one mic close to the drum that opened a gate key input (which wasn’t heard), and a second mic farther back to capture the sound of the drum. The few-millisecond delay of the transients hitting the second mic after the first one opened the gate allowed the transients to be captured entirely.

Chatter below decks

Another issue that comes with setting a gate is known as gate chatter, which occurs when audio signal fluctuates above and below the threshold at the tail end of its decay. The gate opens and closes rapidly, causing a stuttering effect. Standard gates have a hysteresis control to deal with that. Yet another parameter that has to be tweaked to sound natural, hysteresis keeps the gate open by a fixed amount below the threshold, allowing the sound to die out without shutting the gate. You’ll find this control on SSL and Neve consoles, but not on Gatey Watey. Due to its operating principle, gate chatter is simply not an issue.

Gatey Watey controls

Gatey Watey has three mode buttons: high-pass, low pass, and normal gate operation (should you need it). Below these buttons is a frequency slider ranging from 20Hz to 12kHz, which lights red and blue above and below the slider position (and depending on which mode you select). Below the frequency slider are Range, which determines how many dB the gate will attenuate; Attack, which sets how quickly the gate will respond (0ms – 200ms); Release, which determines how fast or slow the gate will close (25ms – 500ms), and Lookahead, which ranges from 0ms to 50ms. The Threshold slider on Gatey Watey’s left side also lights red and blue coinciding with the frequency slider and mode so you can see what’s happening graphically. And finally, a bypass button lives on the right side of the GUI.

Why Gatey Watey when there are so many gates—even ones for free?

As we briefly touched on in the beginning, Gatey Watey has one feature that sets it apart and makes it a must-have for anyone who has struggled with gating: frequency-selective attenuation. To put it simply, when the input drops below the threshold Gatey Watey will attenuate only the high frequencies or only the low frequencies based on selected mode switch and your selected crossover point. That ability makes Gatey Watey extremely powerful when it comes to gating drums, electric guitars, or pretty much anything that requires a gate.

For example, if you want to cut the hi-hat bleed from a snare without killing the ring of the snare, better call Gatey Watey (sorry Saul, this is out of your league). Do you want your distorted guitars to ring out without electrical hum from fluorescent bulbs or neon lamps blaring through your pickups? Gatey Watey to the rescue. You can even use two instances of Gatey Watey if you’d like to gate specific high and low frequencies simultaneously. Even in normal gating situations, Gatey Watey excels. You just tell it what to turn down and how much to turn down and Gatey Watey takes it from there. On the other hand, if you get stuck in 1969 without a TARDIS, you’ll just have to wait it out until Boz invents Gatey Watey (and don’t point your timey-wimey detector at a chicken . . . it’s not pretty when they blow.)

Simple to use

Gatey Watey was designed to be dirt simple to use. It does its thing, and it does it well. Regardless of your engineering experience, you’ll able to open up Gatey Watey for the first time and immediately get the hang of it.

While you’re pondering the cultural references of Gatey Watey, download a copy and see for yourself how easy it is to get great results.

20 reviews for Gatey Watey

  1. Tre’ Ossmann

    Love this gate plugin! Gatey Watey is my go to drum gate when it comes to cleaning up and fixing problems. Excellent for killing excessive tom rumble/ringing without choking out the sound completely. Can also be used to tighten up a kick drums low end or clean up unwanted room noise. Low CPU footprint as well, so you can use it all over your individual drum tracks without worrying about resource consumption.

  2. Andrei Lobadin

    This is the best combination of quality, versatility, design and work in general! This plugin cannot be called simple – but every time you reveal its huge potential with such interest! Great plugin!

  3. jaeger28

    Great on guitars, lets you let the lower frequencies ring out while single coil hiss on fade out of notes is smoothly blended out. Works superb without noticeable latency. Keeps the notes intact.

  4. rickskii

    Used regularly across my mixes. Looks great and super easy to use.

  5. Andrei Lobadin

    Being for so many years the user of plugins of this respected company, I can say only one thing – Gatey Watey is the next (and not the last) success of these children! How beautiful are their free plugins, which have helped me in my work so many times, as great are their older brothers! Gatey Watey and the rest of the plugins are a cartridge-clip for each project! Thank you, inspiration and creativity! PS – and don ‘t forget about fun competitions for plugin names!)))

  6. kevinsparks

    Perfect for taking out the bleed in tracks without completely muting. The only way to improve it would be adding a midi out for triggering drum samples

  7. cochrane.wayne

    Love Boz plugins and I bought Gatey Watey with hopes that you will add a key input. That would make it the best utility plugin ever.

  8. jacek_sniecikowski

    Amazing on removing hihat bleed from the snare. Works really well for Nolly’s trick shown in his session from Nail The Mix.

  9. shil44444

    I wish this plugin had a sidechain input.

  10. Love the gate, but having a problem where every time I open a session with the plugin engaged I have to re-enter my username and serial number, any knowledge of why this might be happening and how to fix it?

  11. ethermusic1981

    Gatey Watey is extremely useful and inexpensive to boot.
    It also sports one of the best GUIs I’ve ever seen on a VST. (Imperial Delay is another one of my favorite GUIs, although I don’t own that one yet.)

  12. info15

    Gating 2.0. I used two instances on a snare drum signal with great success: 1 to roll off the highs of the hi-hat spill (darkening the hi-hat, but still have it audible) and 1 for removing the kick drum a little (but not everything else!). I also used it on a guitar track to remove the amp hiss between parts, but not remove the room sound between parts completely. Tons of creative uses! Very exciting!

  13. ben mroffkey

    Very nice

  14. oldgearzer

    This is one GREAT Gate! Removes the bad stuff, like low frequency rumble, without breathing, cutting out word tails and so on. I use it as a noise reduction unit for Voice Over recording and have found it’s the best, most transparent way to get rid of LA sound buildup (traffic, UPS and garbage trucks) without compromising the sound. Very Well done and highly recommended!

  15. HugoBkk

    Love it on guitar .. Thanks

  16. Very interesting, smooth action, beuatiful interface! I would be happy to have it in my live mixing console 🙂

  17. works great and looks awesome .. thanks

  18. Heggele

    Very nice! I also love the lookahead feature! However I am missing a second release for the “remaining” signal when in high pass or low pass mode. That would be absolutely killer!

  19. Viktorovics

    Great for guitars

  20. schramy

    Its Fab. Great job Boz. Love how it cleans up without destroying.

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